32 Best Books on Resilience and Building Mental Strength

Woman sitting on couch reading books on resilience

Whether you’re searching for books on resilience for you, a friend, a family member, or your child, you’re probably looking for ways to build mental strength to:

  • Deal with personal tragedies, such as loss, burnout, trauma, and divorce 
  • Manage sudden adversity, uncertainty, or grief 
  • Support others who are struggling with life’s difficulties

There are numerous books out there that promise to teach you how to bounce back, each one touting inner strength, mental toughness, and emotional resistance. But how do you choose from an abundance of choices, without wasting your time or money? 

We’ve collected the best books on resilience in a curated and time-saving list. You’ll have additional features like quotes, excerpts, videos, and author interviews to give you insights into each one so you can make better choices. 

So, here is your reading list with 32 books on resilience that will inspire you to build mental toughness and emotional resilience even in the most stressful of times.

(In the spirit of resilience, most of the books listed are hyperlinked to Bookshop.org, an online bookseller that supports small independent bookstores worldwide by giving them a portion of every purchase they receive. In the spirit of transparency, this post includes affiliate links to Bookshop.org, which means I may receive a commission if you make a purchase using these links.)

Best resilience books for and by women 

Resilience: Navigating Life, Loss, and the Road to Success — Lisa Lisson

Resilience: navigating love and loss book cover

  • Type: Memoir
  • Goodreads review score: 4.11
  • Amazon review score: 4.9

This book on resilience is the true account of Lisa Lisson’s blissful life that suddenly transformed into a nightmare. 

When her husband suffered a massive heart attack and slipped into a coma, Lisa stood by his side for two years while juggling two jobs: one as vice president of a multinational company and the other as a full-time mother to four children. 

Though she had little hope for her husband’s recovery, she carried on despite the setbacks.

This resilience book is part leadership guide and part memoir. Lisson not only shows you what resilience is and how to carry on when life challenges you to your core, but she inspires you to achieve your ambitions and never give up on your dreams. 

Why read it: If you’re looking for empowerment on how to deal with trauma while raising a family and working your way up the corporate ladder, then this resilience book is for you.

I Am Malala — Malala Yousafzai and Christina Lamb

I am Malala resilience book

  • Type: Memoir/Biography
  • Goodreads score: 4.12
  • Amazon score: 4.7

The true account of a 15-year-old girl shot by the Taliban because she fought for her right to an education. 

This resilience book weaves memoir, historical facts, and Malala’s autobiography to paint a young girl’s grassroots activism and her unwavering belief that one, small voice can change the world. 

Because it did.

Malala’s voice was powerful enough to threaten the same Taliban regime that tried to assassinate her. She survived and went on to be the youngest person to win the Nobel Peace Prize. 

Read an excerpt of I Am Malala.

Malala continues to harness her voice to speak out for women’s rights, equal education, and “books not bullets.”  

Why read it: Also recommended for young adults (YA), this book is one of the best resilience books if you want a lesson in courage and fortitude from a gentle-hearted warrior.  

I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings — Maya Angelou

I know why the caged bird sings book cover

  • Type: Autobiography
  • Goodreads review: 4.25
  • Amazon review: 4.8

One of the most prolific writers of our time, Maya Angelou recounts the unthinkable in I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings, the first book in her seven-volume autobiography. 

Spanning her childhood from age 3 to 17, Angelou tells her stories of resilience as she lives through racism and rape. At once raw, poetic, and harrowing, this resilience book will also have you laughing through the tears. Angelou’s strength and honesty will inspire your heart to sing and your soul to shine.


Why read it: If you’re feeling trapped, pushed aside, or worthless, let Maya Angelou show you that self-love is the key to unlocking your inner joy and strength.

Women Who Run with the Wolves: Myths and Stories of the Wild Woman Archetype — Clarissa Pinkola Estés

Women who run with the wolves book cover

  • Type: Non-Fiction
  • Goodreads review: 4.11
  • Amazon review: 4.7

Psychoanalyst and post-trauma specialist, Clarissa Pinkola Estés, weaves myth, folklore, psychology, and Jungian archetypes into a guidebook to help women unleash their inherent resilience.  

