10 Shame Healing Exercises (for Inner Childhood Wounds)

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Healing Shame Exercises

When you’re ready to start healing from toxic shame, there are several lifechanging exercises to get to the root cause of your pain.

Most options take a mental, emotional, and spiritual approach to healing.

No matter what route you take, healing from shame requires you to reframe negative self-talk and challenge unrealistic expectations.

When you’re struggling with shame, it might be helpful to talk to an online therapist. I always recommend Online Therapy, because it’s a complete online counseling toolkit, and you can get incredible therapy from the comfort of your own home. Get 20% off your first month.

What is shame and how can we overcome it?

Shame (or toxic shame) is a deeply rooted feeling of humiliation, inadequacy, and unworthiness.

It’s often caused by traumatic experiences, such as hurtful putdowns from parents, societal expectations, or personal beliefs.

Here are some possible signs you’re carrying toxic shame ⤵️

💔 Perfectionism
💔 Addiction
💔 Codependency
💔 Self-sabotaging
💔 Defensiveness
💔 Self-destructive habits
💔 People pleasing
💔 Easily embarrassed
💔 Strong feelings of guilt
💔 Feeling disgusted with yourself

To overcome shame, you can try getting to the root cause by practicing self-compassion, reframing your negative beliefs, and participating in exercises to heal your shame.

If you don’t engage in healing shame exercises, toxic shame can lead to self-destructive behaviors and struggles with mental health.

Speaking of healing your internalized shame, have you downloaded your free inner child healing workbook yet? 👇

How to Heal Shame


Shadow work is a process of exploring parts of ourselves that we’ve pushed away, denied, or forgotten.

When it comes to healing shame, shadow work is essential.

By shining a light on the parts of ourselves that we feel ashamed of, we can begin to understand and accept them.

It’s important to approach shadow work with compassion and to go at a slower pace, so you can really grasp the information you’re receiving.

Shadow work often goes hand-in-hand with all the healing shame exercises recommended on this list.

More on shadow work:

👉 45 Shadow Work Quotes (to Invoke Inner Healing)


Therapy can be a wonderful tool for healing the shame you’ve been carrying for years.

A therapist can provide a safe and nonjudgmental space for you to explore and process your feelings of shame.

Not only that, but therapy can also encourage you to develop healthy coping mechanisms and strategies for overcoming it.

It’s super important to find a therapist who you feel comfortable with and who has experience working with things like shame and childhood trauma.

Have you tried online therapy?

I always recommend Online Therapy to my readers at Okay Now Breathe, because it is a complete therapy toolkit.

(Meaning, you’ll get worksheets, journal prompts, and informational hands-on tools on top of therapy!)

What’s included in one monthly price ⤵️

⭐ Live video, voice, or text chat session with your therapist

⭐ 8 easy-to-follow sections, including 25 worksheets

⭐ Activity plan, journal, and tests

⭐ Yoga and meditation videos

What I love about Online Therapy is that you don’t even have to leave the comfort of your home.

👉 And because you’re reading this post right now, you can get 20% off your first month with my exclusive link.



Journaling can be another a safe and private space to process, understand, and release shame.

I even created my Inner Child Healing Journal, because I know how massively powerful journaling can be.

Inner Child Healing Journal is designed to help you ⤵️

⭐ Locate the pivotal events in your life that shaped you into who you are today

⭐ Identify the impact your parents, siblings, and childhood friends have had on you

⭐ Learn to validate your childhood trauma and experiences

⭐ Release hidden emotional pain blocking you from healing



Positive affirmations can be a powerful tool for healing shame.

Speak these shame healing affirmations ⤵️

⭐ I am worthy of love and acceptance
⭐ I am enough just as I am
⭐ I release toxic shame and embrace self-love
⭐ I forgive myself for past mistakes and move forward with compassion
⭐ I choose to focus on my strengths and celebrate my progress

Remember to choose affirmations that resonate with you personally and repeat them regularly to reinforce their positive messages.

More healing affirmations:

👉 101 Healing Inner Child Affirmations (to Reparent Yourself)


Meditation can be a fantastic spiritual tool for healing shame.

By practicing mindfulness (and using self-compassion!) during meditation, you can learn to recognize and acknowledge your feelings of shame without judgment.

Meditation can also help cultivate a sense of inner peace and self-acceptance, which can be especially beneficial in overcoming shame.

More meditation benefits ⤵️

⭐ Less anxiety and depression
⭐ Less stress and feelings of overwhelm
⭐ Learning to be mindful and stay in the moment longer
⭐ Increased feelings of happiness
⭐ Promoted positive mental health
⭐ Improved sleep
⭐ Reduced anger
⭐ Feelings of clarity and calm

Meditating is like a muscle: The more you practice it, the better and more effective it will be.

