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11 Best Books on Shadow Work in 2021 – (The Ultimate List!)

Updated: November 25, 2021
8 min read

Shadow work can be tricky to learn as it dips into psychology and the inner self.

The following are some fantastic books on shadow work that you can use to broaden your knowledge. They contain all the information you need, from the origins and theories to the application of this contemplative practice.

At A Glance: The TOP 3 Books on Shadow Work

1. Top pick: Meeting the Shadow
2. Runner up: Owning Your Own Shadow
3. Also great: Shadow Work Journal

Limited time offer: Get one audiobook on shadow work for free by starting your free 30-day trial on Audible.

Top pick
Meeting the Shadow: The Hidden Power of the Dark Side of Human Nature
Meeting the Shadow

This excellent book by Connie Zweig and Jeremiah Abrams offers practical support on dealing with the dark side of your personality according to Carl Jung’s concept of “shadow.”

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In “Meeting the Shadow: The Hidden Power of the Dark Side of Human Nature,” you will find compilations of works that explore the shadow or the unlawful behavior and feelings you experience.

These pieces center on problematic relationships, childhood trauma, suppressed emotions, and many more, written by various psychological and spiritual experts.

You will find more than 60 essays of research studies that will give you great insights on shadow work, from theories to real-world application.

Edited by two experts on Jungian psychology, the book allows you to grasp the topic from a professional but still accessible point of view.

If you are just beginning your journey on shadow work, “Meeting the Shadow” is a great primer.

Since the text is a compendium of essays and not one long novel, it is more manageable to read and allows you to focus on different topics one at a time.

Runner up
Owning Your Own Shadow: Understanding the Dark Side of the Psyche
Owning Your Own Shadow

Acclaimed Jungian analyst Robert A. Johnson wrote this accessible introduction on how the shadow or the dark side of your psyche works.

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“Owning Your Own Shadow: Understanding the Dark Side of the Psyche” offers a quick overview of what shadow is, how it originates and how it can impact your daily life.

It also includes practical advice on how you can own, accept, and honor your shadow so you can positively channel its energy and find balance.

Johnson skillfully tackled how shadow self-works concerning context and projections.

According to him, your shadow is a part of you, even if it does painfully turn up in unexpected circumstances.

Instead of avoiding your dark side, you should recognize and embrace it to live a more conscious, happier life.

The book’s sections are organized logically and progressively, starting with the basics of shadow work to deeper discussions on its philosophy.

A comprehensive read, you definitely need “Owning Your Own Shadow” in your collection.

Also great
Shadow Work Journal
Shadow Work Journal

Jessica Cross’ “Shadow Work Journal” is an intimate short course on how to tap into your unconscious and face your shadow – the unknown side of the personality you tend to repress.

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The book contains guided activities and meditations that are light and simple, allowing you to focus on exploring your thoughts, particularly the issues that trouble you.

Cross called this the enlightening process.

Using her shadow work program, you can discover the parts of your personality that are kept buried.

Once you recognize and master your subconscious, you can achieve balance in your emotion and well-being.

If you prefer fewer theories and more practice in your books, “Shadow Work Journal” is perfect for you.

You will find that writing down minor setbacks that you experience every day helps you destress. 

Putting your thoughts into writing brings to the surface whatever you try to shut down, allowing you to see them from another perspective.

What is good about Cross’ program is that you can use it repeatedly whenever you feel anxious and disconnected from reality. 

It offers a valuable chance to pause, reconnect with the present and focus on your true self.

#4
Goldmining the Shadows
Goldmining the Shadows

This introspective book by Pixie Lighthorse encourages you to recognize your shadow, master it and learn from it.

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Designed for exploration at different seasons of life, “Goldmining the Shadows” contains helpful tips and tricks on being intimate with your shadow.

The book contains 52 short but powerful chapters on various themes that you can read and reread whenever you need to feel reconnected.

