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Recommended Creativity and Healing Resources

A list of publications focused on writing, the writing process, writers, Growth, creativity, spirituality, and healing that are useful for individual and group exploration


  • The Alchemical Heart: Writing into The Sacred
  • Into The Heart of Grace 
  • Empowering the Survivor’s Voice:  Writing As A Means of Healing
  • A String of Words and Voices 
  • Own Your Voice, Own The Room 


James Allen, As a Man Thinketh: The Complete Original Edition and Master of Destiny.
New York:  St Martin’s Essentials, 2019 Reprint

Alice Anderson, Some Bright Morning, I’ll Fly Away
New York:  St. Martin’s Press, 2017

Jill Angelo, Sacred Space: Turning Your Home Into a Sanctuary
Oakland:  Kion Yamaguchi Press, 2015

Maya Angelou

  • The Complete Poetry
    New York:  Random House, 2015
  • The Heart of A Woman
    New York:  Random House, 1981
  • I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings
    New York:  Random House, 1969

Sarah Ban Breathnach,  Simple Abundance
New York:  Warner Books, 1995

Coleman Barks  

  • Rumi: The Big Red Book: The Great Masterpiece Celebrating Mystical Love and Friendship
    Columbia: Deckle Edge, 2011
  • The Essential Rumi
    New York:  Penguin, 1997

Frank Barron, Creative Person and Creative Process
New York:  Holt, Rinehart, and Winston, Inc., 1969

Frank Barron, Alfonso Montuori and Anthea Barron, eds., Creators On Creating:  Awakening and Cultivating the Imaginative Mind
New York:  Jeremy P. Tarcher/Putnam; Penguin, 1997

Ellen Bass and Laura Davis

  • Beginning to Heal (Revised Edition): A First Book for Men and Women Who Were Sexually Abused As Children
    New York:  William Morrow, 2003
  • The Courage To Heal:  A Guide for Survivors of Child. Sexual Abuse
    New York:  Harper Collins, 1994

Ellen Bass and Louise Thornton, eds.,  I Never Told Anyone:  Writings By Women Survivors of Childhood Sexual Abuse
New York:  Harper and Row, 1983

Martha Beck, Finding Your Way in a Wild New World: Reclaim Your True Nature to Create the Life You Want
New York:  Atria Books, 2013

Sheila Bender, ed., The Writer’s Journal:  40 Contemporary Writers and Their Journals
New York:  Delta/Dell Publishing, 1997

Anne Bernays and Pamela Painter,  What If:  Writing Exercises for Fiction Writers
New York:  Harper Collins, 1990

Daleen Berry, Sister of Silence
Morgantown:  Nellie Bly Books, 2011

Gary John Bishop,  Unfu*k Yourself: Get Out of Your Head and into Your Life
New York:  Harper One, 2017

Dorothea Brande, Becoming A Writer
Original publication date was 1934
Reprint: Los Angeles:  Jeremy P. Tarcher, 1981

Brene Brown

  • Braving The Wilderness: The Quest for True Belonging and the Courage to Stand Alone
    New York:  Random House, 2017
  • Rising Strong
    London:  Vermilion: 2015
  • Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead
    New York:  Gotham, 2012 

Susan Cahill, ed., Writing Women’s Lives:  An Anthology of Autobiographical Narratives by Twentieth Century American Women Writers
New York:  Harper Collins, 1994

Julia Cameron with Mark Bryan, The Artist’s Way
New York:  Jeremy P. Tarcher/Putnam,1992

Julia Cameron

  • Walking In This World:  The Practical Art of Creativity; Further Steps Along The Artist’s Way
    New York:  Jeremy P. Tarcher/Putnam, 2002
  • God is No Laughing Matter:  Observations and Objections on the Spiritual Path
    New York:  Jeremy P. Tarcher/Putnam, 2000
  • The Right To Write
    New York:  Jeremy P. Tarcher/Putnam, 1998
  • The Vein of Gold
    New York:  Jeremy P. Tarcher/Putnam; 1996

