7 'Must Reads' On Your Self Love Quest

7 'Must Reads' On Your Self Love Quest

It's fun to grow your "must read" list, but we all know the real challenge is carving out time in your chaotic day to sit and read with no distractions. What we like about these books: you can pickup and put down with easily digestible, powerful takeaways that will give you a sprinkle of confidence for the day. 

ARE YOU A GOOD GIFTER? Each book below also serves as a meaningful gift for that special girl or woman in your life who deserves to feel uplifted and beautiful in her skin.

PRO TIP: establish a reading area or environment that radiates your vibe. This makes the idea of reading and the process itself that much better. 

Here are our top pics at The Harli Effect:

Why Has Nobody Told Me This Before? by Dr. Julie Smith

Ever wanted to learn the top tips you’d learn in therapy without going to therapy? Why Has Nobody Told Me This Before? might be the book for you. This guide is about strengthening and staying steady in your mental health using therapist-approved tactics. Dr. Julie Smith’s incredible techniques and coping mechanisms are perfect for living with anxiety, criticism, depression, low self-confidence, and low motivation. The book highlights common mental health concerns and easy-to-utilize answers, all in a highly readable format.  

“This book is filled with actionable tools and written in a conversational tone that makes it very relatable, understandable and encouraging! Sometimes we feel alone in our emotions and this book has proven to me that the things I think on and feel are not specific to me and that they are things I can actually overcome. I will be coming back to this book again and again.”

“I thought this was just going to be a book. But I love that there are different learning styles addressed in the way this book is laid out. As you're reading about different scenarios or emotional connections, there's also a diagram for a visual representation and they call it a tool. Then (above and beyond) at the back...they have all the "tools" there so that you can fill them out with your own situation and emotions. Love this and highly recommend.”


More Than A Body by Lexie Kite

Authors Lindsay and Lexie Kite’s focus in More Than A Body is simple: despite what our society may say, our body is a positive in our life, no matter how we feel it looks. Lindsay and Lexie use their body image research (they both have PhDs) to create a roadmap to embrace every part of yourself and let go of your own image obsession and “body image resilience.” And yes, that’s even when the media and beauty industry remains image obsessed!

“This book should be mandatory reading for all! Brings up many valid points and has helped me look at myself and others so much differently! Trying to apply all I learned!”

“This is the best book on the subject that I have found so far. Other books on the subject have an angry tone to them, with a lot of blame and shame on society. The authors in this book refreshingly and respectfully recognize society’s tendency towards objectification and explain how to gracefully handle it. They also provide reflection exercises to help women begin to think differently about their body and make choices in clothing and makeup, eating and exercise, that makes sense for them.”


Beyond Beautiful by Anuschka Rees

This is the place to go if you want to read more on body neutrality and proactive self-care. Author Anuschka Rees tackles simple-but-not-simple challenges like finding the confidence to ditch feminine habits that don’t serve you (do you actually feel good after shaving your legs?) and learning to love photos Beyond Beautiful is one you'll keep picking up.

“I LOVE this author. She is able to take concepts and break them down to a point that makes it easy to take purposeful action, even when she’s talking about intangibles, like our self-image and thought patterns. Body neutrality (not the same thing as body positivity) is a relatively new concept for many, but it’s so needed. Rees’ practical instructions for changing the way insecurities about appearance can intrude into our thoughts are easy to understand, but not so simple that it feels like something you’ve already figured out on your own. (Such as “the confidence ladder” - steps to conquer fears of doing something because of the fear of judgment from others; or how to face the insecurities and negative ways we feel brought on by seeing unflattering photos of ourselves). This book is excellent, definitely not a “fluff” book - it digs into the historical, societal, gender and racial issues that affect self-image and it really makes you think. I’d recommend this book to all of the women in my life.”

“This book tackles body image and the scourge of sociocultural obsession with “beauty” in an honest and straightforward way. The reflection questions are helpful for regaining some perspective on this stuff. Physical appearance is one tiny fraction of your identity and your worth as a person, and this book is a great reminder of that essential truth.”


Being In Your Body by Fariha Roisin

Fariha Roisin’s perspective is based on connections. Whether it’s the connection between your body image and comparison to others or the false connection between being thin and being happy, Being In Your Body helps you expand your perception of beauty. Bonus: it has illustrations, and quotes from other noteworthy body-positive celebs.

“I really enjoyed the quotes and thought provoking writing prompts. Really did impact my views a bit. Recommend for your sisters, daughters, brothers, etc. Lets change the world!”

“Great for healing your relationship with your body and dealing with internalized fatphobia."


Compared to Who? by Heather Creekmore 

Heather Creekmore’s book discusses the intersection between body image and religion in Compared to Who? Tackling concerns like low self-confidence and the need for outside approval, it builds heavily on the author’s own experiences. It also includes chapter questions, perfect for book clubs or starting conversations with the women in your life.

“I was browsing for a book on amazon to help with body image issues from a Christian perspective. I had read some other Christian books on this topic but I finished the book still feeling like something was missing. What I really liked about Heather's book was the specific details to my exact issues I was struggling with. I loved her personal stories which made me feel like I got to know her as an author. By the end of the book I felt like I was talking to a friend and she was walking with me, not just telling me what to do."


101 Essays That Will Change The Way You Think by Brianna Wiest

A viral social media sensation, 101 Essays is a compilation of writings that changed Brianna Wiest’s worldview. It covers many topics, with mindset shifters sure to alter your body image. Just a few ideas covered are daily routines and cognitive biases.

“This book is packed full with wisdom and realism. You do not need to read it from cover to cover. You can pick it up and flip through and it doesn’t matter what page you are on, you are bound to have golden nuggets to ponder and change your life with. I highly recommend.”

“I absolutely LOVED this book!! Every essay felt like I was having a conversation with a close friend. Easily 50+ sections I marked off to read/reference again.”


Good Vibes, Good Life by Vex King 

Author Vex King had a rough childhood. So you can be sure he’s an authority on Good Vibes, Good Life’s theme of turning negative emotions into good ones. The Instagram guru also covers embracing a “go with the flow” mentality and finding your higher purpose. That sounds like a good vibe to me!

“I loved this book so much I finished it in 3 days! It held my interest and kept me engaged. I would definitely recommend buying!”

“This book changed my life, my mindset, perspective, habits, discipline and literally gave me a second chance at life. I was never the one to read books but I came across this book on Twitter and decided to purchase it. I read the first few chapters, got busy with the last semester of my masters program and never finished it… Couple months later, I graduated and decided to pick up this book again as I was about to embark on a new journey after school. This book has taught me so much and allowed me to live my authentic self, gave me courage to go after my dreams and change my life completely down to my day to day habits. Highly recommend to anyone that’s feeling lost or just needs a fresh perspective on life.”

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