Christmas gifts can range from the luxurious to the mundane – but how about you go for inspiration and usefulness as your keywords this year? At Welldoing we have chosen nine books that we believe will be both graciously received – and actually enjoyed!

Forgiveness: An Exploration by Marina Cantacuzino

Cantacuzino founded The Forgiveness Project nearly 20 years ago, and this book is a distillation of all she has heard and thought about the thorny subjects of shame, blame and forgiveness. 

This is Not a Pity Memoir by Abi Morgan

TV and film scriptwriter Morgan, known for The Split and Suffragette, has written a funny-sad memoir about her partner’s sudden and serious illness, which came shortly after her treatment for breast cancer. It’s an uplifting book that touches, but doesn’t depress.

What We Want by Charlotte Fox Weber 

Therapist Fox Weber takes us on a journey through 12 universal wants and desires – love, power, sex, attention, and more – bringing us behind the closed doors of her practice. As she gently guides her clients towards a deeper understanding of themselves, she invites them – and us – to find a fuller way of living.

Our interview with Charlotte Fox Weber:

Why Has Nobody Told Me This Before by Dr Julie Smith

In this mainstream bestseller, clinical psychologist  Dr Julie Smith offers advice for navigating common life challenges. 

Picture This by Nina Grunfeld

An insightful stocking-filler that asks readers to look at images and then ask yourself a series of questions to help your response deal with real-life problems.

You Don't Understand Me by Dr Tara Porter

NHS adolescent psychologist Porter directs her debut book directly at girls and young women, seeking to help them with everything from issues around families and friends, to coping with anxiety, eating disorders and the internet.

Tell Me Good Things: On Love, Death and Marriage by James Runcie

Writer and broadcaster James Runcie writes about the life and death of his wife Marilyn Imrie, focusing especially well on her experience of motor neurone disease and his deep loss at her death. In spite of the subject matter, it’s a beautiful read.

Five Arguments All Couples (Need To) Have by Joanna Harrison

It wouldn’t be a disaster to give this to your partner; in fact, it might prevent future clashes. Couples therapist Harrison is direct and practical about how to be contentedly married, in spite of the individual differences. 

The Myth of Normal: Trauma, Illness, & Healing in a Toxic Culture by Gabor Mate and Daniel Mate

Dr Gabor Mate is renowned for his books on addiction and child development; this book takes a broader view of where the Western world stands in health terms, and what should be done about it to improve and physical and mental health of more people.