22 Books To Help You Love And Accept Yourself

Book stack


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You alone are enough. You have nothing to prove to anyone. – Maya Angelou


Self love is the ultimate path to reaching your highest potential. Plus, it is only when you love and accept yourself that you can do the same for others.

When you do not love yourself, you unconsciously engage in self sabotaging behaviors that keep you stuck in a loop of disillusionment and mediocrity. You end up attracting the wrong situations and people into your life because you are not in alignment with your true, authentic self.

What keeps you from self love are the limiting beliefs in your mind. The good news is that you can overcome these beliefs through reflection and awareness.

So if you are ready to transform your life through self love and acceptance, here are 15 books that will serve you as a guide in your journey.

Table of Contents

1. The Art of Talking to Yourself by Vironika Tugaleva

The Art of Talking to Yourself by Vironika Tugaleva
Link to book on Amazon.com

Self love begins with understanding the self, and that is exactly what this book by Vironika is all about. It serves as the perfect guide to help you begin your own journey of self discovery and through it reach self love and fulfillment.

The best part about this book is the honesty with which it has been written. The author doesn’t claim to be an expert; instead she shares her candid life experiences and practical life lessons which makes the book very relatable and easy to follow through.

There is a reason why this book is first on this life. This book is sure to change the relationship you have with yourself by the time you finish reading it and that can be life transforming.

Favorite quotes from the book:


“The purpose of this book, more so than to provide tricks and tips, is to encourage you to travel with your eyes open, your heart courageous, and your mind always ready to learn.”


“One thing is for sure — you will make mistakes. Learn to learn from them. Learn to forgive yourself.”


“Work on understanding yourself instead of always trying to make yourself into someone else.”


“You don’t need to wait for someone else to notice your talents before nourishing them. You don’t need others to accept you to feel accepted. You can begin, at any moment, to work on noticing, nourishing, and accepting yourself.”


“To know yourself, you must sacrifice the illusion that you already do.”


“Within you is a fountain of wisdom. And you sell yourself short every time you allow some authority to define your limitations and cage your potential. Even if that authority lives in your head.”


2. Daring Greatly by Brene Brown

Daring Greatly - Brene Brown
Link to book on Amazon.com

In order to express your authenticity and live your most vibrant life, you have to live with courage. Living a fulfilled life will have you come face-to-face with vulnerability and even shame; that’s why, in this book, Brene Brown teaches you how to dare greatly.

When you’re able to dare greatly and let yourself be seen, you’re able to create real, meaningful change in the world. Reading this book will guide you towards a more courageous version of yourself; a version of you who is able to stand up for yourself, live authentically, and shine your unique light.

Favorite quotes from the book:


“Courage starts with showing up and letting ourselves be seen.”


“Because true belonging only happens when we present our authentic, imperfect selves to the world, our sense of belonging can never be greater than our level of self-acceptance.”


“Hope is a combination of setting goals, having the tenacity and perseverance to pursue them, and believing in our own abilities.”


3. The Compassionate Mind by Paul Gilbert

The compassionate mind
Link to book on Amazon.com

This book is gospel for anybody with a loud inner critic. If you ever find yourself picking apart every little thing you do, berating yourself over every mistake, or feeling unable to say anything kind to yourself, Paul Gilbert can help teach you how to make your mind a more compassionate place.

Not only does Gilbert explain the science behind compassion, he also gives concrete exercises that help you to practice self-compassion. Practicing compassion, as Gilbert explains, is not at all a sign of weakness, as we’re often lead to believe. In fact, compassion actually guides us towards living a more courageous and joyful life.

Favorite quotes from the book:


“Research has shown that self-criticism is often linked to a concern with what other people think.”


“Our desires for social conformity, acceptance, and belonging can also be the source of terrible things now.”


“This ability to have empathy for difference, to be open to diversity, to work hard at thinking about how other people may differ from you is a key step on the road to compassion – and it’s not always easy.”


