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  • Amy Liz Harrison

Discover Yourself: Top 24 Must-Read Books for Self-Exploration in Sobriety

Have you read the following books? If you’re experiencing depression, a low point in your life, or just needing to feel some encouragement, this list is for you! Some are old, some are new, but all are gold if you’re interested in being the best version of yourself. Take what you like and leave the rest!

  1. “The Upward Spiral: Using Neuroscience to Reverse the Course of Depression, One Small Change at a Time” by Alex Korb – Offers practical strategies based on neuroscience to improve mood.

  2. “Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead” by Brené Brown – Focuses on the power of vulnerability and its role in transforming lives.

  3. “Wherever You Go, There You Are: Mindfulness Meditation in Everyday Life” by Jon Kabat-Zinn – A guide to incorporating mindfulness into daily life.

  4. “The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom” by Don Miguel Ruiz – Provides a code of conduct for personal freedom and happiness based on ancient Toltec wisdom.

  5. “The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You’re Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are” by Brené Brown – Encourages embracing vulnerabilities and imperfections.

  6. “The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma” by Bessel van der Kolk – Explores the relationship between mind and body and the impact of traumatic experiences.

  7. “The Body Code” by Dr. Bradley Nelson: Offers a DIY toolkit for understanding physical and emotional pain and how to address them.

  8. “Living in the Light” by Deepak Chopra and Sarah Platt-Finger: A 30-day guide that combines health, spirituality, mindfulness, and personal empowerment.

  9. “Finding Elevation” by Lisa Thompson: A memoir about resilience, spirit, and self-discovery beyond mountaineering.

  10. “Conversations with God” by Neale Donald Walsch: the author was experiencing a low point In his life when he decided to write a letter to God, venting his frustrations. What he did not expect was a response.

  11. “Resisting Happiness” by Matthew Kelly: a true story about why we sabotage ourselves, feel, overwhelmed, set-aside her dreams, and, like the courage to simply be ourselves… And how to start using happiness again!a true story about why we sabotage ourselves, feel, overwhelmed, set aside our dreams, and lack the courage to simply be ourselves… And how to start choosing happiness again!

  12. “Body by Breath” by Miller: Details the science of the body-breath connection and its influence on health.

  13. “Fitter. Calmer. Stronger.” by Goulding: A guide on sustainable fitness and nutrition.

  14. “Stumbling on Happiness” by Daniel Gilbert: A witty, accessible book reveals what scientist have discovered about the uniquely human ability to imagine the future, and about or capacity to predict how much we will like it when we get there.

  15. “Immortal Diamond:  by Father Richard Rohr: The true self is like a diamond, buried deep within us, formed under the intense pressure of our lives, it must be search for, and covered, separated from all the debris of ego that surrounds us.

  16. “Maybe You Should Talk to Someone” by Lori Gottlieb: A therapist’s memoir that destigmatizes mental health.

  17. “How Not To Die” by Dr. Michael Greger: Explores how diet and lifestyle changes can prevent common causes of premature death.

  18. “Trauma Stewardship: An Everyday Guide to Caring for Self While Caring for Others” by Laura Van Dernoot Lipsky: Addresses emotional and traumatic material from work life and its personal impacts.

  19. “Journal of Radical Permission” by Adrienne Marie Brown and Sonya Renee Taylor: Offers journaling prompts for self-love and reframe self-criticism.

  20. “Find Yourself at Home” by Emily Grosvenor: Guides on reshaping home environment to reflect personal values and support self-empowerment.

  21. “The Spirituality of Imperfection: Storytelling and the Search for Meaning” by Ernest Kurtz and Katherine Ketcham: spirituality of imperfection, steeped in the rich traditions of the Hebrew profits in Greek thinkers, Buddhist sages in Christian disciples, is a message as timeless as it is timely.

  22. “Atlas of the Heart” by Brené Brown: Maps out 87 human emotions to understand how they shape our lives and behaviors.

  23. “Gift From the Sea” by Anne Morrow Lindbergh: with meditations on youth, age, love and marriage, peace, solitude, and contentment, here is a classic that guides us to find a space for contemplation and creativity in our own lives.

  24. “The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*CK” by Mark Manson: Provides a perspective on facing fears and anxieties and developing an honest assessment of oneself.

For more details on these books, you can visit The Healthy website here.

FYI, this list covers a range of topics from personal empowerment to the science of well-being, offering diverse perspectives and strategies for healing and self-care. This list contains books offering various perspectives and approaches, from understanding the neuroscience behind depression to embracing vulnerability and mindfulness practices​​. In the interest of full disclosure, I have read most of these, but a few have come highly recommended by friends, and I haven’t read them yet. My absolute personal favorite is “Gift From the Sea” by Anne Morrow Lindbergh…. It’s old, but particularly if you’re a female, its life changing. Happy Reading!

Reading is to the mind what exercise is to the body. 

#QUITLIT is our curated list of addiction and recovery book reviews. All Sober Curators should be well-read, from addiction and recovery memoirs to fiction and self-help. You can also find us on Goodreads here. 

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