8 Best Brené Brown Books: Top Picks for Personal Growth

Are you looking for the best Brené Brown books to set on a journey of self-discovery? We’ve compiled her greatest works to help you get started.

If you’re looking to do some inner work, our list of the best Brené Brown books is a great starting point. Brown is a renowned self-help author, research professor, and motivational speaker who has spent decades studying vulnerability, courage, shame, and empathy.

Her influence and readership speak for themselves, as Brown has six New York Times best-sellers under her belt. The author once admitted, “Being courageous is more important to me, as a value, than succeeding.

Each of Brown’s books focuses on different aspects of personal growth and self-discovery, making them valuable resources for anyone seeking to live a more authentic and courageous life.

Whether you want to advance your career by learning valuable leadership skills or discover how to build more meaningful connections in your personal life, Brown has lots of wisdom to offer.

You might also be interested in our round-up of the best self-help authors.

Brené Brown Best Books

1. Daring Greatly

Daring Greatly
Daring Greatly is one of Brown’s most popular books.

Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead is one of Brown’s most popular books. Brown seamlessly blends her nuggets of wisdom and research findings with a compelling narrative that keeps you hooked. It teaches readers how to become more comfortable commanding attention and being seen by others.

The book is a game-changer for people who feel like they’re not enough or make themselves smaller out of fear of being vulnerable. Brown helps readers use that vulnerability to their advantage.

Because true belonging only happens when we present our authentic, imperfect selves to the world, our sense of belonging can never be greater than our level of self-acceptance.

― Brené Brown
Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead
  • Brown, Brené (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 320 Pages - 04/07/2015 (Publication Date) - Avery (Publisher)

2. The Gifts Of Imperfection

The Gifts of Imperfection
The Gifts Of Imperfection is made up of 10 guide points to teach readers how to love themselves.

In The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You’re Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are, Brown shares her guide to living, which she calls “Wholehearted Living.” By this, she means living a life where you believe you have inherent worth and value. This book encourages embracing our imperfections and accepting that we are enough just as we are.

It consists of ten helpful guide points, one per chapter, that direct readers toward building self-confidence. Like Daring Greatly, it’s a perfect blend of wisdom, research, and masterful storytelling. Those struggling with self-esteem might find reading this book is the first step on a journey to self-love.

Perfectionism is a self-destructive and addictive belief system that fuels this primary thought: If I look perfect, and do everything perfectly, I can avoid or minimize the painful feelings of shame, judgment, and blame.”

― Brené Brown
The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You're Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are
  • The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You're Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are
  • Brené Brown (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 160 Pages - 08/27/2010 (Publication Date) - Hazelden (Publisher)

3. Rising Strong

Rising Strong
Rising Strong presents Brown’s three-step process for emotional recovery.

Rising Strong, or its full title, Rising Strong: How the Ability to Reset Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead, explores the process of overcoming failure and adversity in our lives.

In this book, Brown explores the process of emotional recovery through her three-step framework: “The Reckoning,” “The Rumble,” and “The Revolution.” In other words, readers must confront their life stories, embrace them, and then change the ending for the better.

To inspire readers, Brown highlights instances of people such as successful business owners, artists, parents, and parents who failed yet powered through. She points out that the common denominator is that these people aren’t afraid to feel discomfort.

This novel is a perfect balance of tangible advice and relatable anecdotes. Brown’s signature friendly, conversational writing style puts readers at ease and makes them feel ready to face anything. Anyone looking to take a risk in their life or learn how to cope with disappointment will benefit from this book.

Vulnerability is not winning or losing; it’s having the courage to show up and be seen when we have no control over the outcome. Vulnerability is not weakness; it’s our greatest measure of courage.

― Brené Brown
Rising Strong: How the Ability to Reset Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead
  • Brown, Brené (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 352 Pages - 04/04/2017 (Publication Date) - Random House (Publisher)

4. Braving The Wilderness

Braving The Wilderness
Braving The Wilderness is about becoming your authentic self and learning how to connect with others.

In Braving the Wilderness, Brown guides readers through finding their sense of belonging and building meaningful connections amidst the increasing disconnection in today’s world.

Brown describes the “Wilderness” as a place you go after being rejected by social circles for speaking up about what you believe in.

Although this can be scary for people craving connection, the lesson the author wants to impart is that we find true connection when we’re being ourselves, not who we think others want us to be.

Brown teaches readers that while being authentic can push some people away, by entering the “Wilderness”, you open yourself up to freedom and to the possibility of meeting more like-minded people.

By sharing stories from her own childhood alongside sociological research, Brown crafted an engaging novel that is sure to resonate with fans. It’s perfect for people-pleasers who want to finally become their true selves.