4. The Gifts of Imperfection by Brene Brown

The gifts of imperfection
Link to book on Amazon.com

One of Brene Brown’s earlier books, The Gifts of Imperfection outlines what Brown defines as “wholehearted living”; in short, to live wholeheartedly means to live a joyful, compassionate, meaningful, and fulfilled life.

Through her research, Brown has identified ten “guideposts” which support us along the journey towards a wholehearted life. These guideposts depart from your traditional conditioning of working more, playing less, and winning at all costs. Rather, Brown suggests that you embrace your flaws, allow your lives to be imperfect, and love yourself anyway.

Favorite quotes from the book:


“Authenticity is a collection of choices that we have to make every day.”


“Stillness is not about focusing on nothingness; it’s about creating a clearing.”


“Most of us are drawn to warm, down-to-earth, honest people, and we aspire to be like that in our own lives.”


5. The Universe Always Has A Plan by Matt Kahn

The universe always has a plan
Link to book on Amazon.com

Spiritual teacher Matt Kahn’s third book teaches us the “ten golden rules of letting go”. In this guide to divine self-love, Kahn teaches us how to be absolutely okay with anything we feel– including anger, disappointment, or dislike.

In addition, every chapter ends with a tangible exercise for you to practice. These exercises can help you to raise your vibration, move through hardship, let go of attachment, and cultivate stillness, just to name a few.

Favorite quotes from the book:


“What the ego regrets in outcome, the soul rejoices in opportunity.”


“Self-compassion is the ability to be easy with yourself.”


“Sometimes, what you need is time to be more attentive with your feelings.”


6. Ho’oponopono: The Hawaiian Forgiveness Ritual as the Key to Your Life’s Fulfillment by Ulrich E. Dupree

hooponopono
Link to book on Amazon.com

Ho’oponopono is the practice of repeating “I’m sorry. Please forgive me. I love you. Thank you.” with somebody else or yourself in mind. In this short yet powerful book, Ulrich E. Dupree identifies how we can use this practice to clear out emotional blocks, raise our vibration, and attract our desires much more easily.

As humans, we are often riddled with self-criticism and unable or unwilling to self-forgive. We also often hold grudges against others, without a clue as to how we could ever forgive them for their wrongdoings. Practicing ho’oponopono aids in practicing forgiveness, which, as a result, raises our vibration to a state of love.

Favorite quotes from the book:


“Everything against which we defend ourselves only comes back against us with even greater power.”


“We humans are not what we do once; we are what we do over and over again.”


“With every thought and every word we create our future.”


7. Inward by Yung Pueblo

inward
Link to book on Amazon.com

Inward is less a self-help book and more a collection of Yung Pueblo’s prose and poetry. At the same time, though, Pueblo’s pieces center around themes of self-love, self-care, boundaries, and so on. Thus, this collection is ideal for those who adore the self-love scene, but would rather read something less prescriptive and more open and thoughtful.

What I mean by that is: in this book, Pueblo rarely tells you exactly what you “should” do. Instead, his pieces feel like a hug or a warm blanket– comforting, loving, and gentle. It’s a great bedtime read for anyone who needs a compassionate daily reminder to love and care for themselves.

Favorite quotes from the book:


“Heaviness comes from hanging on tightly to emotions that were always meant to be ephemeral.”


“Much of my confusion and sadness came from being disconnected from myself.”


“Humans affect one another deeply, in ways that the world at large is just beginning to understand.”


8. Wherever You Go, There You Are by Jon Kabat-Zinn

Wherever you go there you are
Link to book on Amazon.com

You’ve likely heard countless spiritual teachers preach the benefits of meditation and mindfulness, touting it as something that you should be doing to make your life better. But why should you practice mindfulness? And how do you even begin?

If you’re interested in creating a mindfulness practice or meditation practice, this book by Jon Kabat-Zinn can serve as your touchstone. A compassionate and deeply-written guide to practicing presence, this book will teach you that every moment of your life can be mindful– even if you’re not sitting in a lotus pose.

Favorite quotes from the book:


“It is virtually impossible… To commit yourself to a daily meditation practice without some view of why you are doing it.”


