The best self-love books help you to cultivate a long-lasting positive relationship with yourself. Embracing the concept of self-love means you’ll never be lonely, that Valentine’s Day is a 365-day holiday to celebrate a loving relationship with yourself, that you are enough, that you treat yourself with kindness and compassion while celebrating your quirks and imperfections.
In this list of the best books on self-love and healing, you’ll find a variety of books that help you discover more self-love for yourself, covering topics like loving yourself in a culture of damaging perfectionism, toxic misogyny, and unhealthy body expectations. And without further ado, the best-self love books for 2021 and beyond.
The Body Is Not an Apology by Sonya Renee Taylor
From acclaimed poet and activist Sonya Renee Taylor, The Body Is Not an Apology: The Power of Radical Self Love is an empowering celebration of self-love focusing on body image. Taylor tells readers how to overcome and heal from the mind poison that is body shame. It’s nearly impossible to come away from Taylor’s manifesto without feeling kinder to yourself and more accepting of your body: the good and the “bad” both.
Body Positive Power by Megan Jayne Crabbe
Instagram influencer Megan Jayne Crabbe brings a refreshing shot of candor in her body empowerment book Body Positive Power. Crabbe relates her painful history with disordered eating and unstable weight. Ultimately, Crabbe was able to reclaim her body and help others going through similar challenge. Body Positive Power is a call-to-arms for anyone who could do with a little more self-love in their lives…and isn’t that all of us?
Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert
An oldie but a goodie, Elizabeth Gilbert’s classic memoir Eat, Pray, Love helped popularize the quest for self-love. With her marriage in pieces and personal life in crisis, Gilbert felt a stirring call for a more fulfilling life, prompting a journey across the world — to Italy, India, and Indonesia — to find herself and restore some self-love. Gilbert’s vibrant prose and confessional honesty made her a role model for readers asking: is there something more?
The Gifts of Imperfection by Brené Brown
Superstar self-help guru Brené Brown is leading a movement to take chances, be vulnerable, and embrace your imperfections on the way to self-love. Not sure where to start with this prolific author? Begin with The Gifts of Imperfection, Brown’s blueprint for readers who are challenged by accepting their imperfections. Through The Gifts of Imperfection, Brown offers actionable tips for replacing negative self-talk with self-love.
Good Vibes, Good Life by Vex King
Lifestyle and wellness influencer Vex King’s debut book Good Vibes, Good Life helps you create and manifest the life you’ve always wanted to live, leaving hangups and doubt behind to blossom into your own best friend. King’s guide to converting self-hatred into self-love involves adopting positive routines, like meditation and mindfulness, and exploring your relationship to the Universe.
Hunger: A Memoir of (My) Body by Roxane Gay
After going through trauma and disordered eating, author-activist Roxane Gay takes a critical look at the diet-obsessed world we’re living in and fights back with a mighty call-to-arms for loving ourselves, no matter our flaws. Gay’s Hunger: A Memoir of (My) Body is an analytical approach to dissecting our relationship to food, our bodies, and the critical culture in which we live, daring to question unhealthy appetites and instead get hungry for self-love.
Milk and Honey by Rupi Kaur
In her debut poetry collection Milk and Honey, poet and phenomenon Rupi Kaur writes searing verse laced with a rallying cry to love ourselves more. Milk and Honey encourages readers to move past negative talk to ourselves and instead channel self-love. Told with poetic precision and sharp observation, Kaur’s unapologetically feminist and empowering verse helps readers redirect love from toxic relationships into a more loving one with ourselves.
Perfect Is Boring by Tyra Banks and Carolyn Landon
Boring is one thing you can never accuse modeling star and CEO Tyra Banks of being. And in Perfect Is Boring, Banks and her mother, Carolyn Landon, dispel the myth that being perfect is, well, perfect. Banks honors the ten lessons Landon gave her to bolster self-love and let go of the obsession to be perfect. With chapters like “Embrace Your Beauty” and “Fix It or Flaunt It,” Banks and Landon have assembled an arsenal of actionable ways to be more loving to yourself.
the princess saves herself in this one by amanda lovelace
Feminist poet amanda lovelace has penned some of the fiercest poems in modern times. In the princess saves herself in this one, lovelace kicks off her series Women Are Some Kind of Magic series, each of which dismantles the toxic culture of misogynistic society through the lens of fractured fairy tales. This collection of poems empowers women to break free of the perfect princess expectations spoon fed to women at a young age and instead love yourself.
If you want to master self-love, you’re going to want to learn more about radical acceptance. This psychological concept is a core part of Dialectical and Behavior Therapy, or DBT, but Tara Brach makes it accessible for everyone in her bestselling book Radical Acceptance. Blending in teachings from Buddhism and guided meditations, Brach helps you overcome self-judgment and self-hatred by radical acceptance of who you are, flaws and everything.
Radical Self-Love by Gala Darling
Motivational speaker and author Gala Darling shares her self-love wisdom in Radical Self-Love, an empowering roadmap that takes you from a place of personal scorn, shame, and judgment into a more loving relationship with yourself. This self-love book has a unique format, assigning readers homework and activities to make bolstering your self-love less of a mysterious concept and more of a practical and doable process. The result? A celebration of you.
Self-Compassion: The Proven Power of Being Kind to Yourself by Kristin Neff
The kindness movement isn’t just about being kind to other people. What’s often far harder is being kinder to yourself. In Self-Compassion, Kristin Neff reimagines the cult of self-esteem into the more powerful model of self-compassion. In Neff’s book, you’ll get plenty of exercises and takeaways tailor made for helping you get to a place of self-compassion and self-love, with detours into mindfulness and emotional resilience, among other core concepts.
The Self-Love Experiment by Shannon Kaiser
The way to self-love can be a rocky road, but Shannon Kaiser shows the true path to loving ourselves in The Self-Love Experiment. Coach and speaker Kaiser has developed 15 principles that you can apply to living with more self-love. Kaiser’s “experiments” in areas like self-care, self-compassion, and self-trust will help bust bad thoughts and redirect some of the kindness you show others towards yourself on the way to a happier, more joyful life.
Unfu*k Yourself by Gary John Bishop
Sometimes we are our own worst enemy. When we target toxic thoughts towards ourselves, is it any surprise that our minds get fu*ked up? Gary John Bishop’s Unfu*k Yourself offers a way out of negative self energy by teaching readers seven assertions like “I am wired to win” and “I am relentless.” Bishop sets out to help you rewire your brain into a more self-loving tool for embracing your unique imperfections and just going for it.
You Are a Badass by Jen Sincero
If you’ve ever doubted your greatness — and who hasn’t? — it’s time to pick up Jen Sincero’s wildly popular book, You Are a Badass. This self-help classic steers you through the negative habits and thoughts that hold you back from loving yourself. You Are a Badass is a frank, no-BS guide to acknowledging what’s great about you and all the ways you are, as the title says, a total badass. Reverse bad thinking and self doubt with Sincero’s micro-lessons on self-love in this unmissable read.
What a Time to Be Alone by Chidera Eggerue
Last but definitely not least, Chidera Eggerue’s What a Time to Be Alone is an essential read for anyone looking to bring more self-love into their life. From the creative force behind the popular Slumflower blog, What a Time to Be Alone focuses on teaching readers that you are enough, that being alone can be just as if not more fulfilling than being in a relationship. While these might seem like radical concepts, Eggerue’s book gets to the heart of your self-doubt and helps you rewire to a better, more self-loving place.
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