Brandi Carlisle, Broken Horses
New York:  Crown Publishing, 2021

E. Jean Carroll, What Do We need Men For?: A Modest Proposal
New York: St. Martin’s Press, 2019

Paulo Cohelo, The Alchemist
San Francisco:  Harper One, 2015

Phil Cousineau, ed.,  Soul:  An Archeology
San Francisco:  Harper Books, 1994

Gavin DeBecker, The Gift Of Fear:  Survival Signals that Protect Us from Violence
New York:  Little, Brown and Company, 1997

Louise DeSalvo, Writing As a Way of Healing:  How Telling Our Stories Transforms Our Lives
Boston:  Beacon Press, 1999

Ross Douthat, The Decadent Society: How We Became the Victims of Our Own Success
New York:  Simon and Schuster, 2020

Glennon Doyle  


  • Untamed
    New York:  The Dial Press / Penguin Random House, 2020
  • Love Warrior: A Memoir
    New York:  Flat Iron Books / Macmillan Publishers, 2016

Frances Driscoll, The Rape Poems
Port Angeles:  Pleasure Boat Studios, 1997

Charles Duhigg, The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business
New York:  Random House Trade Paperbacks, 2014

Robert Ellsberg, The Saint’s Guide to Happiness
New York:  North Point Press, 2003

Eve Ensler 

  • In The Body of The World: A Memoir of Cancer and Connection
    New York:  Metropolitan Books, 2013
  • The Vagina Monologues: The V-Day Edition
    New York:  Random House/Villard Books, 2000

Dr. Clarissa Pinkola Estes, Ph.D., Women Who Run with the Wolves:  Myths and Stories of the Wild Woman Archetype
New York:  Ballantine, 1997

Patricia Evans, The Verbally Abusive Relationship: How to Recognize it and How to Respond
Avon:  Adams Media, 2010

Erin French, Finding Freedom: A Cook’s Story; Remaking a Life from Scratch
New York;  Celadon Books, 2021

Marie Forlleo, Everything Is Figureoutable
New York:  Portfolio Books, 2019

John Fox, Poetic Medicine:  The Healing Art Of Poem-Making
New York:  Jeremy P. Tarcher/Penguin, 1997

Matthew Fox, Creativity:  Where The Divine and The Human Meet
New York:  Jeremy P. Tarcher/Penguin, 2002

Frederick Franck, Zen Seeing, Zen Drawing
New York:  Bantam Books, 1993

Viktor Frankl, Man’s Search for Meaning
Originally published in Austria: Verlag für Jugend und Volk, 1946
Published in English:  Boston:  Beacon Press (English), 1959

Alan E. Fruzetti, The High Conflict Couple – A Dialectical Behavior Therapy Guide to Finding Peace, Intimacy and Validation
Oakland, CA:  New Harbinger Publications, 2007

Elizabeth Gilbert, Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear
London:  Bloomsbury Publishing, 2015

Natalie Goldberg 

  • The Long Quiet Highway
    New York:  Bantam Books, 1993
  • Writing Down The Bones
    Boston:  Shambhala Publications, Inc., 1986

Dr. John Gottman, Ph.D.,  Why Marriages Succeed or Fail:  And How You Can Make Yours Last
New York: Simon and Schuster, 1995
See also The Gottman Institute

Kelle Groom, I Wore the Ocean in the Shape of a Girl
New York:  Free Press, 2011

Andrew Harvey

The Institute for Sacred Activism

  • Light The Flame:  365 Days of Prayer
    New York:  Hay House, 2013
  • The Hope: A Guide to Sacred Activism
    New York:  Hay House, 2009
  • The Return of The Mother
    New York:  Tarcher 2000

Dr. Judith Lewis Herman, M.D., Trauma and Recovery
New York:  Basic Books, 1992

James Hillman, The Soul’s Code:  In Search of Character and Calling
New York:  Random House, 1996

