8 Books That Will Help You Think Deeper And See Clearer

8 Books That Will Help You Think Deeper And See Clearer

Whether you're soul searching, feeling blue, having an existential crisis, or just living, these books are worth reading.


1. ​"First, We Make the Beast Beautiful"​ by Sarah Wilson

Beyond Maternal

"First, we make the beast beautiful" is a Chinese proverb that invites us to accept and embrace the parts of our lives that scare us. Just as the intelligence and grace of an octopus was once feared, the grip of mental disease can be a daunting beast. In this beautifully illustrated story, Sarah Wilson takes a refreshing perspective on anxiety, writing about her own experience using words of acceptance and transformation, rather than pain and submission.

2. "Lost in Translation" by Ella Frances Sanders

Ella Frances Sanders

In today's society, more than ever, opportunities for self-expression and creativity are abundant. Individuals have the ability to connect with others and with themselves, but technology has taken over as the primary form of communication. The art of language - the bridge between even the most diverse of people - is often ignored. In this book, Ella Frances Sanders gives life to words that cannot be translated into our language. "Lost in Translation" will lead you to discover outlets of expression you may have never before considered.

3. "Happiness is..." by Lisa Swerling and Ralph Lazar

Last Lemon

With all of the hate, pain, war, and sickness plaguing our world, it's hard to find a little bit of good. To combat overwhelming negativity, Lisa Swerling and Ralph Lazar teamed up to compile this list of 500 things to be happy about, ranging from ideas as complex as parenthood to simple pleasures like the cold side of a pillow. Even on the cloudiest of mornings, you can find a little bit of sunshine peeking through a page of this book.

4. "Milk and Honey" by Rupi Kaur


In 2014, Indian immigrant Rupi Kaur quickly became a best-selling author after she self-published her first work, "Milk and Honey." The book, originally written as the author's private coping mechanism, is divided into four parts: The Hurting, The Loving, The Breaking, and The Healing. Each of these sections is filled with poetry and prose that spark distinct emotions with each turned page. The reader is invited to reflect on his/her own experiences as Kaur offers her heart in this stunningly unique story of survival.

5. "The Sun and Her Flowers" by Rupi Kaur

Clutter Box

Years after Rupi Kaur exposed her scarred heart to the world through "Milk and Honey," she shared a more upbeat collection of work. "The Sun and Her Flowers" is based on the idea that people, like flowers, must





in order to bloom."

Incorporating historical, cultural, and personal anecdotes, Kaur expands her unique writing style to explore the ideas of love through family, friends, significant others, and most importantly, oneself.

6. "Full Catastrophe Living" by Dr. Jon Kabat-Zinn, Ph.D.

Content Catnip

The brutal truth is that stress is everywhere. We can't escape stress; we must embrace our anxieties and relinquish fear as Sarah Wilson teaches in "First, We Make the Beast Beautiful." But it's not easy. How can we stay standing against the never-ending waves of illness, responsibility, and perceived failure? As a college student, I'm constantly surrounded by some of the most stressed-out people I have ever met. There's always a test, always an assignment, always that annoying thing called adulthood. And to make it even better, when everyone is stressed, everyone is sick. So, basically, everyone is always sick. Dr. Jon Kabat-Zinn explores this mind-body connection in "Full Catastrophe Living," outlining his own stress reduction program that aims to heal chronic pain and disease by naturally soothing the mind and spirit.

7. "Vertigo: of Love and Letting Go" by Analog de Leon

Going Vertigo

This modern epic poem has a very similar style to Rupi Kaur's two books. Analog de Leon, a moniker developed by Chris Purifoy, writes short but thought-provoking poems and prose to indulge the minds of many. It seems to me that this piece of literature truly exemplifies the commonly used expression, "beauty is in the eye of the beholder." Each page, no matter how few or many words it holds, hints at concepts deeper and more complex than many are comfortable exploring. If you are willing to think, it's worth it.

8. "101 Essays That Will Change the Way You Think" by Brianna Wiest

We Heart It

Well, the title of this one pretty much speaks for itself. It's not lying, either. Of the 441 pages waiting to be read, I have only completed two. In one sitting, those two pages gave me the words I didn't realize I had been waiting to hear for a very, very long time. These words have spoken to me in a way that has allowed me to open my heart and engage in the most honest conversations I have had with myself and others. The way I think, feel, and share has truly been changed. In 101 uplifting essays, Brianna Weist motivates, teaches, empathizes, and guides in a way that feels like you're lying under the stars, talking about life with your best friend at 2 a.m.

