Practical Stoicism is an effort to create a hub to high-quality content produced by practicing Stoics. The aim is to provide you with everything you need to understand Stoicism, and put knowledge into action.
The links on this page point to the Stoic resources I find most useful. As the Stoic community is very active, make sure to regularly check this page for fresh suggestions.
Introductions to Stoicism
The books below I recommend to anyone starting out with Stoic philosophy. There's no complete curriculum that came down to us from antiquity, so we have to rely on commentaries from moderns to understand Stoicism. While there have been many books written on the subject, start here, and in this order. It'll all make sense once you start reading.
Lessons in Stoicism - by John Sellars
John Sellars is an engaging academic with a deep respect for and understanding of Stoic philosophy. In this 79-page introduction to Stoicism, Sellars shows us in what areas of our lives Stoicism can play a role. He outlines the techniques Stoicism offers us to live a happy life, and live in harmony with our human nature, other humans, and Nature as a whole.
A Guide to the Good Life - by William B. Irvine
Bill Irvine is a Stoic student like all of us. In this book, he dives into the practical sides of Stoicism and shows us what a daily Stoic practice could look like. At the same time, he's not afraid to do some modifications to the Stoic system.
While I don't agree with everything Irvine says nor with all of his modifications, I think every (aspiring) Stoic should read this book to see it doesn't take much to get started with Stoicism.
The Beginner's Guide to Stoicism - by Matt Van Natta
Matt van Natta is the guy behind the Immoderate Stoic blog and Good Fortune podcast. While most modern Stoic teachers are academics, Matt's deep understanding of Stoicism stems from years of practice. He knows how to clearly communicate the core Stoic principles, and ties them to practical exercises everywhere he can.
The Practicing Stoic - by Ward Farnsworth
When I first picked up Farnsworth book, I'd been practicing Stoicism for some years. I thought I knew the system and was incorporating Stoic principles well enough in my life. I was mistaken.
This book showed me many simple ways to extend and deepen my daily practice, while explaining in clear and simple words the Stoic worldview.
The Little Book of Stoicism - by Jonas Salzgeber
I first encountered Jonas Salzgeber through his blog NJlifehacks, which he writes together with his brother Nils. Don't let the name of their blog fool you, Jonas knows his Stoic literature and shows it in this practical guide.
After John Sellars' Lessons in Stoicism, I recommend every aspiring Stoic to read Salzgeber's book. It explains the Stoic system in simple and modern terms, without cheapening it. The book also contains many practical exercises.
Stoicism and the Art of Happiness - by Donald Robertson
Donald Robertson is a philosopher and licensed therapist specialized in Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT). In his book Stoicism and the Art of Happiness he clearly outlines the Stoic philosophical system, how it helps us achieve and maintain happiness, and offers us a breadth of practical exercises to get started practicing.
How to Be a Stoic - by Massimo Pigliucci
How to Be a Stoic can be regarded as a modern classic, as it's the book most people started out with in their Stoic journey (myself included). Stoic principles are presented and carefully explained through the three disciplines. The reason I placed it down the list is because I believe there are easier books to start with if you're a beginning Stoic. Still, once you understand the basics of Stoicism, How to Be a Stoic is a great way to solidify your knowledge.
The Inner Citadel - by Pierre Hadot
Pierre Hadot was a French philosopher who beautifully analyzed Marcus Aurelius' Meditations. From it, he distills the Stoic worldview and explains it in depth. After reading The Inner Citadel you're more than ready to deeply engage with Marcus' words. You'll be able to clearly see the Stoic themes in the Meditations, which will definitely have a positive influence on your journaling practice.
Translations of Stoic classics
Meditations: A New Translation - by Marcus Aurelius (translation by Gregory Hays)
Modern commentaries on Stoicism are essential to understand the philosophy, but at some point you'll want to dig into the classic works. The Meditations of Marcus Aurelius are a great starting point, as it's a relatively short book that packs quite a few punches of wisdom.
Hays' translation is the best out there. It's modern, easy to follow, and he's not been afraid to rework some of the text to make it clearer for moderns to grasp the meaning.
Discourses and Selected Writings - by Epictetus (Penguin Classics)
Epictetus is my favorite Stoic teacher from ancient times. He speaks very directly and has a great wit. Although he didn't write anything (so far we know), his student Arrian transcribed some of his lectures and condensed Epictetus' core teachings in the Enchiridion, or Handbook.
The Penguin edition is the translation is recommend. It's written in clear and modern language, and contains all of Epictetus' words that survive.
Letters from a Stoic - by Seneca (Penguin Classics)
Letters from a Stoic is just one of the many works that Seneca wrote for publication. It's not the only Stoic work by Seneca, but it does communicate the Stoic system most clearly. I recommend you start with Seneca's Letters and then move on to his essays like On Anger.
I again recommend the Penguin classic. Seneca's language can be quite flowery, so you'll want to have the translation that's most clear and modern.
The Modern Stoicism blog is maintained by the people behind Stoic Week and the annual Stoicon conference. Essentially these are the people who popularized Stoicism in our time, and it's a central hub for Stoic materials and news from the community. While most original content is quite academic in tone, this blog is a must-follow.
How to Think Like a Roman Emperor
Donald Robertson's is a central figure in the modern Stoicism movement. While he has an academic background and is practicing therapist, his material on Stoicism is very accessible for a broad audience. Donald also runs several top-notch courses each year, so be sure to check out his blog.
