We owe it to ourselves to take care of our minds, bodies, and emotions as much as we can. The world is a messy place, especially right now, which is why we need to make time and space to achieve inner peace. You deserve to be radically happy- and you can’t do your best without feeling your best. Aim to be your healthiest, most authentic self by learning to let go and learning to accept yourself as you are.  If you’re struggling with finding balance, improving your mental health, maintaining healthy relationships with others, or just need a boost of serotonin, check out these titles to guide you through the tumultuous sea known as life.

Zines:

  • Let’s face it: there’s a ton of stigma around mental illnesses. Sharing stories is finding freedom from the stigma and creating power with unified voices. In this way, we help others feel less alone. Making zines is therapy while doing advocacy work and breaking stigma. The process of creating and gathering content, organizing it, wrestling with it to lay it out, and getting it into people’s brains—communicating in a way that they can understand and appreciate is perhaps the greatest comfort and can help deal with mental illness.
  • Unfuck Your Mental Health Paradigm : Unpacking Individual Trauma and Societal Systems of Power | A Workbook by Faith G. Harper
  • A common thread through much self-help and therapy and trauma healing is to focus on what’s misfiring in the brain and learn coping skills to fix it. But what if it’s the world that’s broken, not you? What if your brain is doing exactly what it’s designed to do in response to your experiences with abuse, neglect, oppression, displacement, violence, or upheaval? With this workbook, learn to see your strength and resilience, look at what’s happening outside as well as inside yourself, and frame your trauma recovery in new, empowering terms using the groundbreaking new Power Threat Meaning framework.
  • Unfuck Your Sleep : The #1 Non-Negotiable Necessity For Emotional and Physical Health by Faith G. Harper
  • Untangle your emotions and expectations about money so that you can live your best financial life. Without fear and shame holding you back, it’s more possible to move past all those social barriers to actualizing whatever your money aspirations are, whether that’s getting a raise, getting out of debt, having honest conversations about money with your family, raising your kids to be savers, or wherever your values lead you. This book isn’t about getting rich quick (or necessarily at all)—it’s about figuring out your own economic values and baggage, and learning to be the person in the world you know you have it in you to be.
  • Unfuck Your Intimacy By Faith G. Harper
  • A guide to forming and maintaining healthy relationships. Dating, sex, and forming emotional attachments can be complicated for even the most empathetic, emotionally available, or independent of us but you don’t have to be superhuman to take control of your relationships. This book is designed to help you navigate your intimate relationships while being true to you.
  • Unfuck Your Brain by Faith G. Harper
  • With humor, patience, and lots of swearing, Dr. Faith shows you the science behind what’s going on in your skull and talks you through the process of retraining your brain to respond appropriately to the non-emergencies of everyday life. If you’re working to deal with old traumas, or if you just want to have a more measured and chill response to situations you face all the time, this book can help you put the pieces of the puzzle together and get your life and brain back.
  • Unfuck Your Consent By Faith Harper
  • What does consent mean? Where does this idea come from, and why is it being talked about in a different way now than it was 20 years ago? More importantly, what does it have to do with any of us? How do we make sure other people know what is and isn’t okay with us? How do we navigate life in the post-#MeToo era with dignity, respect, and confidence? Dr. Faith tackles all these questions and more, drawing on her extensive experience to demystify the concept of consent and to help us use it to have awesome lives.
  • Unfuck Your Anger By Faith G. Harper
  • If you’ve ever been so pissed off that you did things that you regretted, or ruined your own day and some other people’s too… or if you feel angry every. single. day. and it’s affecting your health and sleep and love of life… or if you’ve got very good reasons to be mad as hell, and you aren’t going to take it anymore… Dr. Faith will explain what the hell is going on in your brain, how to retrain yourself to deal with enraging situations, and how to let things go and move towards forgiveness in this updated, expanded version of her popular zine.
  • For decades, the U.S. has been obsessed with “self-esteem” or rather with our lack of it. But self-esteem isn’t actually that great, and getting all puffed up about yourself isn’t exactly a recipe for the good life. How about self-compassion instead? Microcosm Publishing bestseller Dr. Faith explains the difference between the two and offers some helpful exercises in developing more compassion for yourself. It’s actually very different, she explains, than letting yourself off the hook for your bullshit. It’s more helpful to accept that you’re human so that you can learn and grow rather than push aside your problems or wallow in your mistakes. Also, kindness to yourself helps you be more kind to other people as well. Everyone wins!
  • Is it time to get over it? You know, whatever the thing is that’s got its claws in you—family stuff, addictions, awful things done to you or by you, a boss that sucks, anger towards your parents, resentment of a friend or a sibling, fear of catastrophic climate change, dread of running into your ex, the realization that you’re never going to write songs like Patti Smith… Whatever it is that’s weighing on you, it can seriously hold you back in life for a good long time. Moving on is, fortunately, more than possible, and whenever you’re ready, Microcosm Publishing bestseller Dr. Faith is here to help. Get up on over that damn thing, with the kind, tough aid of Dr. Faith, who knows what is up.

