The Top 21 Psychology Books of 2022
Magazine / The Top 21 Psychology Books of 2022

The Top 21 Psychology Books of 2022

Psychology
The Top 21 Psychology Books of 2022

Human beings are curious creatures. We’re capable of altruism, love, and reason, but we’re also prone to selfishness, ignorance, and downright irrational behavior. This apparent paradox lies at the heart of what makes psychology such a fascinating subject.

So here at the Next Big Idea Club, we crunched the numbers to identify the psychology books that were loved most by our tens of thousands of app users this year. (Our curators Malcolm Gladwell, Susan Cain, Daniel Pink, and Adam Grant only pick each season’s two official selections.) So if you’re ready for a journey into the human mind, check out the 21 books below.

Future Tense: Why Anxiety Is Good for You (Even Though It Feels Bad) by Tracy Dennis-Tiwary

21. Future Tense: Why Anxiety Is Good for You (Even Though It Feels Bad)

By Tracy Dennis-Tiwary

A psychologist confronts our pervasive misunderstanding of anxiety, and presents a powerful new framework for reimagining and reclaiming the confounding emotion as the advantage it evolved to be. Listen to our Book Bite summary, read by author Tracy Dennis-Tiwary, in the Next Big Idea App

A More Just Future: Psychological Tools for Reckoning with Our Past and Driving Social Change By Dolly Chugh

20. A More Just Future: Psychological Tools for Reckoning with Our Past and Driving Social Change

By Dolly Chugh

From an NYU social psychologist comes a revolutionary, evidence-based guide for developing resilience and grit to confront our whitewashed history and build a better future. Listen to our Book Bite summary, read by author Dolly Chugh, in the Next Big Idea App

Platonic: How the Science of Attachment Can Help You Make—and Keep—Friends By Marisa G. Franco

19. Platonic: How the Science of Attachment Can Help You Make—and Keep—Friends

By Marisa G. Franco

A psychologist and University of Maryland professor provides a clear and actionable blueprint for forging strong, lasting connections with others—and for becoming our happiest, most fulfilled selves in the process. Listen to our Book Bite summary, read by author Marisa Franco, in the Next Big Idea App

Belonging: The Science of Creating Connection and Bridging Divides By Geoffrey Cohen

18. Belonging: The Science of Creating Connection and Bridging Divides

By Geoffrey Cohen

A Stanford University psychologist applies his and others’ groundbreaking research to the myriad problems of communal existence and offers concrete solutions for improving daily life at work, in school, in our homes, and in our communities. Listen to our Book Bite summary, read by author Geoffrey Cohen, in the Next Big Idea App

How the Mind Changed: A Human History of Our Evolving Brain By Joseph Jebelli

17. How the Mind Changed: A Human History of Our Evolving Brain

By Joseph Jebelli

From genetic accidents and environmental forces to historical and cultural advances, a renowned neuroscientist takes the reader on a seven-million-year journey to explore how our brain’s evolution turned us into Homo sapiens and beyond. Listen to our Book Bite summary, read by author Joseph Jebelli, in the Next Big Idea App

Quit: The Power of Knowing When to Walk Away By Annie Duke

16. Quit: The Power of Knowing When to Walk Away

By Annie Duke

Drawing on stories from leading athletes, entrepreneurs, and entertainers, a former pro poker player explains why quitting is integral to success, sharing strategies for determining when to hold ’em or fold ’em that will save you time, energy, and money. Listen to our Book Bite summary, read by author Annie Duke, in the Next Big Idea App

Thinking 101 Woo-kyoung Ahn

15. Thinking 101: How to Reason Better to Live Better

By Woo-kyoung Ahn

Thinking 101 is a book that goes far beyond other books on thinking, showing how we can tackle real-world problems and improve our daily lives—and the lives of everyone around us—through better awareness of our cognitive biases. Listen to our Book Bite summary, read by author Woo-kyoung Ahn, in the Next Big Idea App

Between Us: How Cultures Create Emotions by Batja Mesquita

14. Between Us: How Cultures Create Emotions

By Batja Mesquita

Brilliantly synthesizing original psychological studies and stories from peoples across time and geography, Between Us skillfully argues that acknowledging differences in emotions allows us to find common ground, humanizing and humbling us all for the better. Listen to our Book Bite summary, read by author Batja Mesquita, in the Next Big Idea App

Heartbreak: A Personal and Scientific Journey By Florence Williams

13. Heartbreak: A Personal and Scientific Journey

By Florence Williams

A remarkable merging of science and self-discovery that will change the way we think about loneliness, health, and what it means to fall in and out of love. Listen to our Book Bite summary, read by author Florence Williams, in the Next Big Idea App

Toxic Positivity: Keeping It Real in a World Obsessed with Being Happy By Whitney Goodman

12. Toxic Positivity: Keeping It Real in a World Obsessed with Being Happy

By Whitney Goodman

A powerful guide to owning our emotions—even the difficult ones—in order to show up authentically in the world, from the popular therapist behind the Instagram account @sitwithwhit. Listen to our Book Bite summary, read by author Whitney Goodman, in the Next Big Idea App

