Nothing says fall to me more than a cup of hot apple cider and a stack of books on my side table.

Some of you know this, many of you don’t: this isn’t my first blog. It’s my third! The last two faded into obscurity but the very first one was called ‘Shelfhelpless’ because I have an eternal love of self-help books.

So for this second blogtober post, I’d like to share six of my favorite shelfhelp books in the hopes that you can find the same sort of joy in them that I have.

Today I share six of my favorite self-help books in the hopes that you can find the same sort of joy in them that I have.

The information in this post is for general purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. This post does contain affiliate links. For more information please see my privacy policy.

Atomic Habits by James Clear

This first book by James Clear is about the small changes we make in our lives that can make big differences, good or bad, in our lives. His main idea is that if we improve by only 1% every day, we can be in a completely different place in one year. I’ve used some of his concepts to restart my meditation practice, kick a bad phone gaming habit, and get back into blogging.

This first book by James Clear is about the small changes we make in our lives that can make big differences, good or bad, in our lives. His main idea is that if we improve by only 1% every day, we can be in a completely different place in one year. I’ve used some of his concepts to restart my meditation practice, kick a bad phone gaming habit, and get back into blogging.

You can check it out here.

How to Breathe by Ashley Neese

How to Breathe by Ashley Neese is part breathwork primer and part reference book. She designed it as an introduction to the importance of breath and its impact on our bodies. But as she said in this Ali Shapiro interview, once you have the practice down you can turn right to the exercise you need. Or, you can let fate be your guide and let the book fall open to what the universe thinks you need.

How to Breathe by Ashley Neese is part breathwork primer and part reference book. She designed it as an introduction to the importance of breath and its impact on our bodies. But as she said in this Ali Shapiro interview, once you have the practice down you can turn right to the exercise you need. Or, you can let fate be your guide and let the book fall open to what the universe thinks you need.

You can find the book here.

How to Stop Feeling Like Shit by Andrea Owen

Andrea Owen’s ‘How to Stop Feeling Like Shit’ is what got me started down my road of mental self-care this year. While I have always been a fan of shelf-help, Andrea’s writing is a no-punches-pulled look at how women internalize the messages of society. She addresses your inner critic, the comparison trap, impostor syndrome and so much more.

Andrea Owen’s ‘How to Stop Feeling Like Shit’ is what got me started down my road of mental self-care this year. While I have always been a fan of shelf-help, Andrea’s writing is a no-punches-pulled look at how women internalize the messages of society. She addresses your inner critic, the comparison trap, impostor syndrome and so much more.

Check out her interview on Being Boss here and find the book here.

Women Who Run with the Wolves by Dr. Clarissa Pinkola Estés

The past three books have been solidly designated as shelf help, but Dr. Carolina Pinkola Estés’s Women Who Run with the Wolves is a different animal entirely. Dr. Estés is a master storyteller, a cantadora, and uses her skills as a Jungian psychoanalyst to show us how fairytales say so much more about the women in them than we think. Through the book, she takes us from maiden to crone, with tales you know from your childhood and will forever change how you think of them. Even though this book isn’t technically shelf help, I know no woman who has read it and remained unchanged.

The past three books have been solidly designated as shelf help, but Dr. Clarissa Pinkola Estés’s Women Who Run with the Wolves is a different animal entirely. Dr. Estés is a master storyteller, a cantadora, and uses her skills as a Jungian psychoanalyst to show us how fairytales say so much more about the women in them than we think. Through the book, she takes us from maiden to crone, with tales you know from your childhood and will forever change how you think of them. Even though this book isn’t technically shelf help, I know no woman who has read it and remained unchanged.

You can find the book here.

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The Little Book of Hygge by Meik Wiking

Hygge is a Danish word that is loosely translated as “coziness”. Think about quiet winter days with snowfall outside the window, books, hot tea, and lit candles and you’ll be on the right track. Meik Wiking’s book posits that one of the reasons the Danes are consistently the happiest people in the world is the way they embrace coziness. My husband read this book right after me and we immediately started implementing hygge practices in our home. It’s brought us closer as a family, brought us closer to nature, and made us more patient and nurturing parents.