Alice Hoffman, Here On Earth
New York:  Putnam, 1997

Rachel Hollis

  • Girl, Stop Apologizing
    New York: Harper Collins, 2019
  • Girl, Wash Your Face
    Nashville:  Thomas Nelson, 2018

bell hooks, Wounds of Passion
New York:  Henry Holt, 1997

Marie Howe, What The Living Do
New York:  W.W. Norton and Company, 1999

Quiara Alegría Hudes, My Broken Language: A Memoir
New York:  Penguin/One World, 2021

Allegra Huston, Love Child:  A Memoir of Family Lost and Found
New York:  Simon and Schuster and London:  Bloomsbury, 2009

Hybels-Steer, Mariann, Aftermath:  Survive and Overcome Trauma
New York:  Fireside/Simon and Shuster Books, 1995

Mary Johnson, An Unquenchable Thirst
New York:  Spiegel & Grau/Random House, 2001

Dr. Paul Kalanithi, M.D., When Breath Becomes Air
Columbia:  Deckle Edge, 2016

Mary Karr 

  • The Art of Memoir
    New York:  Harper Books, 2015
  • Lit: A Memoir
    New York:  Harper Perennial, 2010
  • The Liar’s Club
    New York:  Penguin Books, 2005

Henriette Anne Klauser

  • With Pen In Hand:  The Healing Power Of Writing
    Cambridge:  Perseus Publishing, 2003
  • Write It Down, Make It Happen
    New York:  Simon and Shuster, 2001

Sarah Knight, Get Your Sh*t Together: How to Stop Worrying About What You Should Do So You Can Finish What You Need to Do and Start Doing What You Want to Do (A No F*cks Given Guide)
New York:  Little, Brown and Company, 2016


Laughing At The Sky website is for seekers of courage and healing. It offers words of wisdom, brave books, and personal stories and recommendations from people who are rising above major life challenges to accomplish the extraordinary. Heidi Love, founder of Laughing at the Sky and the author of a much-awaited memoir about her own path of empowerment, showcases the stories of people whose lives remind us that your dreams can be bigger than your fears.

Amanda Gorman, Poet and Activist, was profiled as a Gutsy Goddess before she performed her poem, The Hill We Climb, during the 2021 Inauguration of President Biden and Vice President Harris,  which inspired the nation.

Dora E. McQuaid appears twice on Laughing at The Sky:

Anne LaMott

  • Traveling Mercies:  Some Thoughts On Faith
    New York:  Pantheon Books, 1999
  • Bird By Bird:  Some Instructions On Writing and Life
    New York:  Doubleday, 1994

Madeleine L’Engle, Walking on Water
Wheaton:  Harold Shaw Publishers, 1980

Peter Levine, Waking The Tiger: Healing Trauma
Berkeley:  North Atlantic Books, 1997

Mark Lew, Victims No Longer: The Classic Guide for Men Recovering from Sexual Child Abuse
New York:  Harper Perennial, 2004

Suzanne Lipsett, Surviving a Writer’s Life
San Francisco:  Harper Press, 1994

Barry Lopez, About This Life:  Journeys on The Threshold of Memory
New York:  Vintage Books, 1998

Audre Lorde, Sister Outsider:  Essays and Speeches
Freedom: Crossing Press, 1984

Anne Marie MacDonald, Fall On Your Knees
New York:  Simon & Schuster, 1996

Dawna Markova, I Will Not Die An Unlived Life: Reclaiming Purpose and Passion San Francisco:  Red Wheel/Weiser LLC., 2000

Mark Manson 

  • Everything Is F*cked: A Book about Hope
    New York:  Harper, 2019
  • The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck: A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life
    New York:  Harper, 2016

Mark Matousek 

  • When You’re Falling, Dive: Lessons on The Art of Living
    New York:  Bloomsbury, 2009
  • The Boy He Left Behind: A Man’s Search For His Lost Father
    New York:  CreateSpace, 2008
  • Sex Death Enlightenment: A True Story
    New York:  Riverhead Trade/Penguin Books, 1997

Dora E. McQuaid, the scorched earth and the scorched earth: spoken audio companion
Expanded, Second Edition
Fort Worth:  Baskerville, 2014.

