// CB Wellness Book List
I've partnered with THE/THIRTY and recently gave them a wellness book list! However, I know some of y'all might want the unedited/ unabridged version that goes a little deeper into what wellness means to me. Here ya go!
I might just read too much. But when is reading a bad thing? I’m often asked for book recommendations and despite having book lists on my own blog, I wanted to bless THE/THIRTY with some options for specific things. There have to be so many more books that are worthwhile and wonderful, but this short list is a personal sampling of books that have touched my life along the way.
You might think a wellness book list will include things about dieting, working out, and “clean” eating. In my own life, as well as what I see with clients, so much of wellness is not just the familiar fit topics. Your relationships, your spirituality, and your mindset are just as important. The same goes for sleep and self-care practices. Necessary things for true wellness. Amazing things can happen when our thoughts align and our actions follow.
Look over these topics and titles. See if anything speaks to you.
Looking to attract or lead a life that feels more on purpose :
The Power of Intention, Wayne Dyer // Read this and listened to it probably 40 times as a book on tape, and can quote much of it, recommended by a therapist in … I remember the first time she said “intention” to me. It’s over a decade later and I’m still trying to live by that principle.
Where do I even start with Yoga? :
The Harvard Medical School Guide to Yoga, Marlynn Wei, MD & James E. Groves, MD // Recently released, but a yoga guide that is 8 weeks and offers a structure for the beginner who wants to learn about yoga in a thorough way. Also includes meditations and mudras, and plenty of knowledge. I’m a big fan of the 4-5 full pages of why yoga is beneficial, complete with data.
Yoga poses are confusing :
The Yoga Bible, Christina Brown // A reference I use often when I need to remember all the cues in a specific pose, and great for those who might have done a pose in class and left not too sure what was going on. Broken down my asana, there is also a back section where poses for certain conditions or issues is listed. Helpful for when you want to know what might help migraines or back pain.
I want to actually understand yoga and give it meaning :
(the) Bhagavad Gita // Hindu scripture that is the definitive text on yoga really, with all the philosophy and spirituality around it. Written beautifully, it also has life guidance on love and living that many may find helpful even if they never decide to do yoga. Ie. How one is supposed to function in the world, without being off the world.
How to lift for strong curves :
Strong Curves, A Woman’s Guide to Building a Better Butt and Body, Bret Contreras & Kellie Davis // The always amazing and super smart Bret Contreous, aka the glute guy. I not only look up to his methods and work, but know first hand how great his programs can be. Being strong is the best thing I can think of being as a woman. This book not only has strength training but also plenty of information for you to learn. With any workout book, please actually read it. Looking at the pictures is great but reading will help you be a better lifter, and keep you safe.
Trying to become the best version of yourself :
Rhythm of Life, Matthew Kelly // It’s a really good starting place for someone asking the question; how can I live a more sound and authentic life that connects me to my purpose, makes me feel empowered, and shows me how that is structured. The view offered here is helpful.
I feel like I’m too much :
Too Fat, Too Slutty, Too Loud: The Rise and Reign of the Unruly Woman, Anne Helen Peterson // This book profiles women who are deemed ‘unruly’ yet as a woman I identified with many of the situations and perceptions in this book. It’s refreshing to hear about how women in the pubic eye navigate the many things we are told to be and told not to be by a society that doesn’t always champion us as we are.
Everyday food “rules” change. Really, what can I eat?
What to Eat, Marion Nestle // A super favorite from my food days, it’s a great guide to help you make healthy and informed food choices. Yes, every day there is something else coming out about what to eat, and what not to eat, but educating yourself about the food industry and food as a whole, is a great starting place. You could also pick up any of the Micheal Pollan books, such as ‘Food Rules’ or ‘In Defense of Food.’ Pollan always has interesting reads about food, nature, and culture.
Thinking about love and more love:
1. How to be An Adult in Love: Letting Love in Safely and Showing It Recklessly, David Richo // Pretty incredible and grounding read about love. Especially good if you’re already on the path of universal love, self-love and the rest of everything love, yet need some more guidance and reassurance about it. Really solidifies my live out of love, not fear approach. Making decisions out of love and not fear, continues to make life better, fuller, richer, and more beautiful every day.
2. The Art of Loving, Eric Fromm // A classic psychology type book on love, where you can learn how to achieve a fulfilling life by developing your capacity for love. Definitely key for self-improvement through the scope of understanding love, and your relationship with it, better.
For the motivational self-help skeptic :
The Antidote: Happiness for People who can’t stand Positive Thinking, Oliver Burkeman // A favorite for sure. I’m of the belief you can get self help exhaustion, and at some point the very things we are doing to try to be “happy” are the things making us miserable. To live and let live, this book is witty, refreshing. and still presents a way to the elusive “happiness.” (Spoiler? It’s more about acceptance and a stoic mentality, but read to learn more.)
How can I have a healthier relationship?
1. The 7 Levels of Intimacy, Matthew Kelly // Recommended by my adolescent therapist, who I still appreciate for all the gifts of thought and presence she gave me, but also for this book that helped outline the 4 types of intimacy, why they matter, and how we can nurture intimacy in healthy and appropriate ways (because physical is only one form of intimacy.)
2. The Five Love Languages, Gary Chapman // Though I don’t think the subject matter is earth-shattering and it's super corny, I think it’s always worthwhile to be reminded of how much love can exist when we choose to give love in a way that isn’t just from our perspective. It can also help you communicate your love language to a partner.
Learning about empathy and vulnerability for a healthier self :
Daring Greatly, Brene Brown // You might have seen her Ted talks by now, but Brene Brown and her thoughts on vulnerability make for a relatable book that’s a very accessible start for those getting into work on the self.
Dealing with addiction and/or codependency :
1. Conquering Shame and Codependency, Darlene Lancer // Not fun topics for sure, but for anyone who is trying to have more healthy relationship patterns and a more sound life overall, you might want to look into this option. This is not a replacement for therapy but could help some needing a book on such topics.
2. The Language of Letting Go, Melody Beattie // Based on the 12-step program, this daily devotional type book can support someone in recovery or anyone looking to make a change in their life for the better. Addictions can happen to anyone, and healing is an important step to lasting wellness.