5 self-help books to read in 2019

For the disconnected:

1. The Book of Joy: Lasting Happiness in a Changing World

This book makes you smile secretly from ear to ear as soon as you start reading Chapter One. It’s definitely a feel-good book and is meant to touch at the heartstrings with personal stories from the Dalai Lama and Archbishop Desmond Tutu. They share with us that no matter what background or religion you come from, joy is attainable – and not from money, fame or external sources.

We will feel intimately connected to two of the world’s most loved spiritual leaders, all the while as we figure out our own obstacles to joy and how we can practice some of the simplest of things to cultivate joy in our daily lives. This book reminded me that even amid all the chaos, suffering and stress in my life today, I have the ability to live a joyous and fulfilling life.

For the perfectionists, overworked, and overstressed:

2. The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You’re Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are

It’s no secret that love exists, but does self-love exist in your life? As a self-proclaimed relationship addict, I was always stuck on this idea that once I found that perfect someone, I would have that perfect life. The thing is, I was never able fully love anyone because no one could fill my heart other than myself.

This book may feel thin as it comes at 126 pages, but it is interwoven with thorough analysis and work of other researchers and writers just like the author herself. Ten essential factors underlying wholehearted living are detailed in separate chapters. But instead of feeling overwhelmed that you are not absorbing all ten, decide your own guideposts: stop comparing yourself to others and be okay with your imperfections.

For the self-doubters and those feeling vulnerable:

3. Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead

Yeah yeah, I put two books on here with the same author. But this goes on my list because I will never forget it. Just last year I seemed to have read this book at the perfect time. I started my first full-time job and being the youngest of the my team, vulnerability was written on my forehead. I had no previous nurse practitioner or even nursing experience and what was supposed to be constructive criticism from my peers felt like hard-core put-down shame.

This book reinforces the idea that allowing yourself to be vulnerable is a sign of strength and courage. Read that again. Vulnerability means strength, not weakness. And believe it or not, shame is everywhere – we all have it, and we all experience shame. It’s just no one wants to talk about it. The less we talk about shame, the more control it has over our lives, and this book details what we can do about this!

For those who want a personal touch:

4. Educated: A Memoir

The author of this book is not just educated – she is brave. Determined to get a formal education, the seventh child of Mormon parents recounts her incredulous journey of rebelling against her parents’ isolating world. It is not an easy story to tell. There are many injustices and traumatic events surrounding her upbringing. There are moments when you want to look away because your heart aches from the repeated horror stories of abuse and neglect.

But she does it. She gets accepted into Cambridge to pursue her Ph.D in history. And even then, she looks back on her childhood with clarity and surprisingly with love. This book certainly puts your current hardships into perspective, and it challenges us to see how change in what seems to be a preset course is possible.

For those who want a quick read:

5. The Sun and Her Flowers

A book that is always resting at my bedside table. Poems have the ability to heal the soul. And I dare you to read some of the most beautiful poems about growing and healing!

And voila! There you have it. My favorite self help book list for 2019. Happy reading! And let me know what you think of them!

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