They say that when you give up a habit you replace it with something else; turns out, I replaced the glass of wine in my hand with a book. Losing myself in a psychology or neuroscience book wasn’t new to me but learning about addiction was. Luckily, there’s a wealth of book recommendations on the Stop Drinking subreddit on addiction, alcoholism and recovery.
Whether you’re looking for a memoir, a self-help book or you’re interested in learning the psychology behind addiction, there’s something to tickle anybody’s fancy. These recommendations were first published on Reddit but as it’s one of my most-clicked bookmarks, I decided that it deserved to be reshared here for readers that are looking to broaden their reading list.
Primary How-Tos – Books that are the main texts for their approach
- Anonymous – Alcoholics Anonymous (1939) [GoodReads|Audiobook|Free PDF – AA.org] – Primarily written by one of the founders of Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), the “Big Book” describes how to recover from alcoholism and has been the basis for nearly every 12-step program since its inception.
- Canfield, Jack & Andrews, Dave – The 30-Day Sobriety Solution: How to Cut Back or Quit Drinking in the Privacy of Your Own Home (2016) [GoodReads|Audible|Amazon] – The 30-Day Sobriety Solution grew out of Jack Canfield’s decades-long work in self-esteem and success training. Its principles were carefully developed into a program by Dave Andrews and tested by thousands whose amazing stories of recovery are shared throughout the book. Organized into five phases that span 30-day periods, this book guides you through each day with practical exercises that, over time, allow you to more easily make positive choices again and again. “The Sobriety System” is an empowerment program that moves systematically from beliefs (including limiting ones) to feelings and emotions to concrete actions and behaviours that promote better outcomes.
- Carr, Allen – The Easy Way to Stop Drinking (2005) [GoodReads|Amazon|Google] – Carr offers a startling new view of why we drink and how we can escape the addiction. Step by step, with devastating clarity and simplicity, he applies the Easyway™ method, dispelling all the illusions that surround the subject of drinking and that can make it almost impossible to imagine a life without alcohol.
- Grace, Annie – This Naked Mind: Control Alcohol: Find Freedom, Rediscover Happiness & Change Your Life (2015) [GoodReads|Amazon] – This book, without scare tactics, pain or rules, gives you freedom from alcohol. By addressing causes rather than symptoms it is a permanent solution rather than lifetime struggle. It removes the psychological dependence allowing you to easily drink less (or stop drinking). Annie’s clarity, humour and unique ability to blend original research with riveting storytelling ensures you will thoroughly enjoy the process.
- Hardin, Rosemary (Ed.) – SMART Recovery Handbook, 3rd Edition (2013) [GoodReads|Amazon|Smartrecovery.org] – The SMART (Self-Management Addiction Recovery Program) Handbook is written in simple, straightforward language with Tools, exercises, techniques and strategies to help those with drinking and substance-abuse addictive behaviours.
- Nicolaus, Martin – Empowering Your Sober Self: The LifeRing Approach to Addiction Recovery (2009) [GoodReads|Amazon|LifeRing] – Written by the co-founder and C.E.O. of LifeRing Secular Recovery, this book offers a perspective on recovery that can motivate change in clinicians and researchers as well as among individuals struggling to find their sober selves.
- Trimpey, Jack – Rational Recovery: The New Cure for Substance Addiction (1996) [GoodReads|Amazon|Google Books] – More than a philosophy or therapy, and not dependent on spiritual beliefs, Rational Recovery offers an aggressive self-help program to take charge of one’s behaviour immediately. Now this proven process is made available in this unique, user-friendly instruction guide.
Memoirs – Personal stories of drinking and recovery
- Bliss, Tara – High: A Party Girl’s Guide to Peace (2014) – [GoodReads|Amazon|Audiobook] – In her debut book, High: A Party Girls’ Guide to Peace, life coach and yoga teacher Tara Bliss reveals the memories of her pained cycle of bingeing and detoxing and the practices that lifted her up and out; into a life of passion, purpose and peace. High comes to you as your roadmap on how to do the same.
- Burroughs, Augusten – Dry: A Memoir (2004) [GoodReads|Amazon|Google|Audible] – A memoir that’s as moving as it is funny, as heartbreaking as it is real. Dry is the story of love, loss, and Starbucks as a higher power.
