This year I logged a personal reading record, thanks to all the research I had to do for The Wellness Project. And all the health books I got to pore over was one off the most enjoyable parts of my own book writing process.
I’ve mentioned some of my favorites here and there during my monthly recaps, but I wanted to finally put together a comprehensive list of the best new wellness reads from 2015.
I realize I may be a little late on the stocking stuffer front. But these books are perhaps an even worthier gift to give yourself. I know that the holidays are when I’m finally able to enjoy some downtime with a cozy cashmere throw and a freshly cracked book spine. (And a freshly opened bottle of wine).
If you’re in the same boat, and want to read more about bettering your beach body while laying on the white shores of some far away paradise, I’ve included some of my favorites for fueling your physique. And if it’s really your mind or spirit that needs nourishment to offset all that family holiday tension, I’ve got you covered on that front too.
There are still many more on my must-read list that I couldn’t get to this year, so I’d love to hear your picks in the comments section!
Better Than Before: What I Learned About Making and Breaking Habits–to Sleep More, Quit Sugar, Procrastinate Less, and Generally Build a Happier Life
Those of you who have followed my wellness journey know that Gretchen Rubin has been a huge influence. Her latest book has some amazing insights on our basic tendencies that can help everyone craft better resolutions for the New Year. I wish it had come out prior to starting my wellness project!
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
I was a little late to the party on this one (it’s a pick from 2014), but Dan Harris’ memoir on how meditation healed his anxious, over-achieving spirit is one of the best wellness books I’ve read. He’s an amazing story-teller, and the book is also a fascinating look at the political inner workings of broadcast journalism.
It Was Me All Along: A Memoir
Touching, heart-felt and gorgeously written. Andie Mitchell’s best-selling memoir about her struggles with extreme eating is a must-read for any woman who has battled emotional attachments to food. And who hasn’t?
The Microbiome Solution: A Radical New Way to Heal Your Body from the Inside Out
The digestion month of my wellness project was one of my favorites. Learning more about how my gut bacteria affects my immune system really helped me wrap my head around what I do to help and hurt my Hashimotos Thyroiditis on a daily basis. Dr. Chutkan‘s book is entertaining, engaging and will give you all the tools you need to do right by the trillions of bacteria residing in your body.
The Good Gut: Taking Control of Your Weight, Your Mood, and Your Long-term Health
I couldn’t just choose one gut book! Dr. Chutkan gives the perspective of an integrative GI healing patients every day with these methods, while Erica and Justin Sonnenburg are really on the front lines of microbial research. Their book takes an even closer look at these gut interactions, including a fascinating section on the mind-gut connection.
Skin Cleanse: The Simple, All-Natural Program for Clear, Calm, Happy Skin
Sadly, I picked up Adina Grigore’s book after I had completed my preliminary green beauty challenges. But reading it after the fact gave me so much more confidence in my choices. It’s one of the few skincare books that comprehensively marries what we put on our body with what we put in our body. Anyone who’s struggled with skin issues needs this book!
Clean Green Eats: 100+ Clean-Eating Recipes to Improve Your Whole Life
I love Candice Kumai‘s approach to clean eating. Though she’s a former Top Chef, her recipes are simple, straight forward and full of that healthy hedonism flair. Her latest cookbook is a great addition to your veg-centric arsenal.
On Immunity: An Inoculation
This is another pick from last year, but still not to be missed! Biss’ memoir about how she reconciled her fears around vaccinating her son is elegantly written and full of nuance. As someone with immunity issues, I loved how she shed light on so many of our culture’s hypocrisies around toxicity versus purity, and scientific advancements versus the natural world.
The Blue Zones Solution: Eating and Living Like the World’s Healthiest People
This book is great for any family member who struggles with what diet philosophy to follow. The food rules in the Blue Zones Solution are probably the closest to what I subscribe to. And offering them straight from the mouths of the world’s longest-living populations makes a compelling argument for why less meat, more vegetables, and a healthy dose of wine makes for the most balanced life.
Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear
My love of Elizabeth Gilbert knows no bounds. Her latest is a quick, joyous read and such a pep talk for anyone who struggles with the fears and self-doubt that stand in the way of realizing their creative potential.
The Crossroads of Should and Must: Find and Follow Your Passion
My friend Elle Luna has spawned one of the most inventive books of the year. Not only is it completely hand painted and lettered (and therefore unlike anything else on the self-help shelf), but it’s full of inspiring quotes and wisdom from the minds of the worlds’ creative geniuses, including Luna herself.
This is the only book on the list that I haven’t read cover to cover. But I’m so obsessed with Brene Brown that I know it’s going to be worthy of this praise. You should also download the last episode of the Magic Lessons Podcast for a truly special conversation between Brown and Gilbert. I’ve listened to it several times and it still gives me chills.
What’s on your reading list this holiday season? Any wellness books I should add to my wish list? Let me know in the comments!