12 Books For Soul-Searching

Sometimes we all need to set aside some time for self-reflection. I mean, who isn’t feeling a little lost and upside down after this past year? We’re all on our own journey, and sometimes a good read can help. These books for soul-searching are mix of styles, because we all reflect differently.

Some of the titles in this list are more humorous and practical in style, whereas others focus on a more mystical approach. But each of these books delivers valuable life lessons in an engaging way, with most including practical exercises that you can apply to your life on a daily basis.

books for soul-searching

Here are 12 of our favorite books for soul-searching

On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous by Ocean Vuong 

This is a novel that will crack your heart wide open. Ocean Vuong has a dreamlike manner of storytelling that makes even the most painful of scenarios feel hopeful. For anyone on an unknown path or struggling with their place in this world, it’s a must-read.


Walden by Henry David Thoreau

This beloved classic by one of the leading figures in American literature is a timeless book about soul-searching. Walden is a self-help book, perhaps the ultimate self-help book, urging us to show up for our own lives, to have the courage to find our own convictions and to try to live them out.

Transcendent Kingdom by Yaa Gyasi

This deeply layered novel covers everything from depression and addiction to religion and faith. As you follow Gifty’s journey with her family through life’s up and downs, you might see familiar themes in your own life on your own journey.

Crying in H Mart by Michelle Zauner

When you’re on a soul-searching journey, it’s often the memoirs that stick with you the most. This one by Michelle Zauner is a coming-of-age story tied together in the tangled threads of a complex mother-and-daughter relationship. Crying in H Mart covers all of the emotions and senses of searching for your place in this world.

On the Road by Jack Kerouac

I’m still pretending like I didn’t see Taylor’s IG post the other day that she doesn’t like Jack Kerouac because On the Road is a must-read. Kerouac tells the story of two friends whose cross-country road trips are a quest for meaning and true experience. Written with a mixture of sad-eyed naiveté and wild ambition, On the Road is the quintessential American vision of freedom.

My Friend Fear by Meera Lee Patel

If you’re looking for a more visually inspiring read, keep this book on your bedside table at all times. Meera Lee Patel beautiful illustrates and outlines short, inspirational literary snacks for even the hungriest soul-searcher.

Gift from the Sea by Anne Morrow Lindbergh

Gift from the Sea is another timeless classic everyone should read throughout their journey. If you’ve ever felt overwhelmed by the constant chaos and change of modern life, take a step back and read this book. It’s a guidebook for anyone longing for a simple life and a quiet world.

The Seed Keeper by Diane Wilson

Sometimes your soul-searching journey takes you all the way back to the beginning, to when everything was a seed. This novel beautifully weaves together the stories of four unforgettable women, their journey to reawakening and how everything leads back to the beginning.

The Untethered Soul by Michael A. Singer

“When a problem is disturbing you, don’t ask, “What should I do about it?” Ask, “What part of me is being disturbed by this?”

The Untethered Soul offers insights for developing an awareness of negative, limiting thoughts and energy, for realizing that we don’t have to absorb or cling to them. We can let them go; they are not who we are. Keep this book on hand and it will have different meanings for you each time you read and depending on where you are in your life.

You Are The Universe by Deepak Chopra and Menas Kafatos

Do you like your soul-searching to be a bit more scientific? You Are The Universe weaves Dr. Chopra’s expertise regarding biological systems with Professor Kafatos’s work in quantum physics, geophysics and cosmology. The result is no clash of competing perspectives, but a rich, synergistic tapestry of great wisdom, beauty and comfort for our culture.


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Author: Samantha Welker

Samantha Welker is the business manager at Glitter Guide. She has an Master's in Corporate Finance & Sustainability from Harvard Business School but prefers working in the creative industry. She also hosts a weekly business podcast for creative women called Pretty Okay Podcast. She loves spending time with her husband and her son, Rocky, in sunny San Diego. Follow along on Instagram