- Bydlowska, Jowita – Drunk Mom: A Memoir (2014) [GoodReads|Amazon|Google|Audible] – Three years after giving up drinking, Jowita Bydlowska found herself throwing back a glass of champagne like it was ginger ale. It was a special occasion: a party celebrating the birth of her first child. It also marked Bydlowska’s immediate, full-blown return to crippling alcoholism. This memoir shines a light on the twisted logic of an addicted mind and the powerful, transformative love of one’s child.
- Carr, David – The Night of The Gun: A Reporter Investigates the Darkest Story of His Life – His Own (2008) [GoodReads|Amazon|Google|Audible] – In “The Night of the Gun,” David Carr redefines memoir with the revelatory story of his years as an addict and chronicles his journey from crack-house regular to regular columnist for “The New York Times.” Built on 60 videotaped interviews, legal and medical records, and three years of reporting, The Night of the Gun is a ferocious tale that uses the tools of journalism to fact-check the past.
- Clark, David – Out There: A Story of Ultra Recovery (2015) – [GoodReads|Amazon|Audible] – David Clark went from the rock bottom of bankruptcy, addiction and obesity to becoming an accomplished athlete. In this compelling story of his life, he not only shares his journey with complete honesty, but he also lays out a blueprint for change that anyone can use to redefine what is possible.
- Daniloff, Caleb – Running Ranson Road: Confronting the Past, One Marathon at a Time (2012) [GoodReads|Amazon|Google|Audible] – The monikers drunk, addict, abuser, and boozehound were Caleb Daniloff’s for fifteen years. Now, the introduction that fits him best is My name is Caleb and I am a runner. In this powerful story of ruin, running, and redemption, Daniloff illuminates the connection between running and addiction and shows that the road to recovery is an arduous but conquerable one.
- Delaney, Rob – Mother. Wife. Sister. Human. Warrior. Falcon. Yardstick. Turban. Cabbage. (2013) [GoodReads|Amazon|Google|Audible] – A memoir about sex, death, love, addiction, and fatherhood from one of the stars of the hit series Catastrophe, Rob Delaney – winner of the “Funniest Person on Twitter” at the Comedy Central Comedy Awards.
- Doughty, Mike – The Book of Drugs: A Memoir (2011) [GoodReads|Amazon|Google||Audible] – Mike Doughty first came to prominence as the leader of the band Soul Coughing. He battled addiction, gave up fame when his old band was at the height of its popularity, drove thousands of miles, alone, across America, with just an acoustic guitar. His candid, hilarious, self-lacerating memoir is the story of his band’s rise and bitter collapse, the haunted and darkly comical life of addiction, and the perhaps even weirder world of recovery.
- Hepola, Sarah – Blackout: Remembering The Things I Drank to Forget (2015) [GoodReads|Amazon|Google|Audible] – For Sarah Hepola, alcohol was “the gasoline of all adventure.” She spent her evenings at cocktail parties and dark bars where she proudly stayed till the last call. A memoir of unblinking honesty and poignant, laugh-out-loud humour, BLACKOUT is the story of a woman stumbling into a new kind of adventure–the sober life she never wanted.
- Karr, Mary – Lit: A Memoir (2009) [GoodReads|Amazon|Google] – Lit is about getting drunk and getting sober; becoming a mother by letting go of a mother; learning to write by learning to live. Written with Karr’s relentless honesty, unflinching self-scrutiny, and irreverent, lacerating humour, it is a truly electrifying story of how to grow up as only Mary Karr can tell it.
- Knapp, Caroline – Drinking: A Love Story (1997) [GoodReads|AmazonGoogle|Audible] – Fifteen million Americans a year are plagued with alcoholism. Five million of them are women. Many of them, like Caroline Knapp, started in their early teens and began to use alcohol as “liquid armour,” a way to protect themselves against the difficult realities of life. In this extraordinarily candid and revealing memoir, Knapp offers important insights not only about alcoholism but about life itself and how we learn to cope with it.