Stoicism - Philosophy as a Way of Life
Like Modern Stoicism, the Medium publication Stoicism - Philosophy as a Way of Life is a community effort. The most important difference is that here you'll find mostly short articles that are accessible for a general audience that has no background in academic philosophy. Highly recommend!
While the word "lifehacks" might throw you off, NJlifehacks is an amazing Stoic resource. Ran by the brothers Nils and Jonas Salzgeber (author of The Little Book of Stoicism), you'll find engaging en practical materials here. If you're looking for well-laid-out Stoic exercises, look no further.
Most people familiar with Stoicism will know the name Ryan Holiday. He's an important popularizer of Stoic philosophy, and runs the massive Stoic blog Daily Stoic. Here you'll mostly find examples of how others have implemented (part of) Stoic philosophy in their lives. Being mentored by Robert Greene (The Art of Seduction, 48 Laws of Power), Ryan knows how to distill lessons from biographies.
While most modern Stoics are atheist, there's a sizeable portion of Stoics that identify as traditional Stoics. This means they also study and incorporate Stoic physics and logic in their practice. One of the most important voices in the traditional Stoic movement is Chris Fisher, who writes and maintains the Traditional Stoicism.
The beauty of the Stoic community is its diversity. Many people describe how Stoic philosophy has helped them, and Britanny Polat's blog Apparent Stoic is a prime example. She tells us how she raises her kids with Stoic ideas (easier said than done!), and how she handles parenting issue with the help of Stoic principles.
The Stoic Gym
The most prolific modern Stoic writer is without a doubt Chuck Chakrapani. Having written over 10 books on Stoicism, he still has time to maintain a blog and act as editor for the free web-based magazine called THE STOIC. The Stoic Gym is Chuck's online home, and you can also find issues of THE STOIC here.
The Sunday Stoic
If you want to understand the ancient Stoic texts, Steve Karafit's The Sunday Stoic podcast is a great start. Each week he picks a theme and related Stoic texts and analyzes them. It reminds me of the discussions I used to have in church regarding bible scriptures, and Steve is indeed inspired by his Catholic upbringing in the way he structures his lessons.
Stoic Solutions Podcast
If you're looking for practical Stoic advice in bite-sized chunks, look no further than the Stoic Solutions Podcast by Justin Vacula. The episodes Justin produces are all around 10 minutes in length and cover one topic each time. Apart from his lessons, Justin also invites other Stoics to his show and talk about their practice. Interesting stuff!
Stoic Coffee Break
This is a podcast I discovered recently, and I've fallen in love with it right away. Like other Stoic podcasts, Erick chooses a topic and talks about it in each episode. However, the difference with some of the other podcasts is that Erick is not afraid to share personal stories and how Stoicism helps him navigate life. Each episode of Stoic Coffee Break is bite-sized; between 5 and 10 minutes.
The Practical Stoic Podcast with Simon Drew
No relation with this website (Practical Stoicism), but The Practical Stoic Podcast is indeed very practical! Simon, the host, has a very pleasant accent and voice, and has great teaching skills. In this podcast you'll find bite-sized lessons (5-10 minutes each) and interviews with practicing Stoics.
Stoicism on Fire
Apart from running the Traditional Stoicism website and Facebook group, Chris Fisher also produces an excellent Stoic podcast. Each episode covers an important Stoic topic from a traditional Stoic worldview, and Chris goes DEEP. I keep re-listening the episodes because they're chockful wisdom and because tough Stoic subjects are presented beautifully in easy-to-understand terms.
Reddit houses one of the largest Stoic communities on the internet (208k+ members!). You'll find many good discussions here, and there's a wealth of materials that's shared continually. Make sure to filter the messages, because there's a big influx of beginning Stoics that repeatedly ask the same questions that have very little to do with Stoic philosophy. Still, I recommend you check it out.
r/Stoicism Discord channel
When you're into real-time discussions on Stoicism, you must check out the Discord channel of the r/Stoicism subreddit. There's a bunch of serious practicing Stoics that hang out there all the time. Discussions range from Stoic practices to other practical philosophies, so it's a great inspiration for your daily practice. This is the place where I learned most about Stoicism.
Stoicism Group (Stoic Philosophy)
With over 55,000 members, the Stoicism Group on Facebook is the second-largest online gathering of Stoics. Maintained by Donald Robertson, the group contains many interesting discussions on Stoicism and other practical philosophies. You'll encounter many different types of philosophers here, and discussions tend to be fierce but deep.
With just over 4,600 members, the Traditional Stoicism group is quite smaller and less active than other Stoic communities. Still, I recommend you check it out if you want to discuss the full spectrum of Stoic philosophy. Whereas most modern Stoics only focus on ethics, Traditional Stoics also focus on Stoic physics and logic.
Stoic Writing Scene
A honorable mention is for the Stoic Writing Scene group. Managed by Kathryn Koromilas, this community focuses on people that use writing in their Stoic practice. If you're a writer or simply write a journal, be sure to sign up. Kathryn regularly runs bootcamps that help you improve your journaling, which boils down to a free course that'd easily be worth hundreds of dollars.
The Stoic Fellowship
If you prefer to meet fellow Stoics in real life, be sure to check out The Stoic Fellowship. Started by Gregory Lopez, it's a directory of all Stoic groups that meet face-to-face around the world. No Stoic group nearby where you live? Then still sign up, as The Stoic Fellowship keeps a backlog of those interested in started in joining a Stoic meetup group. They'll even help you set up a group if you're up for it.