Popular Right Now

11 Things Psychology Majors Hear That Drive Them Crazy

No pun intended.

We've all been there. You're talking to a new acquaintance, or a friend of your parents, or whoever. And then, you get the dreaded question.

"So what are you studying in school?"

Cue the instant regret of picking Psychology as your major, solely for the fact that you are 99.9% likely to receive one of the slightly comical, slightly cliche, slightly annoying phrases listed below. Don't worry though, I've included some responses for you to use next time this comes up in conversation. Because it will.

Quick side note, these are all real-life remarks that I've gotten when I told people I was a psych major.

Here we go.

1. So are you, like, analyzing me right now?

Well, I wasn't. But yeah. Now I am.

2. Ugh so jealous! You picked the easy major.

"Lol" is all I have to say to this one. I'm gonna go write my 15-page paper on cognitive impairment. You have fun with your five college algebra problems, though!

3. So can you tell me what you think is wrong with me? *Shares entire life story*

Don't get me wrong; I love listening and helping people get through hard times. But we can save the story about how one time that one friend said that one slightly rude comment to you for later.

4. Well, s**t, I have to be careful what I say around you.

Relax, pal. I couldn't diagnose and/or institutionalize you even if I wanted to.

5. OMG! I have the perfect first client for you! *Proceeds to vent about ex-boyfriend or girlfriend*

Possible good response: simply nod your head the entire time, while actually secretly thinking about the Ben and Jerry's carton you're going to go home and demolish after this conversation ends.

6. So you must kind of be like, secretly insane or something to be into Psychology.

Option one: try and hide that you're offended. Option two: just go with it, throw a full-blown tantrum, and scare off this individual, thereby ending this painful conversation.

7. Oh. So you want to be a shrink?

First off, please. Stop. Calling. Therapists. Shrinks. Second, that's not a psych major's one and only job option.

8. You know you have to go to grad school if you ever want a job in Psychology.

Not completely true, for the record. But I am fully aware that I may have to spend up to seven more years of my life in school. Thanks for the friendly reminder.

9. So you... want to work with like... psychopaths?

Let's get serious and completely not-sarcastic for a second. First off, I take personal offense to this one. Having a mental illness does not classify you as a psycho, or not normal, or not deserving of being treated just like anyone else on the planet. Please stop using a handful of umbrella terms to label millions of wonderful individuals. It's not cool and not appreciated.

10. So can you, like, read my mind?

It actually might be fun to say yes to this one. Try it out and see what happens. Get back to me.

11. You must be a really emotional person to want to work in Psychology.

Psychology is more than about feeling happy, or sad, or angry. Psychology is about understanding the most complex thing to ever happen to us: our brain. How it works the way it does, why it works the way it does, and how we can better understand and communicate with this incredibly mysterious, incredibly vast organ in our tiny little skull. That's what psychology is.

So keep your head up, psychology majors, and don't let anyone discourage you about choosing, what is in my opinion, the coolest career field out there. The world needs more people like us.

Cover Image Credit: Pexels

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Short Stories On Odyssey: Roses

What's worth more than red roses?


Five years old and a bouquet of roses rested in her hands. The audience-- clapped away her performance, giving her a standing ovation. She's smiling then because everything made sense, her happiness as bright as the roses she held in her hands.

Fifteen now, and a pile of papers rested on her desk. The teachers all smiled when she walked down the aisle and gave them her presentation. She was content then but oh so stressed, but her parents happy she had an A as a grade, not red on her chest.

Eighteen now and a trail of tears followed her to the door. Partying, and doing some wild things, she just didn't know who she was. She's crying now, doesn't know anymore, slamming her fists into walls, pricking her fingers on roses' thorns.

Twenty-one and a bundle of bills were grasped in her hands. All the men-- clapped and roared as she sold her soul, to the pole, for a dance. She's frowning now because everything went wrong, but she has to stay strong, for rich green money, is worth more than red roses.

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