The 9 Best Books on Psychology

Here’s my list of the 9 best books on psychology, in no particular order.

  1. The Denial of Death by Ernest Becker – Written on his death bed, a look at how all of our anxieties and motivations are ultimately rooted in our fear of our own non-existence. Profound and thought-provoking.
  2. Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl – Frankl also survived Auschwitz, but he also happened to be a celebrated psychiatrist. This book argues for a therapeutic model based on a human sense of meaning, with much of it argued from Frankl’s experiences with the Nazis.
  3. Everything is F*cked: A Book About Hope by Mark Manson – Pumping up my own shit. A look at why we all need hope, but that same hope can often destroy us.
  4. Stumbling on Happiness by Daniel Gilbert – The best book on happiness I’ve ever come across. Gilbert’s take is that the problem isn’t that we can’t find happiness, it’s that we often don’t even know what happiness is.
  5. The Evolving Self by Robert Kegan – Kegan integrates almost 100 years of developmental psychology research into one elegant model of how humans grow and mature.
  6. Thinking: Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman – The Nobel Prize winner’s authoritative description and explanation of the cognitive biases that wreak havoc on our ability to understand the world.
  7. The Happiness Hypothesis by Jonathan Haidt – A wonderful marriage between ancient philosophical wisdom and modern psychological findings. Discusses how old ideas on happiness, success and virtue often have present-day scientific weight to them.
  8. Grit by Angela Duckworth – A definitive look at how resilience or the ability to persist in the face of adversity determines our results more than almost anything else.
  9. Paradox of Choice by Barry Schwartz – An incredibly important idea for living in the age of abundance. Schwartz’s work finds that by multiplying our options and choices, we often become less satisfied with whatever we choose. Huge implications for 21st-century life.

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