This time of year health luminaries, fitness gurus, and cool wellness critics launch books en masse determined to capture your healthy-new-year fever, fill your bookcase, and leave you feeling way smarter and healthier for it. And we’ve powered through dozens, like students at exam time, to bring you the ones you’ve got to read this year.
Those deserving a spot on your nightstand? They run the healthy gamut from why we’re obsessed with weight as culture (and how that better change) and a guide to all-natural beauty to how yoga can change your life, as told through a celeb yogi’s own wild-child past.
Scroll down for the best books for health and fitness, out now.
Originally posted February 1, 2015. Updated January 27, 2017.
Celeb doctor and New York City’s most well-known integrative physician, Frank Lipman, MD, is known for prescriptions that don’t necessarily come from a bottle (like what food goes on your plate or the numbers of hours you sleep). His book, The New Health Rules, is a handbag-sized manifesto for living a healthy, cool life.
It’s filled with rules (and pretty photos) like why you should break up with bread and the most important yoga pose you should be doing. It’ll go perfectly with your green juice on the way to work.
You know her as the glowing, grounded yogi behind Yoga Shanti and your DVD collection, but Saidman Yee was once a wild child, traveling the globe as a fashion model and picking up a bad drug habit along the way. Her first tome tells the story about how she found herself through yoga, started a new chapter, and might be able to help you do the same.
Adina Grigore, the founder of Brooklyn-based skin-care line S.W. Basics, made it big in 2014 when her all-natural skin-care line debuted at Target. Now, she has a whole book to serve as a guide on how to switch over your beauty routine from not-so-clean to all-natural. If you’re still stuck on Cetaphil, you might want to pre-order your copy now.
When a career on Wall Street added an extra 40 pounds to her frame, Dawna Stone realized she needed to change something about the way she was eating—and living. After trying a bunch of diets, without any success, Stone created her own. In The Healthy You Diet, Stone, also the founder of Women’s Running magazine, shares her personal struggle with weight and how she got healthy. It’s also a plan to help you eat cleaner, too.
The founder of The People’s Bootcamp, Adam Rosante, is known for having a pay-what-you-can workout policy. And with his new book he’s taking that same health-should-be-universal mentality and dishing out simple clean eating tips and advice like why you should ditch your gym membership and work out at home instead. The fast, fun read makes changing your habits feel that way, too.
Your favorite granola might be labeled “natural,” but is it really? Culinary nutritionist Stefanie Sacks, MS, CNS, CDN, wants to help you figure that out. So the master label-reader devoted an entire book to the topic. In What the Fork Are You Eating?: An Action Plan for Your Pantry and Plate (a title you’ve gotta love), the author explains what’s hiding in your food—cough, cough, hidden preservatives—and gives you a solid roadmap for navigating the grocery store, along with a bunch of healthy recipes.
The eternal optimist Dave Romanelli shares 31 ways to relax—like spending one minute on love every day and remembering to laugh—in his new book Happy is the New Healthy. We suggest keeping this sunshine-y tome at your desk, so you can pick it up at work in a stressful pinch.
Body of Truth: How Science, History, and Culture Drive Our Obsession with Weight—and What We Can Do about It by Harriet brown
As a culture, we’re obsessed with weight, says Harriet Brown, a journalist and professor who’s looked deeply into our national body image problem with Body of Truth. She shares her findings on how science, psychology, and the media have had a huge affect on the way we perceive ourselves—and what we can do to change that negative thinking. It’s a must-read whether you’re the most confident woman in the room (or bikini) or can’t remember the last time you had a nice thought about your body.
Your adrenal glands, which sit on top of your kidneys, regulate adrenaline and cortisol levels (AKA the stress hormones). When they’re taxed, due to stress, being a workaholic, or overachiever, you can experience depleted energy, dark under-eye circles, and it throws off other key things—like your diet, sleep, and menstrual cycle.
The Adrenal Reset Diet is designed to help you reduce your stress and cortisol levels with whole foods (using carbs and proteins in a balancing cycle and reducing your sugar and insulin). Actually, a clean diet that helps reduce stress is probably something we all need.