Through oral folktales, this book on resilience teaches you about women’s healthy intuition, natural wisdom, and long-oppressed true power.  

Get a taste of the narrative with this story of The Red Shoes


Why read it: As one of the best resilience books, Women Who Run With The Wolves is a must-read when you’re overwhelmed, stressed out, or depressed. Estés’ book will inspire and empower you to uncage the creative, bold force within. 

Best resilience books for parents

How to Thrive By Building Resilience: A Guide for You and Your Child —Belén del Amo Pérez de Lara

How to thrive by building resilience book cover

  • Type: Non-Fiction
  • Goodreads review: 5.00
  • Amazon review: 5.00

After living in 21 cities by the time she was 24 and losing both parents to cancer, this dynamic author knows resilience well. 

Highly researched and well written, this book on resilience will help you and your children flourish. 

The author balances science-based studies with practical exercises to provide a framework both you and your child can follow. One of the most important takeaways is that once you understand your own resilience, you can teach your children how to develop theirs. 

Why read it: It’s one of the best books on resilience because it’s a valuable read whether or not you have kids. 

The Yes Brain: How to Cultivate Courage, Curiosity, and Resilience in Your Child — Daniel J. Siegel, Tina Payne BrysonThe Yes Brain book cover

  • Type: Non-Fiction
  • Goodreads review: 4.17
  • Amazon review: 4.7

The Yes Brain teaches parents how to raise confident children who say yes to life. With gentle suggestions and a humbling approach, the authors can help you raise your child to embrace their potential. 

“Kids who approach the world from a No Brain state are at the mercy of their circumstances and their feelings. They get stuck in their emotions, unable to shift them, and they complain about their realities rather than finding healthy ways to respond to them. They worry, often obsessively, about facing something new or making a mistake, rather than making decisions in a Yes Brain spirit of openness and curiosity.” ― Daniel J. Siegel and Tina Payne Bryson

The four foundations of a Yes brain (balance, resilience, insight, and empathy) will empower your child to cope better in hard times. 

Why read it: This insightful book is ideal for parents who want to develop their own Yes brain. You’re never too old to learn something new. 

Becoming Nicole: The Transformation of an American Family — Amy Ellis Nutt

Becoming Nicole book cover

  • Type: Biography/Memoir
  • Goodreads review: 4.22
  • Amazon review: 4.6

A family story about the struggle to accept diversity, the resilience to face change, the bravery to transform despite the obstacles, and the strength to face adversity. 

This is the real-life transgender story of Nicole Maines and her family. In this book you’ll discover how they learned from one another, fought for one another, and transformed not just their own lives but the life of an entire community. 

Listen to Nicole talk about her story, covered by ABC news.

Why read it: Read this book to find out how accepting a child’s diversity can unite your family and make you more resilient. Also recommended for YA.

Best resilience books for children

The Hugging Tree: A Story about Resilience — Jill Neimark, Nicole Wong

The hugging tree book cover

  • Type: Children’s Book (age 4-8)
  • Goodreads review: 4.16
  • Amazon review: 4.7

“On a bleak and lonely rock

By a vast and mighty sea

Grew a lonely little tree  

Where no tree should ever be.” 

– Jill Neimark

A picture book in rhyme about a tree growing in harsh circumstances determined to never give up. A resilient story that deals with loneliness, encouragement, empathy, strength, and hope.  

The author provides a special section dedicated to parents, sharing details on resilience and advice on how to raise resilient children. 

Why read it: A useful book to help children not only be more resilient but to help them speak up about dealing with adversity. 

Little Heroes: Courageous People Who Changed the World — Heidi Poelman, Kyle Kershner

Little Heroes book cover

  • Type: Children’s Book/Biography (age 2-5)
  • Goodreads review: 4.38
  • Amazon review: 4.8

A board book to read to your toddlers, this is a tale of eight little heroes, four men and four women, and how they changed the world. 

Through pictures, quotes, and short, simple four-sentence biographies, your child can learn about the courageous people who shaped the society we live in today. It’s also a little lesson in history. 

