In recent years, the discussion about happiness has become more nuanced. Yes, it is a universal truth that everyone wants to experience more of. But, we are starting to find out what really leads to happiness — and what helps us is only halfway there. A way to reap more euphoria? Read all the happiness books your home library can hold.
While for some, “happy life” brings up visions of a big house and a luxury car, we are increasingly realizing that true happiness comes from an existence that has more meaningful: connecting with others, giving back to the world around us, and getting in touch with our spiritual selves.
As I reflect on the books I’ve loved over the years, I’m struck by how many have pushed me along on my quest for deeper, more soulful happiness. Scroll to 11 of my favorite books on happiness and share in the comments if there are any I should add to my list!
Featured image of Teal Thomsen.
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11 books on happiness to inspire a life of purpose
Joyful by Ingrid Fetelle Lee
Design Contributor, Stacey Lindsay (who is full of light and full of joy) love this book — and we all want to reap the happiness-promoting benefits on its pages. As Stacey previously wrote, “By infusing our days with more joy, we build more happiness in our lives. This book continues to uniquely brighten my sun, thereby making everything else in life flow. As for books on happiness, that review alone confirms it: this book needs to be at the top of your list.
10% Happier by Dan Harris
I know you know: There are countless benefits that come with a consistent meditation practice. But if you’re having trouble implementing that broad advice, know this: you’re not alone. Thankfully, Dan Harris has written what Elizabeth Gilbert calls “An incredibly intelligent, lucid, brave, and rather personal look at the benefits of meditation.” He does an amazing job of not only making us feel seen in our meditations and thoughts, but also offering game-changing, evidence-supported ways to make peace with the voice in our heads — and harness its influence for good in the form of more productivity, better performance, and kindness to ourselves.
Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin
This is the queen of all happiness books – a New York Times bestseller in an absurd amount of time, so much wisdom in it that has penetrated my soul and informed How I approach everyday life. . Gretchen Rubin spent a year of her life testing theories of what really increases happiness and wears her social scientist hat to document the findings so we can find out what works and what doesn’t.
Develop by Arianna Huffington
This is the book that changed my sleeping habits – which I found to have a huge impact on my overall well-being throughout the day. Huffington shares how her own health and emotional crisis prompted her to go on a mission to change her life in pretty amazing ways. If the woman behind The Huffington Post can make time for sleep, relaxation and unplugging, I think we can too!
Brave in the wild by Brené Brown
You couldn’t have a list of more soulful lifestyle books that didn’t include some of Brené’s major acts in it. Honestly, I could have included any of her here, but this is a good place to start – you’ll question all your previous assumptions about what it means to belong. about our culture and most importantly, more in tune with who you really are.
Happier at home by Gretchen Rubin
This is the sequel to Happiness Project (slide 2), but I’ve gathered a lot of new insights from Rubin’s personal experiments to make her home the happiest place possible, from her surroundings, her marriage to how she He spends time outside of work.
Year yes by Shonda Rhimes
Maker Grey’s Anatomy and Scandal chronicles her own journey to conquer her fears and live a bolder, more inspiring life where she learns what it means to truly love herself. If your fears often get in the way of the kind of person you aspire to be, then this book is for you.
Present perfect by Shauna Niequist
*sigh* I think I need to re-read this book. All people with a tendency towards perfectionism (raise hands) will completely define Niequist’s personal path from exhausted and too busy to find a whole new way of life. It requires courage, simplification and saying are not much. But as she shows in her own story, that’s what leads to getting in touch with yourself. #worthit
Love by Bob Goff
I recently picked up this sweet collection of wise and strange stories from Goff’s life. It is a reminder that joy, pleasure and meaning await us every day and often in the hardest places. This is a good book to read when you need a reminder of how much good there is in the world.
Simple abundance by Sarah Ban Breathnach
The OG book on happiness. One of my mom’s friends gave her this gift when I was a teenager, and I loved it from the start and still love it today. There is an entry for each day of the year, each intended to inspire us to awaken to the quiet joys, the simple joys and the beauty all around us if we just opened our eyes to see. it.
The book has no pictures by BJ Novak
Okay, this one might not be as deep as the others on this list, but if you find yourself in need of a good laugh… Read this book to a kid under 10, and me dare to you can’t giggle uncontrollably.
This post was originally published on July 14, 2020, and has since been updated.