These top ten wellbeing books will help you design and live your best life. From meditation and minimalism to mindful cooking and, yup, sparking joy, cherry pick the tips that work for you. Leave the stress, clutter and bad habits behind and make room for more happiness.
Zen: The Art of Simple Living by Shunmyo Masuno
Buddhism is synonymous with a state of wellbeing, and living a calm life is an antidote to contemporary chaos. In this book, renowned monk Shunmyo Masuno brings Zen Buddhism into our everyday lives. There are bite-sized chunks of wisdom and 100 quick activities to help activate your inner calm. Use this illustrated guide to slow down and connect with the peace beneath. ‘Does for mental clutter what Marie Kondo has done for household clutter’ (Publisher’s Weekly).
Run Fast. Cook Fast. Eat Slow by Shalane Flanagan and Elyse Kopecky
As you are what you eat, nutritionist and chef Elyse Kopecky and Olympic athlete Shalane Flanagan want to ensure that you eat for optimum health, wellbeing and performance. This revolutionary cookbook shows budding athletes how to cook their way to success, while making the process fun, colourful and delicious. Importantly, they prove that you don’t need much time to prepare indulgent, nourishing food. Replace the junk food and sugar with piles of nutrient-rich health-giving goodness. Relish every bite.
Outer Order. Inner Calm. by Gretchen Rubin
Getting control of our stuff makes us feel more in control of our lives. This book brims with strategies, insights and tips to help you be the boss of yours. Pick-n-mix from over 150 clutter-clearing ideas to help organise your outer life. This will help create a calmer and more focused inner world, inviting more creativity, productivity and passion into your life. Free your mind (and your shelves) to house what’s truly important to you with a little help from this bestselling happiness expert.
Stress Less, Accomplish More by Emily Fletcher
Do you stress about your lack of time to meditate? The tried and tested formula in Stress Less, Accomplish More could be your route back to a real sense of contentment. Forget silent rooms, candles, dolphin noises and the lotus pose. Instead, learn the simple and powerful tools that will help you meditate in a totally new way, wherever you are and however you run your day. Prepare to decrease your stress levels and to create more space for the better things in life.
The Source by Dr Tara Swart
If you want to harness the laws of attraction to bring what you want into your life, tap into The Source. It’s like The Secret, but ‘cooler and more sciencey’ according to London’s Evening Standard. Dr Stewart backs up some universal truths about attraction with her trademark scientific rigour. Her advice will help you send the right messages out, training your mind to seize opportunities that might pass you by. If you know what you want but don’t know how to get it, prepare to succeed with The Source.
Burnout by Emily Nagoski and Amelia Nagoski
Women and men are different. Who knew! This no-nonsense book explains how women experience ‘burnout’ differently than men, both psychologically and physically. It provides a science-backed plan to help women manage emotions; minimise work and life stress; and improve general wellbeing. Combat the Bikini Complex, make friends with your inner critic and take on the challenges that lie between you and improved wellbeing. Includes practical exercises to help you stick to the changes you want to make.
Happy Ever After by Professor Paul Dolan
Dubbed a ‘manifesto for a better society’, this provocative book is part self-help, part call-to-arms. It knocks the wind out of the sails of cultural conditioning, the quest for perfection and the desire for more, more, more. Instead, Dolan promotes accepting imperfection and finding your own way in this thing called life. When it comes to nurturing a true sense of wellbeing and living your own version of happiness, don’t worry about what the next person thinks. Because this ‘happy ever after’ isn’t for their story, it’s for yours.
The Energy Plan by James Collins
The world is waking up to food’s incredible cause-and-effect impacts on health, wellbeing and performance. In his book, world-leading sports nutritionist James Collins explains how to eat to feel your best, every day, powering through the slumps and avoiding junk food. The Energy Plan will help you lose weight, sleep better and avoid illness. The even better news is that there’s no fasting or carb-cutting, for this isn’t a diet. It’s your new, evidence-based and scientifically-proved relationship with food.
Spark Joy by Marie Kondo
No 2019 booklist is complete without a mention of publishing phenomenon, Marie Kondo. Her global hit, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, isn’t (just) about tidying. It’s about sorting your life out, regaining focus and being surrounded by the things you love, things that ‘spark joy’. If keen on the folding element itself, enter this new illustrated guide, ‘A Master Class on the Art of Organizing and Tidying Up’. It’s perfect for those keen to simplify their stuff as a first step towards inner and outer calm.
Digital Minimalism by Cal Newport
Digital minimalism is a new concept with the same goal as physical minimalism: living a focused life in a noisy, tech-saturated world. Knowing how much technology is just enough is key and Cal Newport’s methods will help you set and keep your personal goals. If you can’t remember your last phone-free hike or evening without endless distractions and on-the-spot Googling, read this book. Banish FOMO and live a life dictated by your needs…not your phone notifications. On that note, turn the Internet off. Real life awaits.