In-Laws in Town?

Useful advice for navigating the holidays and communicating with family.

November 23, 2021

The Holidays can be a stressful time. This book list includes some books with advice on how to calm your stress and anxiety. It also includes books about navigating complicated family dynamics and books about how to better connect and communicate with family.


10 mindful minutes

10 Mindful Minutes
Giving Our Children—And Ourselves—The Social and Emotional Skills to Reduce Stress and Anxiety for Healthier, Happier Lives

Goldie Hawn

The actress, best-selling author and founder of the Hawn Foundation provides quick and easy physical and mental exercises that can help children reduce stress, manage emotions and behaviors, develop greater empathy and be happier and more optimistic.

1000+ little habits of happy, successful relationships

1000+ Little Habits of Happy, Successful Relationships

Marc Chernoff, Angel Chernoff

Two bestselling authors and life coaches present the secrets of keeping relationships strong, with tips on such subjects as dealing with toxic family members, the things that happy couples do differently and how to stop the drama in your life.

7 days of simplicity

7 Days of Simplicity
A Season of Living Lightly

Jen Hatmaker

Slow down and step away from culture’s rampant consumerism with insight from New York Times-bestseller Jen Hatmaker.

The 80/80 marriage

The 80/80 Marriage
A New Model for a Happier, Stronger Relationship

Nathaniel Klemp, Kaley Klemp

A husband-and-wife mindfulness and leadership consulting team shares the personal struggles they have had with balance in their own relationship, outlining recommendations for using radical generosity to promote a mutually beneficial marriage of connection and fulfillment.

The art of making memories

The Art of Making Memories
How to Create and Remember Happy Moments

Meik Wiking

The best-selling author of The Little Book of Hygge shares advice for creating positive memories for overall lasting happiness, drawing on extensive research to explain how to forge positive memories and let go of negative experiences

Beyond your bubble

Beyond Your Bubble
How to Connect Across the Political Divide, Skills and Strategies for Conversations That Work

Tania Israel

This practical, politically neutral book offers concrete skills for holding meaningful conversations that cut across today’s intense political divide, showing readers how to connect to the people in their lives.

Breathe in calm

Breathe in Calm
Yogic Breathing and Mindfulness Tools for Instant Anxiety Relief

Domonick Wegesin

A neuroscientist and yoga expert teaches how to identify when anxiety is rising and how to use tools such as yogic breathing, mindfulness and acceptance and stay calm in the moment.

The comfort book

The Comfort Book

Matt Haig

Incorporating a wealth of sources from across history, science and his own experiences, the New York Times bestselling author of The Midnight Library offers reassurance and encouragement for anyone looking for a more fulfilling, more uplifting way through life.


Building Exceptional Relationships With Family, Friends, and Colleagues

David Bradford, Carole Robin

Based on Stanford’s successful Interpersonal Dynamics course, a guide to building more fulfilling relationships in personal and professional arenas shares time-tested strategies for giving feedback, negotiating boundaries and overcoming tricky disputes.

Earth energy meditations

Earth Energy Meditations
Awaken Your Root Chakra — the Foundation of Well-Being

Susan Shumsky

Practical insight and advice for working with the chakra that serves as the foundation for awakening well-being throughout our body and our life.

Everybody fights

Everybody Fights
So Why Not Get Better at It?

Kim Holderness, Penn Holderness

Internet video sensations and podcast hosts Penn and Kim Holderness share how they fight better and end arguments feeling closer, more loved, and better understood by their partner.

Everyday vitality

Everyday Vitality
Turning Stress Into Strength

Samantha Boardman

A psychiatrist explains how to identify, develop and apply strategies for cultivating vitality through meaningfully connecting with others, engaging in experiences that challenge you, and contributing to something beyond yourself to increase positivity and promote wellbeing.

Forgiving what you can't forget

Forgiving What You Can’t Forget
Discover How to Move On, Make Peace With Painful Memories, and Create a Life That’s Beautiful Again

Lysa TerKeurst

New York Times bestselling author Lysa TerKeurst helps readers address how to stop suffering from what others have done to them while exploring what forgiveness is, what it isn’t, and how to deal with difficult relationships.

Happy not perfect

Happy Not Perfect
Upgrade Your Mind, Challenge Your Thoughts, and Free Yourself From Anxiety

Poppy Jamie

An entrepreneur and influencer in mental health and mindfulness social media describes how you can create new neural pathways in your brain to upgrade your headspace and leave behind thoughts of failure, patterns of avoidance, and fears of unworthiness.

I think you're wrong (but I'm listening)

I Think You’re Wrong (But I’m Listening)
A Guide to Grace-Filled Political Conversations

Sarah Stewart Holland, Beth Silvers

Two friends and working moms on opposite ends of the political spectrum offer a practical guide in which they challenge readers to put relationship before policy and understanding before argument.

