Self-Care Obsessed? Here are 8 Books You Need to Read

If you’re feeling burnt out by your career, sleep deprived and stressed about the future, or even insecure about how your life looks on Instagram, then it’s time to start practicing self-care. It’s a simple lifestyle change that encourages you to prioritize your mental health without taking up an expensive new habit or learning how to become an advanced meditator. Whether you find peace of mind through short walks, interesting podcasts, a call with a long-distance BFF, a catnap, or a good book, self-care is easy to work into your everyday routine.

For those in a bit of a self-care rut (“I’ve taken three long walks this week and I still feel wound up!”), take inspiration from these eight nonfiction books that empower you to embrace failure, put yourself first, and learn self-love. Cozying up with a good book about self-care might be one of the ultimate self-care hacks.

Corrigan, a NYT-bestselling author, uses twelve essays to discuss some of the most difficult, yet most meaningful, phrases in our canon. By taking her lead, and learning to speak these words with confidence (including “No,” “I was wrong,” and the titular phrase, “Tell me more”) you’ll be on your way to developing more meaningful relationships.

Think of this as an Eat, Pray, Love journey that you could actually take on. After a death, a break-up, and an eviction collide, Nunn takes to Facebook and sends her despair into cyberspace. The following morning, friends and family have responded to her status, asking her to come visit them and cook for them. So began her Comfort Food Tour. As she reconnects with friends, and cooks through her pain, Nunn not only delivers an emotional memoir, but also equips the reader with the best recipes for their own comfort food journeys.

Reese Witherspoon has selected Brown’s latest bestseller for her celebrity book club—and for good reason. Brown’s previous titles—The Gifts of Imperfection and Daring Greatly — and her viral TEDTalk, “The Power of Vulnerability,” place the researcher/author at the top of the self-care TBR pile. Braving the Wilderness discusses finding community and the current “spiritual crisis of disconnection,” and offers the tools needed to find true belonging.

You may recognize Yuknavitch’s name from her bestsellers, The Small Backs of Children or The Book of Joan, but she also has some powerful advice for those who feel like outsiders. Inspired by her TED Talk “The Beauty of Being a Misfit,” the book expands on her message and encourages readers to abandon norms and lean into their oddball natures.

Knight has ignored the traditional “self-help” tropes and gone for something much more fun — she champions selfishness and weirdness, speaks boldly, and is the queen of shedding expectations and obligations. Following The Life-Changing Magic of Not Giving a F*ck, and Get Your Sh*t Together, Knight’s latest guide serves up the real-talk you need to start putting yourself first.

Need a self-care book that also helps you cultivate a new wellness habit? For those who haven’t been able to keep up with a journal, this blueprint encourages you to reflect on happiness every week, list-style, with simple prompts and beautiful illustrations. Keep it at your desk, or on your nightstand, or in your purse, and start making a list whenever you need a breather.

Elle Luna’s viral essay on Medium sparked this interactive book by the same name, and it helps readers discern between what they should do (obligatory) and what they must do (passion). By uncovering your ‘must,’ you’ll ultimately lead a more fulfilling life. Not sure how to begin? Luna has developed several fun exercises that will help you sort out where your strengths and passions lie.

Before Cheryl Strayed was the bestselling author of Wild, she was the voice behind advice columnist Sugar in “Dear Sugar.” After years of dispensing heartfelt, honest, and emotionally raw advice, Strayed compiled her best words of wisdom into this essay-style compendium, the title essay being one of her most famous. Full of quotes you’ll want to remember, and stories that will certainly make you cry, this is essential reading for those wanting to feel understood, embraced, and inspired.


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