Our preview of 10 carefully selected books will help you craft a happier life filled with small moments of meaning and the occasional flash of triumph. Step out of your comfort zone and make 2016 a year to thrive.
1. Presence: Bringing Your Boldest Self to Your Biggest Challenges
By Amy Cuddy
Try standing in the Superwoman pose. Feeling more confident already? Harvard professor Amy Cuddy, known for her TED talk on power poses, says we can tackle things that once terrified us with small changes in our body language and mindset. Read real stories of people who have flourished by harnessing the power of their own presence.
2. The Happiness Equation: Want Nothing + Do Anything = Have Everything
By Neil Pasricha
Best-selling author of The Book of Awesome, Neil Pasricha sets out to change how you think about your time, career, family and your happiness in this latest book. He explores the nine secrets to happiness, including the belief that retirement is a broken theory, success doesn’t lead to happiness, and multitasking is a myth.
3. Year of Yes: How to Dance It Out, Stand In the Sun and Be Your Own Person
By Shonda Rhimes
Shonda Rhimes, creator of TV shows such as Grey’s Anatomy, Scandal and How to Get Away with Murder, is an introvert and workaholic who dreads public appearances. When her sister tells her that she “never says yes to anything,” she takes up the challenge. Year of Yes is a heartfelt and funny look at the terrifying and sometimes embarrassing moments of saying yes and overcoming some of her greatest fears, from public speaking to appearing on late-night TV.
True happiness can be simpler than we ever thought possible with the help of yoga. Why yoga? This ancient practice helps overcome discontent by quieting the mind and aligning our actions with our purpose. Yoga, this book implores, helps you realize that small, everyday moments infused with meaning, and not grand gestures, ultimately lead to happiness.
5. Live Happy: Ten Practices for Choosing Joy
By Deborah Heisz
Live Happy Chief Operating Officer and Co-founder Deborah Heisz, along with the editors of Live Happy magazine, bring you the latest research on the practices and actions that contribute to a happy life through deeply meaningful stories from everyday people and celebrities alike. Alanis Morissette, Shawn Achor, Gretchen Rubin and Jason Mraz are just a few of the people who reveal how small tweaks in your attitude and behavior can greatly enhance your daily joy.
This thoughtful tome shows us how to break bad habits like constantly checking email and emotional over-eating by learning how to practice mindfulness. Mindfulness, the author claims, means creating healthier habits so you can stop living on autopilot and start living in the present.
Unstructured freedom of movement and outdoor play are vital for children’s cognitive development and growth, according to Angela J. Hanscom, pediatric occupational therapist and founder of TimberNook, an international nature-based program. Kids need rough-and-tumble outdoor play to develop their sensory, motor and executive functions, according to Angela. Instead, many lead sedentary lifestyles that can lead to health and cognitive difficulties. This book shows parents how to help their children thrive—even in an urban environment.
8. The Best Place To Work: The Art and Science of Creating an Extraordinary Workplace
By Ron Friedman, Ph.D.
In this book, award-winning psychologist Ron Friedman explains how to create a better workplace that will increase productivity and meaning at work. He shares his findings in the fields of motivation, creativity, behavioral economics and neuroscience. Filled with best practices, Ron shows how to boost creativity so that workers can make better decisions and generally feel more alive at work.
9. The Happiness Track: How to Apply the Science of Happiness to Accelerate Your Success
By Emma Seppala, Ph.D.
The latest findings in cognitive psychology and neuroscience reveal that our happiness has a profound effect on our professional lives by increasing our productivity as well as our emotional and social intelligence. Stanford researcher Emma Seppala explains that our outdated notion of equating success with living in a stressed-out, overdrive mode prevents sustainable happiness. Put yourself on the path to success with her practical steps.
10. Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance
By Angela Duckworth
Renowned positive psychologist Angela Duckworth shows us that the secret to outstanding achievement is not talent, but a focused persistence called grit. Identifying your passion and following through on your commitments are factors that contribute more to success than talent alone. In her first book, she explains and expounds on her groundbreaking research on grit, which shows that it may be more indicative of success than factors such as IQ or genetics.
Sandra Bienkowski is a regular contributor to Live Happy and the founder and CEO of TheMediaConcierge.net.