Buddha's Brain by Rick Hanson Helps us understand what is happening in our brains when we are either happy or not.
Start Where You Are by Pema Chodron, helps us to do just that. We are not trying to be anywhere in particular or get anywhere. Wherever you are right now, perfect. Be there. Pema Chodron is a Tibetan Buddhist Nun, but don't let that turn you off if you are thinking "religion." She's as real as it gets – the tradition she teaches is about each of us finding our own way – she is there to support that process.
Tattoos on the Heart: The Power of Boundless Compassion by Gregory Boyle. Boyle is a Jesuit priest who works with the toughest gang members in Los Angeles. If you want to read about real love in real lives, check this book out. It's powerful, touching, lasting, at least for me.
Here is a video of Gregory Boyle, the author. Find Gregory's videos on YouTube.
Wherever You Go, There You Are by Jon Kabat-Zinn. A molecular scientist from MIT, Kabat-Zinn developed Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) and in many ways, is credited for starting the mindful movement by moving it into mainstream through scientific research at the University of Massachusetts Medical School, where he began working after graduating from MIT. Jon started and ran the UMass Center for Mindfulness (was the Stress Reduction Clinic) until a few years ago when he retired from there. It was there that, over three decades, he developed, taught, and conducted research on MBSR. This book of his is a classic.
Coming to Our Senses A more recent book of Jon Kabat-Zinn's.
MBSR Workbook Can be used on one's own. Helpful to have taken MBSR or done some reading of Kabat-Zinn.
MBSR Anxiety Workbook Same with this one – good to expose yourself to mindfulness and/or MBSR before jumping in on you own here. Read Wherever You Go, There You Are! There is a wedge of awareness we are working to put in between a stimulus (stressful thought, say) and the response (panic and a torrent of more stressful thoughts). MBSR fosters that awareness so that we are not hijacked by our anxiety and taken down a rabbit hole of spiraling reactions to that first anxious thought or feeling.