These books taught me self-love and helped me understand my own worth.
Social media portrays self-love as face masks, bubble baths, and taking holidays in exotic locations.
But in truth, self-love is much more than that. It is acknowledging uncomfortable truths about yourself and loving yourself just the same.
It is knowing you’re not perfect but giving yourself the space to make mistakes.
It is drawing boundaries to take care of your mental health, even if it means hurting the people you love.
Self-love is a nuanced mistress, and if you treat her well, she’ll light up your life.
But that’s the thing about self-love. It’s not always easy.
And that’s where these three books come in. Through different stages in my life, these books have helped me overcome some difficult situations. They’ve taught me to love myself as I am.
They aren’t very popular, though. In fact, two of the three books listed here have less than 1000 reviews on Goodreads. But if you know me, you’d know even if the books I recommend are lesser-known, they are insanely effective books. So go through the list, my dear friend, and pick a book that sparks curiosity in your soul.
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1. How to Love Yourself (and Sometimes Other People)
Authors: Meggan Watterson and Lodro Rinzler
So often our self-worth gets tied up in how much people around us value us. This book is about untangling the two and loving yourself despite how others feel about you.
Told from the unique vantage points of two writers — one who studied Christian mysticism and the other proficient in Buddhism, the book offers a spiritual way to learn to love yourself again.
The text covers everything including sex, self-worth, falling in (and out of) love, deep friendships, and breakups. It offers a fascinating perspective on how to maintain an open heart through it all. At the book’s core, is the message of learning to love yourself no matter what.
My story with this book
The title caught my eye while browsing through Amazon, and I couldn’t help but buy the ebook. It lay forgotten on my Kindle for several months until it called to me once again when I was at my lowest. I’d just had a major quarrel with my partner and was questioning all my life choices.
Reading it was calming, like a hug from a friend I didn’t know I needed. It helped me through some rough patches. I’ve highlighted lots of passages that I know I’ll keep revisiting over the years.
I Heart Me: The Sciene of Self-Love
Author: David R. Hamilton
The author, David R. Hamilton, is a pharmaceutical scientist who delves deep into the biology of self-love in this book. His extensive research in brain chemistry, neuroscience, and psychotherapeutic and personal development techniques led to the conclusion that self-love is as much about biology as it is about psychology.
Self-worth is programmed in our genes. But the biological drive to seek connection with others often leads us to try to be ‘someone else’ to win love and approval. This drive has trained self-love out of our system. But the brain can be reprogrammed, and this book puts together 27 exercises to do just that.
“Many people with low self-worth will go to the ends of the Earth to find the insult behind the compliment.” — David R. Hamilton.
My story with this book
This book made me realize how I always try my best to be a good human and go out of my way to be kind and compassionate to other people. But when it comes to myself, I’m quick to judge, call myself “weak,” and not show self-compassion.
It taught me how important compassion towards myself is, and helped me understand that accepting my failures and moving on is an act of self-love. If I can be kind to others, I need to be kind to myself as well.
3. Mastering Your Mean Girl
Author: Melissa Ambrosini
I picked up the book because the first line of the blurb reads — “You know that sneaky voice inside your head telling you that you’re not good enough, smart enough, skinny enough, whatever enough? That’s your Mean Girl. And she’s doing her best to keep you stuck in Fear Town, too scared to go after the life you always imagined.”
In Mastering Your Mean Girl, author Melissa Ambrosini provides a practical approach for embracing a mindset of abundance and creating your version of a fulfilling life. The prompts and exercises in this book are designed to help you when you feel stuck and propel you into action.
My story with this book
As someone who’s read a lot of self-improvement books, I was skeptical about picking this one up. And truly, each chapter felt familiar. I could resonate the writing with bits and pieces of other books I’ve read over the years. But this familiarity doesn’t take away the impact.
I found myself underlining many different sections. It helped me recognize the fine line between being selfish and loving yourself. It encouraged me to be positive and helped me fight my inner critic, aka my Mean Girl.
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