If GenTwenty is your unofficial bible when it comes to navigating your twenties, then you likely know by now that we’re big promoters of “self-care” and “self-love.” As a team and a brand, we believe in the mantras “you can’t pour from an empty cup” and “you are enough.” That’s why I want to share some of my favorite self-care and self-love books.
We know that self-care and self-love are key to being successful in every other facet of your life and so it should come as no surprise that we routinely discuss topics like what self-care means, how to build a foundation of self-love, and how you can best honor yourself.
Six Self-Care And Self-Love Books to Read ASAP
On the topics of self-care and self-love, naturally, come books that highlight the importance of each and how you can prioritize healthy practices in your daily life. I’ve recently become somewhat obsessed with books that fit these topics and feel it only fitting to share some of my favorites. I highly suggest you order these books and line your bookshelves with them ASAP to best serve your mind, body, and soul.
The More or Less Definitive Guide to Self-Care
Author Anna Borges is an award-winning writer, editor, podcast host, and mental health advocate. Her A-to-Z guidebook, The More or Less Definitive Guide to Self-Care, is my favorite book when it comes to defining self-care and highlighting the ways you can honor your self-care. What I appreciate most about Borges’ perspective is that anything can really be a form of self-care, as long as it serves you in a healthy and meaningful way.
In her book, Borges alphabetizes a list of self-care tips she suggests and goes on to explain each one in great detail. For example, for the letter “G” (as in GenTwenty), Borges lists “games, gardening, goal audit, and gratitude” as self-care suggestions. Within each suggestion, Borges explains why each of these activities/hobbies are forms of self-care and how you can use them to benefit your mental health.
In addition to her A-to-Z list of self-care tips, Borges outlines how to live a self-care lifestyle and what that actually means. I especially connected with her explanations for nourishing your body, mind, relationships, and spirit and how self-care isn’t selfish, isn’t an excuse, isn’t self-reliance, isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach, and isn’t a cure.
Borges writes in a sensitive, fun, and engaging way that will give any reader helpful tips to be even just a little bit happier in their mental wellbeing journey.
I Am F*cking Radiant
D.A. Sarac’s self-care journal, I Am F*cking Radiant, is the opposite of what you’d expect out of a self-care book. Rather than promoting self-care habits like bubble baths and yoga, Sarac is all about directly tackling the things in your life that are holding you back.
Sarac attempts to redefine the self-care movement, noting that you don’t need to spend a bunch of money to refocus on yourself and listen to your emotional and mental health needs. Topics like catching enough sleep, developing good habits, getting out of your comfort zone, and learning to love yourself only scratch the surface of this inspiring journal.
Through guided prompts, cheeky sayings, and an empowering attitude, Sarac’s journal is designed for any woman who is ready to take her self-care into her own hands with an interactive, hands-on approach.
My Therapist Says: Advice You Should Probably (Not) Follow
Brought to you by the team behind the famous Instagram account, My Therapist Says, comes another must-have book: My Therapist Says: Advice You Should Probably (Not) Follow. I would argue that this text embodies the term “self-care” loosely, but I still find it relevant in the larger theme of navigating life while managing your anxiety and mental health. Much like the 6 million+ followers My Therapist Says has on Instagram, you will find yourself engrossed with the perspective the founders have on relationships, careers, friendships, therapy, and self-love.
My Therapists Says first caught my attention on Instagram. Their account features hilarious memes, advice, opinions, and confessions. When I came upon their book while shopping in a local bookstore, adding it to my shopping cart was a no-brainer.
My Therapist Says: Advice You Should Probably (Not) Follow is a humorous guide that will give your mental health the validation it’s been seeking for, likely, most of your twenty-something years. Covering topics like ghosting, feminism, astrology, self-awareness, and karmic retribution, this guidebook will empower you, help you unpack any anxiety you’re dealing with, and will likely give you some laughs along the way (which is its own form of self-care, in and of itself).
Bonus – this text includes checklists, a section dedicated to journaling and goal-setting, pages to create your own memes (a hallmark of the My Therapist Says brand), and tips for self-care and addressing your insecurities.
