Self-help• noun: the action or process of doing things to improve yourself or to solve your problems without the help of others.

This post is part of the 31 Ways to Nurture Yourself series. The acronym MAPS explains the four key components of learning to nurture ourselves in a balanced way.

Self-Help Books Act as GPS Programs to Help us Navigate Life

Achieving mental wholeness means having a growth mindset. We must put in the effort to keep our emotions from stagnating in the pool of repeated communication patterns. It takes work to evaluate your current mindset and plumb the depths of your emotions to see where you could change. Journal writing can often pry the lid off of what makes you feel stuck, enabling you to start growing again.

Throughout my decades of journal writing and periods of memoir writing, I discovered that I had fallen into certain negative communication patterns. I tend to avoid conflict at all costs (unless it involves confronting a stranger—go figure). If I feel emotional or upset about a topic, I stuff my emotions. Oh, I also like to blame other people (“if you hadn’t done that, I wouldn’t have needed to do this”).

Pedro has lovingly pointed out my weaknesses. I have read countless self-help books over the years to work on my communication skills. It took me awhile, but I finally realized that I can always improve my mental wholeness by learning from others.

First, I’ll share some of my favorite titles here from Christian authors. (I’m also including affiliate links for the books. If you happen to purchase one, I get a small commission from Amazon).

A treasure trove of #self-help books to help you achieve #mentalwholeness. #write31days Click To Tweet


You’re Already Amazing LifeGrowth Guide by Holley Gerth
Happiness Dare by Jennifer Dukes Lee

Eating Disorders

Health Food Junkies: Orthorexia Nervosa, by Stephon Bateman,M.D.
Chasing Silhouettes: How to help a loved one battling eating disorders by Emily T. Wierenga


Hurt: Inside the World of Today’s Teenagers by Chap Clark
Inside a Cutter’s Mind: Understanding and Helping Those Who Self-Injure by Jerusha Clark and Earl R. Henslin



Fear Fighting by Kelly Belaire
Peace for a Lifetime: Embracing a Life of Hope, Wholeness, and Emotional Abundance by Lisa Murray



Not Marked: Finding Hope and Healing after Sexual Abuse by Mary DeMuth


The Hidden Half of the Gospel by Paul Coneff and Lindsey Gendke
Get out of that Pit by Beth Moore
Hope Prevails: Insights from a Doctor’s Personal Journey Through Depression by Dr. Michelle Bengtson


Triggers: Exchanging Parents’ Angry Reactions for Gentle Biblical Responses by Amber Lia and Wendy Speake
Have a New Kid by Friday, Dr. Kevin Leman

Communication Skills and Relationships

Boundaries: When to Say Yes, How to Say No to Take Control of Your Life (any of the boundaries books) by Dr. Henry Cloud and Dr. John Townsend
The Five Love Languages: The Secret to Love that Lasts by Gary Chapman

Marriage Relationships

Love and Respect by Emerson Eggerich
His Needs, Her Needs by Willard F Harley, Jr.
Have a New Husband by Friday by Dr. Kevin Leman

Secular Selections

Feeling Good: The New Mood Therapy by Dr. David Burns
The Bipolar Disorder Survival Guide, Second Edition: What You and Your Family Need to Know by David J. Miklowitz, PhD.


A good self-help book can act as a GPS program that offers advice about stops along the way, the toll-free routes, and travel times. Remember that it often takes years to get off track, and forming new habits might take just as long. But if we maintain a growth mindset, we will make progress!

Nurture Yourself Takeaway #5: You can find a treasure-trove of advice in self-help books. Don’t be afraid to buy one (or two, or ten) and start to learn from fellow travelers.

The next step to experiencing mental wholeness involves finding a pod.



  1. There’s an excellent book on marriage by larry crabb (where was it when i needed it last Friday?!?!) A great a listing, Anita.

  2. I love reading other people’s perspectives on similar topics! I have benefited so much from self-help books–and this early in the morning no titles are coming to mind! Happy Writing this month. I’ll keep checking in!

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Anita Ojeda

Anita Ojeda juggles writing with teaching high school English and history. When she's not lurking in odd places looking for rare birds, you can find her camping with her kids, adventuring with her husband or mountain biking with her students.

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