Be sure you put your feet in the right place, then stand firm. – Abraham Lincoln– Heidi Poelman

Why read it: An excellent starter book to help smaller kids understand and talk about racism and women’s rights. Part of an educational series that will make every child find the courage to change the world. 

My Strong Mind: A Story About Developing Mental Strength — Niels van Hove

My strong mind book cover

  • Type: Children’s Book (age 4-8)
  • Goodreads review: 4.44
  • Amazon review: 4.7

Perfect for primary-school children, My Strong Mind follows Kate as she learns that a can-do attitude and growth mindset can help her deal with her everyday struggles. 

The author based her book on the real-life challenges her young daughters once faced: getting up early, arguing with parents, dealing with the stress of show-and-tell, and being mocked by others. 

A special notes-for-parents section at the end offers information on mental toughness and its four Cs: commitment, control, challenge, and confidence. 

Why read it: An ideal read for kids suffering from anxiety.

Best chapter books about resilience

Front Desk — Kelly Yang

Front desk book cover

  • Type: Fiction (age 8-12)
  • Goodreads review: 4.42
  • Amazon review: 4.8

The daughter of Chinese immigrants, Mia shares her family’s survival story as she helps her parents run a motel… and hide illegal immigrants from the property’s cold-hearted owner. 

Based on her own experiences, Kelly Yang dives into poverty, community, and the resilience to dream. 

Check out this free, 5-minute audio sample, 

Audio Book

And here’s the author, Kelly Yang, responding to a reader who asks if any scenes of the book actually happened,


Why read it: A lesson in willpower, tolerance, diversity, and inclusion. This chapter book about resilience is an empowering read for immigrant children to know they are not alone. 

A Long Walk to Water: Based On A True Story — Linda Sue Park

A long walk to water book cover

  • Type: Fiction (age 10-12)
  • Goodreads review: 4.42
  • Amazon review: 4.8

This chapter book about resilience intertwines two stories from two different time periods: Salva, one of the “lost boy” refugees during the civil war in Sudan in 1985, and Nya, also in Sudan, but in 2008. 

This resilience book deals with the harsh realities of displaced children during wartime, and the struggle to find clean drinking water to survive. 

“Stay calm when things are hard or not going right with you. You will get through it when you persevere instead of quitting. Quitting leads to much less happiness in life than perseverance and hope.” –Salva Dut

Listen to the author introducing the book, 


Why read it: Choose this book if you want An inspiring, heart-wrenching, and educational read.

Note to parents: due to the sensitive nature of this book, we recommend you read this before giving it to your child or read it together with them.

Best graphic novels about resilience for middle schoolers

Real Friends — Shannon Hale, LeUyen Pham

Real friends book cover

  • Type: Graphic Novel/Memoir (age 8-12)
  • Goodreads review: 4.21
  • Amazon review: 4.8

Shannon Hale paints her childhood drama of finding friendship in this middle school resilience book. 

When shy Shannon starts kindergarten, she’s anxious about being on her own for the first time. Luckily, she soon meets Adrienne and they become fast friends. But as they grow older, a popular clique quickly complicates their relationship. 

Here’s a Q&A with the author, Shannon Hale, and a fan:


Why read it: A must-read for how to deal with bullies while steering the rocky transition from childhood to adolescent relationships. This is one of the best resilience books that is also appropriate for kids suffering from the anxiety of trying to fit in and find their tribe.

When Stars Are Scattered — Victoria Jamieson, Omar Mohamed

When stars are scattered book cover

  • Type: Graphic Novel/Memoir (age 9-12)
  • Goodreads review: 4.68
  • Amazon review: 4.9

An introduction to the world’s less-than-rosy realities, Omar Mohamed shares his real-life account of growing up in a refugee camp, parentless and caring for his disabled younger brother. 

Poverty, sickness, famine, and boredom are his daily bread. Yet hope, determination, and faith pervade this resilient graphic novel.  


Why read it: It’s a lesson in empathy, compassion, and gratitude, as well as a moving tribute to the solidarity of foster care. Also recommended as an audiobook.

