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Best Books on Emotional Intelligence: 40 Top Books on EQ (2020)

Best Books On Emotional Intelligence
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Best Books On Emotional Intelligence

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Looking for the best books on emotional intelligence? You’re in the right place!

In the ranked list of book recommendations below you’ll find the best books on emotional intelligence ever written.

How do I know? Because I spent hours building a huge master list of the best books on emotional intelligence from hundreds of sources before carefully curating the results with TAoL‘s data-driven, in-house ranking algorithm.

Result? Whether you’re hoping to understand your emotions, build better relationships, improve your self-management or increase self-awareness you’ll find something among the emotional intelligence books below that’ll help.

Don’t let the list overwhelm you.

Scan from the top, pick a title that excites you and start reading.

And keep an eye out for updates! I’ll be adding new book summaries and books about emotional intelligence as I find/write them in the coming months and years.

Until next time, then, embrace your emotions, lean into life’s sharp bits and go well.

The 40 Best Books On Emotional Intelligence

Why these books and not others? The best books on emotional intelligence below are the top picks from my master database, ranked by a combination of Goodreads rating, the number of Goodreads reviews and first publication date. The goal is to give a good balance of what’s most loved, what’s most popular and what’s delivered timelessly relevant advice.

Think something’s missing? Leave a comment or email me and I’ll add it to the next round of updates. I honestly love hearing from you so please, do get in touch!