  • Dora’s pioneering collection of poems about her journey of healing from a history of both sexual and domestic violence into empowerment and advocacy as an award-winning poet, activist, speaker and teacher.
  • Foreword by Eve Ensler, author of The Vagina Monologues.

Bill Moyers, The Language of Life:  A Festival of Poets
New York:  Doubleday, 1995  

A companion to Bill Moyers’s 1995 public television series interviewing and showcasing the public readings of 34 poets. Excellent series and interviews.

Wayne Muller, Sabbath: Finding Rest, Renewal and Delight In Our Busy Lives
New York:  Bantam, 1999

Caroline Myss 

  • Sacred Contracts: Awakening Your Divine Potential
    New York:  Three Rivers Press, 2002
  • Anatomy of Spirit: The Seven Stages of Power and Healing
    New York:  Harmony Books/Crown Publishing, 1996

Mark Nepo, The Book of Awakening: How to Have The Life You Want By Being Present to The Life You Have
Newburyport:  Red Wheel/Weiser, 2000

Leslea Newman, Writing From The Heart:  Inspiration and Exercises for Women Who  Want to Write
Freedom:  The Crossing Press, 1993

Kathleen Norris

  • The Cloister Walk
    New York:  Riverhead Books, 1996
  • Dakota:  A Spiritual Geography
    New York:  Riverhead Books, 1993

Michelle Obama,  Becoming
New York:  Crown Publishing, 2018

Sharon Olds 

  • The Dead and The Living
    New York:  Knopf, 2001
  • The Gold Cell
    New York:  Knopf, 1989

Mary Oliver 

  • A Thousand Mornings
    London:  Penguin Books, 2013
  • A Poetry Handbook:  A Prose Guide to Understanding and Writing Poetry
    New York:  Harcourt Brace and Company, 1994

M. Scott Peck

  • People of the Lie: The Hope for Healing Human Evil
    New York: Simon and Schuster, 1983
  • The Road Less Traveled
    New York:  Simon and Schuster, 1978

Dr. David Perlmutter with Kristin Loberg, Brain Maker: The Power of Gut Microbes to Heal and Protect Your Brain–for Life
New York:  Little, Brown and Company, 2015

Dr. Bruce Perry, M.D., Ph.D. and Oprah Winfrey, What Happened To You? Conversations on Trauma, Resilience and Healing
New York:  Flatiron Books, 2021

To explore Dr. Perry’s ground-breaking work on trauma and child psychiatry, visit

Watch the interview between Oprah and Dr. Perry during the SXSW EDU 2021 Conference

Jordon Peterson, 12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos
Toronto:  Penguin Random House of Canada, 2018

George Plimpton, ed.,  The Paris Review Interviews:  Women Writers at Work
New York:  Penguin Books, 1989

The interviews in this collection are selected from The Paris Review Interviews: Writers at Work, Series 1-8.  Introduced by Margaret Atwood.

David Richo, How To Be An Adult – A Handbook on Psychological and Spiritual Integration
Mahwah, NJ:  Paulist Press, 1991

Rhimes, Shonda, Year of Yes:  How to Dance It Out, Stand In the Sun and Be Your Own Person
New York:  Simon ans Schuster, 2015

Nina Riggs, The Bright Hour:  A Memoir of Living and Dying
New York:  Simon and Schuster, 2018

Rainer Maria Rilke, trans. Anita Barrows and Joanna Macy, Book of Hours: Love Poems to God: One Hundred Year Anniversary Edition
New York: Penguin/Riverhead Books, 2005

Rainer Maria Rilke, trans. Stephen Mitchell, Letters To A Young Poet
New York:  Random House, 1984

Phyllis Rose, ed., The Norton Book of Women’s Lives
New York:  W.W. Norton, 1993

Dr. Don Miguel Ruiz, Beyond Fear:  A Toltec Guide to Freedom and Joy
Tulsa:  Council Oak Books, 1997

Sarton, May, Journal of Solitude
New York:  Norton, 1973

Ilene Segalove and Paul Bob Velick, Risk Your Self:  List-Making as the Ultimate Path for Personal Change
Kansas City:  Andrews McMeel Publishing, 2000

