Boost Your Self-Care with These New Books and Podcasts

From eating mindfully to discovering your inner power, here are five new books and three podcasts the Mindful editors recommend.

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5 Mindfulness Books to Boost Your Self-Care

1) Self-Compassion for Dummies

Steven Hickman, PsyD •

Is there an oxymoron in the title? To be sure. But, as Steve Hickman observes, “Being willing to purchase a book called Self-Compassion For Dummies means that you are humble and receptive to change, which is actually exactly where you need to be to get the most out of this book.” All humble and receptive readers will discover “a veritable self-compassion buffet” in this new title, which leaves no stone unturned in the service of informing and guiding us to be kinder to ourselves. 

While each chapter focuses on a different aspect of the practice, a key theme throughout is that self-compassion ultimately means asking ourselves one question: “What do I need?” Easier said than done. Hickman—a longtime teacher of Mindful Self-Compassion, and Founding Director of the UC San Diego Center for Mindfulness—leads us in his witty and reassuring way, starting with defining self-compassion and its three components of mindfulness, common humanity, and kindness. He briefs us on the science of self-compassion, followed by sections like “How Kindness Transforms in the Fire of Life,” and “Dancing with the Inner Critic and Making Change.” We unpack myths about self-compassion: that it’s “soft” or “feminine,” or that it’ll make you lose your edge—in fact self compassion (like mindfulness) is more likely to up your purpose, motivation, and clarity. At the same time, it does ask us to be less hard on ourselves: “ Moments of self-compassion are actually moments of ease, comfort, and encouragement, not striving, forcing, or berating,” Hickman reminds us. Self-compassion isn’t a mechanism to push through or ignore difficult emotions. Rather, it’s “a means of encountering these feelings, not to control them but to change your relationship with them”—and this book will do as much as any book can to teach you how. – AT

2) Savor Every Bite

Mindful Ways to Eat, Love Your Body, and Live with Joy

Lynn Rossy • New Harbinger

The relationship a person has with food is an intimate one. As a toddler, you might look at food as a plaything—but as we grow older our relationship with food can become complicated, as it begins to influence how we view ourselves and our self-worth. Lynn Rossy’s Savor Every Bite is a compassionate response to a culture with extremely strict beauty standards, a culture that often makes a lot of us feel like outsiders. It’s a book that attempts to cut through the external noise and invites us to simply listen to our body and heart. Rossy breaks down a journey of self-love and discovery into five chapters including short mindful practices, with a clear and distinct goal: to love your whole self, rather than picking it apart. – OL

3) Mindfulness for Teenage Anxiety 2nd Edition

Christopher Willard, PsyD • New Harbinger

In the seven years since the first edition of this practical, approachable workbook, the number of teens who report living with anxiety has doubled, from one in six to one in three. So this revised and updated edition is welcome, with new material on social media, school anxiety, bullying, and more. Christopher Willard brings years of experience with young people to bear in this clear, simple, deep but never clinical examination of what anxiety is and feels like, what might trigger it, and how mindfulness can help ease it. The workbook is addressed directly to teens and it takes them seriously, neither trying to seem cool, nor talking down to them. The workbook exercises are thorough and helpful, without being overwhelming, and additional resources are available for download. – SD

4) Teacher Burnout Turnaround

Strategies for Empowered Educators