I’m an admitted self-help type books junkie. I love reading to learn new things and have reminders of all the options to keep moving along in our life’s journey in a positive way.
I especially love the books that give you fresh perspective and leave you feeling inspired to make change, without making you feel overwhelmed with a huge to-do list in the self-improvement category.
I wanted to share my favorite books that fell into this category for 2015. I’m labeling them “inspirational wellness” because often all it takes is a little inspiration to lead to positive changes in your wellness!
Vulnerability, Courage, Authenticity
I love Brené Brown. She is a PhD and researcher, so her findings are science-based, but her work is filled with authenticity. Reading her words or listening to her speak always leaves me with a strange blend of comfort and motivation.
The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You’re Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are is my favorite book at the moment as I’m reading it for the 2nd time. She shares 10 guideposts on the power of Wholehearted living…a way of engaging with the world from a place of worthiness.
She talks about many of the topics I categorize as love & feel are critical to our wellness …authenticity, self-compassion, resilience, gratitude, joy, creativity, intuition, faith, play & rest, calm, meaningful work, & laughter, song and dance.
Love. Love. Love this book!!
Rising Strong is her new release in 2015 and #1 NY Times Bestseller.
When we deny our stories, they define us.
When we own our stories, we get to write the ending
This is all about owning overcoming setbacks by recognizing the power of emotion and not being afraid to lean in to discomfort.
“We craft love from heartbreak. compassion from shame, grace from disappoint courage from failure. ”
Love all of her work!
I’ve read many books on Mindfulness, but I loved Dan Harris’ take on the topic.
In 10% Happier: How I Tamed the Voice in My Head, Reduced Stress Without Losing My Edge, and Found Self-Help That Actually Works–A True Story, he describes his mindfulness journey that began with an on-air panic attack.
He interviews “guru’s” in the field like Ekhart Tolle (The Power of Now) and Deepak Chopra, discusses the science behind meditation and recounts his own spiritual journey.
This book is relatable and provides a realistic approach to the importance of meditation in cultivating mindfulness, happiness and success!
I thought this review in the NY Times summed up Elizabeth Gilbert’s main message in her book Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear.
“Creativity is inside all of us, it should be expressed, and it is not selfish or crazy or foolish to do so — it is, in fact, the best way to live a satisfying life.”
She covers two of my favorite wellness topics that I don’t think get enough attention…creativity and living without fear.
Inspirational read of 2015!
Kristin Neff, PhD is the self-compassion guru that I have mentioned before (Bouncing Back from Tough Parenting Days with Self-Compassion). Her research strongly suggests that people who are more self-compassionate lead healthier, more productive lives than those who are self-critical.
Her book, Self-Compassion: The Proven Power of Being Kind to Yourself, goes in-depth on the importance of being kind to yourself…in parenting, in relationships, in work, in happiness, and in life.
“It offers expert advice on how to limit self-criticism and offset its negative effects, enabling you to achieve your highest potential and a more fulfilled life.”
It’s probably obvious why I love this book!
Reaching Goals/Behavior Change
Last spring, Gretchen Rubin (author of The Happiness Project) came to my Boston suburb on her book tour right after the 2015 release of her book Better Than Before: Mastering the Habits of Our Everyday Lives.
She is very calculated with her approach to behavior change, which honestly didn’t leave me feeling inspired.
That being said….when it comes down to it, it is the practical aspects of change, not the inspiration to change, that gets results! That’s why this is on my recommended list.
She has a lot of strategies and helps you think through your own personality, while making a plan for change. Read my friend Kelly’s post for a more in-depth review!
A friend introduced me to The Desire Map: A Guide to Creating Goals with Soul by Danielle LaPorte last fall and I was sold at first glance. This is the type of behavior change tool that inspires me!
“Your bucket list. Quarterly objectives. Strategic plans. Big dreams. Goals. Lots of goals and plans to achieve those goals-no matter what. Except. You’re not chasing the goal, you’re chasing the feeling you hope reaching the goal will give you.”
Connecting the feeling you want to achieve with your goals is a basis of my coaching, so I was thrilled to find a tool that clearly lays it out for you. When you pick a behavior you truly want to change, not feel like you should, then it is so much easier to do.
She helps you go through a process of getting clear on how you actually want to feel in your life and then set the intentions (“Goals with Soul”) to get there. A workbook is included, so it is also introspective.
This book combined with Gretchen Rubin’s tips and you are golden
The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing by Marie Kondo, 2014.
I used to tell myself that clutter/messiness around me didn’t impact my life…my wellbeing, my happiness, my efficiency. Although, a strong sense of inner peace can get you through any situation…an organized environment can do wonders.
Marie Kondo is pretty hard-core in her recommendations, so this book can fall into the “overwhelmed/so much to do category!” if you are not ready for this type of change. But, it is a practical step-by-step method if de-cluttering/organization is on your 2016 priority list.
Either way it is a good reminder of the importance of being surrounded by things you love!
Okay, I could go on, but I’m going to wrap up my list here! Have you read any of these and have feedback to share? Do you plan to read any of them this year? What would you add to this list or recommend for 2016?