Use the insights and practices from these books to increase joy and open your mind in the year ahead.
Set aside some reading time and stock your shelves with these 10 exceptional new books, which cover a range of illuminating topics from the way technology affects our well-being to how to live a compassionate life. Make 2017 happier and more fulfilling by giving yourself the gift of continued learning.
Overwhelmed by the flood of apps and information online? Discover how to navigate technology in a way that enhances your happiness. Amy Blankson, cofounder of the digital consulting firm GoodThink, reveals five strategies to thrive in the digital age. Start by using your power of choice to scan for the positive. Learn how to use technology as a sixth sense to better understand yourself and the world around you.
2. The Little Book of Hygge: Danish Secrets to Happy Living
by Meik Wiking
We've heard countless times that Danes are the happiest people in the world, and hygge, which translates roughly as "cozy" or "homey," may be the key, according to Meik Wiking, CEO of the Happiness Research Institute in Copenhagen. Breaking bread with friends at a table topped with flickering candles; curling up in front of a fire with a good book—these are prime examples of hygge-based happiness. Curling up in front of a fire with a book about hygge? Double-Danish happiness!
3. The Book of Joy: Lasting Happiness in a Changing World
by Dalai Lama and Desmond Tutu
Your personal hardships can turn to joy. Nobel Peace Prize laureates His Holiness the Dalai Lama and Archbishop Desmond Tutu credit personal experiences of hardship and oppression for their eventual ability to lead the joyful lives they live today. Discover the eight pillars of joy to overcome fear, stress, anger, grief and illness. Suffering might be inevitable, according to this dynamic duo, but how we respond to it is our choice.
4. How to Live a Good Life: Soulful Stories, Surprising Science, and Practical Wisdom
by Jonathan Fields
Author and entrepreneur Jonathan Fields believes a good life is made up of three buckets: a bucket of vitality, a bucket of connection and a bucket of contribution. Using science-backed and actionable tips, he shows the reader how to fill each of these buckets in just 30 days. Tap into your purpose, the book advises, and do meaningful work in order to vastly improve your life and find maximum happiness.
Positive psychology author and coach Caroline Miller believes our level of grit is fundamental to living a fulfilled life. This guidebook to building grit offers self-assessment tools, daily exercises and life tips to boost courage and willpower. She explores the key traits of gritty people, how true grit inspires others and how humility and self-compassion also play a role in authentic grit.
6. The Dog's Guide to Your Happiness: Seven Secrets for a Better Life from Man's Best Friend
by Garry McDaniel and Sharon Massen
Want to be happier? Look to your pooch! Our canine companions can show us what authentic joy is truly about, say authors Garry McDaniel and Sharon Massen, both professors at Franklin University. The book explores seven traits that are essential for happiness through the eyes of our trusted furry friends. We can learn how to let go of stress, the book advises, and get lost in the art of play by watching our dogs just do their thing. Our furry friends can also show us the value of loyalty and unconditional love.
7. At Home in the World: Stories and Essential Teachings from a Monk's Life
by Thich Nhat Hanh
Put the power of hope to work in your life. Peace activist and Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh draws from his travels as well as stories and traditions from his childhood in rural Vietnam to share important life insights and lessons. “Hope is important because it can make the present moment less difficult to bear. If we believe that tomorrow will be better, we can bear a hardship today,” he writes.
8. Mindshift: Break Through Obstacles to Learning and Discover Your Hidden Potential
by Barbara Oakley, Ph.D.
Learn how to uncover and develop talents you don’t realize you had—no matter what your age or background. Instead of just following your passions, discover how to broaden your passions. In Mindshift, Barbara Oakley, Ph.D., draws on neuroscientific insights to turn perceived weaknesses into strengths and overcome preconceptions with the right mindset. Feeling behind if you start a new career path later in life? Use the skills you’ve already acquired to bring valuable insights to a new discipline.
9. The Leading Brain: Powerful Science-Based Strategies for Achieving Peak Performance
by Friederike Fabritius and Hans W. Hagemann
Use the latest research in brain science to improve how you perform and iteract at work. Combining their expertise in neuropsychology and management consulting, neuropsychologist Friederike Fabritius and leadership expert Hans W. Hagemann, Ph.D., show how to sharpen your focus, improve your performance, retain information, make better complex decisions and cultivate trust to build strong teams.
10. The Big Picture: A Guide to Finding Your Purpose in Life
by Christine B. Whelan
If you’ve ever wondered what you are going to do with your life, this book is for you. Though aimed at college graduates, The Big Picture is a guide for anyone who would like to discover their talents and create a fulfilling career and life. Author Christine B. Whelan, Ph.D. uses quizzes and leading questions such as, "What are my talents? How can I use them to help others and create meaning? in order to help each reader find a path to a purposeful life.
Sandra Bienkowski is a regular contributor to Live Happy and the founder and CEO of TheMediaConcierge.net.