Martin E. P.  Seligman, The Hope Circuit : A Psychologist’s Journey from Helplessness to Optimism
New York: Public Affairs/Perseus Book Group, 2018

Susan Shaughnessy, Walking On Alligators:  A Book of Meditations For Writers
New York:  Harper Collins, 1993

Jen Sincero, You Are a Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life
Jenkintown, PA:  Running Press, 2013

Michael Singer, The Untethered Soul:  The Journey Beyond Yourself
Oakland:  New Harbinger Publications/ Noetic Books, 2007

Rebecca Solnit 

  • Hope in the Dark: Untold Histories, Wild Possibilities
    Chicago, IL:  Haymarket Books, 2016
  • Men Explain Things to Me
    Chicago, IL:  Haymarket, 2014

Janet Sternburg, ed.

  • The Writer on Her Work:  Volume II
    New York:  W.W. Norton, 1991
    • Excellent collection of essays by women writers about their own processes of writing and experiences, specifically, as women writer. The essays by Erica Jong and Honor Moore’s are two that I return to again and again.
  • The Writer on Her Work
    New York:  W.W. Norton, 1980
    • Another excellent collection of essays gathered in the same spirit as exhibited in Volume I. All new women writers in this Volume II.

Cheryl Strayed, Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail
New York:  Knopf, 2012

Eckhart Tolle

  • A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose
    New York:  Penguin, 2005
  • The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment
    Novato, CA:  New World Library, 2004
  • Stillness Speaks
    Novato:  New World Library and Vancouver, Canada: Namaste Publishing, 2003
  • Practicing the Power of Now: Essential Teachings, Meditations, and Exercises from the Power of Now
    Novato, CA:  New World Library, 1997

Tina Tuner and Kurt Loder, I, Tina:  My Life Story
New York:  William Morrow and Company, 1986

Toko-pa Turner,  Belonging:  Remembering Ourselves Home
London:  Her Own Room Press, 2017

Brenda Uleland, If You Want to Write
St. Paul, MN:  Schubert, 1983

Bessel Van der Kolk, MD, Bessel, The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma
New York: Viking, 2014

Ambika Wauters, Chakras and Their Archetypes:  Uniting Energy Awareness and Spiritual Growth
Berkeley:  Crossing Press, 1997

Elie Wiesel, Night
New York:  Hill and Wang Publishers, 2006

Eudora Welty, One Writer’s Beginnings
New York:  Warner Books, 1983

Sarah Wilson

  • This One Wild and Precious Life: The Path Back to Connection in a Fractured World
    New York:  Dey Street Books / Harper Collins, 2020
  • First We Make The Beast Beautiful: A New Story on Anxiety
    New York:  Dey Street Books / Harper Collins, 2018

David  Whyte

  • River Flow: New and Selected Poems
    Langley:  Many Rivers Press, 2007
  • Everything Is Waiting For You
    Langley:  Many Rivers Press, 2003

Ted Wiard with Carol Poteate, Witnessing Ted: The Journey to Potential Through Grief and Loss
CreateSpace Publishing, 2011

Marianne Williamson, A Woman’s Worth
New York:  Random House, 1993

Louise, M. Wisechild, ed., She Who Was Lost Is Remembered:  Healing From Incest Through Creativity
Seattle:  The Seal Press, 1991

Naomi Wolf, The Beauty Myth: How Images of Beauty Are Used Against Women
London:  Chatto & Windus, 1991

Virginia Woolf, A Room of One’s Own
London:  Hogarth Press, 1929

Susan Woolridge, Poemcrazy
New York:  Random House, 1995

Malala Yousafzai, I Am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban
Boston: Little, Brown and Company, 2013

Linda Yuknavitch, The Chronology of Water: A Memoir
Portland:  Hawthorne Books, 2011

Gary Zukav, The Seat of The Soul: Twenty-Fifth Anniversary Edition
New York:  Simon and Schuster, 2014

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