I recommend this meditation ⤵️

This self-love affirmation meditation (created by my husband and me) is designed to help you release low self-esteem, internal struggles, mental blockages, and self-doubt.

Listen while you meditate, journal, walk, and heal your toxic shame.

👉 Subscribe to Peaceful Awakening Meditations for more life-changing inner child meditations.

I also recommend these meditations:

Record and keep track of your meditation sessions, duration, mindfulness, energy, thoughts, and tools in this Meditation Tracker Printable Pack! 🧘

A mockup of meditations available on okaynowbreatheshop on etsy.


✨ Daily Meditation Diary
✨ Weekly Meditation Log
✨ Monthly Lotus Meditation Tracker
✨ Monthly Graph Meditation Tracker
✨ Yearly Meditation Tracker

👉 Use code MEDITATE to get 10% off your meditation trackers!



Chakra work has been absolutely pivotal in my shame healing journey.

Chakras are a network of seven major energy centers arranged vertically along the core of your body.

These spinning wheels of energy correspond to major organsbundles of nerves, and other areas of our body that affect us emotionally and physically.

Shame and chakras:

Shame is often associated with the root chakra and sacral chakra.

By focusing on these chakras and using techniques such as meditation, visualization, and energy work, you can help release blocked energy and promote healing.

Affirmations to help balance chakras ⤵️

⭐ Root Chakra Affirmations

⭐ Sacral Chakra Affirmations

⭐ Solar Plexus Chakra Affirmations

⭐ Heart Chakra Affirmations

⭐ Throat Chakra Affirmations

Third Eye Affirmations

⭐ Crown Chakra Affirmations


Discovering tarot (and oracle cards!) changed my life — in every way possible.

I randomly stumbled across a pick a card tarot reading on YouTube (from Anita Sirene) that was in my recommendations.

I was skeptical when I clicked on it, but wow… everything was spot on, and my life changed at that exact moment.

And now I use tarot as a form of shadow work to get to the gritty parts of my childhood that still need to heal from shame.

Using tarot to heal toxic shame ⤵️

There are multiple ways you can use tarot cards for shame recovery.

⭐ Tarot spread

⭐ Pick a card and journal about it

⭐ Pick a card and meditate on it

No matter what method you choose, I always recommend spending some time reflecting on what you uncovered and learned.

My favorite shadow work decks:


Soon after discovering tarot, I discovered the healing benefits of crystals.

To be completely honest…I used to think crystal healing was a crock of s-h-i-t.

But then I held my first crystal (an orange calcite), and man oh man, did I become a believer.

Chronic feelings of shame changes us as people, and stones and crystals can help us heal and connect with who we truly are.

Favorite crystals for shame ⤵️

Black Tourmaline

Smoky Quartz


More shame healing crystals:


I’m a sucker for self-help books, especially for audiobooks.

In my little ole humble opinion, I find hearing someone else speak to me helps me validate my internalized shame soooo much more.

Recommended books for healing shame ⤵️

⭐ Daring Greatly by Brene Brown

⭐ Healing the Shame that Binds You by John Bradshaw

⭐ Shame and Guilt: Masters of Disguise by Jane Middelton-Moz

These books provide insights, tools, and strategies to help people like you recognize and overcome shame in their lives.


Watching TED Talks can be a great resource for healing shame and connecting with others.

Recommended TED Talks for shame ⤵️

We Need to Talk About Shame by Brene Brown

The Darkness of Shame by Stina Hägglund

Living Without Shame by Whitney Thore

Whenever I need a boost to jumpstart my recovery, I love to be motivated by other people’s life stories.

Here are more TED Talks I recommend:

👉 13 TED Talks on Childhood Trauma (to Heal Your Inner Child)

Recovery from toxic shame

As you read, there are several exercises for healing your deeply rooted shame.

It’s important to find what works best for you and to approach the process with patience and kindness towards yourself.

Remember, healing is a process.

It takes time, tears, and effort.

Be patient and kind to yourself as you work towards healing.

💾 Bookmark this page for when you need a reminder on how to recover from shame. 

More inner child healing posts:

Did you know there’s online therapy?

Online Therapy is a complete online therapy toolbox.

Your therapy toolbox includes:

    • Live video, voice, or text chat session with your therapist
    • 8 easy-to-follow sections, including 25 worksheets
    • Activity plan, journal, and tests
    • Yoga and meditation videos

What I love about Online Therapy is that there are several life-changing options and therapists available, and you don’t even have to leave the comfort of your home.

This means you never need to worry before getting help.

👉 Get 20% off your first month with my exclusive link.


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Shame Healing Exercises