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, a couple of resolutions, and just an overall reset. I think a little inspiration always helps in those areas (knowledge is key, right?) so with that in mind, I thought I would share some of my favorite books (along with a few I’m planning to read) on the subjects of health, wellness and overall happiness. 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 five books to get you started.
If you have any recommendations, please share them in the comments. I would love to hear them!
I’m a total and complete neat freak. I’m one of those people that genuinely enjoys organizing things and absolutely loves a house purge. (Just call me Monica Geller.) I thought I knew everything I needed to know on the subject until I read this book. The author applies the “KonMari” method to clean-outs and though it’s extreme and a little weird at times, it’s definitely enlightening. There’s plenty of helpful advice on the best way to clean out your home (tackle clutter by category, not by room), but this book is also about changing your mindset. I learned a lot about the philosophy of owning things and the importance of surrounding myself only with things I love and that make me happy.
Written by two food-obsessed sisters, this book is all about eating real, unprocessed, and nutritious food. This is anything but a diet book. (Read: 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 (the book has over 150 of them) I’ve ever made from them has been nothing short of fantastic. (I’ve already pre-ordered their second book.) It’s the best “healthy” cookbook you’ll ever read.
There are very few books that I deem worthy of a second or third read, but this is one of them. The author dedicated a year of her life to her own “happiness project” and details the adventure in this book. She tackles a different area of her life (marriage, work, physical well-being and so on) each month with resolutions and extensive research to back it up. It’s not preachy at all. I found it totally refreshing and engaging. It not only forced me to make little changes in my daily life (I now live by her “one-minute rule”: anything that can be done in one minute, you should do now) but also changed the way I approach and handle negative situations.
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 (words of affirmation) and my husband’s (quality time), 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.
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.
For more book recommendations, check out my picks in this month’s Book Club.