- Larson, Joan Matthews – Seven Weeks to Sobriety: The Proven Program to Fight Alcoholism Through Nutrition (1997) [GoodReads|Amazon|Google] – You will learn how to break your addiction to alcohol and end your cravings—and do it under your own power. Here, step-by-step is a proven, seven-week program developed by Dr. Joan Matthews Larson at the innovative Health Recovery Center in Minneapolis
- Leonard, Brendan – Sixty Meters to Anywhere (2016) [GoodReads|Amazon|Mountaineers Books] – When Brendan Leonard finished substance abuse treatment at age 23, he was lost. He knew what not to do—not drink alcohol and not get arrested again. But no one had told him what it was that he could do. He quickly realized that he had to reinvent himself, to find something other than alcohol and its social constructions to build his life around. Sixty Meters to Anywhere is the painfully honest story of a life changed by climbing, and the sometimes nervous, sometimes nerve-wracking, and often awkward first years of recovery. In the mountains, Leonard ultimately finds a second chance.
- Levine, Noah – Dharma Punx (2004) [GoodReads|Amazon|Google] – This provocative memoir takes us deep inside the punk scene and moves from anger, rebellion, and self-destruction, to health, service to others, and genuine spiritual growth. Levine’s unique and skillfully related journey will appeal to punks, Buddhists, and anyone interested in the idea of redemption.
- Lewis, Marc – Memoirs of an Addicted Brain: A Neuroscientist Examines his Former Life on Drugs (2013) [GoodReads|Amazon|Google] – Marc Lewis explores his relationship with drugs and alcohol, which took him into a life of desperation, deception, and crime. Lewis recovered to become a developmental psychologist and researcher in neuroscience. In Memoirs of an Addicted Brain, he applies his professional expertise to a study of his former self, using the story of his own journey through addiction to tell the universal story of addictions of every kind.
- Moyers, William Cope – Broken: My Story of Addiction (2007) [GoodReads|Amazon|Google|Audible] – The eldest son of journalist Bill Moyers, William Cope Moyers relates with unforgettable clarity the story of how a young man with every advantage found himself spiraling into a love affair with crack cocaine that led him to the brink of death-and how a deep spirituality allowed him to conquer his shame, transform his life, and dedicate himself to changing America’s politics of addiction.
- Naus, Joseph W. – Straight Pepper Diet: A Memoir (2015) [GoodReads|Amazon|Google] – Pepperdine Law grad and former attorney, Joseph W. Naus, is the author of Straight Pepper Diet, a harrowing and sometimes hilarious memoir about surviving the aftermath of sex and alcohol addiction. Straight Pepper Diet is a book about surviving one’s own wreckage. It’s harrowing, sometimes hilarious, and surprisingly hope-filled.
- Scoblic, Sacha Z. – Unwasted: My Lush Sobriety (2011) [GoodReads|Amazon|Google] – When Sacha Z. Scoblic was drinking, she was a rock star; the days were rough and the nights filled with laughter and blackouts. Then she gave it up. She had to. Here are her adventures in an utterly and maddeningly sober world, and how she discovered that nothing is as odd and fantastic as life without a drink in hand.
- Stark, Jill – High Sobriety: My Year Without Booze (2013) [GoodReads|Amazon|Google] – Booze dominated Jill Stark’s social life from her first sip of beer at 13 through the age of 35, when, after a hangover, she made the decision to give up alcohol. This lively memoir charts Jill’s tumultuous year on the wagon as she copes with the stress of the newsroom sober, tackles the dating scene on soda water, learns to watch football without beer, and deals with censure from friends and colleagues.
- Tuschel, Mark A. – Living Sober Sucks (But Living Drunk Sucks More) (2009) [GoodReads|Amazon|Google] – Living Sober Sucks is not an anti-alcohol book, it is a descriptive nonfiction work that offers strategies, techniques and ideas to stop letting alcohol run someone’s total existence. It is based on the premise that drinking is a choice and can be controlled with willpower, but only once willpower is understood and alcohol is respected for what it is and does.
- Vargas, Elizabeth – Between Breaths: A Memoir of Panic and Addiction (2016) [GoodReads|Amazon|Google|Audible] – Vargas discusses her accounts of growing up with anxiety-which began suddenly at the age of six when her father served in Vietnam-and how she dealt with this anxiety as she came of age, to her eventually turning to alcohol for relief. She tells of how she found herself living in denial, about the extent of her addiction and keeping her dependency a secret for so long. She addresses her time in rehab, her first year of sobriety, and the guilt she felt as a working mother who had never found the right balance.