Best YA books about resilience

Dancing at the Pity Party — Tyler Feder

Dancing at the pity party book cover

  • Type: Graphic Novel/Memoir (age 12-17)
  • Goodreads review: 4.54
  • Amazon review: 4.8

Part memoir, part tribute, and part comic reflection on life, Dancing at the Pity Party is about a teen losing her mother to cancer. 

Tyler Feder will have you laughing through the tears as she takes you on her journey of love, loss, and grief. It’s a poignant account of living through the debilitation and death of a parent, yet finding the resilience to find the humor and joy of life in spite of it all. 


Why read it: If you’ve lost a family member, if you want to read something real and raw, or if you want to be a “grief ally”, this is the book for you. 

Break the Fall — Jennifer Iacopelli

Break the fall book cover

  • Type: Fiction (age 12-17)
  • Goodreads review: 4.13
  • Amazon review: 4.8

Break the Fall is about surviving.

Surviving teenage anxiety. Surviving the strenuous workouts and physical challenges that aspiring gymnasts face. Surviving crippling injuries to compete in a first (and last) Olympics. Surviving sexual assault. Surviving the adversity of adult betrayal. Surviving the non-believers. 

This resilience book shows you how survival rides triumphant on the backs of loyalty, teamwork, #metoo, and girl power.  


Why read it: Break the Fall will inspire you to carry on not just as an individual, but as an empowered team that understands how togetherness builds perseverance. 

Dear Justyce (Dear Martin #2) — Nic Stone

Dear Justyce book cover

  • Type: Fiction (age 14-17)
  • Goodreads review: 4.46
  • Amazon review: 4.8

As a sequel to Nic Stone’s bestseller, Dear Martin, this resilience book pulls you into the flawed world of juvenile incarceration in the United States.

Told in the form of letters between friends, Dear Justyce describes the injustices, discrimination, and racism found in the U.S. judicial system. 


Why read it: Both inspiring and heartbreaking, this novel teaches you resilience through its protagonist as he manages his anxiety, hones his strength of self-belief and friendship, and never loses hope of a better world.

Also recommended for adults. 

Best resilience books for adults who love fiction

Burn Scar: A Contemporary Disaster Thriller — TJ Tao

Burn Scar book cover

  • Type: Fiction/Thriller
  • Goodreads review: 4.63
  • Amazon review: 4.3

It’s rare that fiction books can inspire courage and resilience, but Burn Scar does just that. 

This gripping thriller weaves true stories of wildfire survivors into its telling of one of California’s most destructive natural disasters, the Paradise Camp Fire. 

You may have a hard time putting this one down. Its quick pace will make you feel like you are running from flames licking at your heels. And the real-life examples only bring it closer to home. 

“Only by losing everything, do I gain the freedom to build a life of uncluttered purpose.” ― T.J. Tao

Why read it: A book that touched the hearts of the actual survivors, read Burn Scar to discover how real people can transform into real-life heroes.

The Four Winds — Kristin Hannah

The Four Winds book cover

  • Type: Fiction/Historical Fiction
  • Goodreads review: 4.34
  • Amazon review: 4.5

A number one NY Times bestseller in 2021, The Four Winds is an epic novel about a woman’s courage and resilience during the Dust Bowl era of the Great Depression. 

Spanning a nation and an era, from Texas to California, from the 1920s until WWII, this woman’s survival story forges a path of resilience for herself and her family as they struggle through trying times and nature’s wrath.

“A warrior believes in an end she can’t see and fights for it. A warrior never gives up. A warrior fights for those weaker than herself. It sounds like motherhood to me.” ― Kristin Hannah, The Four Winds

Here’s the author speaking about what inspired her to write this novel:


Why read it: Read The Four Winds to learn how to find strength in adversity and love is the catalyst that buoys you back up even when you’ve touched rock bottom. 

Room — Emma Donoghue

Room book cover

  • Type: Fiction/Drama
  • Goodreads review: 4.07
  • Amazon review: 4.5

Five-year-old Jack narrates his life with Ma, both held captive by Old Nick in an eleven-by-eleven-foot room. 

