There’s more to explore — when you’re ready.
Throughout the course, we recommend a lot of books to you. We advise you to use one or two books at most over the next eight weeks from the top five must-read list, then explore the other books later on. This is a reference list for you to come back to again and again, not something you need to tackle right now and all at once.
Below, you’ll find lots of further reading materials that address a whole range of issues we cover in this course. These books are organized in the following way:
Top five must-read recommendations
Recommendations that correspond to each week’s topic area
Please note that these titles are affiliate-linked to Amazon, so Tempest makes a very nominal amount of money if you purchase through the links. This is a disclosure, not a request for you to buy only through our affiliate links. You can also click on the “public library” links next to each title to search for libraries near you that carry these recommendations.
Top 5 Must-Read Books
This is a great book to read to recondition your relationship to alcohol. It best serves those of you who have not yet quit or are in early sobriety. It’s full of great data-backed information. We can’t recommend this book enough.
This is the basis for how the program works in a holistic fashion. It is a dense read and meant for you who are looking to further explore Integral Recovery (which we cover in our first lesson). Consider this reference material.
This is a film you can watch on DVD or on-demand video through Vimeo. While we cover some of this material in Addiction & the Brain, it is a fantastic resource to go back to again and again to understand what happens to the brain in addiction in a very easy-to-digest manner. This film dives into the latest research and threads it together into a cohesive picture.
This is a wonderful book if you are interested in further exploring neuroplasticity and recovery. While not a book focused on addiction, it does a fantastic job of explaining the role hope and optimism play in growing and recovering our neurological health, as well as the resiliency of the brain.
The power of meditation and healing explored by a Western doctor, who later became a Sikh (and a Kundalini instructor). A wonderful explanation from a medical perspective of how we can use various yogic practices to heal ourselves.
For anyone looking to explore the spiritual side of things, this is a classic. Williamson applies spiritual principals to our everyday life. Williamson is particularly helpful in the area of relationships.
Booklists by Lesson
Listed here are books that complement each lesson. These are just suggestions if you are interested in exploring some of the material discussed further.
Week 1. Recovery Maps & Toolkits
We talk about incorporating joy practices into our lives during our lesson. This book is about the importance of intentional joy and awe.
This is a lighter version of John Dupuy’s book (recommended in the top-five list). Du Plessis does expect the reader to use the book while working the 12 Steps. Like all things, take the parts that work for you and leave the rest out out.
Week 2. Addiction & the Brain
Lewis argues against addiction as a disease and puts forth the theory that addiction is actually a normal brain reaction to abnormal substances – the brain is just doing what it normally does, but the circumstances of substance use hack the system. We recommend for the first few chapters - most of the book is stories of addiction by individual and their own different recovery paths, tied into neurobiology.
This is another great read to understand addiction, not as a disease, but rather as a “pathological overlearning.”
Rock explains in very practical way how to make the best use of our brains throughout our days, how to reserve our willpower and "brain juice" for important tasks, and how to remove distractions that drain our energy and cognitive ability.
Clean takes on substance addiction in America from every possible angle: from why it happens to some of us, to why it happens the way it does in America, to the futility of our treatment systems, to the factor of socio-economic disparity, to the failed war on drugs, to the latest research and discoveries, and beyond. It is a wealth of information - chalk full of statistics, resources, examples, practical advice – as well as anecdotes from Sheff's real-life experience. Read this to get the 10,000-foot view on substance abuse and chemical dependency.
Week 4. Breath, Meditation & Yoga
This is a great book to understand how all the facets of Kundalini come together to make great shifts in our health.
Gurmukh is one of the more famous Kundalini instructors and founder of Golden Bridge Yoga. In this book, she explores Kundalini practices and the chakra system. This is good for those who want to take a deeper dive into Kundalini.
This book incorporates Kundalini with protocols for mental health.
Judith explores using the chakra system, tying it into Western psychology, as a way to heal the body and mind.
Written by mindfulness instructor and Tempest POC coach Vimalasara Mason-John, Eight Step Recovery and Detox Your Heart use Buddhist teachings to create new paths both to recovery and to self-discovery.
Week 5. Nutrition & Lifestyle
In this book, Ross details her 8 step program to deal with cravings and imbalances.
Boroch provides a 90-day program for helping people with yeast and fungal overgrowth.
Purlmutter explores the relationship between gut health and brain health.