- Zailckas, Koren – Smashed: Story of a Drunken Girlhood (2006) [GoodReads|Amazon|Google] – Eye-opening and utterly gripping, Koren Zailckas’s story is that of thousands of girls like her who are not alcoholics—yet—but who routinely use booze as a shortcut to courage and a stand-in for good judgment. Smashed is a sober look at how she got there and, after years of blackouts and smashups, what it took for her to realize she had to stop drinking.
General Quitting Support Books – Guides, workbooks, and non-approach-specific support
- Beck, Craig – Alcohol Lied to Me: The Intelligent Way to Escape Alcohol Addiction (2012) [GoodReads|Amazon|Audible] – Craig was a successful & functioning professional man in spite of a ‘2 bottles of wine a night’ drinking habit. For 20 years he struggled with problem drinking, all the time refusing to label himself an alcoholic because he didn’t believe he met the stereotypical image that the word portrayed. Slowly he discovered the truth about alcohol addiction & one by one all the lies he had previously believed started to fall apart. For the first time, he noticed that he genuinely didn’t want to drink anymore. In this book, he will lead you through the same amazing process.
- Benton, Sarah Allen – Understanding the High-functioning Alcoholic: Professional Views and Personal Insights (2009) [GoodReads|Amazon|Google] – Mental health counselor Sarah Benton takes us into the worlds and minds of so-called high-functioning alcoholics, to understand how people so intelligent and achievement-oriented get drawn into states in which they secretly cannot control their liquor consumption but still manage to excel in their careers.
- Dorsman, Jerry – How to Quit Drinking without AA: A Complete Self-Help Guide (1997) [GoodReads|Amazon|Google] – Inside this life-affirming book is the new beginning you’re looking for – proven methods that will help you be successful on your own terms. Certified addictions counsellor and 16-year recovering alcoholic Jerry Dorsman offers more than 100 proven techniques to gain control of your recovery.
- Fletcher, Anne M. – Sober for Good: New Solutions for Drinking Problems – Advice from Those Who Have Succeeded[GoodReads|Amazon|Google] – Weaving together the success stories of ordinary people and the latest scientific research on the subject, Fletcher uncovers a vital truth: no single path to sobriety is right for every individual. There are many ways to get sober – and stay sober. Sober for Good is for anyone who has ever struggled not to drink, coped with someone who has a drinking problem, or secretly wondered, “Do I drink too much?”
- Fox, Vince – Addiction, Change, and Choice: The New View of Alcoholism (1993) [GoodReads|Amazon|Google] – This book covers the most important issues in the complex area of problem drinking, honestly advocating alternative approaches to treatment and exposing the problems with AA and other traditional programs.
- Hafner, Sarah – Nice Girls Don’t Drink: Stories of Recovery (1992) [GoodReads|Amazon|Google] – With skill and compassion, Sarah Hafner, a recovering alcoholic, elicits from 18 women their struggles and triumphs as they fought alcoholism in a society where women cross-section of women, Hafner makes readily available the identification process found so helpful in various recovery programs.
- Johnson, Vernon E. – I’ll Quit Tomorrow: A Practical Guide to Alcoholism Treatment (1990) [GoodReads|Amazon|Google] – This bestselling recovery classic has helped untold thousands of alcoholics onto the road to recovery. Written by the founder of the Johnson Institute in Minneapolis, one of the country’s most successful training programs for treatment providers, I’ll Quit Tomorrow present the concepts and methods that have brought new hope to alcoholics and their families, friends, and employers.
- Levine, Noah – Refuge Recovery: A Buddhist Path to Recovering from Addiction (2014) [GoodReads|Amazon|Google] – Refuge Recovery is a Buddhist-oriented, nontheistic recovery program that does not ask anyone to believe anything, only to trust the process and do the hard work of recovery. Noah Levine, M.A., has been using Buddhist practices to recover from addiction since 1988. He is the founding teacher of Against the Stream Buddhist Meditation Society.
