Book and podcast recommendations from UHS mental health counselors.

Book Recommendations

Acceptance and Commitment

  • It’s Not Always Depression: Working the Change Triangle to Listen to the Body, Discover Core Emotions, and Connect to Your Authentic Self, by Hilary Jacobs Hendel, LCSW. “A great PsychoEd book re: why we feel what we feel and how to work through them, with some good examples; an easy-to-read book written by a therapist.” Yi Du, Ph.D. Senior Staff Psychologist CAPS.
  • Getting out of your head and into your life by Steven Hayes PhD 


Alcohol and Other Drugs (AOD)

  • Over the Influence, Second Edition: The Harm Reduction Guide to Controlling Your Drug and Alcohol Use by J. Little & P. Denning: Quote from the book: “We hope that this book will assist you to take control, make decisions, and find you own way.  We hope that you find that you no longer have to be “under the influence” of drugs or “Just Say No” ideology. Rather you can be “over the influence,” - a person with the power to learn, to choose, and to change.” Robin Walley, LCSW, Social Services - UC Berkeley Library Link (available online)

Attention and Concentration

  • The Disorganized Mind by Nancy Ratey

Body Peace / Fat Positivity

Positive Psychology

  • Before Happiness by Shawn Achor

  • Happier by Tal Ben-Shahar, Ph.D.


  • Attached: The New Science of Adult Attachment and How it Can Help You Find- and Keep- Love by Amir Levine, Rachel Heller. “It’s clear, insightful, and easy to read, with lots of examples. It helps you understand your relational patterns and practice new skills to build secure relationships with self and others.” Xiaoxia Song, Ph.D. A psychologist at BHP.
  • Designer Relationships: A Guide to Happy Monogamy, Positive Polyamory, and Optimistic Open Relationships, by M. Michaels & P. Johnson. Robin Walley, LCSW, Social Services - UC Berkeley Library Link (request via ILL)
  • The Relationship Cure by John Gottman, Ph.D.


  • Rising Strong by Brene Brown, Ph.D. 

  • The Gifts of Imperfection by Brene Brown, Ph.D. 

Self-Care in the Work Setting

  • The Power of Full Engagement by Jim Loher

Self Compassion

  • Self-Compassion: The Proven Power of Being Kind to Yourself by Kristin Neff, Ph.D. - “Explains how to heal destructive emotional patterns so that you can be healthier, happier, and more effective.” Monica Becerra, Ph.D. Postdoctoral Fellow
  • The Gifts of Imperfection by Brené Brown Dr. Brené Brown’s interactive workbook provides introspective, easy-to-follow guides as you embark on your journey to embrace imperfection. Topics range from self-compassion, creativity, rest, and play. Brown provides compelling arguments for engaging in these life-giving practices that have helped many people move toward authenticity and freedom. My favorite chapter was on self-compassion and how boundaries/accountability are necessary for accessing it. For me, it was a helpful reframe and a new way of engaging. Angelica Yi, Post-MSW Clinical Fellow
  • You Are Your Best Thing: Vulnerability, Shame Resilience, and the Black Experience by Tarana Burke and Brene Brown
  • Radical Compassion by Tara Brach 

Sexual Health / Sexuality

  • Sexual Outsiders by D. Ortmann & R. Sprott.  From the jacket: “designed as a guide for BDSM community members who must wade through the quagmire of unique problems they face: coming out to family, friends, and partners; distinguishing abusive relationships from healthy, consensual ones; finding and developing community; overcoming shame and denial; exploring whether BDSM sexuality can be a healing tool; gaining access to quality, culturally competent psychotherapy; and finding strategies to develop healthy sexual self-esteem in the face of current medical and social standards that view them as sick or pathological.  This book also serves as an educational primer for those whose partners, friends, and family members are involved in BDSM.” Robin Walley, LCSW, Social Services.  - UC Berkeley Library Link (available online).
  • Come As You Are: Revised and Updated: The Surprising New Science That Will Transform Your Sex Life by Emily Nagoski, Ph.D.

Social Anxiety

  • The Solution to Social Anxiety: Break Free from the Shyness that Holds You Back by Dr. Aziz Gazipura - “A path towards greater confidence in yourself. You will discover what is keeping you stuck in shyness and learn exactly what to do in order to break free.” Monica Becerra, Ph.D. Postdoctoral Fellow


  • The Upside of Stress: Why Stress is Good For You and How to Get Good At It, by Kelly McGonigal, Ph.D.  Dr. McGonigal offers a new view on stress management and discusses how you can benefit from embracing stress. "Excellent re-frame from the challenges to benefits of one's relationship with stress."  Aaron Cohen, Ph.D. Senior Staff Psychologist CAPS. - Borrow from the UC Berkeley Library 
  • Burnout: The Secret to Unlocking the Stress Cycle by Emily Nagoski, Ph.D. and Amelia Nagoski DMA - “The authors compassionately explain the obstacles and societal pressures women face - and how they can fight back. You will learn what to do to complete the stress cycle, how to manage the monitor in your brain that regulates the emotion of frustration, and what makes it difficult to love your body.” Monica Becerra, Ph.D. Postdoctoral Fellow 

Podcast Recommendations

The Happiness Lab

The Happiness Lab with Dr. Laurie Santos. Yale professor Dr. Laurie Santos explores the scientific research behind what makes you happy, drawing from various sources and traditions and sharing surprising stories along the way. It’s a really approachable way to learn about the psychology behind happiness. I recommend starting with the episode “Dump Your Inner Drill Sergeant.” Angelica Yi, Post-MSW Clinical Fellow

Science of Happiness

The Science of Happiness podcast is produced by the Greater Good Science Center and PRX and hosted by professor Dr. Keltner. It reviews research-tested strategies for a happier, more meaningful life and it incorporates first-hand accounts of people’s experiences trying out the strategies. “It offers a wide array of strategies that you can try out immediately. This was one of the resources I turned to during COVID-19 to help me re-center.” Richard Chiovarelli, Psy.D., Senior Staff Psychologist at CAPS.

Finding Our Way

Finding Our Way by Prentis Hemphill who is a writer, healer, teacher, and Somatics practitioner- “Prentis dives into topics of embodiment, boundaries, harm, creativity, and more with people who are working to reshape this world.” Monica Becerra, Ph.D. Postdoctoral Fellow.

Echando Pa’Lante

Echando Pa’Lante by Manuel Blasisi-Mendez, PsyD - Spanish/English This is a bilingual podcast that focuses on addressing the mental health crisis that is happening in society from a de-colonized perspective. It is a great podcast to listen to if you want to better understand how your intersecting identities, roles, and history currently impact you and your mental health. Monica Becerra, Ph.D. Postdoctoral Fellow.

ADHD Experts Podcast

ADHD Experts Podcast, Associated with ADDitude Magazine. Excellent lectures by ADHD experts on a wide range of aspects of ADHD, as well as understanding treatment directions. Robin Walley, LCSW, Social Services.