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As a personal development junkie, I love finding new books to add to my shelves. I definitely have a problem collecting new books before I read the ones I already have (and I’m not the only one who does this, right?).
That being said, I’ve read a fair amount of self-help books over the past few years. I enjoy learning mindset tricks, success habits, and anything that will help me become a better version of myself.
Since I often get asked for book recommendations, I decided to put together a round-up of some of my favorite self-help books. I’m not the best at giving book reviews, but I will share a little about these books and why I love them so much.
I’ve categorized the books into categories (mind, body, and soul) so you’ll know exactly what to read when you’re looking to work on any of these areas. Let’s get into the books!
Healthy Mindset Books
This is a great little book to encourage more mindfulness in your life. Whether you’re a beginner or an expert at mindfulness, there are plenty of practical practices to follow. It’s one of those books you can pick up and flick through whenever you need a moment to pause. If you need more mental clarity in your busy life, The Little Book of Mindfulness offers quick and simple methods to make it happen.
Need a little mindset makeover? The truth is, most of us do. I’m a pretty optimistic person, but I can be hard on myself. You Are a Badass encouraged me to let go of some of the negative thoughts I had about myself and look at my strengths instead. There’s wisdom around money, relationships, and self-development – which are all things we can improve our mindsets around. I love Jen’s relatable approach to these topics, and her sense of humor reminds me to not take myself too seriously.
This book completely changed my productivity game and the way that I make decisions. The idea behind Essentialism is that we don’t have to get more done. We just have to get the right things done. This book challenged me to think about what is truly worth my time and attention and how to graciously let go of everything else. If you’re trying to become a more decisive person, this book is definitely one to add to your shelves. One of my favorite quotes of all time comes from this book: “If it isn’t a clear yes, then it’s a clear no.”
I re-read this book every year because it teaches me something new every time. This book is all about getting you from where you are to where you want to be. It teaches you how to increase your confidence, tackle daily challenges, and get started on your life goals. I also wrote about how I created my own vision for the future using the principles in this book.
I finished this book in January, and it’s already one of my favorite books of the year. Better Than Before is all about change and how we form new habits. If you’ve ever wondered why you struggle to form new habits or why you procrastinate, this book is for you. Gretchen explains that our ability to change our behavior is based on four tendencies: upholding, questioning, rebelling, or obliging. Better Than Before is perfect for anyone who loves personality types and wants to understand how they can affect your behavior.
Books to Heal Your Body
If you’ve ever wondered what antioxidants or omega-3s actually do, this book will answer your questions. Eat Pretty is all about how food can benefit your mind, body, and your skin. The book also explores stress management, hormonal balance, and mindful living. The design and presentation of this book are beautiful, and it’ll teach you a lot about how nutrition can play a role in your mindset and appearance.
Ever since I started blogging, I’ve been a fan of Ella’s popular food blog. Ella started her blog to share how she was dealing with a rare illness, and this book is a continuation of her blog. Though she has a few cookbooks, Deliciously Ella will always remain my favorite. The book is broken into food groups (grains, nuts, beans, veggies, fruits) with quick and simple recipes to follow. I love that she uses easy-to-find, budget-friendly ingredients. Even though I’m not plant-based, this book is the one I always turn to for meal inspiration.
After hearing the many ways digestive health can affect our well-being, I decided it was time to see what everyone was talking about. Go With Your Gut is a great mix of educational content about gut health with easy-to-follow recipes that don’t follow a typical diet approach. It’s all about listening to your body and fueling it with gut-friendly foods. Everything is beautifully presented, and I love that Robyn encourages readers to create a healthier relationship with food.
Nourish is an all-encompassing health book that discusses the three most important aspects of wellness: mind, body, and soul. There’s tons of thoughtful advice to improve your well-being through food, exercise, and mindfulness. You will also find delicious recipes, meditation and yoga tips, and a 4-week exercise program to follow. Nourish: Mind, Body, Soul is absolutely beautiful, and it’s one I always enjoy flicking through when I need more balance in my life.
I’ll admit that I’ve never followed one of Kayla’s workouts, but I randomly flicked through this book at Target and knew I had to buy it. This book focuses more on meal plans and recipes than it does on exercise, although it does provide a 28-day workout plan to go with the meal plan. The meals in this book are laid out in an easy-to-follow plan so you know what to make on which days of the week. I also appreciate that these recipes are not restrictive in any way and will fuel your body with good ingredients.
Books for the Soul
Hygge is the Danish philosophy of comfort, togetherness, and well-being. The author shares the habits and practices that help the Danish experience more joy and contentment in their lives. Think comfy blankets, sitting by the fireplace, and sipping hot cocoa. The Little Book of Hygge is more of a coffee table book than a life-changing read, but it’s fun to flick through to find inspiration for a more cozy life.
Though this book is simple in nature, the concepts inside definitely challenged my way of thinking. Deepak explains that the laws of nature are the same laws that can help us fulfill our deepest desires. Each chapter explores how these laws can help us find greater fulfillment in our lives. Despite the complexity of some of the ideas, each chapter offers 3-5 practical ways that you can apply these laws in your life. If you’re looking to align more with your soul’s purpose, add The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success to your reading list.
The Happiness Project is about Gretchen Rubin’s year-long journey to discover what leads to true contentment. Happiness is such an abstract concept, but this book gives you practical tips to find more happiness in your life. I avoided reading The Happiness Project at first because I assumed it would be cheesy (a lot of happiness books are). I was definitely wrong. Rubin’s combination of stories, tips, and research are incredibly relatable and thought-provoking.
This is the only fiction book on the list, but it’s the kind of book that teaches you 100 life lessons in a few pages. The book tells the story of a shepherd boy who travels the world in search of treasure. Along the way, his journey teaches him about the power of listening to his heart and following his dreams. The Alchemist is the type of book that will speak to your soul and provide you with endless wisdom for your own self-discovery.
Liz Gilbert discusses the attitudes, approaches, and habits we need to live our most creative lives. If you’ve ever felt like you’re not a creative person, this book will challenge you to think otherwise. I’ve never considered myself to be creative, but Liz puts creativity into a whole new perspective by reminding us that we’re all creative by nature. For anyone who feels like they have no creative talents, Big Magic will encourage you to stop thinking that way once and for all.