“If you sit down to meditate, even for a moment, it will be a time of non-doing.”


“There is really and truly no one ‘right way’ to practice, although there are pitfalls along this path too and they have to be looked out for.”


9. The Courage to Be Disliked: How to Free Yourself, Change your Life and Achieve Real Happiness by Ichiro Kishimi

The Courage to Be Disliked: How to Free Yourself, Change your Life and Achieve Real Happiness by Ichiro Kishimi

Link to book on Amazon.com

Link to audio book.

The constant need for external validation/approval arises out of a lack of self love. This book by Ichiro Kishimi will help you identify and permanently release the need for approval through cultivation of awareness and mental strength. It teaches you how you can reach inner freedom and love by shifting focus from the external to the internal through the realization that it’s okay to be disliked/hated and that you don’t need to live up to other people’s standards or expectations.

Favorite quotes from the book:


“A healthy feeling of inferiority is not something that comes from comparing oneself to others; it comes from one’s comparison with one’s ideal self.”


“Do Not Live to Satisfy the Expectations of Others”


“Unless one is unconcerned by other people’s judgments, has no fear of being disliked by other people, and pays the cost that one might never be recognized, one will never be able to follow through in one’s own way of living. That is to say, one will not be able to be free.”


“If one really has confidence in oneself, one doesn’t feel the need to boast.”


“Why is it that people seek recognition from others? In many cases, it is due to the influence of reward-and-punishment education.”


“Once one is released from the schema of competition, the need to triumph over someone disappears.”


10. Over the Top: A Raw Journey to Self-Love by Jonathan Van Ness

Over the Top: A Raw Journey to Self-Love by Jonathan Van Ness

Link to book on Amazon.com

Link to audio book.

This book is a biography of Jonathan Van Ness – an American hairdresser well known for being the grooming and self-care expert on the popular Netflix series, ‘Queer Eye’. The book chronicles all the struggles that include bullying, ridicule and judgement that Jonathan had to go through owing to the fact that he was gay. You also get to read about his inspirational journey of rising above it all to become the model of self-love and acceptance that he is today.

Favorite quotes from the book:


“Just because we mess up doesn’t mean all the lessons we learned are undone. Healing can be imperfect.”


“Imperfection is beautiful. If you’ve ever been excluded, or told you were not enough, know that you are enough, and beautifully complete.”


“If I’ve learned anything, it’s that acceptance is the key to so much, and we find so much freedom in feeling fierce about what we’re accepting.”


“Life is so much a daily exercise in learning to love yourself and forgive yourself, over and over.”


“There are a million ways to reach recovery. Don’t let anyone tell you you can’t find a way that works for you.”


11. In the Meantime: Finding Yourself and the Love You Want by Iyanla Vanzant

In the Meantime: Finding Yourself and the Love You Want by Iyanla Vanzant

Link to book on Amazon.com

Link to audio book.

This book by Iyanla will take you on a journey of self discovery and help you look at and take stock of various aspects of your life from a deeper perspective. There is a lot you can learn from real life stories and anecdotes in this book, like why you need to trust/value yourself and always put yourself first.

This book can be very helpful, especially if you are having relationship trouble, if you are starting over or trying to find meaning and fulfillment in life.

Favorite quotes from the book:


“We love in others what we love in ourselves. We despise in others what we cannot see in ourselves.”


“Sooner or later, we must all accept the fact that in a relationship, the only person you are dealing with is yourself. Your partner does nothing more than reveal your stuff to you.”


“Honor what you feel by believing you can have what you want. Respect where you are in your life, understanding that when you are ready to move forward you will. Support yourself by refusing to accept less than you want.”


12. I Heart Me: The Science of Self-Love by David Hamilton

I Heart Me: The Science of Self-Love by David Hamilton

Link to book on Amazon.com

Link to audio book.

If you are looking for a scientific approach to self love then this is the book for you.