Stories and advice:

  • In Take Care of Your Self, Iraqi artist and curator Sundus Abdul Hadi turns a critical and inventive eye on the notion of self-care, rejecting the idea that self-care means buying stuff and recasting it as a collective practice rooted in the liberation struggles of the oppressed. Throughout, Abdul Hadi explores the role of art in fostering healing for those affected by racism, war, and displacement, weaving in the artwork of twenty-seven artists of color from diverse backgrounds to identify the points where these struggles intersect. In centering the voices of those often relegated to the margins of the art world and emphasizing the imperative to create safe spaces for artists of color to explore their complicated reactions to oppression, Abdul Hadi casts self-care as a political act rooted in the impulse toward self-determination, empowerment, and healing that animates the work of artists of color across the world.
  • Every Body Shines : Sixteen Stories About Living Fabulously Fat by Cassandra Newbould
  • With 16 stories that feature fat main characters in a multitude of genres and tropes, and written by authors who live those lives too, this anthology celebrates and empowers those who move through life in big bodies. These are diverse, own-voices contemporary, fantasy, and sci-fi stories – providing readers the opportunity to dream and see themselves represented in a kaleidoscope of characters, where fat teens express themselves through fashion, sports, food, music, art, where they undertake quests, take on haters, and fall in love.
  • (Don’t) Call Me Crazy
  • In (Don’t) Call Me Crazy, thirty-three actors, athletes, writers, and artists offer essays, lists, comics, and illustrations that explore a wide range of topics:
      • their personal experiences with mental illness,
      • how we do and don’t talk about mental health,
      • help for better understanding how every person’s brain is wired differently,
      • and what, exactly, might make someone crazy.
  • If you’ve ever struggled with your mental health, or know someone who has, come on in, turn the pages . . . and let’s get talking.
  • In Body Talk, thirty-seven writers, models, actors, musicians, and artists share essays, lists, comics, and illustrations—about everything from size and shape to scoliosis, from eating disorders to cancer, from sexuality and gender identity to the use of makeup as armor. Together, they contribute a broad variety of perspectives on what it’s like to live in their particular bodies—and how their bodies have helped to inform who they are and how they move through the world.
  • F*ck Happiness By Ariel Gore
  • Happiness is big business. Books, consultants, psychologists, organizations, and even governments tout happiness secrets that are backed by scientific findings. The problem is that all of this science is done by and for cis white men. And some of the most vocal of these happiness experts were announcing that women could become happier by espousing “traditional” values and eschewing feminism. Skeptical of this hypothesis, Ariel Gore took a deep dive into the optimism industrial complex, reading the history, combing the research, attending the conferences, interviewing the thought leaders, and exploring her own and her friends’ personal experiences and desires. Fuck Happiness is a nuanced, thoughtful examination of what happiness means and to whom, how it’s played a role in defining modern gender roles and power structures, and how we can all have a more empowered relationship with the pursuit of joy in our lives.
  • Stay Sexy & Don’t Get Murdered by Georgia Hardstark and Karen Kilgariff
  • In Stay Sexy & Don’t Get Murdered, Karen and Georgia focus on the importance of self-advocating and valuing personal safety over being ‘nice’ or ‘helpful.’ They delve into their own pasts, true crime stories, and beyond to discuss meaningful cultural and societal issues with fierce empathy and unapologetic frankness. Sharing never-before-heard stories ranging from their struggles with depression, eating disorders, and addiction, Karen and Georgia irreverently recount their biggest mistakes and deepest fears, reflecting on the formative life events that shaped them into two of the most followed voices in the nation.
  • Directions: Really Good Advice for Getting from Here to There by Hallie Bateman
  • Sometimes we need a little direction in life, whether to see a problem from a new perspective or confirm a gut feeling. Or maybe we just need a little encouragement- an affirmation that will send us sailing into the day with confidence (Admit to yourself that your ass is exquisite). Filled with clarity, inspiration, and just the right dose of humor, Directions provides all that and more. And like, a Magic 8 Ball, it’s always ready for a consultation when you need it: What direction do I need today?

