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Best 10 Shame Books

Shame Books

The following are shame books to help you embark on your recovery journey.

Disclosure: Some of the links below are affiliate links. This means that, at zero cost to you, I will earn an affiliate commission if you click through the link and finalize a purchase.

How Does Shame Feel Like?

Shame can feel like a deep sense of embarrassment, humiliation, or inadequacy.

You may feel like you’re exposed or vulnerable in some way, and that others are judging or rejecting you for it.

It can also lead to feelings of self-doubt and unworthiness.

Shame can be a powerful and overwhelming emotion, and it can cause people to withdraw from others or engage in self-destructive behaviors.

Where Does Shame Come From?

Shame is a complex emotion that can stem from a variety of sources.

It can arise from early childhood experiences and messages received from caregivers, peers, or society about what is acceptable or unacceptable behavior.

Shame can also be linked to traumatic events, such as abuse or neglect, that have caused an individual to feel like they are fundamentally flawed or unworthy of love and acceptance.

Other factors that may contribute to shame include cultural or religious beliefs, internalized negative self-talk, or societal expectations around gender, sexuality, or body image.

Shame Books

1. The Gifts of Imperfection

By Brené Brown

What transforms this book from words on a page to effective daily practices are the ten guideposts to wholehearted living.

The guideposts not only help us understand the practices that will allow us to change our lives and families, they also walk us through the unattainable and sabotaging expectations that get in the way. 

Related: Top 10 Signs Of Toxic Shame In A Person (+Best 20 Healing Shame Exercises)

2. Daring Greatly

By Brené Brown

Based on twelve years of pioneering research, Brené Brown PhD, MSW, dispels the cultural myth that vulnerability is weakness and argues that it is, in truth, our most accurate measure of courage.

Brown explains how vulnerability is both the core of difficult emotions like fear, grief, and disappointment, and the birthplace of love, belonging, joy, empathy, innovation, and creativity.

Daring Greatly is a practice and a powerful new vision for letting ourselves be seen.

Related: Toxic Shame Quiz

3. Braving the Wilderness

By Brené Brown

In her book, Brown argues that we’re experiencing a spiritual crisis of disconnection, and introduces four practices of true belonging that challenge everything we believe about ourselves and each other.

Brown offers us the clarity and courage we need to find our way back to ourselves and to each other. And that path cuts right through the wilderness.

Related: Top 17 Shame Journal Prompts (+FREE Worksheets)

4. Healing the Shame that Binds You

By John Bradshaw

This book has helped millions identify their personal shame, understand the underlying reasons for it, address these root causes and release themselves from the shame that binds them to their past failures.

Related: Remorse vs Regret: What’s the Difference?

5. Breaking Free from Body Shame

By Jess Connolly

Jess Connolly is a bestselling author, sought-after speaker, and trusted Bible teacher who knows this inner conflict all too well, and this book details her journey–and yours–of setting out to discover how to break free from the broken beliefs we all hold about our bodies that hold us back from our fullest life.

This book will help you believe it with your whole self, as Jess guides you through an eye-opening, empowering process of:

  • Renaming what the world has labeled as less-than
  • Resting in God’s workmanship
  • Experiencing restoration where there has been injury
  • And becoming a change agent in partnering with God to bring revival to a generation of women 

Related: Top 5 Body Dysmorphia Exercises (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy For BDD)

6. Conquering Shame and Codependency

By Darlene Lancer

In Conquering Shame and Codependency, Darlene Lancer sheds new light on shame: how codependents’ feelings and beliefs about shame affect their identity, their behavior, and how shame can corrode relationships, destroying trust and love.

She then provides eight steps to heal from shame, learn to love yourself, and develop healthy relationships.

Related: How To Overcome High Functioning Codependency?

7. Shame

By Dr. Joseph Burgo

Richly illustrated with clinical stories from Burgo’s 35 years in private practice, Shame also describes the myriad ways that unacknowledged shame often hides behind a broad spectrum of mental disorders including social anxiety, narcissism, addiction, and masochism.

Related: Best 15 Inner Child Exercises: How To Connect With Your Inner Child (& Heal Your Childhood Wounds)

8. Letting Go of Shame

By Ronald Potter-Efron, Patricia Potter-Efron

In their book, the authors offer us a way that we can personalize a plan of action to help build our self-esteem, and they suggest exercises to help us identify our feelings of shame.

Related: Top 25 Inner Child Journal Prompts To Heal Your Inner Wounds

Shame Workbooks

9. The ACT Workbook for Depression and Shame

By Matthew McKay PhD, Michael Jason Greenberg PsyD, Patrick Fanning

Grounded in evidence-based acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT), this workbook will give you the tools to identify and dismiss your core beliefs of personal defectiveness, and build a life based on positive choices and values that bring vitality and a sense of personal fulfillment.

You’ll discover ways to develop psychological flexibility, freeing yourself from old habits and unhealthy coping mechanisms, and alleviating symptoms of depression.

Finally, you’ll learn to see yourself in all your wonderful complexity, with kindness and compassion.

Related: What is Concealed Depression? (Effective 3-Step Guide To Overcome High Functioning Depression)

10. Coping with Guilt & Shame Workbook

By John J. Liptak, Ester R.A. Leubenberg

The Coping with Guilt and Shame Workbook provides assessments and self-exploration activities to help participants learn useful skills for coping with various forms of guilt and shame.

Activities are divided into four chapters to help you identify and select assessments easily and quickly.

Overcome Shame Worksheets (1)

How Shame Books Can Help

Shame books, or self-help books focused on shame and overcoming feelings of shame, can be beneficial in several ways:

1. Understanding Shame: Reading about shame can help you gain a deeper understanding of what shame is and why it exists. This knowledge can help you recognize and identify shame in your own life.

2. Overcoming Shame: Shame books often provide strategies and techniques for overcoming shame. They can offer practical advice on how to challenge negative self-perceptions, build self-compassion, and develop healthier coping mechanisms.

3. Validation and Acceptance: Reading about others’ experiences with shame can help you to feel validated and less alone in your struggles. Knowing that others have experienced similar feelings of shame can provide a sense of acceptance and belonging.

4. Self-Reflection: Shame books often encourage self-reflection and introspection. By exploring your own experiences and beliefs surrounding shame, you can begin to understand the underlying causes and work towards healing and growth.

5. Empowerment and Resilience: The ultimate goal of shame books is to empower individuals to overcome shame and cultivate resilience. Through the exercises and insights offered in these books, you can develop a stronger sense of self-worth and a greater ability to navigate difficult emotions.


Working through shame takes time and patience.

It’s essential to approach this process with kindness and understanding towards yourself.

If you find reading about shame to be triggering or overwhelming, it’s always a good idea to seek support from a therapist or counselor who can guide you through the journey.

By Hadiah

Hadiah is a counselor who is passionate about supporting individuals on their journey towards mental well-being. Hadiah not only writes insightful articles on various mental health topics but also creates engaging and practical mental health worksheets.

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