Lighthorse expounded on the origins of your unconscious shadows that they are hurtful incidents you experienced early in your life.

When you ignore or suppress pain for emotional survival, this feeds your shadow’s need for power or victimization. 

The book urges you to change this perspective and see your shadow as it is, bringing its influence to your consciousness level.

Only after integrating your old wounds into your conscious experience will you break the cycle and stop bearing the brunt of the consequences of your past actions.

Lighthorse highlighted that pain contains valuable wisdom that can transform your life for the better.

An essential read on shadow work, “Goldmining the Shadows” is a book worth your time. 

If you own Lighthorse’s “Boundaries & Protection,” this is the companion book.

#5
Existential Kink: Unmask Your Shadow and Embrace Your Power (A method for getting what you want by getting off on what you don't)
Existential Kink

“Existential Kink: Unmask Your Shadow and Embrace Your Power” by Carolyn Elliott is a fresh exploration of how to confront your hidden self and take back control of your life.

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The book explains how your shadow slyly dominates your existence without you knowing and teaches you what to do if this happens.

According to Elliot, the dark nature of your personality is made up of primitive and negative impulses, which are called existential kinks. These kinks are all-powerful, driving the destructive repeating patterns in your life.

It is your unconscious that settles for less, convincing you that you are unworthy.

In “Existential Kink,” Elliot illustrated how you can get out of this problem.

You will find practical advice and meditations that you can use to truly see your shadow’s traits, accept them and incorporate them into your whole being.

Cleverly written, it is a book that will teach you to embrace the unwanted aspects of yourself and discover the power within.

You will not regret reading this.

#6
Bringing Your Shadow Out of the Dark: Breaking Free from the Hidden Forces That Drive You
Bringing Your Shadow Out of the Dark

This Robert Augustus Masters book is the product of his 40 years of experience as a psychospiritual therapist.

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“Bringing Your Shadow Out of the Dark: Breaking Free from the Hidden Forces That Drive You” is a clear and straightforward guide on how to work with your shadow or the neglected dimension of yourself.

It provides an in-depth exploration of using your shadow in many beneficial ways.

Masters talked about how your shadow is an “internal storehouse” for the hidden, rejected or disowned parts of you.

The more unaware you are of your shadow, the more it can control and influence you.

The book helps you understand and manage this part of yourself to embody a complete life.

You will learn the nature of your shadow and its core elements and ways to work with matters heavily impacted by your shadows, such as sexuality and dreams.

There are clear explanations on why bringing traumas into the light and utilizing your pain are essential aspects of shadow work.

Rich and in-depth, “Bringing Your Shadow Out of the Dark” will teach you how you navigate your life’s complexities.

#7
Into The Wild Shadow Work Journal: Reclaim Your Wholeness
Into The Wild Shadow Work Journal

Dominica Applegate’s “Into The Wild Shadow Work Journal: Reclaim Your Wholeness” is designed for deep exploration of your subconscious psyche.

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An outstanding resource for shadow work, the book contains essential tips and advice on managing relationship issues, depression, and anxiety, among others.

It is a powerful tool that will guide you to deal with these setbacks and heal layer upon layer until you find joy and peace in your life.

Applegate illustrated how your shadow is part of the ego, just lying beneath the surface. It is highly responsible for controlling your feelings, actions, and belief patterns.

There are 60 shadow work journal questions and exercises specifically aimed at discovering the sides of you that have been repressed and abandoned over the years.

You will also find inspiring images, complete with quotes, to set the mood for all your writing exercises.

Remarkably thorough at 100 pages, “Into The Wild Shadow Work Journal” is perfect for those on a trip of self-discovery.

#8
Momentum: A Shadow Work Guide & Journal
Momentum: A Shadow Work Guide & Journal Paperback

This work by Quinn Barbour, illustrated by Kai Luna, is an excellent starter if you are just beginning your shadow work journey.

