Helpful Reading

Here are a few favorites on a variety of topics. They are in no particular order. Just scroll and click on what interests you. And I typically post a new article in my blog once a week, so check there from time to time for topics of interest to you.

Hold Me Tight

Hold Me Tight by Dr. Sue Johnson, 2008, Little, Brown and Company

Dr. Johnson has created a new form of relationship therapy that focuses on the emotional bond we have with each another, with our attachment needs at its heart. The approach is endorsed by the American Psychological Association as scientifically proven with a very high success rate in bringing couples together once again.



Seven Principles Marriage Work

The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work by John Gottman & Nan Silver, Three Rivers Press

This is the classic, a popular book based on solid research, about saving and improving marriages, by a couple whose prolific writings and observational research stands head and shoulders above the rest in their field. They have observed thousands of couples, analyzing their communication patterns and ways to improve them. Their research will guide couples counseling for decades to come.



Mindful Anger

Mindful Anger, A Pathway to Emotional Freedom by Andrea Brandt, 2014, W.W.Norton and Company

Brandt helps to reveal what this strong emotion signals and how we can harness its powerful (and often overwhelming) message to us for good. She discusses styles of anger, like dumpers vs withholders, and their associated behaviors that block your successful communication. Highly recommend.

Happiness Trap

The Happiness Trap by Russ Harris, 2007, Trumpeter Books

This book turns the famous serenity prayer on its head: “Develop the courage to solve those problems that can be solved, the serenity to accept those problems that can’t be solved, and the wisdom to know the difference.”  Harris argues against many of the happiness myths Western society puts forth as truth. Excellent self-help book.



Flourish by Martin E.P. Seligman, 2011, Free Press

One of the best books written on positive psychology by the father of the Positive Psychology movement, covering the permanent building blocks of positive emotion and resilience. His approach has been adopted by the US military to aid soldiers emotionally in performing their best.


Better Than Before

Better Than Before: Mastering the Habits of Our Everyday Lives by Gretchen Rubin, 2015, Crown Publishing Group

Rubin has her own style of health writing, and a quiz that helps you determine what sort of approach to habit change will work for you. She has been popular on Oprah and runs an international blog you can subscribe to for weekly tips. Backed by research, her tips are solid, especially those around what motivates you to change.



What Every Body Saying

What Every Body is Saying by Joe Navarro, 2008, Harper Collins
Great read by an ex-FBI agent on how to decipher body language and its “tells.” More in-depth review here.




Haphazard Evolution

Kluge-The Haphazard Evolution of the Human Mind by Gary Marcus, 2008, First Mariner Books
A tome that argues our minds may not be as elegantly designed as you think, and that “good enough” is what we are in many evolutionary respects.

Quiet Introverts

Quiet-The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking by Susan Cain, 2012, Random House
A great read on what makes an introvert tick, and how the world could use more of us. She has a fabulous TED Talk as well on the topic.

Stumbling Happiness

Stumbling on Happiness by Daniel Gilbert, 2005, Vintage Books

Insight on how we make decisions by a Harvard psychologist that exposes our foibles regarding choices in a witty and relatable fashion.


Positivity by Barbara L. Frederickson, Ph.D., 2009,Three Rivers Press

Frederickson explains the concept of the 3:1 ratio of three positive experiences to one negative, and how this emotional guideline can change your life. It is not as Pollyanna as it sounds, and is backed by solid research, giving much credence to gratitude as a preferred stance towards increased satisfaction in life.


Power of Habit

The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg, 2012, Random House

Offers a clear view of why we have habits, what purpose they serve (or don’t), and how to best change them. I would read this first, then read Rubin’s book Better Than Before. It provides a much needed knowledge basis for how change can take place.


Tension is who you think you should be.

Relaxation is who you are.

relaxation exercise

My Columns

Page’s Perspective, Cape Fear Living Magazine

Community blog contributor, StarNews Online