Best Psychology Books to Kickstart the New Year

Posted December 10, 2012 by Monica O'Connell in Life After Five

I was recently at Barnes and Noble buying a book the old fashioned way, and I noticed how much larger the self-help/psychology section has grown.  With Rebecca Nizoli’s awesome post about her fav books of 2012, I thought I’d create a guide to my favorite books that I recommend and use in my office.


Daring Greatly by Brene Brown

I love everything about this book. Women everywhere can relate! Her TED talk is one of the top five most watched. You should probably watch that first and then read the book. She uses her research to talk about how to pull on your mega wealth of courage to dare greatly. My clients and I agree that this is a goose-bump book totally worth reading and super relatable.

Eating in the Light of the Moon by Anita Johnson

So many women struggle with their relationship with food and with their bodies. This book is so approachable and user friendly. She uses beautiful parables and stories to wrap you up in a warm, fuzzy feeling while you tackle some of your negative attitudes towards food.

Body Loving Homework: Writing Prompts for Cultivating Self-Love by Mara Glatzel

This is not so much of a reading book as much as it is a doing book. It’s an e-book you can download to do some deep digging into self-love. It’s quite lovely.  She suggests you grab a new notebook before you dive in. The book guides and coaches you through some awesome opportunities. I adore her honesty and her writing.

Seven Spiritual Laws of Success by Deepak Chopra

I love this one and will often open it up just before bed and see which chapter finds me. He talks you through each law and has a meditation exercise after. The Law of Least Effort — Who doesn’t need more of that in their life? Some of my friends and clients think this is too confusing and not super relatable. Some of them love it. If you’re not much of a reader, I wouldn’t grab this one. Also, he does FREE 21 day meditations every few months. They’re great.

Help Thanks Wow by Anne Lammot

Many of my clients love Anne Lammot’s stories and wisdom. This book is about cultivating a sense of connection with the universe (A major helper for many in reducing anxiety) She’s also got a killer Facebook page where she writes often and it basically feels like free therapy from a warm sage.

Why Marriages Succeed or Fail by John Gottman

I’ve written about his couples research before. This book is geared towards couples (not just married folks) and gives amazingly helpful pointers about how to make your relationship successful.  That’s super cheap therapy.


I love all of these books. They’re all approachable. If you’re not a reader beyond blogs, watch Brene Brown’s TED talk.  It’s time you wont regret.

About the Author

Monica O'Connell

Monica O’Connell is a Licensed Marriage and Family therapist in Minneapolis, Minnesota. In her practice, she spends her career cheering on “Career Girls” as they learn how to get the most out of life. Monica works with arguably some of the most successful, intelligent, inspiring women in the Twin Cities who tackle self-discovery, career success, and what’s getting in the way of their true desires. She shares her favorite moments as those “best described not by words but by the stomach aching, face soreness that comes from spending an entire day laughing with loved ones.”