Hyman focuses on nutritional, supplements and other lifestyle changes to increase focus and attention.
In this book, Christianson explores resetting hormone levels through cycling carbs and proteins.
In this book, Gottfried explains her protocol for balancing hormones for women, including lifestyle changes, supplementation, and herbal therapies.
Kalish, a functional medicine practitioner, addresses issues of hormone imbalances and supplementation.
Week 6. Relationships & Community
Through stories and exercises, Ford leads us through identifying and processing our hidden emotions – our shadow – to find greater personal alignment and creativity.
In Loving What Is, Katie asks four questions that, when applied to a specific problem, can help you see what is troubling you in an entirely different light. This is a great book for really examining your thoughts and challenging your assumptions about the world, others, and yourself.
Bernstein provides a 40 day guidebook that holds that simple, consistent shifts in our thinking and actions can lead to the miraculous in all aspects of our daily lives.
Tibetan Buddhism holds that there are three gates that everyone must pass through on the road to spiritual liberation. In this audiobook, Chödrön guides us through each.
Hendricks focuses on how to release fear and learn new habits to achieve your full potential.
In his hugely popular book, Singer details how the development of consciousness can help us let go of painful thoughts and memories. Great read on mindfulness.
Levine discusses attachment theory and provides extremely helpful structures for navigating love relationships and dealing with unhealthy relationship patterns.
Week 7. Trauma & Therapy
Leveraging new breakthroughs in neuroscience, psychology, and body-centered therapies, van der Kolk created a usable guide for understanding and treating trauma. He explores treatments like neurofeedback, meditation, sports, drama, and yoga to provide healing by activating the brain’s natural neuroplasticity.
This is another book addressing trauma, focusing in on somatic experiencing (our body sensations) in depth.
Maté specifically examines the role of trauma in addiction.
Ortner explores the hows and whys of Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT), or tapping. This practice of touching specific points on the body can be helpful for releasing negative emotions or physical sensations.
Week 8. Purpose & Creativity
Laporte describes goal setting not as a to-do list, but as connected to core desired feelings, and how to create practical steps to reach those feelings.
Cope walks the reader through the Bhagavad Gita – an ancient allegory about the path to enlightenment – and highlights well-known famous (and not famous) people that embody its central principles. Basically, this book is about finding your purpose.
Pink describes six human abilities that lead to professional success and personal fulfillment, and how to master them. Holly read this book while dreaming about Hip Sobriety!
“Should” is what we feel we ought to be doing or what is expected of us. “Must” is the thing we dream of doing, our heart’s desire. In this book, Luna helps readers figure out what you really want and how to overcome internal barriers to actually going for it. You can also read an abbreviated version – the original online manifesto that sparked the book — on Medium.
Through stories, direct advice, and quick exercises, Sincero focuses on helping you change self-sabotaging beliefs and behaviors to create a life you love and make all the money. We also love her because she swears a lot.
Here, Eat, Pray, Love author Elizabeth Gilbert delves into her own creative process and shares her insights on creativity. Gilbert has such a unique perspective – both spiritual and practical.
Kleon asserts that creativity isn’t just for “artists”; it’s for everyone. You don’t have to be original, so collect ideas and remix them to make them your own.
IDEO founder and Stanford d.school creator Tom Kelly and his brother, fellow IDEO founder, discuss creativity and how it’s not just for “creative types.” They detail how anyone can identify and harness their creative power to change how they approach their work and home lives.
Cameron guides us through a 12-week-long program of exercises and explorations that help find our artistic self. It’s fun and practical. We recommend you get the paperback or hardcopy version, not the Kindle.
Pressfield holds that resistance is at the core to blocks in creativity and helps the reader overcome this resistance.
Week 8+. How to Quit Anything
This was a big one for Holly at the beginning of her sobriety journey. Carr gradually and gently helps you realize that alcohol is not serving you the way you think it is. Carr reveals the trap of alcohol and that removing it isn’t denial; it’s empowerment.
For those of you who love to know the “why,” Porter does an excellent job explaining how alcohol affects you on chemical, physiological, and psychological levels, from the first drink up to chronic use. In plain language, Porter explains how addiction happens, and how to stop it.
Vale puts forth a compelling argument that we are conditioned to accept alcohol as a “normal” substance and addiction as “abnormal,” when really it is alcohol that is the abnormal thing. This is a great examination of how screwed up society is when it comes to the view of putting ethanol – a literal poison – into our bodies.