22 Books Everyone Should Read During Divorce

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There’s nothing like finding escape in a good book — and that’s especially true when going through a separation or divorce. (There’s only so much crying into crumpled Kleenex you can do; at some point, you need to give yourself a mental break.)

To that end, we recently asked HuffPost Divorce bloggers and readers to share with us the books that helped them heal after their divorces. Read some of the best recommendations below.

How to Sleep Alone in a King-Size Bed: A Memoir of Starting Over

by Theo Pauline Nestor

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“When I realized that my husband was gone and it was now just me and our four children, I felt not only terrified but alone. All around me were my married friends, happily living their lives, making dinners, having Saturday night dates with other couples, planning trips. No one got it — until I picked up Theo Pauline Nestor’s memoir How To Sleep Alone In A King Size Bed and read this line: ‘I feel like I’ve joined an enormous club, something like the Veterans of Foreign Wars. We are weary with battle fatigue and sometimes even gripped by nostalgia for the good old, bad old days, but our numbers are large.’ Clearly, Theo got it. -Amy Koko

Codependent No More : How to Stop Controlling Others and Start Caring for Yourself by Melody Beattie

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“During my divorce I was left with tons of questions and not enough answers. Codependent No More: How to Stop Controlling Others and Start Caring for Yourself was like my Bible for almost two years. Suddenly it was like I understood what was happening. I knew that I was not alone. And I knew that I should love myself, even if my marriage was over.” -Carol Schaffer

The Power of Now: A Guide To Spiritual Enlightenment

by Eckhart Tolle

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“I was living in my head, fretting about the days to come, especially the initial court date. It sucked. This book helped me focus on what was right in front of me: my daughters. I owe it to my mom for sharing this one with me.” -Jon Vaughn

Wild by Cheryl Strayed

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“If I could recommend any book to divorced readers, it would be Wild for its can-do independent message!” – Jennifer Cullen

No One Is to Blame by Bob Hoffman

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“I read this when my marriage fell apart and I was exhausted from reading books about how to survive infidelity. The book, which led me to take the course based on it, changed my life; it helped me realize how my family-of-origin issues were influencing my own family and how compassion and forgiveness — for others and myself — were essential to healing.” -Vicki Larson

Milking the Moon: A Southerner’s Story of Life on This Planet by Eugene Walter

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“It’s about a life sumptuously lived. Eugene Walter was a founder of the Paris Review, a cryptographer in World War II, and an actor in Fellini films, among other adventures. He loved interesting people and was an incredibly literate, funny, charming person himself. Why read it while divorcing? Because Walter sets the example for a life well lived alone and in good company. This book never fails to cheer and inspire me.” -Tracy Schorn

Me Talk Pretty One Day by David Sedaris

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“This short story collection helped me laugh when nothing in the world seemed funny. Being able to find humor and laughter in really dark times reminds you that maybe not today, but one day, you’ll be OK again. And no one writes like Sedaris. He is smart and funny and full of interesting observations about the human condition. It’s a good book to take a day off with from your divorce.” – Ann marie Houghtailing

Loving What Is: Four Questions That Can Change Your Life

by Byron Katie

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“This book showed me how to stop attaching the judgments of ‘good’ and ‘bad’ to what was happening and move out of feeling like a victim. Letting go of all my ‘shoulds’ about marriage, divorce and relationships brought a huge sense of freedom to my life!” -Tammy Letherer

The Power of Intention: Learning To Co-create Your World Your Way by Dr. Wayne Dyer

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“This brilliant book gave me permission to trust my intuition and provided me with a greater awareness of my power within. It provided strong pillars to lean on whenever self-doubt crept in and tried to sabotage my efforts. My collaborative divorce with my ex was built on the many nuggets of wisdom in this book and I am grateful to this day.” -Carolyn Flower

The Awakening by Kate Chopin

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“Through various phases of my divorce and the aftermath I have turned to The Awakening, a novel about a woman choosing life on her own terms, outside of what the rest of the world expects of her. Tragic ending aside, it’s an inspiration.” -Emma Johnson

