Pema Chodron$16.95 $15.59
Recommended by therapist Lisa King Smith, EdS, LPC, CPCS, CCTP: "How do we keep moving forward when it feels like everything around us is crumbling? Most of the time we want to run away from the pain and suffering we experience, but what would happen if we instead decided to run toward it? Pema Chodron shows the reader that once we learn to embrace our pain and allow it to change us through our heart we have a better opportunity to become more resilient and loving human beings."
Thupten Jinpa$17.00 $15.64
Recommended by therapist Margo Barnard, LPC, RN, & certified meditation instructor: "This beautiful little book is a must read for all those seeking to offer compassion to others. Thupten Jinpa has served the Dalai Lama as his English translator for over 30 years. As a former monk himself, he brings profound wisdom and a simple clarity to the understanding and practice of compassion in our everyday lives. This book can open your heart and mind."
Viktor E. Frankl$15.00 $13.80
Recommended by therapist Lisa King Smith, EdS, LPC, CPCS, CCTP: "Viktor Frankel wrote this book in 9 days, not long after being released from a Nazi death camp after World War II. Dr. Frankel writes about his experiences in multiple Nazi concentration camps and what he discovers about the human experience, and our ability to be resilient and loving human beings, despite living through a nightmare experience and seeing the absolute worst in human behavior. One of the many quotes from this book that Viktor Frankel is famous for: “When we are no longer able to control a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves.” This book is life changing and a go to for gaining perspective during challenging times."
Sarah Wilson$26.99 $24.83
Recommended by therapist Lisa King Smith, EdS, LPC, CPCS, CCTP: "The author of this book is a journalist who has struggled with among other things, anxiety and bipolar disorder. Through her own experiences, interviews and exhaustive recent research, Sarah Wilson brings a very down to earth and holistic voice to those who struggle with anxiety and bipolar. The book is full of anecdotes, research, interviews and raw, authentic, self-reflection from the author about the lived life of those who struggle with anxiety. This book is very insightful and contains some perspective, exercises and practices you can bring to your daily life to better understand and manage anxiety. The author brings in much of what my clients and I talk about when working with anxiety in my office."
Tara Brach$28.00 $25.76
This book has been helping me SO MUCH with easing my anxiety through this challenging time. Tara Brach is one of America's most beloved and trusted mindfulness teachers, and in this book she teaches us how to practice compassion for ourselves and others and how that practice can empower, center, and free us. Using the mindfulness practice of RAIN (Recognize, Allow, Investigate, & Nurture) has been a lifeline for me, helping me to stay in the present, care for myself and my team, and feel empowered to do what I can to respond with compassion and creativity to this unprecedented moment.
Cheryl Strayed$16.95 $15.59
Tiny Beautiful Things is a collection of Cheryl Strayed's Dear Sugar advice columns for the Rumpus. It's also one of most comforting encouraging balms of a book I've ever read. You might remember Cheryl Strayed as the bestselling memoirist behind Wild. Here, she brings her hard-won wisdom, humor, insight, and compassion to each letter-writer's concerns. Whether or not I related to a specific struggle or problem, while reading this book, I felt comforted, enriched, and like I wasn't alone.
Elizabeth Gilbert$17.00 $15.64
In Big Magic, Elizabeth Gilbert asks us to consider the response we make to a challenging time as a creative act. I like the mix of pixie dust and house dust in this book, and whether you consider yourself an artist or a creative or not, there is much in this book to cheer, empower, and inspire.
Irene Smit, Astrid Van Der Hulst, et al.$27.50 $25.30
With the possibility of having time on our hands, this is the perfect time to take some time and breathe, create, reflect, and let go. A book that’s unique in the way it mixes reading and doing, A Book That Takes Its Time is like a mindfulness retreat between two covers. Read about the benefits of not multitasking, then turn to “The Joy of One Thing at a Time Notebook” tucked into the pages. After a short piece on the power of slowing down, fill in the designed notecards for a Beautiful Moments jar. Make a personal timeline. Learn the art of hand-lettering. Dig into your Beginner’s Mind, and more. A Book That Takes Its Time will help you find the soothing nature of slowing down and creating with mindfulness.
Sasha Sagan$26.00 $23.92
“For small creatures such as we the vastness is bearable only through love." ―Carl Sagan and Ann Druyan, Contact. I feel honored to share with you this debut book by Sasha Sagan, daughter of Carl and Ann, who taught their daughter that science reveals the wonder and majesty of a world greater than the limits of myth or fable. Here, Sasha writes with such reverence, beauty, and tenderness about how we can find meaning as humble humans on a pale blue dot through creating and participating in ceremony, celebration, and ritual. Part memoir, part guidebook, and part social history, For Small Creatures Such as We reminded me of the grandeur of the universe and the magic of finding our own place within it.
Mary Oliver$30.00 $27.60
"Wild Geese," my all-time favorite poem, is available here as it is in lots of different poetry collections (let me know if this one is priced out of what you'd like to spend), but this is Mary Oliver's magnum opus, her final collection, spanning poetry over five decades, arranged by the poet herself before her death. I am slowly making my way through every page and have found so many poems, new and well-known, to add to my list of go-tos in times of trouble and in times of joy.