Summer Reading List for a Healthy and Happy Mind
DR. NICOLA MCCAFFREY

Summer Reading List for a Healthy and Happy Mind

With many of us facing the prospect of a socially distant holiday at home we are all going to be in the need of a good book to indulge in over the coming months. Perhaps you’ve avidly been buying on amazon and you’re beginning to make a dent in that stack of books you’ve collected over lockdown or maybe you are awaiting inspiration and direction unsure of where to turn to next.
23.June 2020 Nicola McCaffrey June 2020

Whilst I love to get lost in fiction, reading a few motivational books that encourage me to learn, grow and generally live my best life are always in my collection. This year I’ve collated a list of some of my favourites. Written by prominent leaders, successful entrepreneurs and leading health experts, some of these books have been out for a whilst whilst others have just been put on the sales shelves recently. However, they all share one thing: the advice, stories and research contained within the pages urges us to reflect, notice and change.

Happy reading and happy summer!

Permission to Feel by Professor Marc Brackett
“It’s possible to distract ourselves to such a degree that we avoid dealing with anything difficult—even when our lives would be improved by facing reality and doing something about it.”

Marc Brackett has dedicated his life to studying emotions and to teaching us what he has learnt. In his book Permission to Feel Brackett talks about how emotional literacy – being able to recognise, name, and understand our feelings – affects everything from learning, decision making, and creativity, to relationships, health, and performance.

Me and my White Supremacy by Layla Saad
“White supremacy is a system you have been born into. Whether or not you have known it, it is a system that has granted you unearned privileges, protection, and power.” 

Layla Saad's book Me and my White Supremacy is fundamental resource for those of us who want to challenge white supremacy but feel unsure where to begin. This transformative and enlightening book encourages us to examine our own prejudices and relationship to race, ultimately, encouraging us to turn our understanding into action. 

How to do Nothing by Jenny Odell
“It is with acts of attention that we decide who to hear, who to see, and who in our world has agency. In this way, attention forms the ground not just for love, but for ethics.” 

Jenny Odell’s compelling and thoughtful book How to Do Nothing is a book we all need to read right now!  In this book Odell reflects on the attention economy and the value of being alone with one’s thoughts. It is with precision, passion, and artfulness she finds the language to meet this cultural moment. She has written a joyful manifesto about resistance and redirecting our attention towards our natural surroundings. If you want some genuine inspiration as to how to exist, resist, and survive in the world as it is today, you won’t be disappointed.

Three Women by Lisa Taddeo
“Women shouldn’t judge one another’s lives, if we haven’t been through one another’s fires.”

Author Lisa Taddeo spent eight years documenting and covering every small nuance in the life of three real women. Taddeo is a talented journalist who captures her subjects every thoughts and feeling creating a relatable and powerful read.

This is a non-fiction book explores female sexuality and desire. It is mystery, thriller, art novel, revelation, and stealthy manifesto all rolled into one. It is both insightful and brutal in its language and raw honesty. Ultimately Three Women asks to explore big questions about who we are allowed to be as women.

Burnout: The Secret to Unlocking the Stress Cycle by Emily Nagoski
 “This is a book is for any woman who has felt overwhelmed and exhausted by everything she had to do, and yet still worried she was not doing ‘enough’.”

This book explores and explains why women experience burnout differently than men, providing a simple, research-based plan to help women reduce stress, manage their emotions and live a meaningful and balanced life.


The themes covered in this book are issues that frequently come up in my work as a therapist. The Nagoski sisters have published an eye-opening, compassionate and optimistic book that will transform the way we think about and manage stress. It empowers women to recognised their stress cycles and thrive under pressure creating positive and lasting change.

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