Reading is an excellent way to absorb knowledge from people who have mastered a skill. Emotional intelligence is no different. There are tons of books written about emotional intelligence and how you can improve your own EQ. If you’ve made a goal this year to improve your emotional intelligence, add these five books to your reading list!


The Language of Emotions: What your Feelings are Trying to Tell You by Karla McLaren

The most fundamental aspect of emotional intelligence is understanding what emotions you’re feeling at certain times. Naming your emotions helps you to better examine a situation. In this book, McLaren outlines how important these recognitions are and the importance of emotions in general. She also dives into darker emotions and offers advice for empaths and those who suffer from addiction.


Dare to Lead: Brave Work. Tough Conversations. Whole Hearts. by Brené Brown

Brene Brown is widely recognized for her work on vulnerability. This is her newest book, and in it she discusses how the practice of emotional intelligence is necessary for leaders. She discusses how leaders should look for the potential in the people they work with and work to turn that potential into action. She shares why forming connections with those around us makes for a better society.


Start Where You Are: A Guide to Compassionate Living by Pema Chödrön

Trying to achieve mindfulness and become more emotionally intelligent is challenging, and there seems to be so much that needs to be accomplished before you can reach that goal. However, in this book, Chödrön argues that we’re all where we need to be. She gives advice on how we can start from where we are to embrace the difficult parts of our lives. This book is helpful for anyone looking to develop courage and discover their joy.


The Mindful Self-Compassion Workbook: A Proven Way to Accept Yourself, Build Inner Strength, and Thrive by Christopher Germer and Kristin Neff

This workbook outlines the various ways that we bring ourselves down. Many people struggle with showing the same amount of compassion for themselves as they do to friends and family. The step-by-step approach used in this book helps you escape the judgments you cast onto yourself in order to have a healthier state of mind. A combination of guided meditations, exercises and testimonials from those who have used these techniques to great success help readers to achieve emotional wellness.


Emotional Intelligence: Why It Can Matter More Than IQ by Daniel Goleman

In this book, Daniel Goleman provides insight into the two sides of our mind, the rational and emotional. He details the five components of emotional intelligence and uses examples to demonstrate how they determine how successful we are in relationships and work. He makes the case that our emotions play a bigger role in thought and decision making than is commonly thought. He also shows that your emotional intelligence is not something that is fixed by a certain age; it can be developed throughout your life.