18 Psychology Books To Change Your Outlook On Life!

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Reading does change lives. Reading about psychology, however, might be the biggest life hack you can try even without leaving your chair! If you’ve been looking for ways to empower yourself, we have the perfect list for you. Here are 18 psychology books for you to find your inner strength and understand the mysteries of the human mind!

1. Creatures of a Day and Other Tales of Psychotherapy - Irvin Yalom

In this stunning collection of stories, renowned psychiatrist Irvin D. Yalom describes his patients’ struggles--as well as his own--to come to terms with the two great challenges of existence: how to have a meaningful life yet reckon with its inevitable end. We meet a nurse who must stifle the pain of losing her son in order to comfort her patients’ pains, a newly minted psychologist whose studies damage her treasured memories of a lost friend and a man whose rejection of psychological inquiry forces even Yalom himself into a crisis of confidence. Creatures of a Day is a radically honest statement about the difficulties of human life, but also a celebration of some of the finest fruits--love, family, friendship--it can offer. Marcus Aurelius has written that "we are all creatures of a day.” With Yalom as our guide, we will find the means to make our own day not only bearable but also meaningful and joyful.

2. Neurotic Personality of Our Time - Karen Horney

In this work, Karen Horney explores the basic structure of neurosis in the context of their cultural assumptions.

Her topics range from the neurotic need for affection to feelings of guilt and the quest for power, prestige, and possession.

3. The Naked Lady Who Stood on Her Head: A Psychiatrist’s Stories of His Most Bizarre Cases - Gary Small, Gigi Vorgan

A psychiatrist’s stories of his most bizarre cases, The Naked Lady Who Stood on Her Head by Gary Small, M.D., and Gigi Vorgan—co-authors of The Memory Bible—offers a fascinating and highly entertaining look into the peculiarities of the human mind. In the vein of The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat, Awakenings, and the other bestselling works of Oliver Sacks, The Naked Lady Who Stood on Her Head surprises, enthralls, and illuminates as it focuses on medical mysteries that would stump and amaze the brilliant brains on House, M.D.

4. The Crowd: A Study of the Popular Mind - Gustave Le Bon

Gustav Le Bon's The Crowd is not only a classic but one of the best-selling scientific books in social psychology and collective behavior ever written. Here, Le Bon analyzes the nature of crowds and their role in political movements. He presents crowd behavior as a problem of science and power, a natural phenomenon with practical implications. Originally published in 1895, Le Bon's was the first to expand the scope of inquiry beyond criminal crowds to include all possible kinds of collective phenomena. Its continuing significance is evident even in the Los Angeles riots of 1992 in which Le Bon's theories were cited in testimony.

Le Bon emphasizes the various areas of modern life where crowd behavior holds sway, particularly political upheavals. He focuses on electoral campaigns, parliaments, juries, labor agitation, and street demonstrations. At the same tune, his treatment of crowds is far from complimentary. He likens crowds to "primitive beings," social formations harkening back to the evolutionary origins of humankind. Le Bon believed that ideas and images spread through a crowd by means of contagion, an automatic process that produces a state of transitory madness in its victims, extinguishing reason and will. Yet he does more than dwell on the pathologies of crowd life; he also writes of the heroism, the generosity, and the sacrifices of crowds, of the indispensable roles they have played in erecting the pillars of modern civilization.

5. The Unconscious - Sigmund Freud

One of Freud's central achievements was to demonstrate how unacceptable thoughts and feelings are repressed into the unconscious, from where they continue to exert a decisive influence over our lives.

The book contains a key statement about evidence for the unconscious, and how it works, and major essays on the fundamentals of mental functioning. Freud explores how we are torn between the pleasure principle and the reality principle, how we often find ways both to express and to deny what we most fear and why people so often need fetishes for their sexual satisfaction. These studies brilliantly illuminate our most basic drives and how they are transformed.

6. The Interpretation of Murder - Jed Rubenfeld

The Interpretation of Murder is an inventive tour de force inspired by Sigmund Freud's 1909 visit to America, accompanied by protégé and rival Carl Jung. When a wealthy young debutante is discovered bound, whipped and strangled in a luxurious apartment overlooking the city, and another society beauty narrowly escapes the same fate, the mayor of New York calls upon Freud to use his revolutionary new ideas to help the surviving victim recover her memory of the attack, and solve the crime. But nothing about the attacks - or about the surviving victim, Nora - is quite as it seems. And there are those in very high places determined to stop the truth coming out, and Freud's startling theories taking root on American soil.

