The 10 Books About Self Love to Read When You Need to Be Your Own Hero
It is way too easy to be your own worst critic. Oh, there's another blemish again—guess who isn't beautiful? Look at how she's super successful—how come my career hasn't taken off? Wow, they look so happy—what's wrong with me that I can't find love? If you've ever uttered versions of those thoughts to yourself before, you're not alone. The pressure to cultivate a so-called "perfect" life that's complete with a successful job, a loving partnership, a healthy self-image, and lasting friendships is a common feeling, and when it doesn't work out, it's normal to feel like you're entirely at fault. All of these aspects of life factored into the 2017 Harris Poll findings that only 33 per cent of Americans are happy.
But wallowing in self-doubt isn't a game plan, even if such feelings aren't unusual. Instead, learn how to practice self-love by reading these 10 titles on the subject, which feature New York Times bestsellers and recent releases that have received plenty of accolades, too. These books will show you that silencing self-deprecation as you focus on individual talents, and advocating for your needs during challenging periods—all while striving for what really makes you happy—can eventually uncover the confidence and clarity within. It sounds like a challenge, for sure. But seeing how easy it is to be your own worst critic, it will be worth the hard work, in the end, to finally embrace your perfectly imperfect self.
The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck by Mark Manson
Mark Manson The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck ($15)
There's a reason why your friends keep recommending that you read this New York Times bestseller. Put simply, and quite obviously from the title, author Mark Manson isn't going to mince words or condescend as he offers his advice about how to live a more peaceful existence. Instead, he's going to create an argument around this one statement: You're not going to please everyone, and there's absolutely no way to give your attention to everything. Once you prioritize your personal needs and wants, Manson says, it's easier to live the life you imagine.
You Are a Badass by Jen Sincero
Jen Sincero You Are a Badass ($10)
For a quick pick-me-up, maybe all you need to do is say the title of this popular pick from author Jen Sincero to yourself in the mirror. But for lasting results, we suggest you read, remember, and repeat the inspiring and at times hilarious lessons beyond the cover. Sincero describes how to cultivate an inner monologue that does away with sabotaging critiques and replaces them with highlights of your various strengths. It'll be hard but rewarding work, and given that Sincero writes like a straight-shooting friend, it'll be fun, too.
How to Stop Feeling Like Sh*t by Andrea Owen
Girl, Wash Your Face by Rachel Hollis
Rachel Hollis Girl, Wash Your Face ($13)
Most women are more than familiar with the refrains we use to feel sorry about ourselves: That we're not successful, not worthy of love, or not pretty—just to name a few. Rachel Hollis wants to call out these put-downs for what they are: lies. By organizing her book around 20 common falsities that keep women from reaching their true potential, and showing how to overcome them with actionable tips, Hollis hopes that women can feel more empowered by the stories they tell themselves, rather than the ones they are often forced to believe.
It's Not Supposed to Be This Way by Lysa TerKeurst
Does this youth-driven plan sound familiar? You were going to have a successful career, a big family, a beautiful home, and a loving partner—all before a self-imposed age (usually 30). And when that dream often doesn't happen, you feel like a failure. Author Lysa TerKeurst gets it, and that's why she's written a spiritually-based book about how to embrace the life you have, let go of the one you thought you'd have, and practice forgiveness in the meantime. It'll help you feel free from the anxiety of needing everything to work out according to plan.
The Wisdom of Sundays by Oprah Winfrey
The Four Tendencies by Gretchen Rubin
Daring Greatly by Brené Brown
Vulnerability is rarely seen in a positive light—especially as it relates to power. But instead of being viewed as a helpless foil in positions of leadership or partnership, author Brené Brown argues that vulnerability is actually the key to success. By learning how to embrace vulnerability as a genuine way to connect with yourself and others, Brown shows how it can be a defining characteristic of meaningful relationships, fulfilling work, and a strong sense of self.
How to Not Always Be Working by Marlee Grace
Marlee Grace How to Not Always Be Working: A Toolkit for Creativity and Radical Self-Care ($15)
You're always available by email. You tend to work on weekends. You think of hobbies as potential side hustles. Does this description ring a bell? Then maybe this book is for you. Published last fall in a small enough package to easily fit into most bags, this quick and insightful read from author Marlee Grace shows you how to set proper boundaries, listen to what your body needs, and slow down when necessary. Given that constant hustling is glorified behavior, this is a book that'll resonate—and promote—healthier habits.
The Self-Love Experiment by Shannon Kaiser