20 Best Psychology Books To Improve Your Life

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Here are the top 20 psychology books to help you understand your mind (and improve your life). This list will help you decide which psychology books are best for you.

What Are the Best Psychology Books Available Now?

This year, I’ve read and reviewed a bunch of new psychology books — books written to help us understand ourselves and improve our lives. So here is my list of the top psychology books that have been published in the last few years.

Although I won’t include them in the list of best psychology books (that seems like cheating), I do also want to share with you a bit of info about my psychology workbooks. These aren’t designed for a casual read on a Sunday afternoon. Rather, they are skill-building workbooks to help you better understand yourself and improve your life (they are super useful and actionable!)

Top 20 Psychology Books

The top books below cover a range of topics, spanning from happiness to connection to networking, and they are from a mixture of authors with different backgrounds and areas of expertise.

My favourite psychology books are rooted in science but still fun to read. And rather than using fluffy statements like “You can change your life!” I prefer the books that tell it like it is, teaching us readers exactly what we can do to improve our lives.

For these reasons, the following books are among my favourite psychology books to come out in the last few years.

1. Braving the Wilderness: The Quest for True Belonging and the Courage to Stand Alone

Buy the book: Paperback | Kindle

A timely and important new book that challenges everything we think we know about cultivating true belonging in our communities, organizations, and culture. Brown argues in Braving the Wilderness that we’re experiencing a spiritual crisis of disconnection, and introduces four practices of true belonging that challenge everything we believe about ourselves and each other.

2. Emotional Intelligence 2.0

Buy the book: Paperback | Kindle

​By now, emotional intelligence (EQ) needs little introduction—it’s no secret that EQ is critical to your success. But knowing what EQ is and knowing how to use it to improve your life are two very different things. Emotional Intelligence 2.0 delivers a step-by-step program for increasing your EQ via four, core EQ skills that enable you to achieve your fullest potential.

3. Resilient: How to Grow an Unshakable Core of Calm, Strength, and Happiness

Buy the book: Paperback | Kindle

New York Times bestselling author Dr. Rick Hanson shows you how to develop twelve vital inner strengths hardwired into your own nervous system in his new book Resilient. Then no matter what life throws at you, you’ll be able to feel less stressed, pursue opportunities with confidence, and stay calm and centered in the face of adversity.

4. Friend of a Friend . . .: Understanding the Hidden Networks That Can Transform Your Life and Your Career

Buy the book: Paperback | Kindle

​In this startling new look at the art and science of networking, business school professor David Burkus digs deep to find the unexpected secrets that reveal the best ways to grow your career. Friend of a Friend suggests that we forget the outdated advice you’ve already heard. Learn how to make use of the hidden networks you already have.

5. Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance

Buy the book: Paperback |  Kindle

In her instant, multi-month New York Times bestseller, Angela Duckworth shows anyone striving to succeed that the secret to outstanding achievement is not talent, but a special blend of passion and persistence she calls “grit.

6. The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck: A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life

Buy the book: Paperback | Kindle

In his wildly popular Internet blog, Manson doesn’t sugarcoat or equivocate. He tells it like it is—a dose of raw, refreshing, honest truth that is sorely lacking today. The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F**k is his antidote to the coddling, let’s-all-feel-good mindset that has infected modern society and spoiled a generation, rewarding them with gold medals just for showing up.

7. The Stress-Proof Brain: Master Your Emotional Response to Stress Using Mindfulness and Neuroplasticity

Buy the book: Paperback | Kindle

Modern times are stressful—and it’s killing us. Unfortunately, we can’t avoid the things that stress us out, but we can change how we respond to them. In The Stress-Proof Brain, a clinical psychologist and neuroscience expert offers an original approach to help readers harness the power of positive emotions and overcome stress for good.

8. The Kindfulness Solution: Transforming Your Body and Life Through Greater Awareness and Self-Compassion

Buy the book: Paperback | Kindle​

What do you get when you combine mindfulness and kindness? According to Karen Azeez, author of The Kindfulness Solution, you get kindfulness, a special combination of emotional skills that combine to form a catalyst for real happiness.

Read a review of the book here.

9. The Nature Fix: Why Nature Makes Us Happier, Healthier, and More Creative

Buy the book: Paperback Kindle

From forest trails in Korea, to islands in Finland, to eucalyptus groves in California, Florence Williams investigates the science behind nature’s positive effects on the brain. Delving into brand-new research, she uncovers the powers of the natural world to improve health, promote reflection and innovation, and strengthen our relationships in this book The Nature Fix.

