Best Books on Self Compassion

Do you want to be kinder to yourself and more compassionate towards others? If yes, then the concept of self-compassion might be something worth exploring.

Self-compassion often gets overlooked in pursuit of higher goals, but understanding it can give us tremendous insight into living a fuller and healthier life. It involves embracing our flaws and understanding that everyone experiences hardship at some point. Through books on self-compassion, women entrepreneurs can learn how to hone this attitude for personal growth and improved wellbeing.

In this blog post, we explore fifteen of the best books on self compassion—books filled with practical advice from experts who have embraced this way of thinking. Together these works provide motivation for developing greater resilience in our lives so we’re better equipped to reach our goals while still staying grounded amidst change or challenge.

What is Self Compassion and Why is It Important

Self-compassion has the power to transform how we perceive, think, and interact with our own personal experience of life. It is a practice of self-care that helps us learn to be kind to ourselves in times of struggle and motivates us to take better care of our mental and physical wellbeing.

The concept combines elements of mindfulness, kindness, and acceptance and is known for its remarkable ability to create positive change. Studies have shown that by embracing the power of self-compassion, we can become less critical or fearful of potential failure and more confident in taking risks.

We also experience improved resilience through being able to comfort ourselves when difficult emotions arise, leading to healthier habits overall. Books on self-compassion are great tools for learning how this powerful practice can positively impact your life – with compassion comes clarity, peace, inner strength and calm.

Woman holding copper bowl for meditation

Overview of the Top 15 Books on Self Compassion

Reading books on self-compassion can help you understand the power of being kind and gentle to yourself, leading to healthier mental states. Two well-known experts in this field are Dr. Kristin Neff and Dr. Christopher Germer, who have both written bestsellers about the concept of self-compassion.

As a foundation for this, Dr. Neff defines it as a three-part process that includes mindfulness – being aware of our experiences and remaining open to them; common humanity – recognizing that we, like all other people, are imperfect beings; and self-kindness – being understanding and gentle with ourselves. With these tools, readers can work towards greater acceptance of their faults and vulnerability thus helping them lead happier lives overall.

Other authors bring their important perspectives to the conversation as well, making it worth considering before leaving on your journey to self-improvement. There are now hundreds of books related to self compassion which offer valuable insights into how you can overcome inner turmoil or challenge yourself out of fear by learning techniques of acceptance and gentleness.

Here is a summary of the 15 most popular self-compassion books:

1. Self-Compassion: The Proven Power of Being Kind to Yourself by psychologist Kristin Neff

Self-compassion is a powerful tool for feeling better, improving mental health, and creating lasting behavior change. In this book, Neff explores the science behind self-compassion and provides practical exercises to help readers cultivate more kindness towards themselves.

The book begins by introducing the concept of self-compassion, exploring why it’s so hard for many of us to be kind to ourselves, and discussing how it differs from other forms of self-care. From there, Neff provides step-by-step exercises to help readers learn how to practice self-compassion, and she also points out potential obstacles that may arise. Finally, the book offers advice for developing a daily habit of self-compassion and explains how it can lead to lasting changes in our lives.

Self-Compassion is full of wisdom and insight, and it’s a great resource for anyone interested in improving their self-care practices. It’s also an invaluable guide to understanding our own inner struggles and learning how to treat ourselves with more kindness. All in all, this book is a must-read for anyone who wants to make positive changes in their life.

Click to find on Amazon

2. Radical Acceptance: Embracing Your Life with the Heart of a Buddha by Tara Brach

Radical Acceptance is a great book about learning to practice radical acceptance and self-compassion. It teaches readers how to recognize their own inner worth, and how to use a mindfulness practice like meditation and yoga to create a more peaceful and meaningful life.

Brach explores topics such as dealing with difficult emotions, breaking down mental barriers that block us from living in harmony with ourselves, others, and the world around us. The book provides guidance on how to cultivate resilience and self-compassion, so readers can overcome difficult challenges with grace and courage.

Ultimately, Radical Acceptance is a powerful guide for learning to embrace life fully with an open heart. By embracing ourselves and our lives in this way, we can learn to find greater joy and contentment.

