8 of the Best New Self-Care Books to Prioritize Yourself

Melissa Baron

Staff Writer

Melissa is the author of TWICE IN A LIFETIME from Alcove Press and represented by Laura Cameron at Transatlantic Agency. She lives in Chicago and works as a technical writer to pay the bills. She is a former English major, and has never met a semicolon she didn’t accidentally abuse in some fashion. In her spare time, she explores Chicago, writes a lot, and hangs out with her fiancé and two cats. You can find her on Instagram and TikTok @melissabaronwrites.

The Art of Rest: How to Find Respite in the Modern Age.

Today busyness has become a badge of honor. We want to say we're busy, yet at the same time we feel exhausted. Instead, we should start taking rest seriously as a method of self-care and this book can help us to work out how. The Art of Rest draws on ground-breaking research Claudia Hammond collaborated on — ‘The Rest Test’: the largest global survey into rest ever undertaken. Counting down through the top ten activities which people find most restful, Hammond explains why rest matters, what really works, and offers a roadmap for a new, more restful, and balanced life.

Let’s check in. How are you doing? Have you taken a deep breath, stretched, and drank a glass of water today? If you haven’t, do it now, and then stick with me through the rest of this post, because there’s some good reading out there to help you cope with, well…everything going on. It’s a lot for a person to take in, and a lot is being expected of you that shouldn’t be, reader. Maybe your job is pushing you to meet those quotas or perform at levels that are just not possible with all the anxiety and fear and grief stirring in the air. Maybe you were laid off this year, or lost a loved one. Maybe you’re starved for a sense of normalcy and there’s no end in sight. Now, more than ever, we need to prioritize our self care. It’s not just a buzzword: it’s a continuous gift you should give yourself to maintain healthy coping mechanisms and nurture your mind, your heart, and your body as you navigate exceptionally stressful circumstances. These exceptional new self care books have exactly what you need.

8 Great New Self-Care Books

Wisdom From a Humble Jellyfish by Rani Shah

There is a lot we can learn from the natural world. Over thousands of years, animals and plants have developed ways of being that are perfectly suited to them. We could learn a thing or two from that, couldn’t we? Chapter by chapter, Rani Shah’s delightfully illustrated guide teaches you small, essential habits you can develop to relax, recharge, and take care of yourself, all through the practices of creatures like the dragonfly, the oyster, the wombat, and more.

The Kindness Method: Change Your Habits for Good Using Self-Compassion and Understanding by Shahroo Izadi

We all could be a little kinder to ourselves, couldn’t we? Shahroo Izadi, a behavioral change specialist, knows that we rarely show ourselves the kindness and compassion we reserve for other people. This book is designed to help you create your own kindness map for how you can show up for yourself, understand your own behavior, and make changes that will give you a lifetime’s worth of self compassion.

The More or Less Definitive Guide to Self Care by Anna Borges

Self care means different things to different people, but when we first hear the word, we tend to think of small acts like getting a massage or treating yourself to a nice dinner. Anna Borges is here to tell you that it can be more than that. Think asking for help when you need it, dealing with negative thoughts, the importance of touch, and other preventative measures to keep your mind and your body healthy. This guide personalizes that journey for you, so you can identify what self care really looks like for you.

Joy At Work book cover

Joy at Work: Organizing Your Professional Life by Marie Kondo

Marie Kondo knows it’s not just your house that needs decluttering. She knows that for the most part, we spend the majority of our time at our jobs, and when she talks about organizing your workspace, she doesn’t just mean your desk. You may not have a desk at your job, but you do have stressors, and meetings, and time management issues, and people clamoring at you to do a million things at once. Learn how to keep your work life tidy so it doesn’t have to be such a daily stressor in your life.

Buy Yourself the F*cking Lilies: And Other Rituals to Fix Your Life, From Someone Who’s Been There by Tara Schuster

Tara Schuster, VP of Talent and Development at Comedy Central, walks us through what it took to get where she is today, and I don’t mean a glittering, easy path to success. She struggled with anxiety and depression the entire time, and now she’s here to outline for readers how she overcame those messy, terrifying emotions through acts of self care that should become part of your routine, too, like practicing gratitude, making time for yourself, and buying the damn lilies.

The Little Book of Big Lies: A Journey to Inner Fitness by Tina Lifford

The key phrase in the title of Tina Lifford’s guide to self care is inner fitness. This is not a sprint: this is a marathon. Through her own personal stories, Lifford builds a path you can follow to change how you see yourself and build emotional strength in order to deal with all of the stressors that life throws your way, as well as how to overcome hurtful things in your past and stop letting them define who you are. This kind of self care is the real work, but it also has the most lasting benefits for your mental health.

Indistractable: How to Control Your Attention and Choose Your Life by Nir Eyal

There are a thousand things distracting us every day, from our phones to our emails, who we live with and care for to current events and our immediate surroundings. Being constantly distracted by every notification ever means that you can’t focus on the things you’d like to do. Nir Eyal, a specialist in behavioral engineering, is here to teach you ways to control what gets your attention so you can realize your goals and stay wholly focused on the important things in your life…instead of just putting them off to the side.

Cleaning Sucks: An Unf*ck Your Habitat Guided Journal for Less Mess, Less Stress, and a Home You Don’t Hate by Rachel Hoffman

We’re spending a lot of time in our homes. Like a lot a lot. We stare at the same rooms, day in and day out, and watch things accumulate, because we’re perpetually at home and our mess has nowhere to go but display itself like the chaos inside our minds. Your final act of self care should be to give yourself a living space that you love living in, and one that doesn’t stress you out. Rachel Hoffman’s guide to cleaning is all about helping you create a soothing living environment that you actively enjoy being in, and to make cleaning a little less overwhelming.