40 Self Help Books Recommended by my Readers on trauma, parenting, personal development, spirituality

40 Self-Help Books Recommended by my Readers

40 Self Help Books Recommended by my Readers on trauma, parenting, personal development, spirituality

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I love a good self-help or personal development book. And summer is the perfect time to catch up on some reading. The only problem is there are so many great self-help books to choose from!

This list was compiled from suggestions from my amazing Facebook fans. I’m sure you’ll find something that piques your interest. And feel free to leave additional book recommendations in the comments.

Dysfunctional Families

  1. Toxic Parents by Susan Forward
  2. If You Had Controlling Parents by Dan Neurharth


  1. Why Is it Always about You: The 7 Deadly Sins of Narcissism by Sandy Hotchkiss
  2. The Verbally Abusive Relationship by Patricia Evans
  3. Hold Me Tight by Sue Johnson
  4. Who’s Pulling Your Strings by Harriet Braiker
  5. The 5 Love Languages by Gary Chapman


  1. The Awakened Family: How to Raise Empowered, Resilient, and Conscious Children by Shefali Tsabary

Codependency and Boundaries

  1. Codependent No More by Melody Beattie
  2. Boundaries by Henry Cloud and John Townsend
  3. Take Control of Your Life: Escape the Grip of Codependency by James Richards
  4. Don’t Call it Love by Gregory Jantz and Tim Clinton
  5. Let Go Now: Embracing Detachment by Karen Casey
  6. The Disease to Please by Harriet Braiker
  7. Adult Children of Alcoholics by Janet Woititz

Books for Women

  1. Women Who Love Too Much by Robin Norwood
  2. Why Does He Do That? By Lundy Bancroft
  3. Mothers Who Can’t Love: A Healing Guide for Daughters by Susan Forward
  4. The Courage to Heal: A Guide for Women Survivors of Child Sexual Abuse by Ellen Bass and Laura Davis
  5. The Dance of Anger by Harriet Lerner
  6. 5 Habits of a Woman Who Doesn’t Quit by Nicki Koziarz

Trauma and Healing

  1. Trauma and Recovery by Judith Herman
  2. The Body Keeps Score by Bessel Van der Kolk
  3. You Can Heal Your Life by Louise Hay

Spirituality and Personal Growth Books

  1. Hallelujah Anyway: Rediscovering Mercy By Anne Lamott
  2. The Tao of Pooh by Benjamin Hoff
  3. How to Be Here: A Guide to Creating a Life Worth Living by Rob Bell
  4. A course in Miracles by Alan Cohen
  5. The Road Less Traveled by M. Scott Peck
  6. The Purpose of Driven Life by Rick Warren


  1. The Gifts of Imperfection by Brene Brown
  2. I Thought It Was Just Me (But it Isn’t) by Brene Brown
  3. You are a Badass by Jen Sincero
  4. Love Warrior by Glennon Melton Doyle
  5. Self-Compassion by Kristin Neff
  6. Forgive for Good by Fred Luskin
  7. The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin
  8. Reinventing Your Life by Jeffrey Young and Janet Klosko
  9. Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway by Susan Jeffers
  10. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Steven Covey

More reading lists

You can find some of my reading suggestions here and here.

What are your favorite self-help books? Please let us know about any that address codependency, self-esteem, or healthy relationships in the comments section below.

©2017 Sharon Martin, LCSW. All rights reserved.

The Better Boundaries Workbook

Your step-by-step guide to setting boundaries in all areas of your life.

“The most comprehensive resource available to help people struggling with setting healthy boundaries, people pleasing, and assertive communication.” —Dr. Marni Feuerman

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.

5 thoughts on “40 Self-Help Books Recommended by my Readers”

  1. A great list thanks Sharon. Recently I’ve read a couple of books on narcissism and healing from this insidious behaviour. “Out of the Fog…” by Dana Morningstar and “Becoming the Narcissist’s Nightmare…” by Shahida Arabi. I found both these books fascinating.

    1. I am trying to free myself from another abusive relationship this one way more abusive than the last. I started counseling Although it is only once a week and I’ve only had two, I’m afraid that I might not be able to gain strength in time for his trial. This person continues to emotionally and mentally manipulate me.

  2. “Choosing Happiness, Life & Soul Essentials” by Stephanie Dowrick is a really insightful and enjoyable book. Have found it very useful and easy to read and re-read. It’s a book that doesn’t have to be read consecutively. The author has delivered the information in a “concentrated episodic form”. You can “snack ” on it rather than having to sit down to a “four course read”

  3. I just ended a relationship with a covert passive-aggressive narcissist. I found the book “The Betrayal Bond” by Patrick Carnes very healing as I worked through the exercises with my therapist.

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