Let's talk about hard things

Let’s Talk About Hard Things

Anna Sale

The host of the popular WNYC podcast Death, Sex, & Money provides a profound meditation on why communication can connect us instead of divide us and how we can all do it better.

Little pieces of hope

Little Pieces of Hope
Happy-Making Things in a Difficult World

Todd Doughty

An enchanting collection of lists, musings, prompts, and illustrations that will inspire you to cherish all of the things—from the extraordinary to the everyday, from the big to the little—that bring hope into our lives.

Manage your stress

Manage Your Stress
Overcoming Stress in the Modern World

Joseph Shrand, Leigh Devine

Gives a comprehensive description of the human stress response and provides readers with psychological and physical strategies necessary to keep stress from undermining their health, their joy and the happiness of those around them.

The Mayo Clinic guide to stress-free living

The Mayo Clinic Guide to Stress-Free Living

Amit Sood

Examines the causes of stress in everyday life and presents such strategies for overcoming it as the practice of acceptance and gratitude, the use of relaxation and meditation techniques, and the cultivation of closer relationships with others.

Mindful games

Mindful Games
Sharing Mindfulness and Meditation With Children, Teens, and Families

Susan Kaiser Greenland

Encourages parents to use mindful play to help their children develop focusing skills while learning to regulate their emotions and respond to any situation calmly, with kindness and compassion.

Rules of estrangement

Rules of Estrangement

Joshua Coleman

A guide for parents whose adult children have cut off contact examines the logic and cultural origins of estrangement, sharing practical advice for managing related complexities, pursuing reconciliation and moving on if a healthy relationship is not possible.

The stress cure

The Stress Cure
How to Resolve Stress, Build Resilience and Boost Your Energy

Patrick Holford, Susannah Lawson

Stress is very much part of life in the 21st century, and has overtaken the common cold as the major reason for taking time off work. But while we cannot avoid life’s pressures, we can influence the degree to which they affect us, and how we react. This book will show you how.

Talking to crazy

Talking to Crazy
How to Deal With the Irrational and Impossible People in Your Life

Mark Goulston

Provides a range of techniques for communicating with unreasonable people by empathizing with their “crazy,” using this counterintuitive method to change the dynamic of the conversation and become an ally rather than a threat.

Unwinding anxiety

Unwinding Anxiety
New Science Shows How to Break the Cycles of Worry and Fear to Heal Your Mind

Judson Brewer

Presents a step-by-step plan to break the cycle of worry and fear that drives anxiety and addictive habits through the use of brain-based techniques accessible to anyone.

Walking on eggshells

Walking on Eggshells
Navigating the Delicate Relationship Between Adult Children and Their Parents

Jane Isay

Explains how to create and maintain a fulfilling, lifelong bond with one’s adult children, offering helpful insights, case studies, wisdom, and inspirational reflections designed to help keep lines of communication open, alleviate strife, cope with often complicated emotional challenges, and enhance family relationships.

When our grown kids disappoint us

When Our Grown Kids Disappoint Us
Letting Go of Their Problems, Loving Them Anyway, and Getting on With Our Lives

Jane Adams

A guide for parents of dysfunctional or inappropriately dependent grown children offers supportive advice on how to stop taking on the responsibility of caring for and fixing a grown child’s problems while addressing feelings of guilt and frutrstration.

When will my grown-up kid grow up?

When Will My Grown-Up Kid Grow Up?
Loving and Understanding Your Emerging Adult

Jeffrey Jensen Arnett, Elizabeth Fishel

Helps parents of adult children understand the stage of development called “emerging adulthood” and explains how to lead young adults who are going through a period of self-focus and instability into successful adulthood.

When your parent moves in

When Your Parent Moves in
Every Adult Child’s Guide to Living With an Aging Parent

David Horgan, Shira Block

Written by an acclaimed expert and medical educator, this timely resource—accompanied by personal stories, case studies, and expert quotes—helps readers deal with the physical, emotional, and financial issues of living with an aging parent.

Yoga nidra for complete relaxation and stress relief

Yoga Nidra for Complete Relaxation and Stress Relief

Julie Lusk

Offers a holistic yoga program to alleviate stress and its related health and mental health issues.

Yoga where you are

Yoga Where You Are
Customize Your Practice for Your Body + Your Life

Dianne Bondy, Kat Heagberg

The activist yoga instructor and the editor-in-chief of Yoga International present an empowering guide to a yoga practice that can be adapted for any body or experience level, sharing step-by-step instructions for breathwork, meditation and customizable pose variations.

You will get through this night

You Will Get Through This Night

Daniel Howell

Presenting an entertaining and personal way from the perspective of someone who has been through it all, this no-nonsense book gives you the tools to understand your mind so you can be in control and really live.

You: stress less

You: Stress Less
The Owner’s Manual for Regaining Balance in Your Life

Michael Roizen, Mehmet Oz

The Emmy Award-winning host of The Dr. Oz Show and his chief medical consultant explain how stress impacts every aspect of a life while sharing informative management advice on how to minimize related health risks.