Books for Becoming Your Best Self

Feb 7, 2024 9:16:00 AM / by Broadleaf Books


Many of us have heard the saying "New Year, New Me." But it doesn't need to be the start of the year to consider all of the ways we want to grow and change, physically, intellectually, and emotionally. The books below provide motivation and encouragement for our journey to embrace our inner brilliance and flourish into our truest selves. 


Books about Emotion Management


The Rise of Rage

Julie A. Christiansen

Publication date: February 13, 2024

Of all the human emotions, anger is probably the most misunderstood. Rage has shown that anger can be a catalyst for change; it can also be a tool employed in fear by those resisting reform or trying to quell protests or advancements by other people. The Rise of Rage explores the nature of anger and walks us through a ten-step process to effectively and safely resolve our angry feelings, helping to free us from this much-misunderstood emotion. 

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It's Not about the Wine

Celeste Yvonne

Publication date: September 12, 2023

Alcohol isn't going to fix the systemic lack of support for mothers. Mommy Wine Culture is a symptom of a larger issue: the mental load of motherhood and a systemic lack of support for moms. Mixing research, cultural references, interviews, and the author's sobriety story, It's Not about the Wine reveals what's really plaguing mothers and offers tangible tips for evaluating your relationship to alcohol and lightening your load.

Read an excerpt here.

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This Book Won't Make You Happy

Niro Feliciano

Publication date: April 5, 2022

Happiness is fleeting. And what if you don't even need it to live a life of peace and purpose? In This Book Won't Make You Happy, therapist Niro Feliciano offers a path to something much more achievable and abundantly more satisfying: contentment. By incorporating eight simple postures rooted in cognitive behavioral science and mindfulness practices into our daily routines, we can move away from anxiety and toward balance and calm. 

Read an excerpt here.

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Purposeful Empathy

Anita Nowak

Publication date: April 11, 2023

We are living in an era of a massive empathy deficit, yet our capacity to imagine what someone else is feeling is a unique human superpower. Through inspiring stories, interviews with experts, and self-development exercises, Purposeful Empathy offers wisdom and practical advice to foster personal, organizational, and social transformation.

Read an excerpt here.

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Cry, Baby

Benjamin Perry

Publication date: May 16, 2023

What happens when we cry, and when we don't? In Cry, Baby, a lively excursion through the history, literature, physiology, psychology, and spirituality of crying, Benjamin Perry probes our tears' secrets. Perry translates the language of tears for the rest of us, criers and stoics alike. 

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Wisdom from Black Women


My Divine Natural Hair

Shelia Burlock, Sylvia Burlock, Melissa Burlock

Publication date: March 26, 2024

Learn how to love and care for your natural hair spiritually and practically. Uplifting and authentic, My Divine Natural Hair helps Black women embrace the God-created beauty of natural hair through inspirational readings and salon chair guidance on how to heal, consistently care for, and grow their coils.

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Radiant Rebellion

Karen Walrond

Publication date: October 17, 2023

Join Karen Walrond in this intriguing investigation into how we can reclaim aging, cultivate joy, and resist ageism. In Radiant Rebellion, Walrond helps us radiantly rebel against the fads and assumptions that hold us back, redefine the adventure of getting older, and create a shining future of expanded potential. We might even raise a little hell while we're at it!

Read an excerpt here.

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The Lightmaker's Manifesto

Karen Walrond

Publication date: November 2, 2021

Many of us want to advocate for causes we care about—but which ones? We want to work for change—but will the emotional toll lead to burnout? In The Lightmaker's Manifesto, activist Karen Walrond shares strategies to help you define the actions that bring you joy, identify the values and causes about which you are passionate, and put them together to create change. 

Read an excerpt here.

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The Enneagram for Black Liberation

Chichi Agorom

Publication date: March 29, 2022

For too long, conversations about the Enneagram and its personality types have been centered on and by whiteness. In The Enneagram for Black Liberation, certified Enneagram teacher and trained psychotherapist Chichi Agorom reclaims the Enneagram as a powerful tool for Black women to rediscover our wholeness and worth, and invites each of us to claim the Enneagram as our tool for resilience-building in the continued fight for liberation.