7. Introduction to Psychoanalysis - Sigmund Freud

In this book, Freud presented his theory of psychoanalysis in the form of twenty-eight lectures to laymen. He sets forth the basic premises, difficulties, and limitations of psychoanalysis, and describes its main methods and results. It is a basic and early statement of what Freud understood to be his major contribution to science.

8. The Doors of Perception - Aldous Huxley

In 1952 Aldous Huxley became involved in the now legendary experiment to clinically detail the physiological and psychological effects of the little-known drug used by Mexican and Native American elders in religious practices. The drug was Peyote-now commonly know as mescaline. By the standards of the time, Huxley was a hard working, respected, and reserved intellectual from a highly intelligent, well-known, and eccentric British family. By any standards, the results of the experiment were remarkable. The Doors of Perception and Heaven and Hell detail the practicalities of the experiment and give Huxley's vivid account of his immediate experience and the most prolonged effect upon his subsequent thinking and awareness. At first, the reader is drawn in by the sheer naivety and tom-foolery of the proposal but is soon caught in a finely woven net by the juxtaposition of Huxley's formidable intellect, his remarkable ability to convey the experience in such acute and truthful detail, and his incredible modesty. In 1922 Gertrude Stein famously wrote - "A rose is a rose is a rose." In proving her right, Huxley also shows the deeper meaning behind the apparently simple verse and goes on to deliver such spectacular accounts of the most everyday objects that the reason for their repeated and continual renderings by all the major artists throughout history suddenly becomes quite clear. For the conscious and willing reader - a trip to the Guggenheim, the Louvre or the Tate Modern will never be the same again.

9. The Memory Artists - Jeffrey Moore

Noel Burun has synesthesia and hypermnesia: he sees words in vibrant explosions of colors and shapes, which collide and commingle to form a memory so bitingly perfect that he can remember everything, from the 1001 stories of The Arabian Nights to the color of his bib as a toddler. But for all his mnemonic abilities, he is confronted every day with a reality that is as sad as it is ironic: his beloved mother, Stella, is stricken with Alzheimer's disease, her memory slowly slipping into the quicksands of oblivion. The Memory Artists follows Noel, helped by a motley cast of friends, on his quest to find a cure for his mother's affliction. The results are at the same time darkly funny, quirkily inventive, and very moving. Alternating between third-person narratives and the diaries of Noel and Stella, Jeffrey Moore weaves a story filled with fantastic characters and a touch of suspense that gets at the very heart of what it means to remember and forget, and that is a testament to the uplifting power of family and friendship.

10. Man's Search for Meaning - Victor E. Frankl

Man's Search for Meaning is a 1946 book by Viktor Franklchronicling his experiences as an Auschwitz concentration camp inmate during World War II, and describing his psychotherapeutic method, which involved identifying a purpose in life to feel positive about, and then immersively imagining that outcome.

11. 50 Psychology Ideas You Really Need to Know - Adrian Furnham

How different are men and women's brains? Does altruism really exist? Are our minds blank slates at birth? And do dreams reveal our unconscious desires?

If you have you ever grappled with these concepts, then this book is for you. Not only providing the answers to these questions and much more, a series of essays explore each of the central concepts, as well as the arguments of key thinkers.

Adrian Furnham offers introductions to emotional behavior, cognition, mental conditions - from stress to schizophrenia - rationality and personality development, among many others.

12. Momma and the Meaning of Life: Tales of Psychotherapy - Irvin D. Yalom

In six enthralling stories drawn from his own clinical experience, Irvin D. Yalom once again proves himself an intrepid explorer of the human psyche as he guides his patients--and himself--toward transformation. With eloquent detail and sharp-eyed observation Yalom introduces us to a memorable cast of characters. Drifting through his dreams and trampling through his thoughts are Paula, Yalom's "courtesan of death"; Myrna, whose eavesdropping gives new meaning to patient confidentiality; Magnolia, into whose ample lap Yalom longs to pour his own sorrows, even as he strives to ease hers; and Momma--ill-tempered, overpowering, and suffocating her son with both love and disapproval. A richly rewarding, almost illicit glimpse into the therapist's heart and mind, Momma and the Meaning of Life illuminates the unique potential of every human relationship.

