Feeling Emotionally Stuck? These 5 Books Will Break Through Your Fog

photo via  Bows & Sequins

photo via Bows & Sequins

It’s no secret that I’ve had a rough go at life lately.

I’ve spent hours pondering how to build my confidence, improve my wellbeing, and love what I do for a living. In my search, I’ve talked to friends, family, mentors and others, but I also started to add books to a list.

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These books have inspired me to work smarter and given me hope at a time when I need it most. I thought, then, “If this list was so life-changing for me, I should share it with the Spire & Co community.”

WEconomy by Craig Kielburger, Holly Branson, and Marc Kielburger

Holly Branson is the daughter of Sir Richard Branson, the eccentric English billionaire who owns Virgin Air, among other companies. This book looks at what motivates us to work and be productive as well as what businesses need to do to improve employee morale, engagement and retention. We’re all looking for that place we can call home and, perhaps, where we can build our careers. Whether you’re curious about what you should be looking for in company culture or wanting to build the right environment for your own employees to feel like their work has meaning, this book is brilliant for everyone.

It’s OK That You’re Not OK by Megan Devine

I lost my grandmother at the end of February. My co-workers gave me their condolences, and life continued. What happened after her passing reminded me of the scene in Trainwreck where Amy talks about her recently deceased father to her boss, who replies “Best way to grieve: don’t do it.” I tried hard not to show my feelings in the workplace or in social settings. Then I found this book by Megan Divine that transforms the way we think about grief. We all need to do it, but our culture tells us we need to bounce back quickly. I know this book will be helpful for anyone who is dealing with loss, pain, and sadness, regardless of the situation.

Option B: Facing Adversity, Building Resilience and Finding Joy by Sheryl Sandberg and Adam Grant

Sheryl Sandberg has some incredible books. This one gets personal, though. Sandberg lost her husband suddenly while on vacation in Mexico in 2015. She teamed up with psychologist Adam Grant, and together they wrote Option B, a book that explores stories of overcoming adversity, offers advice on how to talk to and help those struggling, and provides tips on how to build resilience in your own life.

This book has been sitting around my parents’ house for a while, and when I came to terms with my own grief, I knew I needed this book. It’s not just a book, either: there’s a companion website and nonprofit that connects people to experience-specific Option B online communities. You can also read stories about how others have found happiness after life-altering events.


Outliers: The Story of Success by Malcolm Gladwell

I first discovered Malcolm Gladwell in high school when this book was assigned reading one summer. It blew me away. He posits that success has just as much to do with luck, circumstances and timing as it does with your ability. It’s literally about being born in the right place at the right time in history. It’s all about using the cultural, technological and political changes occurring to your advantage. When going through my own personal difficulties, this book reminds me that if I make a strategic career choice that also happens to be something I enjoy and am good at, I can make my success. We all can.

Get Ahead by Going Abroad: A Woman’s Guide to Fast-Track Career Success by Stacie N. Berdan and Perry C. Yeatman

I’ve read this book so many times that the spine is nice and worn. Every time I lose my focus, especially when I’m down, I turn to this book. It’s a quick read, and you can pick the chapter or section that applies to your situation.

It’s full of useful advice from and stories and surveys of strong, independent women who have built incredible careers by going abroad at some point. As a young woman with big aspirations, I’m also overwhelmed by those plans and desires. Can I achieve all of the things I want to? Is this the right thing for me to do? Do I even know how to do this? The answer is: yes; and Get Ahead by Going Abroad reminds me of that every time.

What books have you read lately that uplift, motivate or inspire you to be the best you can be? Share with us in the comments below!

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