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Books That Offer Inspiration


The Work Is the Work

Brian C. Johnson

Publication date: May 7, 2024

In a series of tender narrative essays written to his daughter, activist and author Brian C. Johnson shares what he's learned from his struggles, victories, and defeats over twenty-five years of advocacy work. The Work Is the Work is an inspiring collection of field notes that is perfect for new or seasoned activists who want to lead well in the work for transformational change.

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The Artist's Joy

Merideth Hite Estevez

Publication date: June 25, 2024

Whether you're a dabbler, a career creative, or a self-proclaimed tortured artist, The Artist's Joy is for you. Professional oboist and creativity coach Dr. Merideth Hite Estevez guides artists in all levels and disciplines to build a creative life that resonates deeply with their core values. Complete with practical guides and companion playlist.

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Our Otherness Is Our Strength

Andrea Navedo

Publication date: July 18, 2023

Andrea Navedo didn't get to see many positive portrayals of Latinas in the media growing up. So when she had the chance to play a starring role on Jane the Virgin, she jumped all over the opportunity. In Our Otherness Is Our Strength, she shares bits of her story of growing up in "da South Bronx—boogie down, burning"—to inspire young people who grew up like she did and who, after being counted out, still strive to succeed. She shows how the outer and inner challenges of what popular culture deems the horrors of places like the Bronx can instead be the very factors that bring out our superpowers.

Read an excerpt here.

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The Woman They Wanted

Shannon Harris

Publication date: August 29, 2023

Nothing in Shannon Harris's secular upbringing prepared her to enter the world of conservative Christianity. Soon her husband's bestselling book I Kissed Dating Goodbye helped inspire a national purity movement, and Shannon's identity became "pastor's wife." The Woman They Wanted recounts the remarkable story of her courtship with Joshua Harris, her grappling with conservative Christianity's patriarchy and narrow definition of womanhood, and her journey to break free and reclaim a more authentic version of herself.   

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Between the Listening and the Telling

Mark Yaconelli

Publication date: August 9, 2022

Stories tether us to what matters most: our families, our friends, our hearts, our planet, the wondrous mystery of life itself. Yet the stories we've been telling ourselves as a civilization are killing us. With a foreword by Anne Lamott, Between the Listening and the Telling offers an alloy of story, commentary, and meditation. In an era of runaway loneliness, alienation, global crisis, and despair, sharing stories helps us make a home within ourselves and one another. We tell stories to remember who we are. We tell stories to savor the pleasure of living. Stories can be medicine, and they can transform entire communities.

Read an excerpt here.

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Chicken Scratch

Ann Byle

Publication date: May 23, 2023

Creativity comes into play in just about any field. And when writer Ann Byle became a chicken owner, she discovered that her feathered friends offered surprising lessons and inspiration for her own work, lessons on living creatively. Drawing inspiration from a flock of hens, Chicken Scratch explores curiosity and courage, embracing your creative self and letting go of what holds you back, and living well in the creative life. Each chapter includes questions for journaling, next-steps-in-creativity exercises, and a sidebar from "The Left-Brain Chicken," putting solid process-related steps to each chapter.

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I Love My People

Kim Singleton

Publication date: July 11, 2023

I Love My People is a poetic tribute to African American history-makers and culture-shakers, complete with nostalgic photography and vibrant, playful illustration. In the vein of Gill Scott-Heron's poetry of the 1970s, author Kim Singleton invites us into call-and-response and brings a refreshing cadence to the page that captures every decade of Black joy in all its resilient, diverse, and excellent splendor. By the end, you'll be chanting Singleton's anthem, too: "I LOVE MY PEOPLE!"

