In honour of Valentine’s Day coming up, I decided to put together a list of my favourite books for healthy relationships (and one that is on my “to read” list!). Cultivating a healthy and happy marriage is something that takes effort and intention and what better way to love the person in your life or prepare for a relationship to come than by reading and learning how to foster healthy romantic relationships. All of the books on this list are written by therapists or relationship experts and I know you’ll gain something from every single one.
8 Books For Healthy Relationships That I Recommend
- Hold Me Tight – Sue Johnson
- Sue Johnson is a clinical psychologist who writes about the emotional underpinnings of relationships and how to foster relationships that are emotionally safe and nourishing. Dr. Johnson teaches ways to enhance both parties experience in relationships. If I had to recommend just one book from the list, it would be this one.
- Mating In Captivity – Esther Perel
- Esther Perel is one of my hero’s in couple’s work. She tackles more controversial ideas in relationships and is a brilliant therapist and researcher. This book looks at cultivating life-long relationships filled with desire.
- The State of Affairs – Esther Perel
- Another Esther recommendation! This one takes a magnifying glass to the experience of affairs which is an interesting thing to consider and reflect on as a way to learn and grow. Affairs are complicated experiences for both parties and understanding why and how they occur and how to heal from them is important work.
- Attached – Amir Levine and Rachel S. F. Heller
- Amir Levine is a brilliant psychiatrist and neuroscientist who has spent time researching “attachment styles”, which impact the way we navigate relationships and stem from the child/caregiver relationships of our childhood. Honestly, this work is so eye opening and important, a must-read.
- The Seven Principles For Making Marriage Work – John Gottman
- John Gottman is the founder of the Gottman Institute, a giant presence in the study of relationships. Many incredible couple’s counsellors in North America utilize tools from their trainings and this book is a great foundation.
- 5 Love Languages – Gary Chapman
- Most people have heard of the 5 Love Languages – words of affirmation (this is my #1!), physical touch, acts of service, gifts, and quality time. This book is where that concept originated and a fairly easy read if you’re curious to learn more.
- Come As You Are – Emily Nagoski
- This book is an exploration of why and how women’s sexuality works and how to enhance your sex life. Disclaimer: this is the only one on the list I haven’t read yet but it has been recommended to me by multiple people so I’m including it!
- Daring Greatly – Brene Brown
- Brene Brown is a researcher who studies shame and vulnerability and the impact both have on the way we move in the world and how we navigate relationships. Honestly, everything Brene puts out into the world is gold but this one is especially relevant to healthy relationships.