My favourite books (part 2 – self-help)

November 4, 2023

I'm jess!

Life and leadership coach for women, mental health maven and soul guide.

I support women to do LESS people-pleasing, perfectionism and over-working ... and experience MORE ease, joy, vitality and confidence.


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I’ve been a longtime reader of self-help books since I picked up my first in my early twenties: You Can Heal Your Life by Louise Hay. (Was this anyone else’s first? For many of my friends, this became theirs because I was so evangelical about it for awhile there!!)

Since picking up that book and having the mind-blowing realisation that it was in my power to, as the book said, heal my life – I’ve been a voracious learner, explorer and student across so many different topics relating to wellness, psychology, spirituality, parenting, intimacy and more.

So I’m really excited to share with you my absolute favourite self-help/personal development/mind-expanding resources (the second instalment of my favourite books list). These authors and their teachings have had a profound influence on my life personally, and in my coaching work.

In brackets after each, I’ve added a quick summary as to its focus so hopefully this becomes a helpful resources list for when you need support on a particular topic. (The few that I haven’t labelled at the end are those that offer wisdom across all aspects of life.)

So here goes, in no particular order …
Self-help books to open your mind, support your body and nourish your soul

  1. Mother Hunger – Kelly McDaniel (mother wound)
  2. The Gift – Edith Eger (overcoming hardship)
  3. Broken Open – Elizabeth Lesser (overcoming hardship)
  4. The Myth of Normal – Gabor Mate (childhood trauma/health)
  5. Existential Kink – Carolyn Elliott (shadow work)
  6. Outrageous Openness – Tosha Silva (surrender)
  7. The Surrender Experiment – Michael Singer (surrender)
  8. Loving What Is – Byron Katie (anxiety)
  9. The Inside Out Revolution – Michael Neill (anxiety)
  10. You Already Know – Helen Jacobs (intuition)
  11. Atomic Habits – James Clear (habit change)
  12. The Way of Integrity – Martha Beck (authenticity)
  13. Braving the Wilderness – Brene Brown (authenticity)
  14. Wild Woman’s Way – Michaela Bohm (feminine embodiment)
  15. Pussy – Regena Thomashauer (feminine embodiment)
  16. Wild Power – Alexandra Pope, Sjane Hugo Wurlitzer (menstrual awareness)
  17. Four Thousand Weeks – Oliver Burkeman (managing time)
  18. Stolen Focus – Johann Hari (paying attention)
  19. Soul of Money – Lynne Twist (relating to money)
  20. It’s Not Your Money – Tosha Silva (relating to money)
  21. Move your DNA – Katy Bowman (health)
  22. How to be Well – Karen Coates and Sharon Kolkka (health)
  23. Glucose Revolution – Jessie Inchauspé  (health)
  24. Intuitive Eating – Evelyn Tribole and Elyse Resch (health)
  25. Ina May’s Guide to Chidbirth – Ina May (pregnancy and birth)
  26. Hunt Gather Parent – Michaeleen Doucleff (parenting)
  27. Unconditional Parenting – Alfie Kohn (parenting)
  28. The Empowered Wife – Laura Doyle (marriage/intimacy)
  29. Why Women Talk and Men Walk – Patricia Love (marriage/intimacy)
  30. Queen’s Code – Alison Armstrong (marriage/intimacy)
  31. Playing Big – Tara Mohr (women’s leadership)
  32. Big Magic – Elizabeth Gilbert (creativity)
  33. Company of One – Paul Jarvis (small business)
  34. Profit First – Mike Michalowicz (small business)
  35. Belonging: Remembering Ourselves Home – Toko-pa Turner
  36. Tiny Beautiful Things – Cheryl Strayed
  37. Crazy Good Choices – Steve Chandler
  38. This One Wild and Precious Life – Sarah Wilson
  39. Epiphany – Elise Ballard
  40. The Big Leap – Gay Hendricks

As a Libran who loves to change her mind constantly, narrowing this down has been torture!!  Even as my finger hovers over the send button, I’m wondering if I should sub something in … tell me, what would feature on your list? I’d love to know! 

I'm Jess, mind whisperer, mama & ocean lover

I'm a former lawyer turned women’s leadership and life coach. 

I guide women who have created their success largely through driving, pushing and controlling, to reconnect with their intuition, vitality and radiance.

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