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Books to Encourage Spiritual Growth


What Makes You Bloom

Kevin Miguel Garcia

Publication date: January 9, 2024

So many of us are leaving conservative faith traditions behind, rightly saying goodbye to toxic theology, bigotry, and harm. With wit and practical guidance, What Makes You Bloom helps us create a new spiritual practice after our faith has fallen apart. Spiritual coach Kevin Miguel Garcia shows us how we can connect with the Divine already inside us and cultivate meaningful spiritual practices that help us heal from the past, tap into the present, and imagine a delicious future.

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beyond shame

Beyond Shame

Matthias Roberts

Publication date: January 7, 2020

We all carry sexual shame. Whether we grew up in the repressive purity culture of American Evangelical Christianity or not, we've all been taught in subtle and not-so-subtle ways that sex (outside of very specific contexts) is taboo. Psychotherapist Matthias Roberts helps readers define their sexual values on their own terms, overcome their shame, and start having great, healthy sex.

Read an excerpt here.

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12 Tiny Things

Heidi Barr & Ellie Roscher

Publication date: January 5, 2021

In a culture that says bigger is better, it is subversive work to take tiny, lasting steps toward learning and growth. In 12 Tiny Things Ellie Roscher and Heidi Barr journey with us through twelve essential areas of life and invites us to take one tiny action that is sure to open up growth and renewal. By trying on one tiny thing at a time, you can slowly, deliberately, and playfully remember who you are. Together, we will reach and grow toward the sun.

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Outside the Lines

Mihee Kim-Kort

Publication date: July 1, 2018

God's love for us breaks every boundary. So should our love for each other. In Outside the Lines, Mihee Kim-Kort shows us how God, in Jesus, is oriented toward us in a queer and radical way. And our faith in that God becomes a queer spirituality—a spirituality that crashes through definitions and moves us outside of the categories of our making. Whenever we love ourselves and our neighbors with the boundary-breaking love of God, we live out this queer spirituality in the world.

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Practice the Pause

Caroline Oakes

Publication date: January 24, 2023

These days, many of us live in a state of overreactive fight-or-flight response and chronic stress. But new developments in brain science have recently proven that an intentional practice of pausing for a few minutes actually rewires our brain in ways that make us calmer, less reactive, and better able to see the bigger picture. In Practice the Pause, spiritual director and writer Caroline Oakes explores how a seven-second pause practice can move us beyond the fight-or-flight responses of our ego in our daily lives and actually equip us to cultivate the common good in the world.

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Your Body Is a Revolution

Tara Teng

Publication date: May 16, 2023

Too many of us are living disconnected from our bodies, chasing a constantly moving target of "ideal," and accepting the societal narrative about which bodies are deserving of safety and protection. Your Body Is a Revolution is an invitation to reclaim what has been stolen from us, to embrace the wisdom our bodies long to share, and to fully inhabit our lives—perhaps for the first time. 

Read an excerpt here.

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A Different Kind of Fast

Christine Valters Paintner

Publication date: January 2, 2024

Clarify your true hungers—and nourish your soul. Contemplative author Christine Valters Paintner explores seven unique fasts tied to spiritual practices, for Lent or a time of focus, to discover our truest hungers and our deepest spiritual reserves. Drawing on desert wisdom and contemplative practice, A Different Kind of Fast helps us enter into our own journey of spiritual growth, both for Lent and beyond. 

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My Body and Other Crumbling Empires

Lyndsey Medford

Publication date: March 7, 2023

We are living in a world that is sick. Both literally sick, with 60 percent of adults in the US living with a chronic illness, and figuratively sick, facing ever increasing rates of burnout, anxiety, and disconnection. My Body and Other Crumbling Empires points out the beauty and ubiquity of our limitations; the importance of accessibility, broadly construed; the interconnected nature of individual and public health; and the badly needed wisdom we have gained from living with our particular bodies.

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The Sacred Life of Bread

Meghan Murphy-Gill

Publication date: June 13, 2023

The pursuit of bread, from the time a single grain is planted in the soil to the moment a baked loaf is broken and consumed, satisfies longings not only physical but spiritual. The Sacred Life of Bread uncovers how the life of bread reveals the world's deepest mysteries as well as pathways toward meaningful relationships with ourselves, our communities, and our environment.

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