  1. Molecules of Emotion (1997), Candace B. Pert
    The Science Behind Mind-Body Medicine
    368 pages. Rated 4.2 over 3,600 reviews on Goodreads.
  2. Emotional Intelligence (1995), Daniel Goleman (Summary)
    Why It Can Matter More Than IQ
    384 pages. Rated 4.0 over 78,900 reviews on Goodreads.
  3. Raising An Emotionally Intelligent Child (1997), John M. Gottman (Summary)
    240 pages. Rated 4.2 over 3,600 reviews on Goodreads.
  4. Descartes’ Error (1994), António R. Damásio (Summary)
    Emotion, Reason and the Human Brain
    336 pages. Rated 4.0 over 7,300 reviews on Goodreads.
  5. Emotional Blackmail (1997), Susan Forward (Summary)
    When the People in Your Life Use Fear, Obligation, and Guilt to Manipulate You
    272 pages. Rated 4.1 over 2,400 reviews on Goodreads.
  6. Emotions Revealed (2003), Paul Ekman (Summary)
    Recognizing Faces and Feelings to Improve Communication and Emotional Life
    304 pages. Rated 4.0 over 6,300 reviews on Goodreads.
  7. Destructive Emotions (2000), Daniel Goleman
    A Scientific Dialogue with the Dalai Lama
    448 pages. Rated 4.1 over 2,300 reviews on Goodreads.
  8. Taming the Tiger Within (2004), Thich Nhat Hanh
    Meditations on Transforming Difficult Emotions
    293 pages. Rated 4.2 over 2,500 reviews on Goodreads.
  9. The Emotion Thesaurus (2012), Angela Ackerman
    A Writer’s Guide to Character Expression
    170 pages. Rated 4.5 over 3,900 reviews on Goodreads.
  10. Primal Leadership (2002), Daniel Goleman
    Realizing the Power of Emotional Intelligence
    336 pages. Rated 4.0 over 7,800 reviews on Goodreads.
  11. Unglued (2012), Lysa TerKeurst
    Making Wise Choices in the Midst of Raw Emotions
    208 pages. Rated 4.2 over 12,100 reviews on Goodreads.
  12. Social Intelligence (2006), Daniel Goleman (Summary)
    The New Science of Human Relationships
    403 pages. Rated 4.0 over 11,700 reviews on Goodreads.
  13. Affective Neuroscience (1998), Jaak Panksepp
    The Foundations of Human and Animal Emotions
    480 pages. Rated 4.4 over 200 reviews on Goodreads.
  14. Adult Children of Emotionally Immature Parents (2015), Lindsay C. Gibson
    201 pages. Rated 4.4 over 4,700 reviews on Goodreads.
  15. Don’t Bite the Hook (2007), Pema Chödrön
    Finding Freedom from Anger, Resentment, and Other Destructive Emotions
    0 pages. Rated 4.4 over 1,300 reviews on Goodreads.
  16. Unmasking the Face (1975), Paul Ekman (Summary)
    A Guide to Recognizing Emotions from Facial Clues
    215 pages. Rated 4.0 over 1,200 reviews on Goodreads.
  17. Emotional Intelligence 2.0 (2003), Travis Bradberry (Summary)
    255 pages. Rated 3.8 over 64,200 reviews on Goodreads.
  18. The Cultural Politics of Emotion (2004), Sara Ahmed
    224 pages. Rated 4.3 over 600 reviews on Goodreads.
  19. The Mood Cure (2002), Julia Ross
    The 4-Step Program to Take Charge of Your Emotions–Today
    400 pages. Rated 4.0 over 1,700 reviews on Goodreads.
  20. Living Beyond Your Feelings (2011), Joyce Meyer
    Controlling Emotions So They Don’t Control You
    288 pages. Rated 4.3 over 2,200 reviews on Goodreads.
  21. Working with Emotional Intelligence (1998), Daniel Goleman
    400 pages. Rated 3.8 over 4,100 reviews on Goodreads.
  22. Running on Empty (2012), Jonice Webb
    Overcome Your Childhood Emotional Neglect
    250 pages. Rated 4.2 over 2,600 reviews on Goodreads.
  23. Healing Through the Dark Emotions (2003), Miriam Greenspan
    The Wisdom of Grief, Fear, and Despair
    336 pages. Rated 4.2 over 500 reviews on Goodreads.
  24. The Ruthless Elimination of Hurry (2019), John Mark Comer (Summary)
    How to Stay Emotionally Healthy and Spiritually Alive in the Chaos of the Modern World
    304 pages. Rated 4.6 over 5,400 reviews on Goodreads.
  25. Enemies of the Heart (2011), Andy Stanley
    Breaking Free from the Four Emotions That Control You
    224 pages. Rated 4.3 over 2,000 reviews on Goodreads.
  26. The Emotion Code (2007), Bradley Nelson (Summary)
    How to Release Your Trapped Emotions for Abundant Health, Love and Happiness
    379 pages. Rated 4.1 over 2,000 reviews on Goodreads.
  27. Anxious for Nothing (2017), Max Lucado
    Finding Calm in a Chaotic World
    240 pages. Rated 4.2 over 10,800 reviews on Goodreads.
  28. Emotion Amplifiers (2014), Angela Ackerman
    72 pages. Rated 4.4 over 1,100 reviews on Goodreads.
  29. The Language of Emotions (2010), Karla McLaren
    What Your Feelings Are Trying to Tell You
    432 pages. Rated 4.2 over 700 reviews on Goodreads.
  30. What Doctors Feel (2013), Danielle Ofri
    How Emotions Affect the Practice of Medicine
    232 pages. Rated 4.2 over 1,500 reviews on Goodreads.
  31. Resonant Leadership (2005), Richard Boyatzis
    Renewing Yourself and Connecting with Others Through Mindfulness, Hope and Compassion
    283 pages. Rated 4.0 over 900 reviews on Goodreads.
  32. Emotional Agility (2016), Susan David (Summary)
    Get Unstuck, Embrace Change, and Thrive in Work and Life
    288 pages. Rated 4.0 over 4,700 reviews on Goodreads.
  33. The Age of Empathy (2009), Frans de Waal (Summary)
    Nature’s Lessons for a Kinder Society
    304 pages. Rated 4.0 over 1,900 reviews on Goodreads.
  34. Designing for Emotion (2011), Aarron Walter
    104 pages. Rated 4.0 over 2,500 reviews on Goodreads.
  35. The EQ Edge (2000), Steven J. Stein
    Emotional Intelligence and Your Success
    351 pages. Rated 3.9 over 400 reviews on Goodreads.
  36. Mama’s Last Hug (2018), Frans de Waal
    Animal Emotions and What They Tell Us about Ourselves
    352 pages. Rated 4.2 over 2,400 reviews on Goodreads.
  37. How Emotions Are Made (2016), Lisa Feldman Barrett (Summary)
    The Secret Life of the Brain
    448 pages. Rated 4.1 over 1,900 reviews on Goodreads.
  38. Permission to Feel (2019), Marc Brackett (Summary)
    Unlocking the Power of Emotions to Help Our Kids, Ourselves, and Our Society Thrive
    304 pages. Rated 4.3 over 1,200 reviews on Goodreads.
  39. On Emotional Intelligence (2015), Harvard Business Review
    166 pages. Rated 4.0 over 1,400 reviews on Goodreads.
  40. No Hard Feelings (2019), Liz Fosslien (Summary)
    The Secret Power of Embracing Emotions at Work
    304 pages. Rated 4.1 over 1,900 reviews on Goodreads.

Enjoyed these best books on emotional intelligence? You might also like…

II. Best Books Of All Time

These are the overall best books to read (by type).

III. Best Nonfiction Books (A-Z)

These are the best nonfiction books to read (by topic).

IV. Best Fiction Books (A-Z)

These are the best fiction books to read (by genre).

Or, you can read all my book recommendations.
Arthur Worsley
Arthur Worsley
Arthur is a thinker and writer who helps people who want more from their lives learn to be more productive, find more balance and live life more meaningfully. Want to know more? Take this 2-minute quiz to discover your Productivity Quotient (PQ) and learn how to get BIG things done. Take the Quiz →

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