Click to find on Amazon

3. Lovingkindness: The Revolutionary Art of Happiness by Sharon Salzberg

Lovingkindness is a powerful guide to understanding and cultivating compassion within ourselves and in our relationships with others. This book follows the ancient practice of metta meditation, also known as lovingkindness meditation, to help readers deepen their self-love and create stronger bonds with those around them.

With practical advice, exercises, and inspiring stories from Sharon’s own life and teachings, this book helps readers become more aware of their emotions, how to express them in healthy ways, how to make meaningful connections with others, and how to live an authentic life filled with joy.

By delving into the Buddhist roots of lovingkindness meditation while weaving in modern psychological insights, this book provides timeless guidance for anyone looking to make real changes in their lives. Through a mindful approach, Sharon’s writing encourages readers to explore the depths of their inner being and find true peace in all aspects of life.

Click to find on Amazon

4. The Mindful Path to Self-Compassion: Freeing Yourself from Destructive Thoughts and Emotions by Christopher K. Germer

The Mindful Path to Self-Compassion is a book that introduces readers to the practice of mindfulness and its connection with self-compassion. It explains how to use simple meditation and mindful awareness to reduce suffering, appreciate life more fully, and cultivate an inner sense of security, safety, and courage.

The book covers topics such as understanding the roots of your own suffering, developing acceptance for yourself,and reducing anxiety and depression through mindfulness. It also covers managing difficult emotions in relationships, cultivating loving kindness in all areas of life, recognizing the power of language when it comes to self-talk, setting boundaries when needed and creating healthy behavioral patterns.

This best-selling author provides step-by-step exercises throughout the book for readers to put their newfound knowledge into practice. Ultimately this book serves as an encouraging guide for anyone seeking greater self-awareness, compassion, and peace.

Click to find on Amazon

5. The Compassionate Mind: A New Approach to Life’s Challenges by Paul Gilbert

The Compassionate Mind is a book that introduces readers to a new way of understanding and managing their emotions. The book provides an in-depth look at the biological, psychological and evolutionary roots of emotion, and how different mindsets can influence our behavior and choices.

Gilbert talks about how important it is to be kind to yourself. He gives ideas on how to figure out how you are feeling and deal with hard emotions. His book tells us that if we are nicer to ourselves, we can feel closer to others and find peace in our hearts.

Throughout the book, Gilbert draws from his expertise in evolutionary psychology, psychotherapy, and mindfulness practices to explain why it is so important for us to be aware of our emotions. He argues that self-compassion can help us break unhealthy patterns of behavior and foster a healthier relationship with ourselves.

Gilbert also provides an overview of the various methods that can help us cultivate self-awareness and self-compassion. He offers advice on how to manage difficult emotions, engage in mindful practices, and build compassion for ourselves and others. Throughout the book, Gilbert emphasizes how self-compassion and empathy can be harnessed to create meaningful change in our lives.

Click to find on Amazon

6. The Power of Kindness: The Unexpected Benefits of Leading a Compassionate Life by Piero Ferrucci

The Power of Kindness is a book that explores the importance of human kindness and how it can be an impactful tool for living a more fulfilling life. Through personal stories, real-world examples, and scientific research, Ferrucci examines the benefits of being kind to oneself and others, from improving physical health to increasing resilience in difficult situations.

His book offers guidance on how to cultivate compassion towards oneself and others as well as practical strategies for achieving self-achievement through acts of kindness. Ultimately, The Power of Kindness is an inspiring invitation to live with greater connection and purpose.

Click to find on Amazon

7. The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You’re Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are by Dr. Brené Brown

The Gifts of Imperfection is a book about living life from a place of worthiness, courage and tender self-acceptance. It challenges readers to recognize the power of being imperfect and to embrace vulnerability as a path to true belonging, connection and joy.

This New York Time’s bestseller also offers practical advice on how to cultivate self-compassion, gratitude, curiosity and creativity in order to live a more authentic life. Brown examines topics like fear and shame while providing strategies for cultivating healthy relationships with yourself and others. It’s an inspirational guide that empowers readers to create meaningful change in their lives.

