Thinking and Feeling, and Thinking about Feeling

By Vanessa Rosenbaum

I don't watch funny movies. I don't read mindlessly. I don't like pop music. What I do like is a lot of drama and self-help books and really feeling my feelings; they are my closest friends. These books (and a CD) have helped me make sense of said friends.

  • First, We Make the Beast Beautiful: A New Journey through Anxiety

    2018 by Wilson, Sarah

    This book about the author's complicated relationship with anxiety helped me to reframe a lot of long-held thoughts. This book is not for everybody, what with her meandering style (don't read the Goodreads reviews—sheesh), but for me, I could see so much of myself reflected here that I've returned to it many times.

    Get this item
  • An Unquiet Mind

    1996 by Jamison, Kay R.

    I read this book a long time ago and have read pretty much everything this author has written since. She is one of the leading researchers on Bipolar Disorder (formerly manic-depression) and this is her memoir of discovering her own manic depression. Even though we don't have the same experience, I always find that there is something for me in listening to another deep feeler.

    Get this item
  • The Wild Edge of Sorrow: Rituals of Renewal and the Sacred Work of Grief

    2015 by Weller, Francis

    Grief here is a verb, and embracing the work of it really touches on the stuff of life (that's either really ironic or not ironic at all). “Weller guides us into the difficult geography of sorrow and helps us find our way back to our souls. He brings much-needed medicine to a culture that relies upon distraction and anesthesia to cope with the daily losses that surround us.”—Malidoma Somé

    Get this item
  • Big Magic: Creative Living beyond Fear

    2015 by Gilbert, Elizabeth

    This is an inspiring book (and such a wonderful audiobook) that addresses many things that are about and surround being a creative person. To put something that one has made out into the world is an incredibly vulnerable act, and Gilbert really gets that; she offers real and actionable ideas and words to help us move past ourselves and our tricky feelings in order to do the things we know we want to do.

    Get this item
  • Radical Acceptance: Embracing Your Life with the Heart of a Buddha

    2003 by Brach, Tara

    Whether or not the Buddha is of any importance to you, this book is really about coming to accept yourself. Tara Brach, whom I find always insightful and kind, is a wonderful and warm guide.

    Get this item
  • The Dance of Fear: Rising above Anxiety, Fear, and Shame to Be Your Best and Bravest Self

    2005 by Lerner, Harriet Goldhor

    Lerner tackles the big three—anxiety, fear, and shame—in a way that is both gentle and helpful.

    Get this item
  • Dream Work

    1986 by Oliver, Mary

    While all of Mary Oliver's work speaks to real and ordinary life and feelings, this book holds within it the best poem ever written, "Wild Geese," and I wish everyone on the planet could hear it and feel it and let it be a part of them.

    Get this item
  • ()

    2002 by Sigur Rós (Musical group)

    This hauntingly beautiful album gets inside your soul; the music is what I imagine it sounds like in my being. All of the lyrics are in Hopelandic (a language without semantic meaning), so there are no lyrics to get caught up in, just beautiful, somber etherealness.

    Get this item