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“Momentum: A Shadow Work Guide & Journal Paperback” is a complete guide to learning the power of your shadows, with exercises to help direct your healing.

Barbour dug deep into the origins of your shadows, explaining how there are pieces of your past, particularly from your childhood, that you cannot let go of.

These setbacks followed you into adulthood and shaped you for who you are.

The book teaches you how to deal with these shadows and start the road to more profound healing.

You will find practical activities, affirmations, and quotes to keep you grounded – all of which you can do on your own and at your leisure.

Barbour also included alternative healing resources, including the practice of crystals and mantra, even a list of community mental health centers by the state if you need it.

“Momentum: A Shadow Work Guide & Journal Paperback” is definitely the catalyst you need to be where you strive to be.

#9
The Inner Work: An Invitation to True Freedom and Lasting Happiness
The Inner Work

Mathew Micheletti and Ashley Cottrell teamed up to write this relevant text in shadow work.

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“The Inner Work: An Invitation to True Freedom and Lasting Happiness” is an evocative course on mastering your shadows and unlocking the secret to lifelong happiness.

It will take you on a journey into the unexplored depths of your subconscious, exposing the sources of your suffering and limiting beliefs.

Micheletti and Cottrell recommended a three-step method to liberate yourself of struggles and adversity. 

You will learn techniques to:

•       recognizing and healing your restricting beliefs rooted in traumas

•       identifying your place on the ladder of consciousness

•       determining your shadow tendencies

•       practicing presence and meditation

“The Inner Work” illustrates the different themes of consciousness, which serve as blueprints to identify the unique patterns of your thoughts and emotions. 

Using self-analysis, you will be able to recognize which of the themes you may be trapped in. This is the first step to healing.

If you want to experience true freedom from your dark thoughts, this book is a must-read.

#10
Romancing the Shadow: A Guide to Soul Work for a Vital, Authentic Life
Romancing the Shadow

“Romancing the Shadow: A Guide to Soul Work for a Vital, Authentic Life” is a landmark book that elucidates the enigma that is the dark side of your soul.

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Written by therapists Connie Zweig and Steve Wolf, the book explains in straightforward language what shadow is and how acknowledging it can lead to healing and emotional strength.

You will learn how to decode the unconscious messages your shadows are giving, then use them to guide your choices in love, work, family, and many others,

Zweig and Wolf detailed how you can use your dark side’s powerful energies to your advantage.

Using their innovative approach, you will learn to recognize your shadow and find the purpose in your suffering.

By romancing your shadow and understanding its message, you can resolve negative emotions, deepen your consciousness and attain greater self-acceptance.

“Romancing the Shadow” is a compelling work that empowers you to get in touch with the purity in your soul and use it in productive ways.

A practical and rewarding guide, it deserves to be read by anyone who wants to be happy.

#11
A Guide to Shadow Work: A short and powerful 9 step guide to healing
A Guide to Shadow Work

“A Guide to Shadow Work: A short and powerful 9 step guide to healing” is an enlightening book highlighting the importance of healing by embracing your shadows.

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Michelle L Geldenhuys wrote a brief but authoritative handbook that aims to liberate you from your inner traumas and heal the pain that you carry.

In the book, she shared her personal experience struggling with her shadows and how at times, they overpowered her.

By embracing the very thing that tormented her, Geldenhuys revealed that she found the key to deliverance from all the sufferings.

“A Guide to Shadow Work” contains her secret to a happy life. Divided into nine parts, it details tips and information on seeing your shadow from a different perspective.

You will find light and fun practices that you can utilize to work with your shadows. These activities are easy to incorporate into your daily routine.

A quick read at 114 pages, it is a highly recommended book for those who want to affirm their self-worth.

Written by
Jamey Muller
I'm the head-writer @ Knowledge Eager (or, in plain English, I'm the guy writing the majority of the content here). Addicted to the stock market, football, sushi and tacos.
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