This award-winning novel by Emma Donoghue takes you on an emotionally turbulent read. Based on true events, Room is an honest narrative of hope, resilience, and love. 


Why read it: An inspiring read showcasing the force of a mother-child bond, undying perseverance, and strong, memorable characters.

Best books on mental toughness

Indomitable! Immigrants’ Stories of Perseverance and Resilience — Margery Leveen Sher

Indomitable book cover

  • Type: Non-Fiction/Biography
  • Goodreads review: 5.0
  • Amazon review: 5.0

Thirty-two immigrants. Thirty-two ordinary people. Each one with a story. 

Stories of personal struggles, where immigration to the United States doesn’t mean receiving a free ride, but the chance for hard-working families to have a better life. 

This book on mental toughness shares true stories of determination and spirit. If you’d like to learn more, check out Margery Leveen Sher’s interview about the book on the podcast, Frankly Speaking With Tyra.

Why read it: Read this book to see how to grow into the resilient human you’re capable of becoming.

Resilience: Why Things Bounce Back — Andrew Zolli and Anne Marie Healey

Resilience why things bounce back book cover

  • Type: Non-Fiction
  • Goodreads review: 3.63
  • Amazon review: 4.0

Why are some people, groups, or governments more resilient than others? This is the question the authors answer, breaking down the concept of resilience in terms of business, organisms, systems, communities, and people.

Highly researched and engaging, this resilience book helps you understand how to adapt to our fast-changing times. 

Here’s a video of excerpts from an interview with one of the co-authors, Andrew Zolli:

Why read it: More profound and in-depth than the other books on this list, choose Why Things Bounce Back if you really want a deep dive into resilience. 

Shoot For The Moon — Richard Wiseman

Shoot for the moon book cover

  • Type: Non-Fiction
  • Goodreads review: 3.89
  • Amazon review: 4.4 

The essence of the Apollo mindset is distilled into a book. 

Ordinary people can achieve the extraordinary, and this book proves how. Through historical anecdotes and practical exercises, you can discover the 8 keys to overcoming obstacles and reaching your goals. 

You’ll learn the importance of pessimism to shape progress and the power of passion to steer you in the right direction. And you’ll never look at failure the same way again. 

Here’s an engaging video that shows the author’s sleight of hand as he summarizes the book’s premise, 

Why read it: This is a delightful book that succeeds in inspiring you to shoot for the moon by grounding your self-help in real examples and entertaining exercises. 

Best military-inspired books to become mentally strong

Unbroken — Laura Hillenbrand

Unbroken book cover

  • Type: Biography
  • Goodreads review: 4.35
  • Amazon review: 4.8

From the author of Seabiscuit, this compelling story of hope follows Louis Zamperini, an Olympic athlete turned World War II airman who crashes into the Pacific Ocean during the war. 

Zamperini survived thirst, hunger, and bloodthirsty sharks until rescued by the wrong hands. After enduring years of torture as a Prisoner of War, Louis arrives home only to face the psychological challenges of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

Learn more about Unbroken with this short interview with the author, Laura Hillenbrand,


Why read it: This inspiring resilience tale comes from an author who knows something about resilience as she copes with chronic fatigue. A resilience lesson in body, mind, and spirit.

Can’t Hurt Me: Master Your Mind and Defy the Odds — David Goggins

Can't hurt me book cover

  • Type: Memoir
  • Goodreads review: 4.36
  • Amazon review: 4.8

A true story of passion, willpower, grit, and resilience. Navy Seal David Goggins triumphed over the ghosts of his past to become one of the most resilient men of all time. 

Though controversial, David pushes himself past his mental limits until he is literally pushing his body to its physical limits.

“The pain that you are willing to endure is measured by how bad you want it.” – David Goggins

Why read it: This resilience book will inspire you to face your fears, overcome limiting beliefs, and destroy the memories holding you back. If you really want to push past your limits and become the master of mind and body, this book is for you. 

In Love And War — Jim and Sybil Stockdale

In love and war book cover

  • Type: Non-fiction/Memoir
  • Goodreads review: 4.39
  • Amazon review: 4.7

Prisoner of war for seven years, Jim Stockdale’s story is an example of resilience at its best. 

