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The Top 15 Books I Recommend to Heal Your Soul, Find Your Kindred Spirits, and Discover Your Calling.

The Top 15 Books I Recommend to Heal Your Soul, Find Your Kindred Spirits, and Discover Your Calling. | Annie Wright, LMFT | www.anniewright.com

I wanted to share with you the top fifteen beautiful books I always find myself recommending to clients and to friends — a list which I hope will inspire and support you in your journey to heal, to find your kindred spirits, to discover your calling, and to step more fully into who you were meant to be.

Read on for a peek inside my virtual library…

The Top 15 Books I Recommend to Heal Your Soul, Find Your Kindred Spirits, and Discover Your Calling. | Annie Wright, LMFT | www.anniewright.com

The Top 15 Books I Recommend to Heal Your Soul, Find Your Kindred Spirits, and Discover Your Calling.

Healing Your Soul.

Healing your soul, to me, means discovering, understanding, and gently repairing the emotional wounds you may have experienced somewhere along the journey of life.

This is fundamentally the work I do as a psychotherapist and these five books are some of the very richest I’ve found to catalyze or support this work no matter where you are in your healing journey.

  • Transformation Soup: Healing for the Splendidly Imperfect by SARK (Susan Ariel Rainbow Kennedy).* One of my top recommendations for anyone going through a challenging time, this book is playful, compassionate, and rich with resources, inquiries, and stories of transformation. Plus, this book first introduced me to Esalen Institute — the glorious place where I spent my mid-20’s healing, learning and growing. It’s a must-read!
  • Go Only As Fast As Your Slowest Part Feels Safe to Go: Tales to Kindle Gentleness and Compassion for Our Exhausted Selves by Robyn Posin, PhD.* This book is a collection of essays from the author – a licensed (feminist) psychologist here in California – who has dedicated her own life to healing from deep-rooted self-criticism and super-achievement and now, in turn, helps other women do the same. Reading this book is like taking a deep breath and receiving a virtual permission slip to slow down and take a break from this relentlessly intense world of ours.
  • Drama of the Gifted Child: The Search For The True Self by Alice Miller, PhD.* This book is a must-read for anyone who has experienced early childhood abuse. A powerful, insightful, and deeply evocative classic, this of all the books on the list may be the most challenging to read, but I also think it’s one of the most illuminating and may help you make sense of your childhood in ways that you never imagined.
  • Women, Food, and God: An Unexpected Path to Almost Everything by Geneen Roth.* This is the number one book I recommend to anyone who struggles with or has struggled with disordered eating. In this book, Geneen Roth posits that the way you eat is inseparable from your core beliefs about being alive and then provides practical, freeing insights and exercises to help readers develop more compassion with food and with life.
  • The Ten Things To Do When Your Life Falls Apart by Daphne Rose Kingma.* If I had a dollar for every time I’ve lent out or gifted this little book! It’s a short but powerful and deeply wise read for anyone going through a life crisis or challenge (and really, who isn’t these days?). Pick up two copies – one for yourself, and one to give away to someone you love.

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Finding Your Kindred Spirits.

Finding your kindred spirits are, especially for those of us who come from dysfunctional or abusive early beginnings, a critical part of our life’s healing work.

And, in the process of finding our kindred spirits (kindred spirits meaning those who are more similar to and accepting of us than our family of origins), we discover more about who we are by seeing ourselves mirrored in the other.

So this particular list is less about the mechanics of how to find your kindred spirits, but instead more a selection of books which can help introduce you to like-minded others and different ways of being that might feel like home to you. 

  • Women Who Run With The Wolves by Clarissa Pinkola Estes, PhD.* If you’ve been following me for any time, you know I’m an ardent admirer of the work of Jungian analyst, psychotherapist and cantadora, Clarissa Pinkola Estes. This book has played a profound role in shaping my personal and professional life (including being one of the biggest reasons why I chose to become a psychotherapist – a blog post for another time!). I truly cannot recommend it enough if you want to get more in touch with yourself, especially with your own wildish nature.
  • Artemis: The Indomitable Spirit in Everywoman by Jean Shinoda Bolen, MD.* This book has become the highlight of my seasonal reading list! It’s like a love letter to all of us women who identify as activists, as leaders, as strong, resilient, born with grit and who may have often felt “other” in our lives for all these very qualities (eg: think more Katniss and less Betty Draper). It’s a book that weaves Jungian mythology, modern media insights, and discussions about the disempowerment women over the world face today. It’s a brilliant read that helps reimagine the full spectrum of what it is to be a woman.
  • The Highly Sensitive Person by Elaine Aron, Ph.D.* This groundbreaking work introduced the concept of being a highly sensitive person (HSP) — a temperament trait that impacts 15-20% of the population — and offers up strategies for coping with overarousal, overcoming social discomfort, being in love relationships, managing job challenges, and much more. For those of us who were told “you’re just too sensitive!” while growing up, this book is a breath of fresh air and a welcome and validating perspective change.
  • Carry On, Warrior: The Power of Embracing Your Beautiful, Messy Life by Glennon Melton Doyle.* This gem of a book is a fierce, funny, and vulnerable tale about overcoming addiction and living out a fully-lived life. Glennon is like the older sister, best girlfriend, and fellow kindred spirit you never had but always wanted who helps you to see that your life – imperfect as it is – is more than okay just as you are.
  • Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead by Bréne Brown, PhD.* This renowned book and author have helped transform the way we as a society think about shame, vulnerability, and belonging. It’s also a book that may help you step more fully into who you are and encourage you to learn how to seek out others who will respect and honor your vulnerability. It’s a must-read!

