Good books are like streams of water one can drink from again and again, always finding refreshment. Books have provided a lifeline for me in my recovery from depression and my work to build a strong life.

These are books and periodicals which I have found to be helpful in a practice of healthy thinking. This list is not complete by any means; it is a work in progress. Neither Rome nor a good library were built in a day.

You can click on a book title in this list and immediately connect with it on  I receive a small commission if you buy through these links.

I highly recommend finding audio versions of uplifting books and keeping at least one in the car CD player and/or iPod at all times.


by David D. Burns, M.D. Feeling Good is the definitive work on cognitive/behavioral therapy for lay persons. Just reading it may make you feel better. I give it my highest recommendation. When Panic Attacks focuses primarily on anxiety but draws heavily from the same toolkit.

by Martin E. P. Seligman, Ph.D. I consider this to be the best of Seligman’s considerable body of work. I am a huge fan of Seligman’s work and consider my autographed copy of Authentic Happiness one of my most prized possessions. Learned Optimism: How to Change Your Mind and Your Life is another favorite.

 by Lundy Bancroft. An eye-opener and manual of encouragement for any woman who has ever been abused, physically or emotionally, by a romantic partner.

by Elisabeth Kubler-Ross, M.D. Sounds morbid, but isn’t. A close but comforting look at a subject that engenders so much fear and anxiety.


by Barbara Sher and Annie Gottlieb. This book was the first to change my life for the better. All of Barbara Sher’s work is inspiring as well as practical, but Wishcraft is the most basic. I also really like her Refuse to Choose!

by Martha Beck. Chock full of ideas for charting your own path in life. A bonus: Beck’s irresistible humor. The followup to this one is Steering by Starlight: The Science and Magic of Finding Your Destiny


by Dan Miller. Miller can come across as a little preachy and heavy on the religious stuff, but his methods work.

by Marcus Buckingham and Donald O. Clifton, Ph.D. Why worry about weaknesses? Focusing on strengths works better than trying to improve weaknesses. This book will help you find your strong areas.

by Marcus Buckingham. Buckingham is another favorite. This book’s emphasis on women is unfortunate, as the advice contained in it is useful for both genders.

by David Allen. Dry as dust, boring as solitary confinement, and possibly the most practically useful book I have ever read.


by Sarah Ban Breathnach. An essay for each day of the year, written from the author’s personal experiences and non-scientific research into living in abundance. It is sometimes woo-woo, sometimes serious, sometimes silly; there is something here for everyone.

(or almost anything else) by Zig Ziglar. Even considering the preachiness, nobody does it better than the master motivator.

by Jill Connor Browne. Irreverent and hilariously raunchy guide to living however you damn well want to. I’m a southern girl, so I get all the inside jokes.


Great material in every issue, some fresh, some recycled, all helpful. Each magazine also includes a bonus audio CD, a real plus even considering publisher Darren Hardy’s relentless self-promotion.