“You must never confuse faith that you will prevail in the end — which you can never afford to lose — with the discipline to confront the most brutal facts of your current reality, whatever they might be.” ― Jim Stockdale

Stockdale endured solitary confinement, squalid conditions, and torture during his time as a prisoner of war (POW) in Hanoi during the Vietnam war.

The chapters of Stockdale’s time as a POW alternate with his wife’s recount of how she continued to fight for her missing husband, going head to head with the military and governmental bureaucracy. 


Why read it: If you want to learn how to survive even the worst of times, this couple’s inner strength will show you how.

Best books on resilience to cope with grief

On Grief and Grieving: Finding the Meaning of Grief Through the Five Stages of Loss Elisabeth Kübler-Ross, David Kessler

On grief and grieving book cover

  • Type: Psychology/Non-Fiction
  • Goodreads review: 4.32
  • Amazon review: 4.7

Considered the bible of grief books, psychologist Elisabeth Kübler-Ross walks you through the five stages of loss: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. 

You’ll learn how anger can disguise itself as guilt and how shock can make you feel numb. You’ll discover that “ghost sightings” are perfectly normal and grief takes time. There’s also a special section for loss due to various events, such as suicide or simultaneous multiple losses. 

“The reality is that you will grieve forever. You will not ‘get over’ the loss of a loved one; you will learn to live with it. You will heal and you will rebuild yourself around the loss you have suffered. You will be whole again but you will never be the same. Nor should you be the same nor would you want to.” ― Elizabeth Kubler-Ross and David Kessler

Why read it: Read this book to help you deal with the stages of grief and understand future hurdles you might face. “On Grief and Grieving” lets you take your time as your grief matures, but never goes away. 

Once More We Saw Stars: A Memoir — Jayson Greene

Once more we saw stars book cover

  • Type: Memoir
  • Goodreads review: 4.15
  • Amazon review: 4.6

A parents’ worst nightmare comes true in Once More We Saw Stars.

Jayson Greene shares his family’s grief journey after the sudden death of their two-year-old daughter, Greta.

The first part of this resilience book is a tear-jerking account of the initial trauma and subsequent loss. However, the second half describes the family’s journey as Greene and his wife deal with their grief and find the courage to carry on.   

“If you allow it to be, grief can be a soothing stone temple where you hear only the murmured echoes of your own voice and the voices of your fellow travelers. None of us is expected to accomplish anything concrete while we are here, or to rise to any particular occasion. The mundanities have burned off, and only ultimate meaning remains.” – Jayson Greene, Once More We Saw Stars

Here’s David Kessler (co-author of On Grief and Grieving) interviewing Jayson Greene about Once More We Saw Stars,


Why read it: Choose this book for its intimate, uplifting story of resilience, hope, strength, commitment, and family. A lesson on how love has the power to hold us together through hard times.

Resilient Grieving (How to Find Your Way Through Devastating Loss) Lucy Hone 

Resilient grieving book cover

  • Type: Psychology/Biography
  • Goodreads: 4.24 
  • Amazon: 4.7

Lucy Hone’s resilience book combines resilience psychology with grief research, self-help, and her own story of personal loss. After losing her 12-year-old daughter in a car accident, this grief counselor and psychologist realized the shortcomings of the original five stages of grief. 

Considered the new bible of grief and a complementary read to Kübler-Ross’ five stages of grief, Resilient Grieving will walk you through loss with practical tips, simple exercises, and a no-nonsense approach.  

Hone’s refreshing and direct approach will have you nodding your head and saying, “Yes,” as she says what many never dare say. She also advises what not to say to someone who’s grieving.


Why read it: Hone’s frankness is instantly relatable and a must-read for anyone dealing with life-changing grief. 

Best resilience books for personal wisdom and emotional strength

The Four Agreements — Don Miguel Ruiz

The four agreements book cover

  • Type: Self-Help/Spiritual
  • Goodreads review: 4.16
  • Amazon review: 4.6

Don Miguel Ruiz shares four fundamental truths of life that will transform the way you live. 