Discovering Your Calling.

Discovering your calling (or your life’s work or dream career, whatever you want to call it) is another big life task that most of us will face at one point or another.

Career counseling is a specialty of mine and these books are some of the many resources I recommend to my clients in order to supplement their work with me and to help them discover and craft a career that feels deeply fulfilling.

  • Finding Your Own North Star: Claiming the Life You Were Meant to Live by Martha Beck, Ph.D.* With her signature wit and wisdom, Martha Beck helps you tap into your feelings and buried core desires to help you identify and move towards your right life in all that that means– your own internal North Star buried deep inside you. An excellent book!
  • Finding Your Way In A Wild New World by Martha Beck, Ph.D.* A follow up to North Star, this book helps guide you to find out how you got to where you are now and what you should do next when it comes to realizing your career potential. Full of exercises and techniques, this is another great resource by Martha Beck that’s both practical and also a little ephemeral.
  • The Pathfinder: How to Choose or Change Your Career for a Lifetime of Satisfaction and Success by Nicholas Lore.* The number one career counseling book I recommend to clients, The Pathfinder is a lengthy but thorough and actionable read that walks readers through career design from the inside out. If you’re ready to put all your insights together like a jigsaw puzzle, this is the book that will help you do it.
  • The Soul’s Code: In Search of Character and Calling by James Hillman, PhD.* This book, written by Jungian analyst James Hillman, is not a typical career counseling book. Instead, it’s a remarkable work that can help you understand the shape and innate temperament of your soul and thus lead you to greater understanding about what it is you may choose to pursue as a career in this lifetime. It’s not an easy or short read, but I think it’s pretty great.
  • The Purpose of Your Life by Carol Adrienne.* This book is a guide to harnessing your innate energy and focusing it, teaching you how to align yourself with the natural forces that swirl around us always, and how to develop the intuition that fosters synchronicity. Again, not a typical career counseling guide, but a wonderful complement to the above books if you want to consider the question of career from a different, more spiritual perspective.

My Invitation For You.

I hope this list felt inspiring, supportive, and gave you some ideas for your Amazon wishlist!

And if you’re looking for another book to help you navigate life’s rough waters, I recommend you explore my own book, A Little Handbook for Life’s Tough Times.

If you would like additional support right now and you live in California or Florida, please feel free to reach out to me directly to explore therapy together.

Or if you live outside of these states, please consider enrolling in the waitlist for the Relational Trauma Recovery School – or my signature online course, Hard Families, Good Boundaries, designed to support you in healing your adverse early beginnings and create a beautiful adulthood for yourself, no matter where you started out in life.

And until next time, please take very good care of yourself. You’re so worth it.

Warmly, Annie

*This is an affiliate link and any purchases made through this link will result in a small commission for me (at no extra cost for you).

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  1. Holly A says

    I am so looking forward to picking up a new read. This is a great list. Thank you for your comments on each. I love carrying a book like these in y car for when I am working or first thing in the morning when my mind is racing and need guidance back to my path: discovering my true self and building back my inner strength.

    • Annie says

      Hi Holly,

      I love the idea of carrying a book in the car (or your purse or backpack, etc) for quick soul tune-ups!

      I keep a large portion of my library on the Kindle app on my iphone for this very reason. I can usually access just what I need throughout the day when I need a pickmeup, reminder, or guidance about something.

      Thanks for this wonderful reminder and I’m so glad you enjoyed the list.

      Warmly, Annie

  2. Scarlet says

    Thanks tons for this I’m ordering a good chunk of these books and they came at the perfect time. Also the Artemis book is on audio for listening to driving which I’m stoked about.
    I love “oneness” by Rasha. It’s been my “bible” for understanding the world around me and becoming more integrated.
    Other then that one I read s new book every time I’m called to. Sending you love 🙂

    One fun thing I did just do was listen to ” the power of vulnerability” by brene brown. I tunes download and it’s her, doing a live healing talk going through her book step by step. It’s been the most epic healer and has helped me show up in my power since I listened to it. She is so fun and inspiring to listen to I have heard it three times now. I laugh I cry and I get filled.

    • Annie says


      It’s so lovely to hear from you and I’m so glad that this list served up some good recommendations of what to order next!

      I haven’t yet come across “Oneness” by Rasha, but will be sure to order that and check it out myself — thank you so much for sharing a book that’s been important for you.

      And I love that you’re ordering and experiencing some of these books through audio. I think having someone read a book to us can be deeply moving (reminiscent of when we were kids and our parents (hopefully) read to us) and for some of us – myself included – we may actually learn better through auditory means (books on tape) than visual means (reading the book). So this is a great reminder about other, powerful and soothing ways to experience these wonderful books. Thanks so much for bringing this point up!

      Again, so lovely to hear from you and I really appreciate your share.

      Warmly, Annie

  3. Deny D. Ritz says

    Thanks for sharing this list, Annie. There are a number of authors whom I haven’t heard of. I feel like I always need consistent work on healing my soul, so book recommendations are always welcome. Thanks again 🙂

    • Annie says

      Hi Deny,

      Thank you for taking the time to read this post and I’m so glad there are some authors and titles you didn’t know about. And I think all of us could use consistent soul nourishment and sometimes a good book can be just that.

      Thank you again for taking the time to stop by and comment.

      Warmly, Annie

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