Self-Help Books to Rescue You From Fuckery

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If you struggle with…

  • Eating Your Feelings

Read: Eat This Not That (David Zinczenko with Matt Goulding)

Emotional eating is literally my brand. In fact, the other day at work I ate my weight in vending machine snacks, hoping it would suppress the day's anxiety. Surprise! Didn’t work. And all I have is a puffy, sodium-filled under-eye area to show for it. Cue the Eat This Not That series. These little books are filled with healthy swaps you can make at the grocery store and beyond. And I’m not talking about swapping a cheeseburger for a celery stick dipped in miso broth. Although, if you can do that I still love you. I’m taking abt trading a cheeseburger for a better cheeseburger. I know right? Restrictive diets and colossal lifestyle changes can be insanely overwhelming when you have a mental illness. I like this book because it provides the reader with a sense of accomplishment even though you still feel like you’re eating what you want. 

Downside: Some of the “Eat This” foods they suggest aren’t 100% healthy either but they are the best of the worst. 

  • Attracting the right partner

Read: Meeting Your Half-Orange: An Utterly Upbeat Guide to Using Dating Optimism to Find Your Perfect Match (Amy Spencer)

I met my current boyfriend shortly after reading this book. This woman who told me about this book met her other half before she even finished it. Supposedly, countless other people have experienced the same thing. I know how stupid that sounds, BUT I still highly recommend reading this for the lessons it may teach you. You’ll learn what you want and deserve, how to be comfortable in your temporary singledom, and practices for self-love. 

Downside: While anyone can (and should!) use this book, it’s mostly written with the assumption that the reader is a straight woman looking for a straight male partner. 

  • Mommy issues

Read: The Drama of the Gifted Child: The Search for the True Self (Alice Miller)

Not only mommy issues, but daddy issues, and any issue that might have fucked you up as a child and brought you even more foolery as an adult. It’s all in here in this fascinating book that teaches you why you may be the way that you are.

Downsides: Pretty triggering (but in a helpful, productive way).

  • Self-hate

Read: The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You're Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are (Brené Brown)

Brené Mother Fucking Brown is a self-help queen. This isn’t some Dr. Oz/Goopy Paltrow/Deepak Oprah kind of shit (but not judging if you’re into that because sometimes same). This book is a readable hug. If you need someone to reach out from the pages of your Kindle and tell you that you’re special just the way you are, you can’t count on old B.

Downside: The cover art is kind of a production but whatthefuckever. 

  • Understanding your illness

Read: Psych101: A Crash Course in the Science of the Mind (Paul Kleinman)

If you’re curious about the foundations of psychology in general, this is a great read. Also great for therapy skeptics, or your stubborn ass dad who believes in "toughing it out." There’s even a handy list of many mental illnesses so you can find out more about the science behind your (or your loved ones) behaviors.

Downside: It kind of reads like a school textbook but I’m not going to call it a textbook because I literally bought my copy at an Urban Outfitters in Malibu. 

  • Believing you can live the life you want

Read: Ask, and It Is Given (Esther and Jerry Hicks)

If you own a crystal and have used the words ‘manifest,’ or ‘universe’ in the past 30 days, you may already know and love this book. If you just read that and threw up on your screen, hear me out. I swear this book isn’t mystical nonsense. Sure, one of the authors, Esther Hicks, let’s her body become a vessel for a spirit named Abraham who in turn delivers messages of wisdom via her mouth, BUT STILL HEAR ME OUT. It’s the concepts in this read that put it on this list. If you boil it down, this is a book for helping you see the world from a glass-half-full perspective. Bonus: there are exercises dedicated to improving your thoughts and moods -great for getting out of hellish mental states. 

Downside: Polarizing in the sense that you’ll either love this or pass it off as cultish pseudoscience. If you’re a skeptic, I recommend just reading this for its ideas and practices and mentally substituting any questionable terminology (*coughs in ‘90s* like ‘universe’ and ‘manifest’) for words that speak to you.  

  • Motivation

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

Full disclosure - I didn’t love this book, but I didn’t hate it either. I would compare it to an extremely watered down version of Ask, and It Is Given. I put it on this list because it’s less “out there,” but many of the same ideas are covered. 

Downside: It’s repetitive which makes it seem a little Ted-Talky. 

  • Maintaining relationships & asking for what you need

Read: The Five Love Languages (Gary Chapman) 

HUGE help for understanding the needs of you and your partner. Communication can be off when one or both people in a relationship have a mental illness. Use the info in this book instead of screaming at each other. Chic! 

Downside: Kinda corny but if it helps -who the hell cares? 

What should I add to the list? What should I read next? If you have any ideas for me, comment below or send me a message! xoxo