Hygge is a Danish word that is loosely translated as “coziness”. Think about quiet winter days with snowfall outside the window, books, hot tea, and lit candles and you’ll be on the right track. Meik Wiking’s book posits that one of the reasons the Danes are consistently the happiest people in the world is the way they embrace coziness. My husband read this book right after me and we immediately started implementing hygge practices in our home. It’s brought us closer as a family, brought us closer to nature, and made us more patient and nurturing parents.

Check it out here!

The Life Changing Magic of Tidying up by Mari Kondo

When the Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up came out, it was quite literally magical and life-changing. I finally had a system to work within. It is supposed to be a one-time thing, but I have a tendency to cycle through it over and over again. I went through it before we moved and now that my little person is a little older we’re going through it again. (Though a little more slowly this time which I will talk about in an upcoming decluttering post.)

If you’ve followed me on Instagram for any length of time, you know that I am in the KonMari fan club. You may not know why. Here’s a family secret: I spent a chunk of time in high school cleaning out a hoarder’s house. It took years for that lesson to properly percolate but every year I tried to make small changes in my life to reduce the stuff in my life.

When the Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up came out, it was quite literally magical and life-changing. I finally had a system to work within. It is supposed to be a one-time thing, but I have a tendency to cycle through it over and over again. I went through it before we moved and now that my little person is a little older we’re going through it again. (Though a little more slowly this time which I will talk about in an upcoming decluttering post.)

I highly recommend both this book and it’s sequel Spark Joy.

You can find The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up here and Spark Joy here.

And that’s it for this list! I have three more lists lined up for the month so make sure to check back if you’re interested in books about women’s health, parenting, or even witchy seasonal reads for fall!

See you tomorrow!

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Resources and Links

Atomic Habits by James Clear

How to Breathe by Ashley Neese

Ashley Neese on Ali Shapiro’s Insatiable Podcast

How to Stop Feeling Like Shit by Andrea Owen

Andrea Owen on the Being Boss podcast

Women Who Run with the Wolves by Dr. Clarissa Pinkola Estés

The Little Book of Hygge by Meik Wiking

The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Mari Kondo

Spark Joy by Mari Kondo

Disclaimer: I am an acupuncturist in the state of Minnesota, and the information falls within my scope of practice in my state. However, unless I have directed you here as your homework I am probably not your acupuncturist. The information in this post is for general purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. As always, check with your own acupuncturist or primary care provider before making any lifestyle changes. This post does not create a patient-practitioner relationship and I am not liable for any losses or damages resulting or relating to the content in this post.

Jessica Gustafson is a licensed acupuncturist in St Paul, MN specializing in women's health and fertility. She loves working with patients through the Health Foundations Birth Center on Grand Avenue in St Paul as well as doing home visits in the Twin Cities area. Check out the services page for more information! ​ ​Follow Reverie Acupuncture on Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram for updates!

Jessica Gustafson is a licensed acupuncturist in St Paul, MN specializing in women’s health and fertility. She loves working with patients through the Health Foundations Birth Center on Grand Avenue in St Paul as well as doing home visits in the Twin Cities area. Check out the services page for more information!

​Follow Reverie Acupuncture on FacebookPinterest and Instagram for updates! Please follow and like Reverie Acupuncture!

Please follow and like Reverie Acupuncture!
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2 Comments

Sarah Harris | makesmewander.com · October 2, 2019 at 2:55 pm

Thank you for this great list! Most are new to me and I’ve been eager to learn more about hygge!

The Ann Dunn Blog · October 2, 2019 at 2:58 pm

I was really wondering how self help and fall could coincide. You did a really good job here with your recommendations. I completely agree with HYGGE. I’ve been meaning to cross that one off my reading list for while and definitely great for getting into the cozy vibes of fall!

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