Best Self Help Books about Codependency, Healthy Relationships, Adult Children, Dysfunctional Families

40 Self-Help Books About Codependency and Healthy Relationships

What’s the best self-help book for codependency recovery? What books do you recommend for learning about healthy relationships or overcoming trauma? I surveyed my blog readers and here are their suggestions.

Best Self Help Books about Codependency, Healthy Relationships, Adult Children, Dysfunctional Families

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Summer is upon us — and if you’re lucky, your schedule will lighten up a bit and allow you to enjoy a few long weekends away from work or some quiet evenings on the porch relaxing with a good book. Summer is always a great time to catch up on some reading.

I’m a self-help book junkie, but I can’t keep up with all the great personal development titles. So, I once again surveyed my Facebook fans for their best self-help book suggestions (you can find last year’s suggested reading list here). This list will be particularly relevant to those of you struggling with or wanting to learn more about codependency, adult child of alcoholic issues, trauma recovery, perfectionism, boundaries, self-worth, and healthy relationships.

Codependency Self Help Books

40 Self-Help Books Recommended by my Readers

Dysfunctional Families

  1. Another Chance: Hope and Health for the Alcoholic Family by Sharon Wegscheider-Cruse
  2. The Emotionally Absent Mother by Jasmin Lee Cori
  3. Adult Children of Emotionally Immature Parents by Lindsay Gibson


  1. Running on Empty No More by Jonice Webb
  2. How We Love: Discover Your Love Style, Enhance Your Marriage by Milan and Kay Yerkovich
  3. Loving Him without Losing You: How to Stop Disappearing and Start Being Yourself by Beverly Engel
  4. How to Break Your Addiction to a Person: When and Why Love Doesn’t Work by Howard Halpern
  5. Necessary Endings: The Employees, Businesses, and Relationships That All of Us Have to Give Up In Order to Move Forward by Henry Cloud
  6. After the Affair: Healing the Pain and Rebuilding Trust When a Partner Has Been Unfaithful by Janis Abrahms Spring
  7. Getting the Love You Want by Harville Hendrix

Codependency and Boundaries

  1. Emotional Blackmail: When the People in Your Life Use Fear, Obligation, and Guilt to Manipulate You by Susan Forward
  2. The Human Magnet Syndrome: The Codependent Narcissist Trap by Ross Rosenberg
  3. Love is a Choice: The Definitive Book on Letting Go of Unhealthy Relationships by Robert Hemfelt, Frank Minirth, and Paul Meier
  4. The Language of Letting Go: Daily Meditations for Codependents by Melody Beattie
  5. Out of the Fog: Moving from Confusion to Clarity After Narcissistic Abuse by Dana Morningstar

Self-Help Books for Women

  1. Wild Women Who Run with the Wolves: Myths and Stories of the Wild Woman Archetype by Clarissa Pinkola Estes
  2. Perfect Daughters: Adult Daughters of Alcoholics by Robert Ackerman
  3. Will I Ever Be Good Enough?: Healing the Daughters of Narcissistic Mothers by Karyl McBride

Self-Help Books for Men

  1. I Don’t Want to Talk about It by Terrence Real
  2. Silent Sons by Robert Ackerman

Trauma and Healing

  1. Complex PTSD: From Surviving to Thriving by Pete Walker
  2. Recovery of Your Inner Child by Lucia Capacchione
  3. Healing the Shame that Binds You by John Bradshaw

Spirituality and Personal Growth

  1. The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz
  2. Present Over Perfect: Leaving Behind Frantic for a Simpler, More Soulful Way of Life by Shauna Niequist
  3. When Things Fall Apart: Heart Advice for Difficult Times by Pema Chodron
  4. The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle
  5. Peace Within: Clear Your Mind, Open Your Heart, Embrace Your Soul and Heal Your Life by Michael Brant DeMaria
  6. Belonging: Remembering Ourselves Home by Toko-pa Turner


  1. Feeling Good: The New Mood Therapy by David Burns
  2. Constructive Wallowing: How to Beat Bad Feelings by Letting Yourself Have Them by Tina Gilbertson
  3. On Becoming a Person by Carl Rogers
  4. Mindset: The New Psychology of Success by Carol Dweck
  5. It’s Not Always Depression: Working the Change Triangle to Listen to the Body, Discover Core Emotions, and Connect to Your Authentic Self by Hilary Jacobs Hendel
  6. The Highly Sensitive Person: How to Thrive When the World Overwhelms You by Elaine Aron
  7. Resilient: How to Grow an Unshakable Core of Calm, Strength, and Happiness by Rick Hanson
  8. Meditation for Fidgety Skeptics by Dan Harris
  9. The Mindful Day: Practical Ways to Find Focus, Calm, and Joy From Morning to Evening by Laurie Cameron
  10. Dying to Be Me: My Journey from Cancer, to Near Death, to True Healing by Anita Moorjani
  11. The Happiness Trap: How to Stop Struggling and Start Living by Russ Harris

Do you have a favorite self-help book for codependency and building self-esteem? Perhaps you’ve read something recently that was instrumental to your personal growth and recovery. If you’d like to add a suggestion, please put it in the comments below.

You can also find last year’s list of self-help book recommendations here. And you can print a PDF copy of the entire list (80 self-help books) here.

I hope you have a wonderful summer with lots of time for reading and self-care!

©2018 Sharon Martin, LCSW. All rights reserved.
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Sharon Martin, DSW, LCSW is a psychotherapist and author specializing in codependency recovery. For the past 25 years, she’s been helping people-pleasers, perfectionists, and adult children overcome self-doubt and shame, embrace their imperfections, and set boundaries. Dr. Martin writes the popular blog Conquering Codependency for Psychology Today and is the author of The CBT Workbook for Perfectionism and The Better Boundaries Workbook.

1 thought on “40 Self-Help Books About Codependency and Healthy Relationships”

  1. I’d like to add a book to your list that iI have found enormously helpful. It’s called ” Rejected Shamed and Blamed by psychotherapist Rebecca C Mandeville. It’s fundamentally about “Family Scapegoat Abuse” and sheds light on a whole under exposed experience of psycho-emotional Abuse in families that Scapegoat. A highly insightful informative & valuable read for everyone in dysfunctional family role and also for therapist, councilors, health professionals, teachers etc. Hope this book helps someone as it helped me.

    Sent with love and hope and healing wishes.
    All the best.
    Jane x

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