- Peele, Stanton & Thompson, Isle – Recover!: Stop Thinking Like an Addict and Reclaim Your Life with The PERFECT Program (2014) [GoodReads|Amazon|Google] – Addiction expert Stanton Peele demystifies addiction and offers a groundbreaking program that puts at your disposal what does work in treatment and recovery. Dr. Peele’s PERFECT Program takes you through the key concepts of mindfulness–that is, your ability to detach from your addictive experience and to see that it is not who you are–combined with the Buddhist idea of loving kindness, or self-acceptance.
- Powter, Susan – Sober… and Staying That Way: The Missing Link in The Cure for Alcoholism (1999) [GoodReads|Amazon|Google] – Sober…and Staying That Way will show you how to get away forever from the shame-based sobriety programs, and how to work toward integrating nearly four decades of well-established research with information that is now available to you and to those you love for the treatment of the disease of alcoholism.
- Pluymen, Bert – The Thinking Person’s Guide to Sobriety (2000) [GoodReads|Amazon|Google] – This book is Bert Pluymen’s story of struggle and triumph over alcohol addiction. It also contains insightful, witty, uplifting, and wryly humorous stories of the many people Pluymen met who were also searching for sobriety. This is an informative book that will shed new light on how alcohol abuse can ruin people’s lives—even if they thought it could never happen to them.
- Rogers, Ronald L. & McMillin, Chandler Scott – Relapse Traps: How to Avoid the 12 Most Common Pitfalls in Recovery (1991) [Amazon|Google] – There are certain attitudes and behaviors, or “ elapse traps,” that predispose a recovering alcoholic or addict to return to former addictions, according to Rogers and McMillin. This thoughtfully written and accessible book will be valuable to those in recovery or those working with addicts and their families.
- Sinister, Bucky – Still Standing: Addicts Talk About Living Sober (2011) [GoodReads|Amazon|Google] – Stories heal, and Bucky Sinister, sober since February 19th, 2002, and a veteran of the punk rock and spoken word scene, brings the stories from the trenches about how to get sober, stay sober, and live sober. Still Standing is about the stories that heal you, and the hard times that don’t kill you.
- Spiegelman, Erica – Rewired: A Bold New Approach to Addiction and Recovery (2015) [GoodReads|Amazon] – Centered on the concept of self-actualization, Rewired addresses not only physical sobriety, but a mental, emotional, and spiritual sobriety by learning to identify key principles, including authenticity, honesty, gratitude, and understanding a need for solitude. Rewired teaches patience and compassion, the two cornerstones of a new, humanist approach to curing addiction.
- Steinberg, Neil – Out of the Wreck I Rise: A Literary Companion to Recovery (2016) [GoodReads|Amazon|Google Books] – Structured to follow the arduous steps to sobriety, the book marshals the wisdom of centuries and explores essential topics, including the importance of time, navigating family and friends, Alcoholics Anonymous, relapse, and what Raymond Carver calls “gravy,” the reward that is recovery.
- Wholey, Dennis – The Courage to Change: Personal Conversations About Alcoholism with Dennis Wholey (1988) [GoodReads|Amazon|Google] – In this powerful, inspiring volume, former “Late Night America” host and recovering alcoholic Dennis Wholey tells his story. In addition, celebrities from Doc Severinson to Sid Caesar to Jason Robards speak in their own words about the devastating effects of alcoholism.
12-Step-Specific Literature – Books oriented towards a 12-step approach to quitting drinking
- Anonymous – Twenty-Four Hours a Day: 365 Daily Meditations for the Recovering Alcoholic (1954) [GoodReads|Amazon|AA.org] – Since 1954, Twenty-Four Hours a Day has become a stable force in the recovery of many alcoholics throughout the world. With over nine million copies in print (the original text has been revised), this “little black book” offers daily thoughts, meditations, and prayers for living a clean and sober life.
- Anonymous – Living Sober (2002) [GoodReads|Amazon|Google] – Living Sober is an informative book which does not offer a plan for getting sober but does offer us sound advice about how to stay sober. Basic, essential information from Alcoholics Anonymous. As the book states, “Anyone can get sober. The trick is to live sober.”
- Anonymous – Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions (1952) [GoodReads|Amazon|AA.org] – A co-founder of Alcoholics Anonymous tells how members recover and how the society functions.
