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5 Cathartic Books That Will Impact Your Life Positively



5 Cathartic Books That Will Impact Your Life Positively


Catharsis is a state of spiritual cleansing, as the Greek would call it. It is also a state of letting go of your emotions so as achieve complete liberation from anxiousness and stress as well as a renewal of the spirit. It is used in studies such as literature with the aim of cleansing the emotions of the characters. It could also be referred to as any other drastic transformation in one’s life that propels a person’s feelings to be re-energized.

Chief writers and authors such as William Shakespeare brought out catharsis through their books, for example, Macbeth. Keeping or hiding strong emotions is not healthy to the growth of the body and hence, through literature and reading texts and published books, one may also attain this state of complete spiritual nourishment. Let us examine some of the books that would go a long way in helping people who wish to experience this somewhat rare feeling.

  1. The Time Traveler’s Wife

This is a book that has moved many of its readers to tears by the time they are done reading it. It was written by author Audrey Niffenegger. When I first read this eye-catching publication, I was unable to perform any other tasks or responsibilities due to the rich emotion that grasps your attention as you follow the story. Readers find themselves so engulfed in it due to the captivating and engaging storyline.

The novel uses science fiction and fantasy to show a deep and beautiful love story between Henry and Clare. Henry, however, suffers from a genetic mix-up or disorder that gives him the ability to travel across time and space. Unfortunately for the couple, his wife Clare cannot time travel, which means that she is left in the present without any possibility of following her husband. The drama which unravels ushers the reader to an otherwise unexpected conclusion.

  1. A Dog’s Purpose

This publication was written by W. Bruce Cameron. It is a complete gut-wrenching book, which I confess led me to uncontrolled and hysterical crying within the confines of my bedroom. A keen observation I’ve noted with time is the emotional intensity existing in dog books, forming part of the best category of books that would assist anyone in attaining a state of spiritual transformation.

The book further describes the importance of dogs, and if you happen not to own a dog, you would in the long term draw a lot of appreciation for this creature for the big role it plays in our day to day lives.

A Dog’s Purpose is a funny, heart-warming, and informative book. It shows a dog’s many lives in a funny and emotional sense. More to this, the publication helps the reader understand the unbreakable bond existing between man and man’s best friend. The book is currently a motion picture which goes ahead to cultivate a moral lesson on how love, patience, and kindness endure forever; and that every creature is meant to serve a particular purpose on this vast earth.

  1. Wonder

This Novel was written by R.J Palacio. It tells of a ten-year-old boy going through a rare deformity present on his face. The young lad, however, only desires to fit into society, which in this case mostly refers to his new middle school. The author describes a tearful and captivating story that also goes ahead to teach us never to judge people based on their how they look, and that anyone can make a difference in the world.

The young boy in the book assists the reader to understand the gift of compassion, and the power and ability to put yourself in the shoes of other people. Another quality portrayed in the book is empathy.

I have to say that after reading Wonder, I’d recommend that similar books being published in the future come packaged with a handkerchief. The heightened sense of emotions that it leaves you in will definitely move you to shed tears.

  1. Come Away With Me

This is a novel written by Karma Brown and it is one of the perfect descriptions of catharsis. The book shows us how an unexpected expedition transforms the life of one woman. It helps her discover that even though one may be going through tragic, complicated, and tough times, there is always that light at the end of the tunnel. You just need to let go of your constant fears, and doubt.

Tegan Lawson is a wife and a mother who enjoys a highly prestigious life which includes a happy family with a loving husband, Gabe, and a baby that’s just on the way. She, however, experiences an accident caused by a patch of ice. Her life takes a turn for the worst in ways that even she cannot and would not have fathomed. Gabe later reminds her of a collection of dream destinations that they had kept, and here is where the journey to Tegan’s life transformation begins. How events unfold, coupled with the journey of Tegan’s transformation, really captivated a reader, making the novel very captivating and compelling.

  1. Where’d You Go, Bernadette

This book is different from the others discussed above. The publication is not a sorrowful book or one that may make you sad. On the contrary, it’s a quite hilarious novel that you have to read. When I first came across this book and as I was reading through, I could not help but burst uncontrollably into laughter.

The book was written by Maria Semple. It’s about a notorious Bernadette Fox, who is referred to in different ways and by different people. Her husband sees her as a courageous and highly opinionated wife. She is a revolutionary architect but is also considered by some citizens in Seattle, where she grew up, as a disgrace. Too sweet, young, beautiful fifteen-year-old Bee, she’s a best friend, and the only person she would call mom.

In an interesting twist of events, however, Bernadette disappears after her daughter passed in her overall report card and requested a trip to Antarctica as her mother had previously promised. An important point to note here is that Bernadette inhibits fears of travelling to new places, meeting new people, and experiencing new environments. Therefore, a journey to the far places is obviously not within her comfort zone. Young Bee then pursues measures to search for her mother through different avenues and using different strategies.

The novel as earlier mentioned has its own type of catharsis, which seeks to concentrate on the brighter side of a person’s feelings so as to cause a transformation in the state of emotions and spirit.


The great and famous Greek philosopher Aristotle described clear cut ways and guidelines for catharsis in literature that has been followed by other authors, researchers, and scholars ever since. From the books discussed above, it is fundamental to learn how much the use of literary tragedies has been used, evolving with time. For those who are ready and willing, choosing to read a book or novel is arguably the easiest way to achieve complete spiritual nourishment. Nothing much is required other than channeling your focus towards reading; the rest automatically comes with time.

Winding up, we can quote Aristotle describing the state of catharsis as, “being a form of imitating an action that is serious, of a particularly designed magnitude, and complete,” “tragedy uses pity and fear to cause cleansing of one’s emotions.”


Kevin Nelson started his career as a research analyst and has changed the sphere of activity to writing services and content marketing. Currently, Kevin works as a part-time writer at the Except writing, he spends a lot of time reading psychology and management literature searching for the keystones of motivation ideas. Feel free to connect with him on Twitter and Google+.

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