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Motivational Books for Addiction Recovery

Motivation is the term often used to describe why someone does something. Seems simple, right? But what sparks that internal drive? More importantly, how do we sustain it? For many people, the framework of motivation is reinforced by positive thinking and a shared common goal to overcome adversity and not only survive but thrive. 

So How Do Motivational Books Help Us?

We have two types of motivation: intrinsic and extrinsic. When we’re intrinsically motivated, we don’t need external validation to do something—we’re already aware of the personal satisfaction we gain from it. Think of how you might like to exercise simply because you enjoy it, or to help another person without expecting anything in return. 

Extrinsic motivation is based on reward and punishment. Our actions—or even the lack of them—often rely on external validation in some form. So maybe you participate in a marathon for the medal and recognition. Of course, you might still appreciate the effort, but the force driving the accomplishment wasn’t internal.

Both forms of motivation have their place, especially when you’re evolving through addiction recovery. So for some people, reading motivational books can add to their intrinsic drive with uplifting reinforcement or provide a guide to what they’d like to achieve. 

Motivational Books to Try

Naturally, we all have different perspectives, but maybe some of these selections will appeal to you. 

Positivity: Top-Notch Research Reveals the 3-to-1 Ratio That Will Change Your Life by Barbara L. Fredrickson

Did you know that for every single negative thought, you need approximately three positive thoughts to balance your brain? Fortunately, professor and researcher Fredrickson, who’s also director of the Positive Emotions and Psychophysiology Laboratory (PEP Lab) at UNC-Chapel Hill, provides techniques to help you create more of an “upward spiral” by looking for the good in every person and circumstance and develop a better sense of appreciation and gratitude. 

Awaken the Giant Within: How to Take Immediate Control of Your Mental, Emotional, Physical, and Financial Destiny by Tony Robbins

No motivational list would be complete without at least one of the seven bestsellers from the charismatic Robbins. However, Awaken the Giant, considered to be his seminal work, is still one of the top motivational books of all time with approximately 20 million copies sold because of its empowering message and effective strategies and tactics. It also has a free follow-up, Re-awaken the Giant Within.

Recovery: Freedom From Our Addictions by Russell Brand

Sober since 2003, comedian and actor Brand exposes his struggle with alcohol and drugs but also acts as a guiding spirit sharing the recovery journey. He also details some of his methods, including his daily recovery plan, spiritual awakening, and 12-Step work. 

Rising Strong: How the Ability to Reset Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead by Brené Brown

Social scientist and media superstar Brown has been in recovery since 1996, so she’s familiar with the path. As she writes in this book, “walking into our stories of hurt can feel dangerous. But the process of regaining our footing in the midst of struggle is where our courage is tested and our values forged.” 

Change Your Brain Every Day: Simple Daily Practices to Strengthen Your Mind, Memory, Moods, Focus, Energy, Habits, and Relationships by Daniel G. Amen

Neuroscientist and psychiatrist Amen distills decades of clinical practice into daily techniques to support happiness, inner peace, and success; manage stress more effectively; and reinforce your purpose. 

Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance by Angela Duckworth

Duckworth is a psychologist, professor, and co-founder of the Character Lab at the University of Pennsylvania. She examines why some people have “grit”—a combination of passion and long-term perseverance—and others can learn to achieve it, regardless of their circumstances. 

Make Your Bed: Little Things That Can Change Your Life…And Maybe the World by Admiral William H. McRaven

McRaven, a former Navy Seal and current professor of national security, inspired millions when his motivational speech for University of Texas Austin graduates went viral in 2014. This book captures the principles from that speech along with personal stories of individuals who faced hardships but rose to the challenge with compassion, courage, and determination. 

A Positive View of LGBTQ: Embracing Identity and Cultivating Well-Being by Ellen D.B. Riggle and Sharon S. Rostosky

Highlighting numerous personal stories of members within the LGBTQIA2+ community, Riggle—a professor of gender and women’s studies at the University of Kentucky—and Rostosky, a psychologist, professor, and co-founder of PrismResearch—provide exercises to help individuals lead authentic lives by expressing gender and sexuality, engaging in their community, acting as role models, and more. 

Explore Your Potential at Fair Oaks
The board-certified rehabilitation specialists at our center in Sacramento create customized treatment plans to anchor mind, body, and spirit in healing. We also recognize the importance of positive psychology in our relapse prevention plans, and partner with all of our clients to find the best resources that add to their motivation. Learn more about our treatment philosophy and approach.  

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