There’s nothing quite like a deep therapeutic experience. Whether it’s a six-session coaching stint or a years-long psychoanalytical process, the personal relationship that’s forged lays the basis for insight, growth and transformation. 

But it’s not always the right time. Maybe you’re traveling, deep into getting your startup off the ground, or short on cash. Or maybe you just don’t feel like talking right now. 

It’s always the right time for an awesome book. One that gets you nodding along, highlighting passages, and reconsidering your behaviors, values and beliefs. The type of book that you read and reread, and then recommend incessantly to anyone who’ll listen. These books aren’t quite as good as a real-life coach, but they’re a close second! Enjoy. 

1. The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle

The overarching message of this legendary book about consciousness is that the more present you are, the better your life will be. And all of the striving and planning and trying to better yourself – that’s just your ego talking. In simple, inspiring terms, Tolle gives practical advice on how to be. Just be. And everything else will follow. 




2. Start With Why by Simon Sinek

Whether you’re looking to make changes in your life, relationships, or career, this book will help you to drill down into what’s really important – the “why” behind it all. This is a particularly powerful book if you’re a leader (or aspiring leader), which can help you to build a business plan for your organization and execute it with purpose. 




3. Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl

If Viktor Frankl could find meaning – let alone joy – in Nazi concentration camps, it’s a pretty safe bet that you’ll be able to find the same in your life with the right guidance. The psychotherapeutic method that Frankl explains in this book involves finding a purpose that you can view in a positive way, and then visualizing its realization. This book will reshape the way you think, put the little stuff in perspective, and offer a blueprint for a positive outlook to carry through your life. 




4. The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron

Perhaps an unusual choice for such a list, this book is like an interactive manual for tapping into your creative side. With tasks focused around art and creativity at the of every chapter, Cameron guides her readers through a spiritual journey of expanding horizons and listening to the quieter voices within. Perhaps more of a replacement for an art therapist than a coach, this is a book that you can work your way through at your own pace, going over a chapter whenever you feel like you need to shake things up. 


5. The Road Less Traveled by M. Scott Peck

Written in 1978 by an experienced psychiatrist as something of a summary of insights from his career, this is a book you can read over and over and get something different and beautiful each time. The author breaks down what he sees as the essential elements for fulfillment: discipline, love, faith, and serendipity, pulling apart each as it pertains to the process of spiritual awakening. 



6. The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck by Mark Manson

Ever found yourself thinking, “Ugh, I wish I didn’t care so much”? This book will teach you how. The simple message of this book is that we waste too much of our time and energy on things that are entirely unimportant. Work out what has meaning – and what’s actually in your control – and focus on that. Simple. 




7. Conversations with God by Neil Donald Walsch

If you’re looking for a quick read, this 3,000-page trilogy might not be for you right now. But if you’re looking to throw yourself into something life-changing and inspiring and totally all encompassing – wow. The premise of this book is a conversation between the author and ‘God’ – Walsch sat down at his computer one day and this is what came out. Whether it’s fiction, divinely inspired, or something in between, what follows is a manifesto on religion, spirituality, education, love, politics, family and relationships. So basically everything. It will challenge the way you think and force you to rethink. Prepare to go to sleep hours after you planned – and be a better person for it. 




Featured image by Laura Kapfer on Unsplash