The four agreements are: be impeccable with your word, don’t take anything personally, don’t make assumptions, and always do your best

“If you live in a past dream, you don’t enjoy what is happening right now because you will always wish it to be different than it is. There is no time to miss anyone or anything because you are alive. Not enjoying what is happening right now is living in the past and being only half alive. This leads to self-pity, suffering, and tears.” ― Don Miguel Ruiz, The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom

To learn more, watch this video where Miguel Ruiz breaks down the four agreements in this interview:


Why read it: This profound yet simple resilience book will help you eliminate limiting beliefs, drama, and inner turmoil to live a life based on love. To read if you’re looking for a more spiritual take on resilience. 

Tao Te Ching — Lao Tzu, Stephen Mitchell

Tao te ching book cover

  • Type: Philosophy/Taoism
  • Goodreads review: 4.26
  • Amazon review: 4.6

Is your life in total chaos? No worries because this little book will fill you with wise, calming words of balance and harmony. 

Also known as The Book of The Way, the Tao Te Ching is a guide to life. It offers timeless wisdom in 81 short chapters where you’ll understand how to let go of judgment and act without overdoing it.

“Simplicity, patience, compassion. These three are your greatest treasures. Simple in actions and thoughts, you return to the source of being. Patient with both friends and enemies,you accord with the way things are. Compassionate toward yourself, you reconcile all beings in the world.” ― Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching

Why read it: The Tao is a resilience book that you’ll be returning to again and again for its simple power of equanimity and enlightenment.

The Obstacle Is the Way: The Timeless Art of Turning Trials into Triumph — Ryan Holiday

The obstacle is the way book cover

  • Type: Philosophy/Stoicism
  • Goodreads review: 4.14
  • Amazon review: 4.5

Ryan Holiday leverages ancient stoic wisdom to help you deal with adversity. Plus, it’s a great introduction to stoicism—the idea that a virtuous life is one based on logic and controlled passions. 

Perspective, action, and perseverance are the three main concepts to live by. And historical and modern anecdotes serve as examples of how to overcome challenges. 

“It’s okay to be discouraged. It’s not okay to quit. To know you want to quit but to plant your feet and keep inching closer until you take the impenetrable fortress you’ve decided to lay siege to in your own life—that’s persistence.” ― Ryan Holiday, The Obstacle Is the Way: The Timeless Art of Turning Adversity to Advantage

Listen to Ryan Holiday’s summary of his book here, 


Why read it: To read if you’re dealing with hardship or seemingly insurmountable difficulties. As Holiday shows, the obstacle itself will show you your way forward.

FAQ on resilience

Here are answers to commonly asked questions that can help you master resilience.

What is resilience?

In essence, resilience is the ability to successfully manage life challenges. 

The American Psychology Association defines resilience as the ability to adapt well when faced with stress, trauma, hardship, or tragedy. 

While many define resilience as “bouncing back”, it’s more about finding stability again and creating a harmonious life after hardship. 

Why is resilience important?

There are numerous benefits to building resilience:

  • Better stress management
  • Better ability to cope with negative emotions
  • Reduces anxiety
  • Achieve balance when overwhelmed
  • Less risk-taking behaviors (for example, drug or substance abuse)
  • Better health overall

How can a resilience book help you?

Resilience books can offer you insights into other peoples’ life challenges and how they coped. They help you remember that you’re not alone and don’t have to discover how to overcome your ordeals by yourself. Learning how to be more resilient by reading resilience books is also a gentle way to care for yourself

Can resilience be learned?


We all have a natural level of mental and emotional strength. And some people have a greater reserve of resilience than others. But just like any other skill, resilience can be learned. You can nourish your natural resilience by learning about it just as you can improve your physical resilience by leading a healthy lifestyle.

Bounce back with the best books on resilience

You now have all the information you need to choose the best book on resilience and building mental strength. 

Soon you’ll know all the strategies for becoming mentally and emotionally tough. You’ll be able to overcome your challenges and no longer waver in the face of obstacles. Who knows—you may even decide to write your own book to share your experiences and your strategies with the world. 

Invest in yourself and choose the best book to help you get through hard times today. You got this!


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