Through this book scientist David Hamilton shares candid personal stories (of how a lack of self love was sabotaging him), anecdotes and many profound ideas on self love that will help you let go of the self-critical mindset and learn to be kind, gentle and compassionate towards your self. It will also help you let go of past mistakes, forgive yourself, care less about what other people think and embrace your true authentic self.

Favorite quote from the book:


“Many people with low self-worth will go to the ends of the Earth to find the insult behind the compliment.”


Also Read: 7 Tips for Building Self Care Habits that Honor, Respect and Fulfill You

13. What to Say When You Talk to Yourself by Shad Helmstetter

What to Say When You Talk to Yourself by Shad Helmstetter

Link to book on Amazon.com

Have you ever caught yourself saying, “I am not good enough”, “I am bad at this”, ‘I hate myself’ or any such negative talk to yourself?

Your subconscious mind literally controls your life and it believes what you tell it the most. This is why becoming aware of and changing your self talk is crucial to developing self love, discarding limiting beliefs, and drastically transforming your life.

This book will help you achieve this through self awareness, paying attention and reprogramming your mind using positive affirmations.

Favorite quotes from the book:


“We control with our own minds almost everything in our lives, including our health, our careers, our relationships, and our futures”


“The brain simply believes what you tell it most. And what you tell it about you, it will create. It has no choice.”


“How we “feel”—tired or energetic, listless or enthusiastic—is mental and chemical; it is physiological.”


“You are everything that is, your thoughts, your life, your dreams come true. You are everything you choose to be. You are as unlimited as the endless universe.”


14. You Are a Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life by Jen Sincero

You Are a Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life by Jen Sincero

Link to book on Amazon.com

Link to audio book.

As the name suggests, this book by Jen Sincero is all about unearthing your inner badass and helping you overcome self-sabotaging thoughts, behaviors, and habits that block your path in becoming a stronger and more determined person in all aspects of your life — whether it’s in relationships, career, finances, self-love, and any goal you want to achieve.

It contains 27 easy-to-digest chapters that are packed with inspiring stories, easy exercises, humor-filled lessons, and some occasional swear words.

Favorite quotes from the book:


“Take care of yourself as if you’re the most awesome person you’ve ever met.”


“You’re on a journey with no defined beginning, middle or end. There are no wrong twists and turns. There is just being. And your job is to be as you as you can be.”


“What other people think about you has nothing to do with you and everything to do with them.”



Also Read: 18 Deep Self Love Quotes That Will Change Your Life


15. The Self-Love Experiment: Fifteen Principles for Becoming More Kind, Compassionate, and Accepting of Yourself by Shannon Kaiser

The Self-Love Experiment by Shannon Kaiser

Link to book on Amazon.com

Sometimes, your worst enemy is yourself. In this book by Shannon Kaiser, you’re given the right ammunition to fight self-sabotaging thoughts and habits in order to gain the confidence to pursue your goals and realize your lifelong dreams.

The author gives you a walk-through of her own self-love experiment, which is mainly a simple life plan that guides you through the process of removing fear-based thoughts so you can fall in love with life and become your own best friend.

Whether you’re trying to lose weight, heal from a broken heart, get your dream job, or what have you, this book is bound to help you achieve all that by loving, accepting, and believing in yourself first and foremost.

Favorite quotes from the book:


“Our experience of life can be transformed when we step fully into the moment. Lean into it. There are great lessons to be learned.”


“When you let go of anger, you not only help yourself, but you also contribute to the healing of the world.”


“When we stop pushing against life and lean into what is, we become more aware and focused.”


“All you have to do is ask yourself, “Is this thought limiting me?”


“When you identify your excuses, you can see clearly where you have been holding yourself back.”


16. The Wisdom of a Broken Heart: An Uncommon Guide to Healing, Insight, and Love by Susan Piver

The Wisdom of a Broken Heart: An Uncommon Guide to Healing, Insight, and Love by Susan Piver

Link to book on Amazon.com

Link to audio book.

Dealing with a broken heart? This book by Susan Piver dives deep into how to heal from heartbreak and how to turn it into an opportunity for a genuine spiritual transformation.

