Supplementing therapy with outside reading can be an important part of recovery, but it’s hard to know where to start. Below is a curated selection of books, articles, and other written material recommended by us or other trusted professionals to support your personal growth. We’re always adding to this list—make sure to follow us on social media so you can stay updated on what's new.
The Language of Letting Go - Melody Beattie
There are not enough great things to say about this book! It's a daily reader that covers the basics of how to relate to yourself and others in a healthy way. If you're looking to add a daily reader to your recovery practice, this is a great one to start with.
Strengthening My Recovery - Adult Children of Alcoholics/Dysfunctional Families
Each day includes a quote from the ACA Fellowship text followed by some reflection. It is full of gems! It's applicable to anyone who grew up in a dysfunctional family, even if you aren't working an ACA program.
Family of Origin
Unspoken Legacy - Claudia Black
Unspoken Legacy is a comprehensive overview of the effects of growing up in an unhealthy family system and what recovery can be like. It's a great place to start if you're new to recovery, but those who have been on their journey for years will find it valuable, too.
The Soulful Journey of Recovery - Tian Dayton
This is another good overview-type book about growing up in a dysfunctional family. It not only has helpful information but also includes exercises throughout the book to help you think through the content.
A great article by Tian Dayton on emotional sobriety. It's a clear overview of the concept and why it matters. It's well worth a read.
A Sloth's Guide to Mindfulness - Ton Mak
I came across this fabulous little book at a local store in my town, and I'm so glad that I did! It can help you slow down and take a breath. It will make you laugh, it will make you think, and, if you take your time with it, will help you press pause.
Sark's Journal and Play Book - SARK
SARK (Susan Ariel Rainbow Kennedy) invites you to connect with the playful part of yourself. All of her books are handwritten and drawn—and they are a joy! The Journal and Play Book is a guided journal with space to write, draw, and dream.
The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse - Charlie Mackesy
Enjoy this delightful little book about life and relationships. Between the lovely artwork and the simple yet powerful text, it's a worthwhile read.
This Messy, Magnificent Life - Geneen Roth
Grab a cup of tea, find a comfy spot and sit down with this gem of a book. It’s a great read that provides space for you to think about your life and yourself in an intentional way. If you know Geneen’s work, you’ll know that she has written extensively about our relationship with food. This book does refer to that, but it isn’t its central focus. I’m pretty sure this is a book I’ll read more than once.
Sex & Love Addiction
Facing Love Addiction - Pia Mellody
This book offers an explanation of Love Addiction, what recovery looks like, and a perspective on healthy relationships. It also includes practical tools and journaling exercises. It's a great book for understanding the process of Love Addiction and the childhood trauma at its core.
Ready to Heal - Kelly McDaniel
Kelly McDaniel has written a book that gets to the heart of Love Addiction—the original attachment wound from childhood. I've often had people say to me, "Kelly really gets it and gets me," when they read this book for the first time. Also, Kelly has a Ready to Heal study guide on her website (the link above will take you to her site).
We Are the Luckiest: The Surprising Magic of a Sober Life - Laura McKowen
Childhood Disrupted: How Your Biography Becomes Your Biology and How You Can Heal - Donna Jackson Nakazawa
Based on the Adverse Childhood Experiences study, this book provides a clear, accessible look at the effects of trauma on the body while offering hope for healing.
The Body Keeps the Score - Bessel van der Kolk
A deep look at how trauma impacts the brain and body along with insights on the importance of body-oriented healing approaches. This is a hefty, ponderous read, but explains the mind/body connection in the experience of and the healing from trauma.