Alanis Morissette wasn't always so comfortable showing her spiritual side. Although she devoured spiritual and self-improvement books, she kept them a secret. "I just had so much shame about wanting to learn," she says. "But I needed to read them, so I would just rip off the covers, or I would hide them."
Now in a new chapter of her life, Alanis is sharing the books that have become her staples—plus a few she reads to her 3-year-old son, Ever.
Keeping the Love You Find, by Harville Hendrix
"I read Keeping the Love You Find
when I was 15, and I thought, 'Here is a model that explains to me healthy love and active participation in both people's healing, in your partner's healing.'"
VIDEO: Alanis opens up about her marriage
The Untethered Soul, by Michael A. Singer, and The Power of Now, by Eckhart Tolle
"The biggest takeaway from Michael
is how relaxing it is for this anxious, stressed-out body to just step back and watch the feelings, watch the thoughts, watch the waves of different currents of emotions and not overly identify with them.
And Eckhart Tolle's The Power of Now
talks about that. It's just a superclassic book that I've reread probably four times."
Facing Love Addiction and Facing Codependence, by Pia Mellody
"I'm obsessed with Pia Mellody for recovery, specifically around codependence recovery and love addiction recovery," Alanis says. "Facing Love Addiction and Facing Codependence are two classics to me. She really describes intimacy—something I'm terrified of. She describes how to do it and stay alive."
The Highly Sensitive Person and The Highly Sensitive Child, by Elaine N. Aron, PhD
Alanis appreciates that the books address "the 20 percent of us and 20 percent of animals with that really highly sensitive temperament." She says, "We just grow up in a society that celebrates extroverts. We feel like we're freaks, so they're really great books for that."
The Conscious Parent, by Shefali Tsabary, PhD
Alanis says that so many parenting books are divided into specific subject matters. This one, she says, has it all. "It's basically a spiritual book ... and shows how to bring consciousness into the whole parenting conversation," she says. "It's the perfect combo of everything that I believe in."
Read an excerpt
The Little Soul and the Sun, by Neale Donald Walsch
Alanis shares this story with her son. "I can't get through it without sobbing," she says. "And I've read it to Ever 10 times."
Beautiful Oops, by Barney Saltzberg
"That's precious because he basically says every mistake in art is a piece of art."