Books that heal

If you have children to look after then you might see World Book Day as an impending night of frantic fancy dress costume making so, along with the team at the Therapy Rooms, I thought I would offer an alternative and create a space to discuss books that heal.

We have come up with a list of five of our favourite books that help body, mind and soul. In no particular order we love:

  1. When things fall apart written by the prolific author and Buddhist Pema Chondron. This book guides us gently into new ways of handling the strong emotions we might feel whilst going through difficult times. Her approach encourages us accept and explore our emotions as a way of living fully rather than desperately trying to avoid our feelings.
  2. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte is just one example of how any one of the millions of works of literature out there can be healing for an individual at a particular point in time. It wasn’t written as a healing book, but the central character shows us how to cope with neglect and disappointment with strength and grace. She offers us a role model when one may not be available in real life. Perhaps you have discovered in a book a character that shows how it is possible to deal with the stresses of life, with grief and loss, or acts as a mother, father or sister to us in our times of need?
  3. Dream work, a collection of poems by Mary Oliver, contains some tender and profound writing that soothes the soul. If you read nothing else on this list, then search for the poem Wild Geese online. From the first line, ‘You do not have to be good’ we are offered relief from the burdens of our regrets and guilt.
  4. Women who run with the wolves by Clarissa Pinkola Estes introduces us to the ‘wild woman’, that wise and ageless presence in the female psyche that gives women their creativity, energy and power. It is the perfect antidote to the potentially toxic culture that young women find themselves living in today.
  5. Will I ever be good enough? was written by Karyl McBride and is a book that helps daughters of narcissistic mothers understand their relationships with others and helps them find a way to feel less negative self-belief. It has a healing chapter on ways to overcome and break negative cycles of not feeling good enough and gives ways to deal with the narcissistic Mother or narcissistic personality type without feeling guilty or diminished.


We would love to hear what books have inspired, comforted and helped you.

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