This article gives you a glimpse of what you can learn with Shortform. Shortform has the world’s best guides to 1000+ nonfiction books, plus other resources to help you accelerate your learning.
Want to learn faster and get smarter? Sign up for a free trial here .
Have you been looking down on yourself lately? What are the best books on self-love to read?
The most important relationship you’ll ever have is the one with yourself, so you should treat yourself well. Showering yourself with love will boost your self-esteem and help you keep a positive attitude.
Here are the best books on self-love to remind yourself you are worth it.
Learning to Love Yourself
Having insecurities about yourself is natural. We’re all human, and we tend to look at flaws rather than our strengths. However, focusing on your imperfections causes self-doubt that will make life challenging. To make life easier, hone in on your positive qualities and show appreciation for yourself.
To give yourself a little love, read these best books on self-love and compassion.
Many of us spend our lives in a kind of trance, trapped by thoughts that we’re unworthy, sinful, or simply bad people. We’re stuck in our own minds, cut off from our experiences and from the universal love and awareness that we all share.
Tara Brach, a psychologist and devout Buddhist, explains how we can learn to accept each moment as it comes—without judging our experiences or ourselves. This practice, which she calls Radical Acceptance, is the key to waking up from our trances, reconnecting with our experiences, and living our lives fully.
In Self-Compassion, Kristin Neff argues that when you respond to your failings and pain with kindness and comfort, you can manage the most challenging situations life throws at you. This entails understanding that you—like all people—make mistakes and suffer, are intrinsically worthy of care and comfort, and are connected to others through your suffering.
In this book on self-love, Neff gives her definition of self-compassion and explores the key practices, benefits, and obstacles to embracing it. She also explains how self-compassion can improve your relationship with others, making you a better partner and parent.
How can you improve your self-esteem? In The Six Pillars of Self-Esteem, psychotherapist and self-esteem expert Nathaniel Branden argues that the key lies in your behavior: What you do is the most important factor that determines your self-esteem.
In one of the best books on self-love, you’ll learn exactly how to behave to improve your self-esteem—and why so many techniques people recommend for raising self-esteem don’t work. You’ll also discover what self-esteem is, why it matters, and how others affect it.
You were born to be a badass, but are you getting the most out of your life? In You Are a Badass, author Jen Sincero helps you identify and change the self-sabotaging thoughts and behavior patterns that are stopping you from living up to your potential.
Creating a better life requires only one simple shift: Going from wanting to change your life to deciding to change your life. This book will explain why you are the way you are, how to change what you don’t like, and how to love yourself as you create a new, awesome life.
In Codependent No More, Melody Beattie explores codependency and how it affects people’s lives. A self-help classic and the book that inspired codependency 12 Step Programs around the country, Codependent No More provides explanations, advice, and compassion for people struggling with codependency.
In this self-love book, Beattie explores her main principles, including detachment, self-care, and personal responsibility.
Many people don’t want to discuss shame or vulnerability. In fact, today, people are lonelier, more obese, and more addicted than ever before because they opt to distract or numb themselves rather than address their insecurities or shame.
In her lecture series, The Power of Vulnerability, Brené Brown breaks down the various aspects of shame, addresses the importance of vulnerability, and offers 10 practices that you can use to embrace vulnerability and start living a wholehearted life.
In her other book on self-love, The Gifts of Imperfection, Brené Brown explores how you can live “Wholeheartedly.” Wholeheartedness is a way of life that centers on cultivating a feeling of worthiness.
Brown discusses Wholehearted living in two stages. First, she discusses the theory behind worthiness. Then, she lays out ten concepts—or “guideposts”—that you can implement in your daily life to cultivate worthiness and live Wholeheartedly.
Achieving your goals and becoming a better person often seems impossible. However, Brianna Wiest explains that the only thing standing in your way is you—and your self-sabotaging behaviors. Wiest explains that you self-sabotage when you desire a change—in yourself, your lifestyle, your career, and so on—but are too afraid to act. This internal conflict creates a barrier between who you are and who you want to be. In The Mountain Is You, Wiest explains that you can overcome this barrier by identifying, understanding, and eliminating the self-sabotaging behaviors that hold you back.
This book on loving yourself explains Wiest’s concept of self-sabotage, how to recognize your self-sabotaging behaviors, and what you can do to overcome them.
When we feel emotional pain or discomfort, we often blame our experiences—the people and situations in our lives—for not being exactly how we want them to be. Since life rarely plays out exactly as we want, this means we always have reasons to feel bad.
In Loving What Is, best-selling author and spiritual teacher Byron Katie argues that you don’t have to resign yourself to living in a constant state of misery. She explains that life experiences don’t cause emotional pain, only resistant thoughts that judge experiences as somehow wrong or unwanted do. Therefore, releasing resistant thoughts allows you to accept and feel at peace with life, no matter what happens.
Rupi Kaur experienced oppression and abuse throughout her life. From an uncle who raped her as a child to a father who demanded she stay silent, she grew up in an environment that taught her she was worthless. However, as she grew up, her experiences with love and heartbreak taught her how to find beauty in herself and how to heal in the face of painful experiences.
milk and honey is an award-winning collection of poems that dive into the themes of sexual assault, the complexity of relationships, and the healing power of self-love. Through her use of beautiful language, Kaur takes you on her emotional journey to love herself in the face of painful and oppressive experiences.
Appreciation and kindness for yourself go a long way. Learning how to love yourself is the key to a fulfilling life full of happiness and self-compassion. If you ever feel like you’re being too hard on yourself, read these books above for reassurance.
What are your favorite books on self-love? Let us know in the comments below!
Want to fast-track your learning? With Shortform, you’ll gain insights you won't find anywhere else .
Here's what you’ll get when you sign up for Shortform :
- Complicated ideas explained in simple and concise ways
- Smart analysis that connects what you’re reading to other key concepts
- Writing with zero fluff because we know how important your time is