5 best-selling books to give college grads this year, according to a psychotherapist

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As a psychotherapist who mostly works with young people, I’ve followed the many ups and downs of my college-age patients over the past few years. And this year has been an especially tough one for the class of 2020

But these five wonderful books will guide, support and inspire them as they transition from college to the “real world”:

1. ‘Atomic Habits: An Easy and Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones’

By James Clear

Who doesn’t want to get 1% better every day?

James Clear is one of the world’s leading experts on habit formation. In “Atomic Habits,” he reveals unique yet practical ways to identify and break bad habits and master good ones that will lead to extraordinary results. 

2. ‘Talking to Strangers: What We Should Know About the People We Don’t Know’

By Malcolm Gladwell

Malcolm Gladwell, best-selling author of “Outliers,” uses compelling stories that reveal bite-sized observations about how we easy it is for us to misjudge and misunderstand strangers. 

As graduates enter their next big stage in life, they’ll meet a lot of new people. This book will teach them how to make those conversations go right — while also learning how to make the most out of new connections.

3. ‘Limitless: Upgrade Your Brain, Learn Anything Faster, and Unlock Your Exceptional Life’

By Jim Kwik

You can accomplish a lot when you change your mindset, motivation and methods. Brain coach Jim Kwik offers science-based practices and field-tested tips to help readers unlock their mental superpowers.

It’s time to stop all that negative thinking and start embracing positive possibilities.

4. ‘Broke Millennial: Stop Scraping By and Get Your Financial Life Together’

By Erin Lowry

Financial literacy is something young people aren’t getting enough of these days. Luckily, “Broke Millennial” is packed with sound financial advice, especially about saving and investing for retirement.

I love Erin Lowry’s easy-to-read writing style. The early chapters teach basic money concepts that will be incredibly helpful for those entering the workforce and earning real income for the first time.

5. ‘Designing Your Life: How to Build a Well-Lived, Joyful Life’

By Bill Burnett and Dave Evans

I spent much of my 20s confused about things like what wanted to do in life and where I wanted to be in 10 or 20 years. I wish I had this book at back then.

Bill Burnett and Dave Evans, both professors at Stanford University, will show you how to apply their famous design principles to find your place in the world. 

 Tess Brigham is a San Francisco-based psychotherapist. She has more than 10 years of experience in the field and primarily works with millennials and millennial parents.

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