The books that changed my 2019

Self-help books that actually help.

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Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash
  • Codependent No More: How to Stop Controlling Others and Start Caring for Yourself: This book is primarily geared toward partners of alcoholics and caregivers but anybody who is a people-pleaser is going to get a ton out of this book. This is the book that helped me understand my definition of codependent was incorrect. I previously thought being codependent meant you were enmeshed in an obsessive relationship with a romantic partner and neither of you could do anything without the other. The actual definition of codependency is more along the lines of overreacting to things that happen outside of yourself, and underreacting to your own actual thoughts and feelings. The author, Melody Beattie, also defines codependency as somebody who lets others’ behavior affect them and then tries to control that other person’s behavior. Yeah, it gets real. Women who consider themself people-pleasers, caretakers, helpers, will benefit from this read.
  • You Are a Badass at Making Money: This was the book I was most skeptical of in my reading list but I got a surprising amount out of it. It does have a little bit of the element of “just change your mindset about money and you can start making more of it!” but… as I read it I actually saw how that could be true. At the very least it asks you to seriously consider and make conscious your beliefs, stories, and ideas around money, which was very useful for me — I just assumed the way I thought about money was… the way I thought about money. But the more I read and did the exercises, the more I learned it was a lot of inherited beliefs that I was happily taking to be the end-all-be-all truth.
  • Attached: The New Science of Adult Attachment and How It Can Help You Find — and Keep — Love: Really useful for anybody who struggles with dating, primarily the kind of dating where you somehow keep winding up dating emotionally unavailable people. (Hint: It’s not just bad luck; you’re choosing those people on purpose, albeit subconsciously, and for a reason.) The book will help you understand how and why you date. As the book describes: “Anxious people are often preoccupied with their relationships and tend to worry about their partner’s ability to love them back. Avoidant people equate intimacy with a loss of independence and constantly try to minimize closeness. Secure people feel comfortable with intimacy and are usually warm and loving.” It will also give you tips on how to develop past your dating style and evolve to something that serves you better.
  • The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma: Critical reading for those of us looking to better understand the mind-body connection. You know how when trauma happens, we so readily accept it continues to live in our mind and affect that? Well, it lives in your body, too — your nervous system, your muscles, in chronic pain. Somatic work (that is, treatments that work with the body) can offer massive help and release.

Teaching awakening + healing through vulnerability + self-compassion. Finding hope in a messy world. Author of the Sunday Soother.

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