Self-Help Books

I’ve been a avid self-help book junkie for years. I think the first self-help’ish book I read was in my second year of college by Pema Chodron called “When Things Fall Apart.” I remember I was sitting in this little park in this tiny college town in podunk Kansas. It was the first time in my life where I began to question my belief system and views about life. I remember I just wanted to connect with nature and discover new possibilities that day. The way in which Pema spoke to me through her Buddhist wisdom is something I have always held deeply and connected with. I was in a dark place during my first couple of years of college. There were a lot of parties with alcohol, lots of drugs, and I was giving away my body to guys just to try to feel some sort of connection. I think it’s incredibly telling that my first introduction to self-help focused on moving towards pain instead of away from it.

While I have read a lot of self-help books, I wanted to share with you the books that have actually had a major impact on my life. I hope that through my brief summary for each book, you can find the ones that speak to you. Self-help can be a very powerful tool in your sober recovery, but it can also open old wounds you’ve been hiding. With all introspective work we begin, you should always be prepared to answer tough questions and be honest with yourself. Sometimes we have to walk alone to find ourselves.

Recommended List

General Self-Help

You Are A Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life , by Jen Sincero – I loved this book for it’s motivational charm and comedy. I did feel pretty badass after I read it.

Breaking the Habit of Being Yourself: How to Lose Your Mind and Create a New One, by Joe Dispenza – Dr. Dispenza has written several books, this is a really good one if you’re looking to change your mindset

Atomic Habits: An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones, by James Clear – a must read for developing and breaking new habits

Braving the Wilderness: The Quest for True Belonging and the Courage to Stand Alone, by Brene Brown – if you’re looking for a book on becoming ‘You’ then this is one you definitely need to read

Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead, by Brene Brown – another goodie to add to your list for sober recovery, this one teaches you how to be vulnerable and give yourself compassion

When Things Fall Apart: Heart Advice for Difficult Times, by Pema Chodron

Self-Compassion: The Proven Power of Being Kind to Yourself, by Kristen Neff

The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You’re Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are, by Brene Brown

Boundary Boss: The Essential Guide to Talk True, Be Seen, and (Finally) Live Free, by Terri Cole

Finding Me, by Violet Davis, while this isn’t a traditional self-help book, I found her story overly inspiring, she’s a courageous woman who was on a quest to uncover her true self

Quit Lit

Dry, by Augusten Burroughs – a memoir about alcohol addiction, going to rehab, and how to face the ‘real world’ sober.

The Unexpected Joy of Being Sober, by Catherine Gray – a little bit of drinking, a lot of what life looks like after you quit drinking and some good old science to back up why you should get sober.

Blackout: Remembering the Things I Drank to Forget, by Sarah Hepola – if you’re looking for some raw accounts of real drunkenness, Sarah lays it all out

Me, by Elton John – I couldn’t put this one down. Such a great account of his life from drunk and cocaine-induced intoxicities, to getting married and raising children

Quit Like a Woman: The Radical Choice to Not Drink in a Culture Obsessed with Alcohol, by Holly Whitaker – Another classic Quit Lit, tailored to us women!

As Needed for Pain: A Memoir of Addiction, by Dan Peres – this is a good one about how drug addiction doesn’t discriminate

Sober Curious, by Ruby Warrington – Ruby takes us through her journey of getting sober curious and finally choosing a life free from the frustrations of moderation


Coming to Our Senses: Healing Ourselves and the World Through Mindfulness, By Jon Kabat-Zinn – a book on mindfulness; I felt this book was so beautiful. It was one of the very first books on Mindfulness

The Untethered Soul: The Journey Beyond Yourself, by Michael Singer – uncover how to free yourself from your habitual thoughts that are causing you to think you need to drink

The Alchemist, by Paulo Coelho – a story about a boy’s journey to find his treasure turns into a journey of awakening

Astrology for the Soul, by Jan Spiller – discover your “…hidden talents, your deepest desires, and the ways you can avoid negative influences that may distract you from achieving your true life purpose”

Awaken Your Inner Fire: Ignite Your Passion, Find Your Purpose, and Create the Life That You Love, by HeatherAsh Amara

The Artist’s Way: A Spiritual Path to Higher Creativity, by Julia Cameron – an excellent workbook to tap into your creativity

Womb Awakening: Initiatory Wisdom from the Creatrix of All Life, by Azra Bertrand and Seren Bertrand – if you are curious about the Divine Feminine power, this is it