I’m always on the hunt for books that will inspire you. Whether that’s inspiring you with work or whether it’s taking a look at your mental health. I know they’re not for everyone, some people feel that they don’t need someone telling them how to think or telling them how to do things, especially through a book, but they do make you reflect on your own life. This is what I love most. I love hearing about the authors experiences, struggles and learning from them. Anything written that is not through Facebook posts and through instagram likes, is a lot more credible to me and immediately gets my attention. If you want to step away from the thrillers of Stephen King or the gushing romantic words of Nicholas Sparks, then these are the inspiring books you need to read.
Not That Kind of Girl – Lena Dunham
The author Lena Dunham brings the hilarious tales and stories of what she’s learned as a young woman. Whether that’s sex, being on a diet or health concerns, the books pretty much covers all young women worries (especially mine) and is told in a moving but witty way.
“ Sex itself was a mystery. Nothing quite fit. Intercourse felt, often, like shoving a loofah into a mason jar.”
“But here I was, a slip of a thing suddenly shaped like a gummy bear.”
“The most terrifying aspect of human health is our refusal to take steps to help ourselves and the fact that we are so often responsible for our own demise through lack of positive action. It makes me want to take a nap.”
You get the idesa The honesty in the book is what kept me reading. The pages from her diet diary to chat logs and then to her regrets. It’s eye opening and most of all helpful, that someone else is trying to make their way in the world too. It also makes you feel that it’s okay to be lost and that it’s okay to not live up to society’s expectations of what a woman should be. I’m going to stop here before I get too feminist…
Get the books here
Thrive – Arianna Huffington
If you don’t know who Arianna Huffington is she is the co-founder of Huffington Post. Someone who I admire greatly. She is possibly one of the most influential women in the world, voted #12 in Forbes Most Influential Women in Media. The book talks about her own struggles, managing two children whilst having an awesome career WHILST being on a pedestal in the medias eyes.
“We think, mistakenly, that success is the result of the amount of time we put in at work, instead of the quality of time we put in.”
“If you take care of your mind, you take care of the world.”
The book is about looking at our own lives to see how we can live our most fulfilled life. Talking about well-being, wisdom and giving, it’s a chance to realise that we need to take a step back and to not feel overworked. We spend most of our days, months and lives at work and Arianna Huffington talks about how there is more to life than work. It’s deeply insightful and full of amazing research that really makes you think.
Get the book here
Focus in the Age of Distraction – Jane Piper*
We all spend too much time on our phones. Fact. Whilst I’m sitting here writing this, I am flicking between two separate whatsapp conversations after finishing a lengthy scroll on Instagram. Practice what you preach girl! I recently downloaded an app called Moment, and it tracks how long you spend on your phone and how many times you pick your phone up in a day. My record… Pick up times: 120 times. What?! Surely not? It’s true. You pick your phone up to check the time, check your emails, check twitter and whatever other social media or digital platforms you use. It was completely eye opening. Since this, ‘awakening’, I’ve tried to cut down my phone usage. Tried being the important word here.
Moving back to the book in question….
This book shoes you practical steps to help you become more focused and productive, and learning to switch off. The book is written by Jane Piper, who is an organisational psychologist with 20 years of experience. If anyone can help you switch off, it’s this woman! The book focuses on a range of different subjects, from learning how to stress less, dealing with toxic workplaces and changing your habits.
“The lesson for us to get motivated is to understand not just why we are doing something, but also to see a purpose or the bigger pictures and how it benefits others.”
“You get sucked into a vortex or a parallel universe and find yourself thirty minutes later still looking at things of highly limited relevance.”
The 35 practical ways and tips is based on latest research in positive psychology, neuroscience and of course, common sense. Sometimes we need to hear it from someone else. The book highlights that even though we spend most of lives at work, we can still be focused and productive outside of work and enjoy life. It is really helpful book and I found myself going “Aaah that’s so true,” because what the author writes, is true, to not just your own personal life, but society in general.
Get the book here
Happy – Fearne Cotton
We all know Fearne Cotton for her stint on Radio 1 and Celebrity Juice, but she also speaks strongly about mental health and well-being. This is shown through her book, Happy. In the book she speaks about her own battle with mental illness and the ways she battled the darkest times in her life. The book shows you how to find happiness in day to day life and how exploring your own happiness, is important for our mental health.
“I, like many people out there, assumed that once I had achieved certain accolades, climbed up the career ladder and felt love from those around me, I would feel ‘happy.’
Yes, there was happiness along the way, but my fast paced, incautious way of living also left me to get hurt, feel empty at times and to live from head rather than my heart.”
In the book you’ll find helpful and practical exercises to try. From yoga class exercises to drawing pictures and writing notes, it’s practical. I think this is probably one for those that are newbies to self help books and want to dip their toes into what they offer. There are sections on happy mind, happy choice, happy body and more, so whatever you may feel like you need help with, you can pick and choose the bits you need when you most need it. The books is also beautifully illustrated and exquisitely designed which makes it easier to digest.
Get the book here
There are hundreds of self help books out there, and some that cater to what you specifically need or want to gain. Whether that’s getting over fears or overcoming how you see your body, there is literally something for everyone. We definitely need to think more about our personal well-being, and books, I think, are a great place to start.
Want to read another book recommendation? Check out my previous post here
*This book has been sent to me for review purposes. All opinions are my own