Mindfulness Books We Love
If you’ve found your thoughts wandering or life moving faster than you can process it, mindfulness is a helpful practice to add in your life. But with so many apps, mantras, and videos out there, figuring out how to start your mindfulness journey can be in itself overwhelming.
This summer, take advantage of the longer, sun-soaked days and elevate your consciousness by adding these books on mindfulness to your beach bag. They may just be the perfect accompaniment as the ocean waves lull your thoughts to zen places. Here are five books on mindfulness we love.
Read more: Easy Ways to Introduce Mindfulness to Kids
1. Devotions by Mary Oliver
“Instructions for living a life. Pay attention. Be astonished. Tell about it.” A modern-day Ralph Waldo Emerson, Mary Oliver is remembered as one of the most thoughtful poets of our time. In this inspiring collection of poetry, Pulitzer Prize-winning Oliver connects the reader to nature’s smallest moments, from hummingbird’s wings to the rush of a river, urging dwellers of our fast-paced, technology-driven culture to simply stop and gaze at the living world around us. Devotions was also listed on Oprah’s "Books That Help Me Through" book club list.
2. Atlas of the Heart by Brené Brown
Brené Brown is one of culture’s most influential sociologists studying shame, vulnerability, and leadership. Her research has led to the publication of culture-making books, including Daring Greatly and Rising Strong, which challenge readers to embrace vulnerability in order to become more authentic and resilient versions of themselves. In her new book, Atlas of the Heart, Brown identifies 87 different emotions that shape our shared humanity, giving us vocabulary to not only name our experiences but unlock “the power of understanding, meaning, and choice” that comes with it. Unlike her previous reads, Atlas of the Heart is more like a coffee table book, with full-color images and illustrations, making it perfect for someone who wants a more visual journey into self-reflection.
Read more: Nature Magic & Self-Care
3. Unwinding Anxiety by Judson Brewer
Anxiety has become an infamous hallmark of this decade, with rates skyrocketing during the pandemic. In Unwinding Anxiety, Dr. Brewer distills his research and experience working with thousands of patients — from Olympic athletes to political leaders — to help us understand why we revert to cycles of anxious thought that we can’t seem to “think our way out of.” While heavy in nature, this book is totally approachable. Dr. Brewer doesn’t just speak in abstract psychology, he outlines practical steps to help anyone break free from anxiety and harness the power of mindfulness.
4. You Are Here by Thich Nhat Hanh
One of the most revered peace activists and spiritual teachers to ever live, Thich Nhat Hanh’s life as a Buddhist monk was marked by his efforts to cultivate peace and mindfulness — and pass it on to others. In fact, his work to promote reconciliation in the aftermath of the Vietnam War led him to be nominated by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. for the Nobel Prize in 1967. You Are Here is among his hundreds of books that help Western readers discover the magic of staying in the present moment and bidding anxiety-laden worries and thoughts away for true calm.
5. 10% Happier by Dan Harris
Sometimes, there are things holding us back from being happy, but we don’t know it until life hits us gingerly in the head. Take it from anchor Dan Harris, who had a panic attack in 2004 while live on Good Morning America in front of millions of viewers. In 10% Happier, Harris pens his refreshing personal journey from meditation skeptic to avid convert, interviewing everyone from a disgraced pastor to brain scientists about the secret to mindfulness. The book is inquisitive, honest, funny, and cuts through some of the fluff of spirituality to tell the tale of one man’s journey to tame the voice in his head on the path to peace.
Read more: Bringing Joy Back Into Your Life