Ultimately, The Gifts of Imperfection encourages us all to let go of who we think we are supposed to be so we can discover our own unique paths towards joy, happiness and fulfillment. By recognizing that perfection does not exist and embracing our imperfections, we can learn to accept ourselves and live life authentically.

This book is an essential read for anyone looking to lead a more meaningful life. Brown’s honest and insightful advice will help you break free from the labels and external factors that hold you back and instead embrace your truth. With this book, you will learn to find true belonging even in the face of uncertainty and discover a life that is filled with courage, connection and joy.

Click to find on Amazon

8. True Refuge: Finding Peace and Freedom in Your Own Awakened Heart by Tara Brach

True Refuge is a powerful book of guided meditations and insight that will help readers transform their lives. It introduces the practice of radical self-acceptance and encourages readers to break down the barriers they have built around themselves, allowing them to access true inner peace.

Through her teaching, Brach reveals how coming home to our own hearts can lead us towards transformation. She shows us how we can take refuge in present moment awareness as an antidote to fear, despair, and feelings of being lost. By cultivating mindfulness, compassion, courage, and loving-kindness in their practice, Brach helps her readers discover what it means to experience freedom from suffering and reclaim their rightful place in life.

In True Refuge, readers learn how to inhabit their lives with courage and trust in order to live with greater freedom. Brach helps her audience free themselves from their struggles and embrace life with joy and connectedness. By the end of this book, readers will have gained clarity and insight into how to find peace within their own lives.

Click to find on Amazon

9. The Mindful Self-Compassion Workbook: A Proven Way to Accept Yourself, Build Inner Strength, and Thrive by Kristin Neff and Christopher K. Germer

The Mindful Self-Compassion Workbook is a practical guide that provides readers with step-by-step exercises and activities to help them cultivate the self-compassion necessary for a healthy, fulfilling life. Readers learn how to be kinder and more understanding of themselves, reducing stress and anxiety, improving relationships, and boosting overall well-being.

The authors provide easy-to-follow guidance on developing self-awareness, recognizing unhelpful thought patterns, managing difficult emotions, and building resilience against life’s challenges. Through this workbook readers will find the tools they need to take control of their lives and become happier, healthier versions of themselves.

The Mindful Self Compassion Workbook offers an invaluable guide towards healing from past traumas and strengthening one’s emotional resilience. It is a must-read for anyone looking to make positive changes in their lives, and cultivate self-compassion and inner strength.

Click to find on Amazon

10. Compassion Focused Therapy: Distinctive Features (CBT Distinctive Features) by Paul Gilbert

Compassion Focused Therapy is an accessible and comprehensive introduction to the practice of compassion-focused therapy (CFT). This book gives a clear overview of the history, origins, theory and practices of CFT. It also provides detailed guidance on how to apply CFT methods in clinical settings.

In addition, it outlines research findings that demonstrate the efficacy of CFT as an effective psychological intervention for mental health conditions such as depression and anxiety. Ultimately, this book offers readers a thorough understanding of compassionate practices that can help them better serve their clients and promote healing.

Click to find on Amazon

11. Well Being: The Five Essential Elements by Tom Rath

Well Being is a comprehensive guide to achieving holistic health and well-being. Through insightful research and engaging stories, the book provides strategies on how to improve physical health, emotional wellbeing, career satisfaction, financial security, and strong social connections for overall success in life.

Readers will gain an understanding of their strengths and weaknesses in these areas as well as learn how to use them to achieve maximum potential. With its easy-to-follow guidance and practical advice, Well Being is an invaluable resource for anyone looking to make positive changes in their life.

Click to find on Amazon

12. : The Everyday Guide to Self-Compassion – Laura Silberstein-Tirch

How to Be Nice to Yourself provides readers with a step-by-step guide for practicing self-compassion and developing kindness towards themselves. Silberstein-Tirch helps readers to identify the barriers that prevent them from being nice to themselves and offers strategies to overcome those obstacles.