Too Good to Leave, Too Bad to Stay

by Mira Kirschenbaum

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“This book alone was a lifesaver for me in deciding what to do as I struggled at the end of my marriage. As women, I think we often try to convince ourselves that things aren’t as bad as they seem or that we know we need to ‘fix’ the state of our marriage but we aren’t sure where to start. This book helped pull me out of the grey area and examine what was working in my marriage and what was not. It felt like a relief to approach my emotions with a little bit of logic. And ultimately, it helped propel me to action.” -Nicole Jankowski

Falling Apart in One Piece: One Optimist’s Journey Through the Hell of Divorce by Stacy Morrison

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“This memoir is hilarious but most importantly, it reminded me that I would be OK.” -Lindsey Jones

Eat, Pray Love by Elizabeth Gilbert

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“It’s the best possible book to read. It’s about ruin and heartache, being true to your authentic self and transformation and love. Everyone should read Liz Gilbert, but especially those in the middle of a major heartache. She’s brilliant.” -Kasey Ferris

Stop Walking On Eggshells by Paul T. Mason, MS and Randi Kreger

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“You learn you can’t fix crazy. And that it’s OK to leave chaos.” -John Robert Williams

The Art of Happiness In A Troubled World by the Dalai Lama

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“Through this book, the Dalai Lama taught me that I had to learn happiness (or contentness) resided within me all along, whether I was married or single or divorced.” -Shelley Wetton

Transformational Divorce: Discover Yourself, Reclaim Your Dreams, and Embrace Life’s Unlimited Possibilities by Karen Kahn Wilson

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“Written by a divorce coach and therapist, this book changed my perspective on my experience so that I could focus on where to go from here. After being in a marriage where I was always trying to change to accommodate my partner’s wishes, divorce was a wake-up call to reconnect with the woman I was before marriage. The reflections, advice and activities in this book helped me clarify the new life I was rebuilding.” -Beth Cone Kramer

The Artist’s Way: A Spiritual Path To Higher Creativity

by Julia Cameron

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“There’s an exercise to write three pages every day in this book. On my worst days, it forced me out of bed when I wanted to hide from the world. I dumped my fears and hopes into a journal and that freed me. I faced the rest of the day with self-confidence and a belief that I would not just survive, but thrive.” -Katherine Forsythe

Co-Parenting Works!: Helping Your Children Thrive After Divorce

by Tammy Daughtry

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“This self-help book has such a positive outlook and vibe to it. It addresses different issues that come up during co-parenting but frames them in a way that motivates the reader to take a step back and deal with those issues in a more productive and positive manner.” -Leah Porritt

When Things Fall Apart: Heart Advice for Difficult Times

by Pema Chodron

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“Pema Chodron became a Buddhist after her husband told her he had been having an affair and wanted a divorce. She couldn’t find anything that helped her heal but then she found her way through studying Buddhism. I love her writing — she is both funny and profound — and this is the book of hers to pick up if you’re dealing with any kind of major life change.Thanks to her writing, I began my (imperfect) meditation practice years ago.” -Robin Amos Kahn

The Good Divorce: Keeping Your Family Together When Your Marriage Comes Apart by Constance Ahrons

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“It’s a bit on the ‘case-study’ side but this had a wealth of information on creating a positive post-divorce relationship with children involved.” -Terri Shook

Let’s Pretend This Never Happened: (A Mostly True Memoir)

by Jenny Lawson

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“This memoir has NOTHING to do with divorce or co-parenting…which is exactly why it was so helpful. Humor is an important aspect of dealing with difficult situations. Laughing keeps you sane. I literally laughed out loud reading this book — just trust me, you’ve gotta read it.” -Leah Porritt

Secrets of Longevity: Hundreds of Ways To Live To Be 100

by Maoshing Ni

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“Reading this during my divorce was empowering, inspiring and made me focus on my well-being instead of what I was not able to control in my life.” -Tamsen Fadal

 

 

 

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