More than just giving you general advice on how to move on, this book actually gives practical advice on how to cope with each day, as well as on-the-spot exercises and practices, meditations, and poems — all of which are designed to help you see through the anguish and pain and develop a much stronger and braver you.

This book can be likened to a patient and trusted friend simply telling you that at the end of it all, you’re going to be okay.

Favorite quotes from the book:


“When you are filled with fear, anxiety, or other difficult emotions, the first thing you should always do is make friends with them.”


“It starts with the realization that a broken heart is nothing to be ashamed of. It is an altered state, an experience of sacred openness.”


“As unlikely as it may sound, in fact this sorrow is the gateway to lasting happiness, the kind that can never be taken from you.”


“Although it is tremendously disorienting on one hand, on another, you will never see as clearly as you do when your heart is broken.”


“Coming out of your head and into your environment can help cut anxiety for a few moments, and in those moments you have a chance to regain equilibrium.”


17. How to Love Yourself (and Sometimes Other People): Spiritual Advice for Modern Relationships by Meggan Watterson and Lodro Rinzler

How to Love Yourself (and Sometimes Other People) by Meggan Watterson and Lodro Rinzler

Link to book on Amazon.com

Link to audio book.

You do not need to wait for someone else to love you as all the love you need is already within you. This book by Meggan Watterson and Lodro Rinzler helps you recognize and connect with this love within.

One unique part about this book is that it has two different authors who offer their unique perspective (Buddhist and Christian perspective) on each topic. The authors speak honestly about their own failed relationships, share practical wisdom, anecdotes and spiritual practices to help you reconnect with your physical and spiritual self.

Overall, this is a great book to read especially if you are dealing with relationship problems or related issues arising out of a lack of self love.

Favorite quotes from the book:


“We don’t become worthy of love someday; we are worthy of love simply because we exist.”


18. Unf**k Yourself: Get Out of Your Head and Into Your Life by Gary John Bishop

How to Get Out of Your Head and Into Your Life by Gary John Bishop

Link to book on Amazon.com

Link to audio book.

This is a self help book written with the objective of helping you reprogram your mindset using positive affirmations and self talk. The book contains seven sections (each a personal assertion) that the author breaks down and explains in full detail so you can deeply understand what it stands for. The sections are as follows:

  • I am willing.
  • I am wired to win.
  • I got this.
  • I embrace uncertainty.
  • I am not my thoughts: I am what I do.
  • I am relentless.
  • I expect nothing and accept everything.

You can use these assertions as personal mantras in your own journey toward self love and success.

Favorite quotes from the book:


“Our biggest successes are born out of discomfort, uncertainty, and risk.”


“I expect nothing and accept everything.”


“Remember you can always change something when you can take ownership and responsibility for it.”


“There is no greater knowledge than the knowledge you have verified for yourself, in your own experience.”


“You’re never going achieve your true potential if you’re hooked by what other people think.”


19. Mastering Your Mean Girl: The No-BS Guide to Silencing Your Inner Critic and Becoming Wildly Wealthy, Fabulously Healthy, and Bursting With Love by Melissa Ambrosini

Mastering Your Mean Girl by Melissa Ambrosini

Link to book on Amazon.com

Link to audio book.

The road to success can be quite rocky when you’re up against yourself. It will never be smooth-sailing unless you overcome that little, mean voice inside your head that tells you that you’re not good enough or skinny enough or smart enough, etc.

In this book, author Melissa Ambrosini guides you in mastering your Mean Girl and in getting out of whatever it is that keeps you stuck in Fear Town. This book is such an inspirational and can-do read, which offers a practical plan for you to create your own version of a kick-ass life that’s wildly wealthy, fabulously healthy, and bursting with love.

Favorite quotes from the book:


“Choose only love. In every moment. In every circumstance.”


“Honor yourself enough to take time to prepare something nourishing with love. Sit down without distractions, give thanks to your food, and enjoy it.”


“Everything outside us is a reflection of our internal state.”


