January is the month that calls for a fresh start and just as many of you are probably doing this month, I’m working on goals and an overall reset. I think a little inspiration always helps in those areas, so with that in mind, we thought we would share some of our favorite books on the subjects of wellness, health and joyful life. Whether you’re in need of some new-year motivation or just looking for a good read to pack on your next vacation, here are ten books to get you started.
#1. Art of Eating Well: Hemsley and HemsleyWritten by two food-obsessed sisters, this book is all about eating real, unprocessed and nutritious food. This is anything but a diet book. (They use lots of butter and there’s an entire section devoted to desserts.) It’s focused on eating nourishing food that’s good for your body and downright delicious, too. Every recipe I’ve ever made from them has been nothing short of fantastic. It’s the best “healthy” cookbook you’ll ever read.
#2. The New Health Rules: Simple Changes to Achieve Whole-Body Wellness
Striking a balance between accessible, easy-to-execute and comprehensive in nature, “The New Health Rules” by Dr. Frank Lipman and Danielle Claro maps out longterm habits worth integrating into everyday life. This is no fad diet and these aren’t temporary tricks. The real challenge happens to be continued commitment to what clearly represents a beneficial and healthy habit. Lipman practices integrated medicine and this book targets the whole self—physical, emotional and mental—for improved day-to-day wellness and increased longevity.
#3. Everyday Super FoodJamie Oliver’s Everyday Super Food champions a healthy, balanced diet, and is all about eating a wide range of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and foods from each of the food groups. The main reason for this is that each food group – fruit and vegetables; meat, fish, protein alternatives (such as milk and dairy products); bread, cereals and potatoes – contributes different good stuff to the body. The final food group includes foods that are high in fat and sugar (pastries and cakes, for example), but these shouldn’t be eaten too often.
#4. The Five Love Languages: The Secret to Love that Lasts
This book had such a positive effect on my marriage. The bottom line: each of us has a primary love language, a particular way that we like to give and receive love. (You can find out yours by filling out this questionnaire.) Once I understood mine (quality time) and my husband’s (words of affirmation), we started communicating differently and so much better. It’s truly enlightening. It not only changed my relationship with my husband, but the relationships I have with my family and closest friends, too.
#5. The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You’re Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are
Usually when I hear people talk about Brene Brown, it’s on the subject of vulnerability. She gave a fantastic TED talk about it. And what I love about The Gifts of Imperfection is her focus on time. Are we ruled by our To Do List? Or are we guided by higher principles? That’s the essence and core of The Gifts of Imperfection. She places a high importance on becoming still; growing quiet; finding more fulfillment in being and doing less. Really, this book is a call to re-insert meaning into our lives: cultivating meaning in our personal and professional work; moving toward art or literature that inspires us; and cultivating real joy.
#6. The Last Lecture
I listened to the audiobook of this one while driving home from college. I loved it so much that I immediately bought the hardback version and reread it. It’s written by Randy Paush, a professor at Carnegie Mellon, who was diagnosed with terminal cancer and passed away in 2008. This book is his “last lecture” and emphasizes the idea of living life to the fullest. This book will make you cry, but it will also leave you feeling totally inspired to seize every moment. It remains one of the best books I’ve ever read.
#7. The Miracle Morning: The Not-So-Obvious Secret Guaranteed to Transform Your Life (Before 8AM)
The principles within The Miracle Morning are all things that we have heard of before. All ways that successful people have used to advance in their careers, their physical wellbeing, and their relationships. What makes The Miracle Morning so powerful is the way that Hal has put these principles together to give us the very best start to our day.
#8. Necessary Endings: The Employees, Businesses, and Relationships That All of Us Have to Give Up in Order to Move Forward
This is one of the best books I’ve read for wise life guidance next to Dale Carnegie’s “How to Win Friends and Influence People” and is a must read for those who want to be leaders in their organizations or just want to live a better life.
#9. The Sleep Revolution: Transforming Your Life, One Night at a Time
The Huffington Post chief marries the latest science with her moving personal journey to explain the transformative effect of sleep on every aspect of our lives, and how we can doze more and better.
#10. When Breath Becomes Air
36-year-old neurosurgeon Paul Kalanithi wrote a profoundly moving, exquisitely observed memoir about being faced with a terminal cancer diagnosis. Kalanithi died before he finished the book, leaving his wife Lucy to write a beautiful but painful epilogue. The book attempts to answer the question, “What makes a life worth living?”
If you have any recommendations, please share them in the comments. We would love to hear them!