When inspiration catches you at just the right moment, it can change your life. A new way of looking at things or an insightful tip can motivate you to create more meaning and fulfillment in your life. To help you find those ideas, we’ve narrowed your search by culling some of the most exciting new books about happiness, health and wellness, productivity and more. Get ready to shake up your status quo—one of these books may just hold the key you’ve been looking for.
1. The Hope Circuit: A Psychologist’s Journey from Helplessness to Optimism
by Martin E. P. Seligman, Ph.D.
In his new book, which comes out in April 2018, positive psychology founder Martin Seligman takes an in-depth look at the history of the positive-psychology movement and intersects it with stories from his own life. He shares his personal struggle with depression at a young age and argues that by harnessing hope, gratitude and wisdom, anyone can achieve mental health and a brighter, more fulfilling future.
In Shawn Achor’s bestselling book The Happiness Advantage, his research revealed that happiness leads to success, and not the other way around. In his follow-up book, Big Potential, Shawn shows that our connectivity with others is the path to fulfilling our potential. By pursuing success alone—or pushing others away—we limit our potential and become more stressed and disconnected. Studying people in 50 countries, he identifies five “seeds” or strategies to achieve big potential in today’s complex world.
3. The Healing Self: A Revolutionary New Plan to Supercharge Your Immunity and Stay Well for Life
by Deepak Chopra and Rudolph E. Tanzi, Ph.D.
Deepak Chopra, an expert on integrative medicine, and Rudolph E. Tanzi, the neuroscientist who identified the genes that cause Alzheimer’s disease, team up to show us how to take care of our immune systems for lifelong health. This brand-new book provides a “transformative plan to enhance your lifelong wellness,” including ways to better manage chronic stress and inflammation with the right lifestyle choices.
Will this be the year you finally achieve a long-held goal? Discover how much power you have to act and effect change in your life. “We need to get beyond our natural urge to play it safe. Playing it safe is not that safe,” writes author Michael Hyatt, the former chairman and CEO of Thomas Nelson Publishers. This book outlines a five-step plan to achieve the goals you care about most. One of his tips: Use gratitude as an important tool for success.
Fans of Oprah’s Super Soul Sunday TV show will love this book—a collection of wisdom and “aha moments” from the show. Featuring insights from thought leaders such as Eckhart Tolle, Thich Nhat Hahn, Arianna Huffington and Shonda Rhimes, each chapter focuses on a different life-changing insight. “All of us are seeking the same thing. We share the desire to fulfill the highest, truest expression of ourselves,” Oprah writes. Read it to discover how to live more purposefully in the present moment.
6. Make Your Bed: Little Things that can Change Your Life
by Admiral William H. McRaven
In a commencement address at University of Texas at Austin, Admiral William H. McRaven shared 10 principles from his Navy Seal training that helped him overcome challenges. “Without pushing your limits, without occasionally sliding down the rope headfirst, without daring greatly, you will never know what is truly possible in your life,” he said, and the speech went viral, with more than 10 million views. His ultimate message: Face hardship and challenges with determination and compassion. Turn to this book when you get in a slump and need to recharge.
What if your life could improve dramatically just by understanding your natural rhythm of sleep and wakefulness? Knowing whether you are a morning person, night person or somewhere in between matters, according to Michael Breus, clinical psychologist and a diplomate of the American Board of Sleep Medicine. Each of the four chronotypes are represented by a different animal. Most people are bears, and their body clock tracks the rise and fall of the sun. Wolves are night people and lions are morning people. Dolphins often have trouble with sleep. Once you identify your chronotype, the book explains how to set up the ideal daily schedule to maximize your energy and get better sleep.
8. Emotional Agility: Get Unstuck, Embrace Change and Thrive in Work and Life
by Susan David, Ph.D.
The way we navigate our inner world—our thoughts, emotions and the narratives we form about ourselves—is the single most important determinant of our life success, explains Susan David, a psychologist at Harvard Medical School. Our inner world drives our actions, careers, relationships, happiness, health—in short, everything. Learn a new way to talk to yourself and navigate your inner world with more flexibility. Evaluate your emotions and use them to more closely align your life with your values. Learn how to be emotionally agile, says Susan, and you will thrive.
Organizational expert and author Laura Vanderkam set out to discover how women who thrive manage to “do it all” using real data. She collected hour-by-hour time logs from 1,001 days in the lives of women who make at least $100,000 a year. What she discovered about how these women spend their time surprised her. They went jogging or to the gym, played with their kids and had lunches with friends—finding time for the things that made them happy and gave them meaning. Instead of adhering to rigid schedules, they piece together their days “like a mosaic.” Restructure your day so you live life more fulfilled, says Laura; be kind to yourself and realize that quality family time around the dinner table is important.
Simply realizing that we are all in this life together can empower you to take risks and face new challenges, says Heather Havrilesky, author of “Ask Polly,” a weekly advice column for New York magazine. In this book, Heather shares a collection of wisdom gleaned over years of doling out advice—delivered with her signature grit and humor. “Every morning, you will wake up and see that life is all about fumbling and accepting that you’re fumbling. It’s all about saying nice things to yourself, even when you’re lazy, even when you’re lost. It’s about giving yourself the love you need in order to try,” she writes.