12 books to read for a little shot of self-love
Pretty much unanimously, we’re too hard on ourselves — especially if we sometimes lack confidence or suffer from anxiety.
Whether it’s the little voice in our heads saying we’re not good enough or a tricky time has made it hard to think positively, we’re making the case for giving ourselves a breather and upping our self-love big time. Psychologists are saying: often it’s not a case of finding the crux of your lapse in confidence, but being compassionate to yourself, that helps you move forward.
As well as support from friends and family, books can be one of the best ways to get insight and inspiration to take us on the next step of our journey to understanding and, even, loving ourselves.
We’ve rounded up the self-love books that will remind you you’re great, so not to think otherwise. Ever.
1. Spirit Junkie: A Radical Road To Self-Love And Miracles by Gabrielle Bernstein
Best for: Inspiration that anything is possible
This or May Cause Miracles, it’s a tricky toss-up for Bernstein’s best self-love book. While that is a guide to transforming your way of thinking in 40 days, Spirit Junkie is Bernstein’s own story — through self-doubt and addiction to spiritual teacher — and, unsurprisingly, it’s pretty inspirational.
2. The Gifts Of Imperfection by Brene Brown
Best for: A thought transformation
No self-improvement book list would be complete without a book from Brown. In The Gifts Of Imperfection, she covers 10 ways we can live and engage more fully, exploring how we can think more positively — and, rather than labelling things negatively, find love for the even the parts of ourselves we feel are inadequate.
3. Mastering Your Mean Girl by Melissa Ambrosini
Best for: Hushing that inner critic
Ambrosini helps to show you who you can be if you stop listening to that mean little voice in your head, telling you you’re not good enough. Leading by example, having overcome her demons and built an incredible life, she inspires you to create the life you want — and have faith you can do it.
4. You Are A Badass by Jen Sincero
Best for: A not totally saccharine, sincere guide to self-love
With humour, sass and baddassery, Sincero guides you through finding the areas you need to make changes, overcoming fears and overall creating the life you want (and deserve) — as well as helping you understand (and love) yourself.
5. The Subtle Art Of Not Giving A Fuck by Mark Manson
Best for: People who care way too much about what other people think
You’ll have heard the appealingly no-BS title. Manson continues (BS-free, naturally) by showing you how to be happier and more grounded, by not trying to rose tint everything. Seems counter-intuitive maybe, but his refreshing point is some stuff is unequivocally crap — so, instead of wasting our time trying to be positive about things that aren’t positive, we need to learn to deal with it better; we need to accept it and move on to other things that are worth worrying about.
6. Bloom by Shani Jay
Best for: A shot of positivity whenever you most need it
Jay’s book doesn’t try to be anything it’s not; just positive, love/confidence/happiness/sunshine/glow-boosting guide, reminding you (to remember) how great you are.
7. Unfiltered: How To Be As Happy As You Look On Social Media by Jessica Abo
Best for: A total rethink
Instead of putting pressure of yourself to be, and inevitably failing to be, your perfected end goal, Abo looks at what’s realistic in the age of social media. Instead of stressing about what we share and comparing it with other, we need to remember what really matters; actual happiness, by finding out what’s causing happiness and unhappiness in your life, and how to stay positive through the trickier times.
8. Unfu*k Yourself: Get Out Of Your Head And Into Your Life by Gary John Bishop
Best for: Someone who’s sick of feeling fu*cked up
A good one if you’re not that into self-love books, Bishop helps release you from negative thought patterns and inner voice with his totally no-fluff guide to finding self-love. Reminding you that ultimately the only thing holding you back is yourself, he gives you seven assertions to get you leading the life you were meant to.
9. Love Yourself Like Your Life Depends On It by Kamal Ravikant
Best for: A short, life-changing read
Ravikant puts his own experiences and what he’s learned into a book, namely: you have to love yourself, but it’s not always easy. He helps you on your journey to self-love, through commitment and never giving up.
10. Self-Compassion: The Proven Power Of Being Kind To Yourself by Kristen Neff
Best for: Stopping you beating yourself up
Acknowledging how damaging our self-criticism can be, Neff helps to overcome it in all areas of live and, in doing so, achieve your potential.
11. Learning To Love Yourself by Gay Hendricks
Best for: Realising the importance of loving yourself first
Writing from experience, Hendricks gives a convincing argument for how much self-love can change your life — first in our heads, learning to ‘forgive, accept and love ourselves’, and then in our relationships.
12. The Art Of Talking To Yourself: Self-Awareness Meets The Inner Conversation by Vironika Tugaleva
Best for: A different type of self-help book
Rather than false promises or unachievable positivity, The Art Of Talking To Yourself is an explorative look at who you are, helping you understand yourself rather than focusing on what you should or can be.
Read more: 9 self-confidence books for a boost of badassery