13. Emotions Revealed - Paul Ekman

Renowned psychologist Paul Ekman explains the roots of our emotions―anger, fear, disgust, sadness, and happiness―and shows how they cascade across our faces, providing clear signals to those who can identify the clues. As featured in Malcolm Gladwell's bestseller Blink, Ekman's Facial Action Coding System offers intense training in recognizing feelings in spouses, children, colleagues, even strangers on the street.

In Emotions Revealed, Ekman distils decades of research into a practical, mind-opening, and life-changing guide to reading the emotions of those around us. He answers such questions as, How does our body signal to others whether we are slightly sad or anguished, peeved or enraged? Can we learn to distinguish between a polite smile and the genuine thing? Can we ever truly control our emotions? Packed with unique exercises and photographs, and a new chapter on emotions and lying that encompasses security and terrorism as well as gut decisions, Emotions Revealed is an indispensable resource for navigating our emotional world.

14. The Wisdom of Psychopaths - Kevin Dutton

Psychopath. No sooner is the word out than images of murderers, rapists, suicide bombers, and gangsters flashing across our minds. 

But unlike their box-office counterparts, not all psychopaths are violent, or even criminal. Far from it. In fact, they have a lot of good things going for them. Psychopaths are fearless, confident, charismatic, ruthless and focused – qualities tailor-made for success in twenty-first-century society. 

In this groundbreaking adventure into the world of psychopaths, renowned psychologist Kevin Dutton reveals a shocking truth: beneath the hype and the popular characterisation, psychopaths have something to teach us.

15. Sophie's World - Jostein Gaarder

A page-turning novel that is also an exploration of the great philosophical concepts of Western thought, Sophie's World has fired the imagination of readers all over the world, with more than twenty million copies in print.

One day fourteen-year-old Sophie Amundsen comes home from school to find in her mailbox two notes, with one question on each: "Who are you?" and "Where does the world come from?" From that irresistible beginning, Sophie becomes obsessed with questions that take her far beyond what she knows of her Norwegian village. Through those letters, she enrolls in a kind of correspondence course, covering Socrates to Sartre, with a mysterious philosopher, while receiving letters addressed to another girl. Who is Hilde? And why does her mail keep turning up? To unravel this riddle, Sophie must use the philosophy she is learning―but the truth turns out to be far more complicated than she could have imagined.

16. I, Pierre Riviére, having slaughtered my mother, my sister, and my brother: A Case of Parricide in the 19th Century - Michel Foucault

To free his father and himself from his mother's tyranny, Pierre Rivière decided to kill her. On June 3,1835, he went inside his small Normandy house with a pruning hook and cut to death his mother, his eighteen-year-old sister, and his seven-year-old brother. Then, in jail, he wrote a memoir to justify the whole gruesome tale.

Michel Foucault, the author of Madness and Civilization and Discipline and Punish, collected the relevant documents of the case, including medical and legal testimony, police records. and Rivière's memoir. The Rivière case, he points out, occurred at a time when many professions were contending for status and power. Medical authority was challenging law, branches of government were vying. Foucault's reconstruction of the case is a brilliant exploration of the roots of our contemporary views of madness, justice, and crime.

17. Listen, Little Man! - Wilhelm Reich

Listen, Little Man! reflects the inner turmoil of a scientist and physician who had observed the little man for many years and seen, first with astonishment, then with horror, what he does to himself; how he suffers, rebels, honors his enemies and murders his friends; how, wherever he acquires power "in the name of the people," he misuses it and transforms it into something more cruel than the tyranny he had previously suffered at the hands of upper-class sadists.

18. Feeling Good: The New Mood Therapy - David Burns

The good news is that anxiety, guilt, pessimism, procrastination, low self-esteem, and other "black holes" of depression can be cured without drugs. In Feeling Good, eminent psychiatrist, David D. Burns, M.D., outlines the remarkable, scientifically proven techniques that will immediately lift your spirits and help you develop a positive outlook on life. Now, in this updated edition, Dr. Burns adds an All-New Consumer′s Guide To Anti-depressant Drugs as well as a new introduction to help answer your questions about the many options available for treating depression.

- Recognize what causes your mood swings
- Nip negative feelings in the bud
- Deal with guilt
- Handle hostility and criticism
- Overcome addiction to love and approval
- Build self-esteem
- Feel good everyday

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