Our Top Books for Self-Healing, Personal Growth and Inner Work
best personal growth books

Hot off the presses! Here’s a list of our favorite “inner work” books (aka personal growth, self actualization)  my favorite category and here’s why: when you realize that you, and you alone, are responsible for your happiness, everything shifts. You step out of waiting for good things to happen to making magical things happen. 

Thank you to my beautiful friends on The Good Stuff email list and our Clean Plate Club FB who helped create this our big monster list. Don’t forget to see our entire list of fiction recommendations.

Did I miss something? Comment below or drop them in here :). Okay, let’s dig in:

A New Earth and The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle
A New Earth talks about how we can improve our lives and the world by becoming more aware of our thoughts and letting go of our egos. It encourages us to be more present and kind, helping create a better, more peaceful world. I read this book shortly after I stopped working full-time to stay home with the kids and was going through a massive identity crisis. It changed my perspective on, well, everything. Pro-tip: Read a chapter, then listen to Oprah’s corresponding book club series on Spotify. When you’re done, follow it up with The Power of Now to deepen your ability to live in the present moment. I cannot express how important this concept is to your happiness and quality of life. 

Big Money Energy by Ryan Serhant
Drawing from his experience in real estate and TV, Serhant offers practical advice and motivational insights for cultivating success by adopting a winning mindset. Michelle recommends this dynamic guide to achieving success in business and life, saying it got her “riled up and ready to go into a bigger reality with money”.

Breaking the Habit of Being Yourself and You Are The Placebo by Joe Dispenza
I loooooove Dr. Joe Dispenza, who has spent his life helping us understand how to use our minds to create our reality. He’s written several books but here are two favorites. Breaking the Habit comes recommended by me, Lisa and Michelle and explores how to break free from old habits and create a fulfilling life using insights from quantum physics, neuroscience, and biology. You Are The Placebo is fascinating and inspiring, filled with concrete examples of how the placebo effect is real and how to use it to create the life you desire. Note: don’t get the audiobooks on these. It’s unfortunate Dr. Joe didn’t narrate the books himself, but he didn’t and the narrator doesn’t do his work justice. 

Gratitude: A Way of Life and Trust Life by Louise Hay
Our lives our better because of Louise Hay. She has written many books, but here are two of my personal favorites: Gratitude is a collection of thoughts from personal growth visionaries, emphasizing the transformative power of gratitude in everyday life. Perfect nightstand book to remember how embracing gratitude can lead to improved mental, emotional, and physical well-being. Trust Life contains 365 affirmations and reflections drawn from the inspirational work of Louise Hay, so you can open it up each day and get a vibrational lift. I keep it out on my coffee table year round.

How to Change Your Mind by Michael Pollan
What I love about Michael Pollan is he’s not a “psychedelics” guy, he’s a science guy who loves plants. This book explores the science of psychedelics and their potential to treat mental health issues, enhance creativity, and change our understanding of consciousness. This book led me to try plant medicine and, now, trip sitting for others. This is fantastic as an audiobook as well, and the Netflix documentary is also great but not as comprehensive.

How To Do The Work: Recognize Your Patterns, Heal from Your Past, and Create Your Self by Dr. Nicole LaPera 

If you’re feeling like you’re ready to take your self healing to the next level, take a look at How To Do The Work. Dr. Nicole LePera (the “holistic psychologist” on IG) provides a guide to self-healing and personal transformation by identifying and breaking harmful patterns formed by past traumas. Blending scientific research with practical tools, this book is designed to empower you to take charge of your healing journey and create a more fulfilling life.

Into the Magic Shop by Dr. James Doty
On a recent walk with my best friend Emily, I told her how I just started listening to a book called Mind Magic by the same author and she told me how much she loves his first book, Into The Magic Shop, which recounts the author’s journey from a challenging childhood to becoming a successful neurosurgeon, inspired by lessons on mindfulness and compassion he learned in a magic shop. The book highlights the transformative power of meditation, visualization, and empathy in achieving personal and professional fulfillment. Note: Mind Magic gets an honorable mention, especially if you are new to manifesting and meditation. I was able to listen to it for free with my Spotify premium subscription. 

Introduction to Internal Family Systems and No Bad Parts by Richard C. Schwartz
If you feel like you have different personalities living inside you, you’re not wrong. These books (start with Intro to IFS) provide a groundbreaking approach to understanding our inner workings and healing ourselves, with an emphasis embracing all parts of ourselves with compassion. Note: in order to get the most out of these books, it’s most helpful to have done some serious inner work and to have a regular meditation practice. 

Letting Go: The Pathway of Surrender by David Hawkins
Our book club is reading this right now, and my only thought is “how did I not learn about this book sooner”? This book is very thorough, will invite you to confront uncomfortable emotions and, most importantly, the reasons why we hang on to thoughts and emotions that do not serve us. The good news? Hawkins also offers a practical approach to releasing emotional blocks and experiencing joy and happiness through the technique of surrendering.

Living Untethered by Michael Singer
I love Michael Singer! And I love all of his books on audio as well. Living Untethered invites us to let go of barriers that hold us back, with gentle guidance towards inner freedom. Also highly recommended: The Untethered Soul and The Surrender Experiment.

Super Attractor by Gabby Bernstein
Gabby has a bunch of books (Judgement Detox and The Universe Has Your Back are two faves) but I have read Super Attractor at least 3 times. It’s a practical guide to manifesting and aligning with the universe to attract abundance, joy, and love. All of her books are also great on audio because she has a fantastic voice and a ton of passion and conviction. 

The Compound Effect by Darren Hardy
Here’s the truth: what you consistently do compounds. This easy-to-read book explains how small, consistent actions over time can lead to significant, positive changes in your life. It emphasizes the power of making everyday decisions that accumulate to produce long-term success and personal growth.

The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz
Buy this book. Read it at least once a year. Try to live by these 4 agreements based on ancient Toltec wisdom: be impeccable with your word, don’t take anything personally, don’t make assumptions, and always do your best.

The Wisdom of Sundays by Oprah Winfrey
If you see me walking down the street talking to myself, there’s a good chance I’m listening to this collection of life-changing insights from Oprah’s Super Soul Sunday conversations with respected spiritual leaders and thinkers. Do not read this … listen to it.