Emotional: How Feelings Shape Our Thinking By Leonard Mlodinow

11. Emotional: How Feelings Shape Our Thinking

By Leonard Mlodinow

We’ve all been told that thinking rationally is the key to success. But at the cutting edge of science, researchers are discovering that feeling is every bit as important as thinking. Listen to our Book Bite summary, read by author Leonard Mlodinow, in the Next Big Idea App

The Grieving Brain: The Surprising Science of How We Learn from Love and Loss By Mary-Frances O'Connor

10. The Grieving Brain: The Surprising Science of How We Learn from Love and Loss

By Mary-Frances O’Connor

A renowned grief expert and neuroscientist shares surprising discoveries about what happens in our brain when we grieve, providing a new paradigm for understanding love, loss, and learning. Listen to our Book Bite summary, read by author Mary-Frances O’Connor, in the Next Big Idea App

The Anatomy of Anxiety: Understanding and Overcoming the Body's Fear Response By Ellen Vora

9. The Anatomy of Anxiety: Understanding and Overcoming the Body’s Fear Response

By Ellen Vora

From an acclaimed psychiatrist comes a groundbreaking understanding of how anxiety manifests in the body and mind—and what we can do to overcome it. Listen to our Book Bite summary, read by author Ellen Vora, in the Next Big Idea App

Choose Your Story, Change Your Life: Silence Your Inner Critic and Rewrite Your Life from the Inside Out By Kindra Hall

8. Choose Your Story, Change Your Life: Silence Your Inner Critic and Rewrite Your Life from the Inside Out

By Kindra Hall

This eye-opening journey will transform you from a passive listener of limiting, unconscious thoughts into the definitive author of who you are and everything you want to be. Listen to our Book Bite summary, read by author Kindra Hall, in the Next Big Idea App

Hidden Games: The Surprising Power of Game Theory to Explain Irrational Human Behavior by Moshe Hoffman and Erez Yoeli

7. Hidden Games: The Surprising Power of Game Theory to Explain Irrational Human Behavior

By Moshe Hoffman and Erez Yoeli

Two MIT economists use game theory to explain our most puzzling behavior, from the mechanics of Stockholm syndrome and internalized misogyny to why we help strangers and have a sense of fairness. Listen to our Book Bite summary, read by co-authors Moshe Hoffman and Erez Yoeli, in the Next Big Idea App

Speaking in Thumbs: A Psychiatrist Decodes Your Relationship Texts So You Don't Have To By Mimi Winsberg

6. Speaking in Thumbs: A Psychiatrist Decodes Your Relationship Texts So You Don’t Have To

By Mimi Winsberg

From a Harvard- and Stanford-trained psychiatrist comes an essential look at the love language of texts, helping you decipher the personalities of online daters, the subtle signals from your romantic partner, and the red flags hiding in plain sight. Listen to our Book Bite summary, read by author Mimi Winsberg, in the Next Big Idea App

The Secret Life of Secrets: How Our Inner Worlds Shape Well-Being, Relationships, and Who We Are by Michael Slepian

5. The Secret Life of Secrets: How Our Inner Worlds Shape Well-Being, Relationships, and Who We Are

By Michael Slepian

Drawing on over a decade of original research, The Secret Life of Secrets reveals the surprising ways that secrets pervade our lives, and offers science-based strategies that make them easier to live with. Listen to our Book Bite summary, read by author Michael Slepian, in the Next Big Idea App

How Minds Change: The Surprising Science of Belief, Opinion, and Persuasion by David McRaney

4. How Minds Change: The Surprising Science of Belief, Opinion, and Persuasion

By David McRaney

A brain-bending investigation of why some people never change their minds—and others do in an instant—by the bestselling author of You Are Not So Smart. Listen to our Book Bite summary, read by author David McRaney, in the Next Big Idea App

Do Hard Things: Why We Get Resilience Wrong and the Surprising Science of Real Toughness by Steve Magness

3. Do Hard Things: Why We Get Resilience Wrong and the Surprising Science of Real Toughness

By Steve Magness

Drawing from mindfulness, military case studies, sports psychology, neuroscience, psychology, and philosophy, a beloved performance coach provides a roadmap for navigating life’s challenges and achieving high performance that makes us happier, more successful, and, ultimately, better people. Listen to our Book Bite summary, read by author Steve Magness, in the Next Big Idea App

Key Insights Summary of The Expectation Effect by David Robson

2. The Expectation Effect: How Your Mindset Can Change Your World

By David Robson

Melding neuroscience with narrative, a science journalist takes readers on a deep dive into the many life zones the “expectation effect” permeates—like how associating aging with wisdom can add seven plus years to your life. Listen to our Book Bite summary, read by author David Robson, in the Next Big Idea App

The Power of Regret: How Looking Backward Moves Us Forward By Daniel Pink

1. The Power of Regret: How Looking Backward Moves Us Forward

By Daniel Pink

Drawing on research in social psychology, neuroscience, and biology, a world-renowned thinker debunks the myth of the “no regrets” philosophy of life. In fact, regrets offer compelling insights into how we live—and how we can find a better path forward. Listen to our Book Bite summary, read by author Daniel Pink, in the Next Big Idea App

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