“Just because something is common, that doesn’t mean you have to follow it.”


“Just like a tree is always either growing or dying, as long as you are constantly taking action and moving forward, you are growing and evolving.”


20. Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert

Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert

Link to book on Amazon.com

Link to audio book.

Sometimes it takes a radical step forward to get through life when it all comes crashing down on you. This is exactly what happened to author Elizabeth Gilbert when she turned thirty. She experienced an early midlife crisis despite having a seemingly perfect life. At the heart of it all, she wasn’t really happy and fulfilled, and was often consumed by grief and confusion. She then went through a divorce, depression, more failed loves, and a complete breaking down of everything she’s supposed to be.

In this book, Elizabeth narrates the radical step she took to recover from all of this and to give herself the time and space to figure out who she really is and what she really wants. ‘Eat, Pray, Love’, encapsulates her journey and provides inspiration and drive to those who find themselves in a place of despair, discontentment, and sadness.

Favorite quotes from the book:


“This is a good sign, having a broken heart. It means we have tried for something.”


“It all goes away. Eventually, everything goes away.”


“At some point, you gotta let go, and sit still, and allow contentment to come to you.”


“We don’t realize that, somewhere within us all, there does exist a supreme self who is eternally at peace.”


“There is a reason they call God a presence – because God is right here, right now. In the present is the only place to find Him, and now is the only time.”


21. Maybe You Should Talk to Someone: A Therapist, Her Therapist, and Our Lives Revealed by Lori Gottlieb

Maybe You Should Talk to Someone: A Therapist, Her Therapist, and Our Lives Revealed by Lori Gottlieb

Link to book on Amazon.com

Link to audio book.

A therapist finding herself in need of a therapist – that is what this book by Lori Gottlieb, is all about. When her wall comes crashing down, she finds herself sitting down with Wendell, a rather quirky yet seasoned therapist who helps her answer all the questions she’s struggling with.

In this book, Lori narrates how she usually explores the innermost aspects of her patients’ lives, as she likewise navigates the inner chambers of her own mind and life with the help of her fellow therapist, Wendell.

Favorite quotes from the book:


“Don’t judge your feelings; notice them. Use them as your map. Don’t be afraid of the truth.”


“The opposite of depression isn’t happiness, but vitality.”


“At some point in our lives, we have to let go of the fantasy of creating a better past.”


“Forgiveness is a tricky thing, in the way that apologies can be. Are you apologizing because it makes you feel better or because it will make the other person feel better?”


22. When Things Fall Apart: Heart Advice for Difficult Times by Pema Chödrön

When Things Fall Apart: Heart Advice for Difficult Times by Pema Chödrön

Link to book on Amazon.com

Link to audio book.

Hailed as one of the most beloved contemporary American spiritual authors, Pema Chödrön offers wisdom on how to go on living whenever we find yourself overcome by pain and difficulties.

In this book, she discusses how to use painful emotions to cultivate wisdom, compassion, and courage; how to communicate to encourage others to open up, how to practice reversing unhelpful habits, as well as ways on creating a more effective social action and on working through chaotic situations.

It’s no surprise that despite being Buddhist, Pema appeals widely to both Buddhists and non-Buddhists alike with her beautiful practicality with how she teaches and advises.

Favorite quotes from the book:


“When there’s a big disappointment, we don’t know if that’s the end of the story. It may just be the beginning of a great adventure.”


“We are like children building a sand castle. The trick is to enjoy it fully but without clinging, and when the time comes, let it dissolve back into the sea.”


“We can use our personal suffering as the path to compassion for all beings.”


“Letting there be room for not knowing is the most important thing of all.”


“Maybe the most important teaching is to lighten up and relax. It’s such a huge help to remember that what we’re doing is unlocking a softness that is in us and letting it spread. We’re letting it blur the sharp corners of self-criticism and complaint.”


Also Read: 9 Simple Ways to Boost Self-Love


Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links, which means we may receive commissions if you choose to purchase through links provided (at no extra cost to you). As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. Please read disclaimer for additional details.



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