10. The Happiness Hack: How to Take Charge of Your Brain and Program More Happiness into Your Life

Buy the book: Paperback

According to Ellen Petry Leanse, author of The Happiness Hack, billions of us log in to Facebook every day, we send 6 billion text messages daily, and we share 9,000 snaps (on Snapchat) per second. Yet, 1 in 4 Americans feels lonely. We are more connected than ever, but not in the ways that matter for our happiness and well-being.

Read a review of the book here.

​11. How to Break up with Your Phone

Buy the book: Paperback |  Kindle

The book, How to Break up with Your Phone, teaches us, step-by-step, how to build better relationships with our phones so that we can live happier and healthier lives.

Read a review of the book here.

12. Activating Happiness: A Jump-Start Guide to Overcoming Low Motivation, Depression, or Just Feeling Stuck

Buy the book: Paperback |  Kindle

It’s not just big choices that can radically change our lives—sometimes it’s the small ones. Activating Happiness offers powerful, evidence-based strategies to help you conquer low motivation, nix negative moods, and defeat depression by actively making positive choices in small, everyday moments.

13. Log Off: How to Stay Connected after Disconnecting

Buy the book: Paperback |  Kindle

“I used to work 11-hour weekdays and half-day Saturdays, and I was mentally consumed with work for much of the remainder,” Blake Snow reveals in his new book, Log Off: How to Stay Connected after Disconnecting.

Read a review of the book here.

14. Happiness Hacks

Buy the book: Paperback Kindle

You can give yourself a boost of energy and a side of happiness by trying these happiness hacks (from the book Happiness Hacks). It includes 300+ simple ways presented in the book to get – and stay – happy.

Read a review of the book here.

15. The Untethered Soul: The Journey Beyond Yourself

Buy the book: Paperback Kindle

What would it be like to free yourself from limitations and soar beyond your boundaries? What can you do each day to discover inner peace and serenity? The Untethered Soul offers simple yet profound answers to these questions.

16. The Kindness Cure: How the Science of Compassion Can Heal Your Heart and Your World

Buy the book: Paperback | Kindle

It’s time for a kindness revolution. In The Kindness Cure, psychologist Tara Cousineau draws on cutting-edge research in psychology and neuroscience to show how simple practices of kindness—for ourselves, for others, and for our world—can dissolve our feelings of fear and indifference, and open us up to a life of profound happiness.

17. Insight: The Surprising Truth About How Others See Us, How We See Ourselves, and Why the Answers Matter More Than We Think

Buy the book: Paperback | Kindle

Research shows that self-awareness – knowing who we are and how others see us – is the foundation for high performance, smart choices, and lasting relationships.  Integrating hundreds of studies with her own research and work in the Fortune 500 world, Tasha Eurich shows us what it really takes to better understand ourselves on the inside – and how to get others to tell us the honest truth about how we come across.

18. The Art of Thinking Clearly

Buy the book: Paperback | Kindle

Simple, clear, and always surprising, this indispensable book, The Art of Thinking Clearly will change the way you think and transform your decision-making—work, at home, every day. It reveals, in 99 short chapters, the most common errors of judgment, and how to avoid them.

19. Reinforcements: How to Get People to Help You

Buy the book: Paperback | Kindle

Asking people for help isn’t intuitive; in fact, a lot of our instincts are wrong. As a result, we do a poor job of calling in the reinforcements we need, leaving confused or even offended colleagues in our wake. This pragmatic book, Reinforcements: How to Get People to Help You explains how to get it right. With humor, insight, and engaging storytelling, Heidi Grant, PhD, describes how to elicit helpful behavior from your friends, family, and colleagues–in a way that leaves them feeling genuinely happy to lend a hand.

20. Imperfect Courage: Live a Life of Purpose by Leaving Comfort and Going Scared

Buy the book: Paperback Kindle

In Imperfect Courage, the founder of the popular fair trade jewelry brand Noonday Collection shares her story of starting the rapid-growing business that impacts over 4,500 artisans in vulnerable communities across the globe—and invites readers on a journey of transformation, challenging them to trade their comfort zones for a life of impact and adventure.
Want to get more articles that help you boost your happiness and well-being? Join our mailing list.

Also, drumrolls please, our new book and labour of love, Toxic Love Disorder is finally out. It’s a goldmine of information when it comes to toxic and abusive relationships. Do check it out and order your copy now!


Written by Dr. Tchiki Davis
Originally appeared in Berkeley Well-Being Institute

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20 Best Psychology Books To Improve Your Life

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    Kanta Prasad Chauhan

    Thanks Dr. Tchiki

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