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10 Self-Help Books to Kick Off Your Spring

/ BY Athena McKenzie / March 19th, 2021

There’s nothing like a new season to spark self-reflection and change. If you’re the type of person who looks to books for inspiration, there’s a treasure trove of options. From building a better brain — at any age — to finding time to do what you love, begin your journey to self-improvement.

Obsessive Book Buyers: Zoomer editors have carefully curated our book coverage to ensure you find the perfect read. We may earn a commission on books you buy by clicking on the cover image. 

1Keep Sharp: Build a Better Brain at Any AgeDr. Sanjay Gupta

Sticking to the science, celebrity neurosurgeon Dr. Gupta delivers a compelling guide to enhance your brain, complete with an easy-to-implement 12-week program. Following a section on self-assessment, Gupta outlines the steps and best practices he’s discovered from travelling around the world, including physical activity, proper nutrition, sleep and relaxation, and social connection. There’s also guidance for those already experiencing cognitive decline and for their caregivers.

2Come as You Are: The Surprising New Science That Will Transform Your Sex LifeEmily Nagoski

Along with all its other life-changing consequences, it seems the pandemic has also messed with people’s sex lives. If you’re looking to reignite your own spark, this revised and updated edition of Emily Nagoski’s game-changing New York Times bestseller — which was born out of five years of talking to readers — includes new information and research on mindfulness, desire, and pleasure.

3The Natural Sleeper: A Bedside Guide to Complementary and Alternative Solutions for Better SleepJulie Wright

With this book, sleep expert Julie Wright explores non-medicated options, “staying away from sleeping pills, prescriptions, and pharmaceuticals.” She posits it as an opportunity to pause, reflect, try new things and walk away with a personalized sleep strategy. “With a good night’s sleep, nothing can stop you, and you will most likely be able to achieve your life’s dreams. I believe sleep is one of the answers to becoming a superhuman.”

4Good Food, Bad Diet: The Habits You Need to Ditch Diet Culture, Lose Weight, and Fix Your Relationship with Food ForeverAbby Langer

If you’ve jumped on every “it-diet” bandwagon and now struggle to truly understand what healthy eating looks like, this book is a great re-education. Through each chapter, Langer helps you uncover why you want to lose weight and your relationship with food, and then gives guidance on making a lasting, meaningful change to the way you approach food and nutrition.

5Relax, Dammit! A User's Guide to the Age of AnxietyTimothy Caulfield

Caulfield — the Canada Research Chair in health law and policy at the University of Alberta, author of Is Gwyneth Paltrow Wrong About Everything? and celebrated debunker of health myths — walks us through some of the everyday decisions we make, and how we can tackle them in a way that leaves us feeling less stressed and with more time to relax.

6The Dance Cure: The Surprising Science to Being Smarter, Stronger, HappierPeter Lovatt

The founder of Dance Psychology Lab (at the University of Hertfordshire) Lovatt combines his expertise in psychology with dance, using science to study the relationship between movement and the brain. His research shows that dance, which stimulates the link between the body and brain, gives tremendous benefits to a wide range of people: helping those with Parkinson’s disease and dementia; reducing depression and anxiety in adults; and increasing social bonding.

7The Feel Good Guide to MenopauseDr. Nicola Gates

Many of us can list the symptoms of menopause off the top of our heads — hot flashes, mood swings, weight gain, decreased libido, pain — but that doesn’t mean we talk about it or understand the root causes. Looking to break the silence around the subject, The Feel Good Guide to Menopause explores the connection between hormonal changes in the female body, the brain and the gut, providing some fundamentals for transitioning through a challenging time.

8The Dry Challenge: How to Lose the Booze for Dry January, Sober October, and Any Other Alcohol-Free MonthHilary Sheinbaum

Chances are you’ve heard about Dry January or Sober October. Given the health, mental and financial benefits of living a month without booze, you may want to try to squeeze in a Mocktail March or 24-Free May. The Dry Challenge shares strategies for opting out of drinking, including tips on how to combat social pressure. Find fun non-boozy activities everyone can participate in (including making delicious “zero-proof” drinks and throwing the best non-alcoholic shindigs).

9Two Meals a Day: The Simple, Sustainable Strategy to Lose Fat, Reverse Aging, and Break Free from Diet Frustration ForeverMark Sisson

In his latest book, health and fitness expert Mark Sisson presents a lifestyle approach based on the principles of intermittent eating. Sisson says he’s done a lot of self-experimentation over the years, and this is the one practice that makes the most lasting impact for the widest range of people. He calls intermittent fasting a simple, sustainable, effective strategy to help you lose excess body fat; increase energy and focus; and minimize your risk of diabetes, cancer, heart disease, and cognitive decline.

10The 4% Fix: How One Hour a Day Can Change Your LifeKarma Brown

In her journey to find time to write her first novel, Ontario-based journalist and mother Karma Brown discovered that seizing an hour early in her day gave her the space she needed. A few novels later, Brown has written a nonfiction book to share how creating that one hour of meaningful time in your day can help you to become more productive, happy, and successful.


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