The book also includes real stories of people who have successfully implemented her techniques into their lives; providing inspiration and hope that anyone can learn how to be nicer to themselves. With simple yet effective advice, this book is an essential resource for anyone looking to nurture themselves with kindness.

Click to find on Amazon

13. Mindfulness for Bipolar Disorder: How to Find Balance, Manage Your Emotions, and Live Well

with the Ups and Downs of Bipolar by Colleen Carney and Rachel Marie Stone

Mindfulness for Bipolar Disorder is an essential guide for anyone struggling with bipolar disorder. Through mindfulness exercises and strategies, users learn how to cope better with the mood swings and intense emotions associated with this condition.

Additionally, readers will explore practical tools they can use in their everyday life to manage the effects of stress, react more skillfully to difficult situations, and cultivate a sense of peace. With Carney and Stone’s comprehensive advice, readers can turn anxiety into resilience and find balance in even the most challenging of circumstances.

Click to find on Amazon

14. A Path with Heart: A Guide Through the Perils and Promises of Spiritual Life by Jack Kornfield

A Path with Heart is a book that helps you find your way through life’s spiritual path. Filled with stories and teachings from Buddhism, Hinduism, Christianity, and other traditions, the book provides a comprehensive guide to nourish your heart and soul. By learning how to live in harmony with yourself and others, it encourages its readers to discover their own inner wisdom and reveal the gifts of compassion and joy along the journey.

The book also offers practical advice on dealing with difficult emotions like fear while embracing peace, love, courage and kindness. With its message of hope and healing, this book helps awaken spiritual awareness within each one of us.

A Path with Heart has sold millions of copies worldwide since its first publication in 1993, becoming a classic in the field of spiritual literature. It has been praised for its timeless wisdom, tenderness and clarity, providing readers with an essential guide to mindful living. It is an invaluable tool for anyone seeking to live a more conscious and meaningful life.

Click to find on Amazon

15. Unconditional Confidence: How to Transform Your Life with Courage, Compassion and Self-Acceptance by Pema Chödrön.

Unconditional Confidence offers readers a guide to cultivating unconditional self-confidence through embracing courage, compassion, and self-acceptance. It provides practical advice on developing personal relationships, overcoming the fear of failure, and creating healthy habits that can lead to true happiness. Chödrön’s writing is both insightful and inspiring, making it an ideal resource for anyone striving to build greater resilience in their life.

Unconditional Confidence is perfect for those who are ready to make a lasting change in their lives by learning how to be more authentic and kinder toward themselves. With this book as a companion, readers will gain strength from within and find freedom from restricted ways of thinking.

Through stories, meditations, mindfulness exercises, and other tools for transformation, Chödrön invites readers on a journey of self-exploration and growth. With her guidance, readers can expect to develop greater confidence, inner peace, and joy in all aspects of their lives.

This book is perfect for anyone looking to bring more courage into their life and find security within themselves. Through the teachings in Unconditional Confidence, readers will be better equipped to access their true potential and create meaningful changes that lead to lasting happiness. Pema Chödrön offers a refreshing perspective on the power of vulnerability, kindness, and understanding that brings an empowering message of hope to everyone who reads it.

Click to find on Amazon

How to Choose the Right Book for You

Choosing the right book to help you increase self-compassion can be daunting. When selecting a book on self-compassion, take time to consider what aspects are most important for you to focus on. Is it a deeper understanding of self-compassion, is it being able to practice it more?

Determining what your main goals from reading the book would help narrow down your search. Additionally, if looking for advice or support from an expert in the field, think about which authors and book series bring forth solutions that fit your needs best. These amazing books offer different approaches to practicing self-compassion, ranging from traditional mindfulness techniques to more modern mindfulness-based cognitive therapy approaches.

Each book offers its own unique perspective on how we can become kinder and more understanding of ourselves, and how to move away from self-criticism and towards a more compassionate life. Ultimately, no single book will have all the answers but finding one that resonates with both head and heart can set you up more success in meeting your self-care objectives.

Benefits of Practicing Self Compassion

Practicing self-compassion can have numerous benefits for your health and mental well-being. Self-compassion is defined as acknowledging one’s own imperfections and the shared human experience of suffering while treating oneself with kindness, understanding, and compassion. It is not to be mistaken for self-pity or self-indulgence, but rather takes an honest and balanced look at one’s personal strengths and weaknesses without judgement.