In short, this book contains a lot of content relevant to the obstacles women face in their twenties and how to appropriately manage, maintain, and address the insecurities, anxieties, and challenges we face to overcome them and persevere.
The Subtle Art of Not Giving A F*ck
Written by cheeky and blunt author Mark Manson, The Subtle Art of Not Giving A F*ck is your no-nonsense guide to flourishing in life. It’s written for people who despise self-help books, but still want practical life advice that doesn’t suck. Manson delivers in this direct, crude, and hysterically impolite book that gives you the kind of unexpected self-care you didn’t know you needed: the freedom not to care about everything and anything.
What I appreciate about this book is that Manson offers logical tips to help you approach life with a totally different mindset. His perspective on not caring about everything and only caring about things in life that actually warrant your attention has the potential to set you free from the expectations placed upon you by your family, friends, responsibilities, and society at large.
The Subtle Art of Not Giving A F*ck is not what comes to mind when you think about self-care, but I promise you this guidebook delivers. You’ll find yourself empowered to think about happiness, suffering, the power of choice, failure, saying no, and rejection in a totally new light. Told in direct passages and through storytelling, Manson will help you unpack why you put too much care and importance on things that don’t matter and how to not give a f*ck in a way that will serve your mental health and overall happiness long-term.
The Gift of Self-Love
Give yourself the gift of self-love by grabbing a copy of Mary Jelkovsky’s book, The Gift of Self-Love. Jelkovsky is a well-known speaker, author, podcaster, and women’s retreat host. Her book is not another preachy text about loving yourself as you are. Rather, it’s a workbook designed to help you build confidence, recognize your worth, and help you learn to love yourself.
Organized in three main sections, this book is divided into loving yourself, loving your body, and bringing it all together. Each section contains passages of defining self-love, taking quizzes, responding to self-love challenges, and answering self-love prompts.
What I appreciate most about Jelkovsky’s book is that it’s interactive. Rather than passively reading a book about how to love yourself, this book beckons you to work through the struggles you face with who you are and what you look like. From the stories Jelkovsky shares to help you embrace your true self, the research-based guidance she includes to help you accept who you are, the writing exercises she includes to help you unpack your beliefs and the social pressures you face, and the self-talk guide she includes to help you reframe your thoughts, The Gift of Self-Love will help you accept yourself, believe in yourself, and ultimately love yourself.
With personal praise published in this text by activist Emma Watson, any reader picking up Girl Up by Laura Bates should immediately recognize that this international bestseller is worth the investment. Bates tackles some of the most challenging and ever-evolving hurdles women face in their lifetimes. From social media filters to magazine airbrushing, body dysmorphic disorder to body positivity, mean girls to mental health awareness, sexism to feminism, sex to self-love, this book empowers women to kick ass and claim their woman cards.
I would recommend this title to any woman who has struggled in her journey to love her body as it is and battled her mental health every day as a consequence of the myriad of triggers in advertising, magazines, social media posts, and music lyrics that suggest you aren’t beautiful unless you fit a specific body type. As we all know by now, that mentality is toxic and dangerous, and Bates is here to help empower you to fight sexism, join the feminist movement, and ultimately take control of your thoughts, actions, and life as you learn to accept and love yourself just as you are.
As the warning on the back of the book states, “this book contains feminist limericks, color-by-numbers genitalia, and dancing vaginas.” You know – all the hilarious, bold, and unapologetic necessities to combat ludicrous social pressures and stereotypes as Bates sets the record straight.
GET READING ABOUT SELF-CARE AND SELF-LOVE
Now that you have some new titles to line your bookshelves, get reading! These self-care and self-love books, and many more out there just like them, are bound to help motivate you, empower you, and remind you why you are so deserving of self-care and self-love.
As you reframe your thinking and find healthy habits that work best for you, share your growth with the GenTwenty team! We want to hear what lessons your read worked for you, what didn’t, and what advice you have to impart on the GenTwenty community. Share your updates in the comments below!