- Ash, Mel – The Zen of Recovery (1993) [GoodReads|Amazon|Google|Audible] – Courageously drawing from his lifetime of experience as an abused child, alcoholic, Zen student, and dharma teacher, author Mel Ash gives readers a solid grounding in the Twelve Steps and the Eightfold Path and shows their useful similarities for those in recovery.
- Cleveland, Martha – The Alternative 12-Steps: A Secular Guide to Recovery (1991) – [GoodReads|Amazon|Google|[Audible]()] – A unique book that makes a significant difference for everyone who would like to work a 12-step program but has religious issues in the way.
- Griffin, Kevin – One Breath at a Time: Buddhism and the Twelve Steps (2004) [GoodReads|Amazon|Google] – The author, a Buddhist meditation teacher and longtime Twelve Step practitioner, weaves his personal story of recovery with traditional Buddhist teachings. The book takes us on a journey through the Steps, examining critical Twelve Step ideas like Powerlessness, Higher Power, and Moral Inventory through the lens of Buddhism.
- Z, Phillip – A Skeptic’s Guide to the 12 Steps (1990) [GoodReads|Amazon|Google] – In A Skeptic’s Guide to the 12 Steps, the author investigates each of the Twelve Steps to gain a deeper understanding of a higher power. He examines what may seem like “unsettling” concepts to us including surrendering one’s will and life to God, and he encourages us to understand the spiritual journey of recovery despite our scepticism.
Science / Psychology / Academic / Clinical – Books that analyze the science and phenomenon of addiction
- Fletcher, Anne M. – Inside Rehab: The Surprising Truth About Addiction Treatment and How to Get Help That Works (2013) [GoodReads|Amazon|Google] – Anne M. Fletcher is a trusted New York Times bestselling health and medical writer who visited 15 addiction treatment centers—from outpatient programs for the indigent to famous celebrity rehabs; from the sites of renowned Twelve-Step centers to several unconventional programs—to find out what really happens. What she reveals ranges from inspirational to irresponsible, and, in some cases, potentially dangerous.
- Ketcham, Katherine & Milam, James – Under The Influence: A Guide to the Myths and Realities of Alcoholism (1984) [GoodReads|Amazon|Google] – Based on groundbreaking scientific research, Under The Influence examine the physical factors that set alcoholics and non-alcoholics apart, and suggests a bold, stigma-free way of understanding and treating the alcoholic.
- Ketcham, Katherine & Asbury, William F. & Schulstad, Mel & Ciaramicoli, Arthur P. – Beyond the Influence: Understanding and Defeating Alcoholism (2000) [GoodReads|Amazon|Google] – Continuing where the prior book left off, Beyond the Influence, clearly explains the neurological nature of the disease and reveals why some people drink addictively and others do not. It also spells out what needs to be done to treat alcoholism.
- Lewis, Marc – The Biology of Desire: Why Addiction Is Not a Disease (2015) [GoodReads|Amazon|Google|Audible] – Through the vivid, true stories of five people who journeyed into and out of addiction, a renowned neuroscientist explains why the “disease model” of addiction is wrong and illuminates the path to recovery. Cognitive neuroscientist and former addict Marc Lewis make a convincing case that addiction is not a disease, and shows why the disease model has become an obstacle to healing. Lewis reveals addiction as an unintended consequence of the brain doing what it’s supposed to do-seek pleasure and relief in a world that’s not cooperating.
- Maté, Gabor – In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts: Close Encounters with Addiction (2010) [GoodReads|Amazon|Google|Audible] – Based on Gabor Maté’s two decades of experience as a medical doctor and his groundbreaking work with the severely addicted on Vancouver’s skid row, In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts radically re-envisions this much-misunderstood field by taking a holistic approach. Dr. Maté presents addiction not as a discrete phenomenon confined to an unfortunate or weak-willed few, but as a continuum that runs throughout (and perhaps underpins) our society; not a medical “condition” distinct from the lives it affects, rather the result of a complex interplay among personal history, emotional, and neurological development, brain chemistry, and the drugs (and behaviors) of addiction.