Even simply reading the best self-help books on self compassion can help you implement it into your life; by learning different techniques such as mindful awareness and how to negative self talk through positive statements, readers may find themselves in a more accepting state of mind which leads to greater self acceptance. Studies show that regular practice of self-compassion can reduce depression, anxiety, and stress levels while boosting happiness, resilience, body satisfaction, healthy behaviors, and feelings of worthiness – all making for a far healthier lifestyle overall.

Woman standing beside artwork she painted

Keys to Implementing Self Compassion into Your Life

Self-compassion helps to shift our view of ourselves from one steeped in criticism and perfectionism to one that emphasizes self-care, understanding and forgiveness. Taking a compassionate approach toward oneself is key to improved physical and mental health, as well as making better choices in difficult moments.

While there are many books available to help you learn how to be more self-compassionate, the most important step is often the hardest: putting it into practice.

  1. Try to become aware of any harsh internal dialogue that undermines your self worth.
  2. Make a conscious effort each day to replace negative thoughts about yourself with positive ones. We are usually our own worst critic.
  3. Challenge yourself to fill your social circle with self-compassionate people who promote positive self talk and support your growth.
  4. Treat yourself kindly by taking time out for restorative practices such as yoga or meditation so you can replenish your depleted energy.
  5. Be your own best friend. Become the kind of person you’d want in a good friend.

With these simple strategies, you’ll be well on your way towards fostering an environment that nurtures true self-compassion.

Tips for Maintaining a Positive Mindset and Achieving Long-term Goals with Self Compassion

Developing a positive mindset and achieving long-term goals can be a challenge for many. To maximize success, it helps to practice self-compassion.

Self-compassion is an important part of self-care that is about treating yourself with kindness and understanding. It means acknowledging your struggles and hardships, as well as taking the time to nurture and motivate yourself with loving care. Applying these principles opens the door for sustainable success over time because it helps create balance in difficult or challenging situations while also inspiring hope, strength, and resilience so you can continue striving towards your goal.

Books on the topic offer helpful insight into developing this attitude in everyday life. Whether through books or another form of resource, learning more about self-compassion empowers individuals to remain positive, optimistic, and capable when faced with the barriers that come along with pursuing their dream.


Taking the time to learn more about self compassion and its role in our health can help us become a better person, more mindful versions of ourselves who are able to tackle life’s ups and downs with resilience, optimism and grace. With that said, it’s important to recognize that you don’t need a book to practice self-compassion—however, having a trusted resource to refer back to for guidance throughout your journey can be incredibly helpful.

Thankfully, the 15 books highlighted in this blog post provide a wealth of helpful, inspiring advice applicable to anyone who is looking to make emotional well-being a part of their daily routine. By choosing the right book on self-compassion for yourself, you will be making an investment in yourself and your long-term goals.

Remember that being kinder and more compassionate towards yourself is key not only for achieving steadier peace of mind but also for living a healthier lifestyle – mentally and emotionally.

With these thoughts in mind, you are now ready to begin your journey towards greater self-compassion and, ultimately, a more balanced life. Check out our recent post on the best Self-Care Techniques & Tips to make sure you are taking care of yourself. Best of luck!


Pam Wiselogel
Pam Wiselogel

Hi, I'm Pam! A corporate girl turned entrepreneur who has been working from home for over 20 years and loving it. From a corporate IT Director to an online business owner, I found success while working remotely (sometimes in my PJs). I've been able to find balance in life and career and love to share what I've learned with others. With my master's degree in software engineering and a career in technology, my drive is to help others learn how to bypass the hurdles and technology challenges to gain the confidence to build the dream business they've always wanted to reach financial freedom. My work has been quoted on Forbes, Bloomberg, European Business Review, Hive, and Business Partner Magazine to name a few. Click my little head above to read all of my posts!

Work From Home Adviser
Generic selectors
Exact matches only
Search in title
Search in content
Post Type Selectors