The wilderness can often feel unholy because we can’t control it, or what people think about our choice of whether to venture into that vastness or not. But it turns out to be the place of true belonging, and it’s the bravest and most sacred place you will ever stand.

― Brené Brown
Braving the Wilderness: The Quest for True Belonging and the Courage to Stand Alone
  • Hardcover Book
  • Brown, Brené (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 208 Pages - 09/12/2017 (Publication Date) - Random House (Publisher)

5. Dare To Lead

Dare To Lead
Dare To Lead is made up of four parts.

Dare to Lead: Brave Work. Tough Conversations. Whole Hearts focuses on leadership and cultivating the courage to lead with empathy, connection, and vulnerability. The author emphasizes the importance of empathetic leadership that fosters positive change and builds trust between team members.

It’s split into four parts, the first of which is “Rumbling with Vulnerability,” which shows readers how to negate feelings of shame and embrace vulnerability as leaders. The second part, “Living Into Our Values”, has an activity section where you can list your values and discover how to turn your values into tangible actions.

“Braving Trust” is about learning how to build trust with others, while the final section “Learning to Rise”, focuses on learning how to identify and respond to our emotions and the emotions of others.

This book is ideal for business professionals who are looking to become more compassionate leaders.

I define a leader as anyone who takes responsibility for finding the potential in people and processes, and who has the courage to develop that potential.

― Brené Brown
Dare to Lead: Brave Work. Tough Conversations. Whole Hearts.
  • Hardcover Book
  • Brown, Brené (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 320 Pages - 10/09/2018 (Publication Date) - Random House (Publisher)

6. Atlas Of The Heart

Atlas Of The Heart
Atlas Of The Heart is a guide to our emotions.

Atlas of the Heart: Mapping Meaningful Connection and the Language of Human Experience is all about mapping our emotions. In it, Brown guides readers through 87 feelings and experiences that define the human condition.

She teaches readers how to accurately label how they feel and how to use that understanding to have better interactions with other people.

It’s a refreshing change from Brown’s other books, as she highlights her findings with diagrams and illustrations. Although it is more research-heavy too, it’s still presented in a digestible format so that all readers can understand it.

Anyone looking to identify complex emotions in themselves or to better understand others will benefit from this book.

Avoidance will make you feel less vulnerable in the short run, but it will never make you less afraid.

― Brené Brown
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Atlas of the Heart: Mapping Meaningful Connection and the Language of Human Experience
  • Hardcover Book
  • Brown, Brené (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 336 Pages - 11/30/2021 (Publication Date) - Random House (Publisher)

7. You Are Your Best Thing

You Are Your Best Thing
You Are Your Best Thing is an anthology edited by Brown and Tarana Burke.

You Are Your Best Thing: Vulnerability, Shame Resilience, and the Black Experience is an anthology edited by Brown and Tarana Burke. It’s a collection of essays penned by Black writers, artists, public figures, and more, including Laverne Cox, Kiese Laymon, and Imani Perry. The essays are a mix of personal anecdotes and universal truths, but each one is extremely raw and personal.

It’s a relatable collection of work for the Black community. It’s also a wonderful place for allies to educate themselves on the Black experience.

But the timing was bigger than us. I had really been grappling over the last couple of years with trying to figure out how to be more inclusive—how to present the work in a way that invited more people to see themselves. The last thing I ever wanted to do was put work in the world around shame, vulnerability, and courage, then make people feel like they had to do something extra to find themselves in it.”

― Brené Brown
You Are Your Best Thing: Vulnerability, Shame Resilience, and the Black Experience
  • Hardcover Book
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 256 Pages - 04/27/2021 (Publication Date) - Random House (Publisher)

8. I Thought It Was Just Me (But It Isn’t)

I Thought It Was Just Me (But It Isn’t)
I Thought It Was Just Me (But It Isn’t) is all about embracing imperfection.

I Thought It Was Just Me (But It Isn’t): Making the Journey from “What Will People Think?“ to “I Am Enough“ is all about how our imperfections are what make us special and allow us to connect with others.

The book is backed by several years of interviews but is still as personable and easy-to-read as Brown’s other works. The core teaching is that we need to block out the societal messaging that urges us to be perfect and embrace our most authentic selves without shame. If you’re struggling to ignore the pressure to conform, this book is for you.

Shame is the intensely painful feeling or experience of believing we are flawed and therefore unworthy of acceptance and belonging.

― Brené Brown
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I Thought It Was Just Me (but it isn't): Making the Journey from "What Will People Think?" to "I Am Enough"
  • Brown, Brené (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 336 Pages - 12/27/2007 (Publication Date) - Avery (Publisher)

If you liked this post, you might also be interested in our list of the best inspirational books.

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