8 Books to Inspire a Happy Mama

8 Books to Inspire a Happy Mama

This post contains affiliate links. That means if you click through and make a purchase we get a very small percentage. Thank you for supporting this project!

“Our body is … a vehicle for awakening. Treat it with care.” ~ Buddha

When I’m having a particularly bad day, I do two things.




This is how it goes for me.

This is how I understand the world and solve the problems I’m facing. It’s how I go inward and discover the abundance in my life.

There is ALWAYS abundance.

But, on those cloudy days — or those stormy weeks — I can be found curled up next to a window, with a blanket over my lap and cup of tea at my side with a book in my hand.

Reading. Soaking in other people’s wisdom. Absorbing new ideas. Brainstorming new ways to think about an new problem that’s popped up in life.

Reading any one of these beauties below brings me true joy. Sometimes, I’ll read a little bit of all of them in one sitting.

These are my happy books. They remind me to live.

They offer self-discovery, motivation and perspective as well as solace for a sad heart. They bring me peace when I need it most.

They are the hug I sometimes need at the end of a long, long day.

I hope you enjoy them as much as I. Stick them on your wish list with a note that says, “Books to Keep Mama Happy.”

8 Books to Inspire a Happy Mama


When I am feeling … Stifled, creatively or lacking personal time —


I re-read…



Simple Abundance: A Daybook of Comfort and Joy,” by Sarah Van Breathnach. This book has been the heart and soul of my life for two years. I can’t recommend it enough.

When I am feeling … Inspired — 

I re-read



Life is a Verb: 37 Days to Wake Up, Be Mindful and Live Intentionally,” by Patti Digh. Fun book!

When I’m feeling … disappointed with someone or something in my life  

I re-read


I re-read “Four-Word Self Help: Simple Wisdom for Complex Lives,” by Patti Digh. Easy and lovely to look at.

When I am feeling … Bored or stuck in my life —

I re-read


The Gift of an Ordinary Day: A Mother’s Memoir,” by Katrina Kenison. This is just a fun, slow-down kind of read.

When I am feeling … Tormented with a behavior issue I cannot solve 

I re-read


Two books — the first is “The Conscious Parent,” by Dr. Shefali Tsabary — Sometimes, I look at my older twin daughter and see nothing but myself. This book opened my eyes to that. For all that she does to push my buttons, she is simply my mirror image at times. This book provides the simple perspective of what I can do to be the change I want to see in the world when it comes to my mission of raising happy families.

The second is “How to Talk So Your Kids Will Listen & Listen So Your Kids Will Talk,” by Adele Faber — I always re-read this one because I’m forever finding myself in a situation when I’ve said the wrong thing, or said too much, or can’t get the kids to get their pajamas on, etc. etc. etc. This centers me and I always walk a little taller as a Mama after reading it. This is the book that gives me Mama Power in the gentle, kind and loving way I desire to be.

When I am feeling … Generally frustrated as a Mama 

I re-read


Momma Zen: Walking the Crooked Path of Motherhood,” by my wise friend Karen Maezen Miller. She just gets this whole mothering thing.


When I’m feeling … unsettled and out of sorts

I re-read


Peace is Every Step,” By Thich Nhat Hanh — The book that centers me every single time I pick it up and read it.


How about you? Any great books to share with us? 

Photo Credit: Photo Credit: Simon Cocks

Seeking more peaceful days?

Sign up for The Abundant Mama's Weekly Emails & Download your FREE copy of The Abundant Mama's Guide to Peaceful Mornings.

25 Responses to 8 Books to Inspire a Happy Mama

  1. I LOVE How to Talk So Kids WIll Listen and Listen So Kids Will Talk! My mom read that and used its methods with my siblings and me and I have discovered its wisdom with my own kids! The same authors have a book called Siblings Without Rivalry which I found absolutely invaluable to use with my kids.

    Oddly enough, I have Simple Abundance and have never read it. Guess I need to! :-)

      • That’s funny, I was inspired by How to Talk So Kids WIll Listen and Listen So Kids Will Talk!, only to find my kids reacting badly. My stepdaughter in particular mocked it, using active listening terms to parrot back what I’d said. I dropped those techniques quickly!

        I have several go-to authors. Anne Lamott books really stir my Mama soul, helping me to keep from taking myself too seriously. Her older books are my favorites. And Martha Beck is amazing. She can get to the heart of anything with wit and wisdom that is worth reading and rereading. I found her when I read Expecting Adam, was completely hooked when I read Finding Your Way in a Wild New World.

        For useful parenting inspiration that keeps me on my chosen path, I turn to Free Range Learning by Laura Weldon (and her blog http://lauragraceweldon.com/blog-2/). I can basically open her book anywhere and find something relevant. My newest parenting inspriation is Peter Gray, who wrote Free To Learn. (Love his blog too http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/freedom-learn)

        Thanks for this post, gives me all sorts of new books to explore!

  2. What a great list of books. I also love How To Talk So Kids Will Listen…. what a great book wiht easy to follow (when I remember too : )) advice. I am excited to check out some of these other great looking titles too.

  3. I just started reading The Gift of An Ordinary Day and am loving it! Thanks so much for sharing this book list! I can't wait to check them out.

  4. I really enjoy Thich Nhat Hahn's books. Buddhist philosophy is very calming to me. Pema Chodron's Comfortable with Uncertainty and When Things Fall Apart have helped me through difficult times.

  5. Katrina and Karen's books would both be on my very short list, as is Peace is Every Step. I also turn to poetry, truthfully often first of all: mostly Mary Oliver, Wendell Berry, Adrienne Rich, Stanley Kunitz.

  6. I love Katrina Kennison’s other book “Mitten Strings for God”. Also the collection of essays, “Mothers Who Think” is full of great writing. And anything by Kate Braestrup will inspire me.

  7. Every once in awhile, when I’m feeling tormented or angry or disheartened, I read “The 5 Things We Cannot Change.” It is an amazing book that provides some much-needed perspective.

  8. I have been reading Screamfree Parenting: The Revolutionary Approach to Raising Your Kids by Keeping Your Cool by Hal Edward Runkel, LMFT. It has been very eye opening and I'm really enjoying it.

    • I, too, was going to mention Scream Free Parenting. That book has changed the way I parent my children. So many "a-ha" moments. I also love Mac Bledsoe's "Parenting With Dignity"

  9. Just saw this post, only almost a month later! I keep this one by my bedside, and revisit often: Mommy Mantras: Affirmations and Insights to Keep You From Losing Your Mind by Bethany E. Casarjian Ph.D. (Author), Diane H. Dillon Ph.D. (Author)

  10. I love love love Mommy Mantras by Bethany Casarjian and Diane Dillon ~ Definitely one I turn to again and again. Love Momma Zen and Peace is Every Step. I’ll be checking out some of the others you’ve recommended. Great list – thanks!

  11. My new favorite, Excuse me, Your life is Waiting by Lynn Grabhorn. It is helping me to take back control of my life and my feelings…

Ready to be intentional AND productive? Get on our email list and download the 10 Habits of Highly Effective Mamas workbook instantly.

Shawn Fink - Abundant MamaFrom Our Founder

I created The Abundant Mama Project to inspire overwhelmed, busy mothers to slow down and let go of the worries and concerns that are holding them back from experiencing joyful motherhood. Read More »
Loading Quotes...

© Abundant Mama, Website by Christine Marie Studio.