- McGonigal, Kelly – The Willpower Instinct: How Self-Control Works, Why It Matters, and What You Can Do to Get More of It (2011) [GoodReads|Amazon|Google|Audible] – Informed by the latest research and combining cutting-edge insights from psychology, economics, neuroscience, and medicine, The Willpower Instinct explains exactly what willpower is, how it works, and why it matters. The Willpower Instinct combines life-changing prescriptive advice and complementary exercises to help readers with goals ranging from a healthier life to more patient parenting, from greater productivity at work to finally finishing the basement.
- Sheff, David – Clean: Overcoming Addiction and Ending America’s Greatest Tragedy (2014) [GoodReads|Amazon|Google|Audible] – David Sheff spent time with scores of scientists, doctors, counsellors, and addicts and their families, and explored the latest research in psychology, neuroscience, and medicine. In Clean, he reveals how addiction really works, and how we can combat it.
Not drinking-specific – Books the SD community has found helpful for general mental health and positive living
- Bourne, Edmund J. – The Anxiety and Phobia Workbook (2011) [GoodReads|Amazon|Google] – Packed with the most effective skills for assessing and treating anxiety, this workbook can be used alone or as a supplement to therapy to help you develop a full arsenal of skills for quieting worried thoughts and putting yourself back in control.
- Brown, Brene – The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You’re Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are (2010) [GoodReads|Amazon|Google|Audible] – In The Gifts of Imperfection, Brené Brown, a leading expert on shame, authenticity, and belonging, shares ten guideposts on the power of Wholehearted living—a way of engaging with the world from a place of worthiness.
- Burns, David D. – Feeling Good: The New Mood Therapy (2008) [GoodReads|Amazon|Google] – In Feeling Good, psychiatrist, David D. Burns, M.D., outlines techniques that will immediately lift your spirits and help you develop a positive outlook on life and help answer your questions about the many options available for treating depression.
- Duhigg, Charles – The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business (2012) [GoodReads|Amazon|Google|Audible] – In The Power of Habit, reporter Charles Duhigg explains why habits exist and how they can be changed. Duhigg brings to life a whole new understanding of human nature and its potential for transformation.
- Frankl, Victor E. – Man’s Search for Meaning (2006) [GoodReads|Amazon|Google|Audiobook] – Psychiatrist Viktor Frankl’s memoir has riveted generations of readers with its descriptions of life in Nazi death camps and its lessons for spiritual survival. Named among the ten most influential books in America, in it Frankl argues that we cannot avoid suffering but we can choose how to cope with it, find meaning in it, and move forward with renewed purpose.
- Kabat-Zinn, Jon – Wherever You Go, There You Are: Mindfulness Meditation in Everyday Life (1994) [GoodReads|Amazon|Google|Audiobook] – To Kabat-Zinn, meditation is important because it brings about a state of “ mindfulness,” a condition of “being” rather than “doing” during which you pay attention to the moment rather than the past, the future, or the multitudinous distractions of modern life. In this book, he describes different meditative practices and what they can do for the practitioner and it makes learning meditation remarkably easy.
- Markman, Art – Smart Change: Five Tools to Create New and Sustainable Habits in Yourself and Others (2014) [GoodReads|Amazon|Audible] – Smart Change explores the psychological mechanisms that form and maintain habits in individuals and groups and offers real, accessible and actionable advice for changing habits. Markman covers a wide range of habits, from individual behaviours like eating better and exercising regularly to work-related behaviours such as learning effectively and influencing customers’ purchases.
- Reynolds, David K. – Constructive Living (1984) [GoodReads|Amazon|Google] – Constructive Living combines two of the most popular forms of therapy in Japan into one profoundly effective approach that will not only enhance your productivity but bring a flexible, responsive mind – a Zen-like tranquility – to your personal and professional life. Discover the life-changing potential of Morita therapy (based on taking right action in the moment) and Naikan therapy (a way to cultivate your awareness of how the world supports you).
- Tolle, Eckhart – The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment (2004) [GoodReads|Amazon|Google|Audiobook|Free] – Much more than simple principles and platitudes, the book takes readers on an inspiring spiritual journey to find their true and deepest self and reach the ultimate in personal growth and spirituality: the discovery of truth and light. Tolle introduces readers to enlightenment and its natural enemy, the mind. He awakens readers to their role as a creator of pain and shows them how to have a pain-free identity by living fully in the present.