Here is a list of books to help you heal, smile or even change your outlook on life — during winter or other seasons when life is tough. (Credit: Zen Chung,

While all seasons bring challenges, winter can be especially tough for those who enjoy the sun. Days are shorter, the temperature is colder, and catching the flu is as common as getting stuck in traffic.

Don’t get me wrong, there are beautiful qualities about winter. Snow is breathtakingly beautiful as it covers everything in blankets of white. We get to celebrate the holidays and the new year, and rock our cute winter wear — like our black-and-red plaid pajamas — while sipping hot cocoa or tea. But feelings of boredom, loneliness and depression may creep in. About 5% of adults struggle with seasonal affective disorder, also known as winter depression, and it’s more common in women, according to And in the isolation and loneliness, we may be reminded that we still have a lot of healing to do.

But have no fear, our booklist is here. I’ve included some of my favorite books to help you heal, smile or even change your outlook on life — during winter or other seasons when life is tough. But remember, spring is only just a few days away, so chin up. We’ll see longer sunny days, tulips and maybe even some of those beautiful monarch butterflies in no time. 


The Loneliness Companion by Shrein Bahrami (2019)

Many people experience feelings of loneliness, even extroverts, who are constantly surrounded by people. This practical guide by Shrein Bahrami, a licensed family and marriage therapist, provides special techniques to help readers become comfortable with themselves. And the results? A confident person with high self-esteem, because they love themselves, have healed from their past traumas and have gained a positive approach to their dating and romantic relationships. What more could a woman in her healing journey ask for?


13 Things Mentally Strong People Don’t Do by Amy Morin (2014)

As a psychotherapist and clinical social worker, Amy Morin believes mental strength is just as important as physical strength. This led her to create this book, which takes a different approach by explaining thought patterns and behaviors that hold people back. This includes not worrying about pleasing everyone, not shying away from change, and not wasting time feeling sorry for ourselves, among others. Morin has expanded her series on increasing mental strength by writing “13 Things Mentally Strong Parents Don’t Do,” “13 Things Mentally Strong Women Don’t Do” and “13 Things Strong Kids Do,” which have sold over 1 million copies.


You’re Not Lost by Maxie McCoy (2018)

As a women’s leadership expert, Maxie McCoy has heard a common phrase among young women she’s come across: “I’m so lost.” Yet, McCoy thinks otherwise. In her aptly named book, she helps women readers learn how to build self-confidence and trust their instincts through writing exercises to help develop a doable action plan for their lives. McCoy also shares stories from other women and herself who’ve felt lost at one point in their lives but persevered. By focusing on the action plan instead of the obsessive thought of not knowing where one’s life is headed, McCoy helps women reach their career goals and fully live the life they deserve — previously lost, but now found.


Sponge at Heart: How to Live a Bikini Bottom Life by Melissa Wygand (2019)

As a hardcore SpongeBob SquarePants fan and big kid at heart, when I came across this book in Urban Outfitters, I was immediately intrigued. Written by children’s book author Melissa Wygand, “Sponge at Heart” provides clear ways to improve life, relationships, work and even style. The illustrated pages pack powerful words of wisdom in simple terms that all ages can understand. One of my favorites: “The best kind of gifts come from the heart,” showing an iconic scene where a male fish says to his partner “I couldn’t afford you a present this year, so I got you this box.”


Blessed in the Mess by Joyce Meyer (2022)

When life throws hurdles, it’s often hard to see the good things amidst the chaos. Prompted by her own trials and tribulations, Christian author and Bible teacher Joyce Meyer helps readers learn how to stay positive, have faith, keep a good attitude and look for blessings, even when life seems to be falling apart around us. Meyer also shares her own struggles of dealing with sexual abuse as a child and how that pain led her to make poor relationship decisions. But through God, healing and replacing “why” with “what now,” she has forgiven her parents, found a healthier marriage and helped others by authoring over 100 books that have been translated in more than 100 languages. 


Emotional Self Care for Black Women by Layla Moon (2022)

Experiencing discrimination, poverty and other hardships early in life are not uncommon for many Black women, including author Layla Moon. Yet, all those personal afflictions inspired Moon to help other women of color change their lives for the better. In this book, Moon argues against the classic “be strong” or “ride or die” mentalities to help Black women prioritize their emotional and mental well-being. She shows instead that readers can become the best version of themselves by building a healthy circle of friends, practicing self-care and reclaiming their excellence.


The Little Book of Mindfulness by Patrizia Collard (2013)

The busyness of life prevents many people from staying in the moment, even when life eventually quiets down. Written by British psychotherapist Patrizia Collard, this book provides practical ways for people to relax and silence their minds by narrowing meditation into five to 10-minute sessions per day. Practices incorporate both physical and emotional efforts, including breathing exercises, journaling feelings, increasing gratitude, dealing with anger — and even some unique physical exercises, like the cat stretch. Building these practices into everyday life helps readers become free from stress and have more peace, according to Collard. 


Life Lessons for My Sisters by Natasha Munson (2005)

Motivational speaker Natasha Munson offers techniques for taking action to change our financial, spiritual, and emotional life for the better. She shares how falling in love and getting pregnant by a partner with a cocaine addiction tormented her spirit. She then realized how she had to rely on herself to get out of her own “rut” and began living her life slowly — allowing her to show appreciation, humility and strength while making better decisions.  Munson also includes some inspirational and heartfelt poems throughout the book, designed to be a resource for Black women navigating their lives. Unfortunately, Munson died in 2012 at age 39 from lupus — but her words and life lessons still live on.