The 10 best wellness books of 2016

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In case you haven’t heard, staying in is the new going out—and fortunately, a whole stack of books worth curling up with have come out this year.

Bonus: Everything on this list will better your life in some way, whether it sparks happiness, inspires you to finally switch to a clean beauty routine, gives you an inside peek behind the fitness industry curtain, or teaches you what foods can actually grow you new brain cells (seriously).

Here are the 10 must-read, wellness-related books of 2016, according to Well+Good editors.
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Photo: Hay House Inc.
Photo: Hay House Inc.

1. The Universe Has Your Back by Gabrielle Bernstein

Is there anyone more comforting and compassionate to turn to in a crisis than Well+Good’s Wellness Council member Gabrielle Bernstein? Whether it’s offering guidance post-election, tips for curing anxiety in mere minutes, or demonstrating how to take a light bath, she radiates peace. In her latest book, Bernstein shares how to turn fear into faith. Looking for inspiration on how to turn your 2017 goals into realities? Let this book guide you. 

Photo: Victory Belt Publishing
Photo: Victory Belt Publishing

2. Food Freedom Forever by Melissa Hartwig

Millions—literally, millions—of people have adapted Melissa Hartwig’s Whole30 program, cutting out sugar, dairy, alcohol, and pseudo-grains to figure out what exactly their problem foods are. And while Hartwig has written cookbooks to help followers craft delicious meals while staying on track, her latest tome Food Freedom Forever goes deeper, touching upon why so many people have anxiety or bad feelings when it comes to what they eat. Mealtime should be enjoyed, so if it’s something that stresses you out, her book will help you uncover why—and how to move forward with a healthier, happier attitude.  

Photo: Ten Speed Press
Photo: Ten Speed Press

3. Spark Joy by Marie Kondo

After convincing the world of the magic in tidying up, organizer extraordinaire Marie Kondo revealed how to tackle literally every room in your house with her illustrated step-by-step guide, Spark Joy. Planning on nesting inside for the remainder of winter? Your home should be your sanctuary, not a cluttered mess that stresses you out.

Photo: Harper Wave
Photo: Harper Wave

4. Eat Complete by Drew Ramsey, MD

It turns out, it’s 100 percent possible to eat yourself smarter. Fifty Shades of Kale author Dr. Drew Ramsey, MD, reveals exactly which foods will help you to grow new brain cells in his latest book, Eat Complete. There’s also 100 recipes inside, so whipping them up in time for dinner is a no-brainer.

Photo: Rockridge Press
Photo: Rockridge Press

5. Natural Beauty Skin Care by Deborah Burnes

If you want to become a green beauty guru, this one will become your bible. In it, Deborah Burnes shares her recipes for everything from luscious scrubs and acne treatments to cleansers and much more using herbs and plants. Doesn’t solving your skin probs using aloe vera, witch hazel, and mint tea sound so much more appealing than relying on toxic chemicals?

Photo: Bloomberg Press
Photo: Bloomberg Press

6. Sweat Equity by Jason Kelly 

Bloomberg bureau chief Jason Kelly’s book Sweat Equity is a fascinating read on how working out became a multibillion dollar industry. It will definitely give you something to think about as you pedal hard at your next spin class.

Photo: Scribner
Photo: Scribner

7. Deliciously Ella Every Day by Ella Woodward

The plant-based eating trend exploded this year, making vegan, gluten-free superstar Ella Woodward even more of a food phenom. Fans of her first cookbook anxiously awaited her second, Deliciously Ella Every Day, which quickly became an international best seller, too. Dog-ear her recipes for hearty winter faves like mushroom risotto (dairy-free, natch).

Photo: St. Martin's Griffin
Photo: St. Martin’s Griffin

8. The Headspace Guide To Meditation And Mindfulness by Andy Puddicombe

Whether you want to start thinking like a Buddhist or would just love to shake a subtle yet constant anxiousness, this book can help. Andy Puddicombe is the creator of the crazy successful Headspace app, and his book is full of meditations techniques designed to help you sleep better, improve personal relationships, and be all-around less stressed out. Sold yet?

Photo: Chronicle Books
Photo: Chronicle Books

9. Eat Pretty Every Day by Jolene Hart

What you eat definitely manifests itself outwardly (anyone who’s ever had a dairy-related breakout can attest to that), but with Jolene Hart’s book, your skin will never look better. Eat Pretty Every Day has 365 inspirations related to beauty nutrition, that are all backed by science. Plus, how lovely will it look on your coffee table?

Photo: HarperOne
Photo: HarperOne

10. Joy On Demand by Chade-Meng Tan

Ah, that eternal, endless search for happiness. Chade-Meng Tan’s book certainly won’t be the last on the subject, but there’s a reason why it became a New York Times bestseller: He shares some very insightful, valid ways to find joy based on what you already have. If you want to be one of those people who radiates happiness, add this one to your list.

Now that you’ve familiarized yourself with the best books of 2016, it’s time to look forward: These 15 wellness trends will totally dominate 2017. And here’s why your home is about to get even cozier.

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