5 books to inspire and get you through the tough times

Getting lost in a book, highlighter in hand, is one of the true joys in my life! For someone who didn’t like to read until college, I have absolutely made up for it since then. And when I need to escape from life or find my way through a problem, a book is a good place to start. Below are 5 of my favorites—some new and some old—that are perfect for getting through a tough time or just looking to grow or laugh.

  1. Carry On, Warrior by Glennon Doyle. This is the first of three books that Glennon has written over the years, and this one still holds the most special place in my heart. It came into my life at the exact moment I needed it, as my marriage ended and I struggled to understand the complexities of alcoholism. And her incredibly perfect and real way she describes the moments of motherhood made me feel like maybe I was doing things exactly as I should.

It is my favorite moment in life. When you realize, Wow, this is bad. Really, really bad. But we’re still here. We’re gonna make it through. Not over or under or around, but through. And look, we’re even going to smile again.

– Glennon Doyle

2. YOU Are a Badass by Jen Sincero. You have to get over a bit of the way she writes like she’s talking to a 24 year old. Let me say that off the bat. But the girl has some GOOD stuff in this book, and as I’ve gotten older and been through more stuff, the more I believe in what Sincero writes. Putting a good, positive attitude into the world can really change what you can accomplish. And I’ve seen it happen. It’s true. If you believe it, you can do it.

3. Option B by Sheryl Sandberg and Adam Grant. Sheryl Sandberg lost her husband in an instant, and she had to deal with unthinkable tragedy, learning to parent her small kids without their loving dad. Her story was always a painful one to me because I felt so much similarity to her situation, but hers felt a million times worse—their love, his parenting… it was filled with joy and in an instant it was gone. This book reminds us all that when the world around is is falling apart, there’s still Option B. There’s something we can focus on to keep above water.

4. Open Book by Jessica Simpson. Okay I have to admit, I LOVED Jessica Simpson back in the day. I’m talking her pre-Nick Lachey days. When she had a song on Dawson’s Creek and didn’t even have an album out. And reading about that moment in her book was so nostalgic. But even if you hadn’t been a Jessica Simpson fan, you will love getting lost in this book. As bougie as Jessica is, she’s also so relatable as you read about her struggles in relationships (John Mayer is everyone’s bad news bear that you just can’t shake!), and reading about her drinking days reminded me once again how secret everyone’s problems are.

5. The Other Side of the Door by Ashley Adams. Yup, my own book. I had to include it in my list because it’s why I wrote the book. By sharing our stories, we make it a little easier for someone else to be brave, to feel less alone. When I walked in on my husband pouring whiskey in a Coke can at 7am, my world turned upside down. And I wrote and wrote and wrote for the next two years hoping one day my story would help someone else. And like Glennon said, it’s not moving above or around the pain, it’s through it. And I have more than smiled again.

Published by Ashley Adams

Author, former single mom, lover of Cherry Coke Zero and Taylor Swift. Here to coach and support and love on women in challenging relationships.

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