On relationships:

  • Adult friendships are tricky!!! Part manifesto, part guide, The Art of Showing Up is soul medicine for our modern, tech-mediated age. Rachel Wilkerson Miller charts a course to kinder, more thoughtful, and more fulfilling relationships—and, crucially, she reminds us that “you can’t show up for others if you aren’t showing up for yourself first.” Learn to fearlessly define your needs, reclaim your time, and commit to self-care. Feel confident asking for backup when times are tough—and take action when others are in crisis. Meet and care for new friends, and gently end toxic friendships while help your people feel more seen.
  • A comprehensive and fun-to-read guidebook for people of all sexual identities and experience levels, Getting It covers all the bases of hook-up culture from first moves and sex etiquette to navigating nonmonogamy and sexual health. In an era of endless crossed signals and heightened awareness of consent and respect, award-winning author and sex educator Allison Moon shows you how to achieve safe and enjoyable encounters by practicing clear communication and consideration of all parties involved—yourself included. Getting It helps you understand what casual sex means for you and offers an instructive and empowering deep dive into how to get it, do it well, and feel great about it every step of the way. And since we’re all imperfect, Moon offers guidance for how to gracefully recover when you screw up—or get screwed over.
  • Sex From Scratch: Making Your Own Relationship Rules (Updated and Expanded) by Sarah Mirk
  • Modern life calls for modern relationship advice. Sex From Scratch is a love and dating guidebook that gleans real-life knowledge from smart people in a variety of nontraditional relationships. Instead of telling people how to snag a man, seduce a woman, or find “true love,” the book sums up what dozens of diverse folks have learned the hard way over time.
  • Friending: Creating Meaningful, Lasting Adult Friendships by Gina Handley Schmitt
  • Friendships are like any other relationships—when they work, they make our lives better. When they aren’t working, or are hard to find, they make our lives more difficult. Gina Handley Schmitt saw her therapy clients struggling to make and keep close friends, and wrote this book to help solve what is becoming a full-blown friendship crisis in the age of social media. In this book, you’ll learn: How to identify and reach out to potential new friends. How to maintain long term friendships through busy times and life transitions. When and how to state your needs and set boundaries with your friends. Skills for strengthening your friendships by resolving conflicts. The difficult art of ending a friendship. You’ll do all this using the five core skills of being available, authentic, affirming, assertive, and accepting. Life is so much sweeter with good friends by your side!
  • Bang! : Masturbation for People of All Genders by Vic Liu
  • Want to know how to masturbate? Here’s your guide. Whether you’re choking the chicken, flicking the bean, or something in between, masturbation doesn’t have to be a taboo topic. This straightforward, unapologetic illustrated guide to self-pleasure will teach you what you need to know to get to know your own body. This inclusive manual covers basic anatomy, techniques, mindsets, orgasms, troubleshooting, and a wide range of the tools and toys. There are sections on debunking myths, exploring your body for the first time, sex toys, tips from trans people for trans people, and a section on masturbating when you have a physical disability and a caretaker that’s written by disabled folks.
Self Care September: A Vibe Check For Anyone Who Wants To Be Happier

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