Retreating can be great for those on a journey of self-discovery, with programmes for every interest: unleash your inner fighter, reconnect with your creative side, or recharge with some intensive meditation. We all get stuck in a rut from time to time, and while most retreats will provide you with all the inspiration you need to spark new ideas and shake up your lifestyle, there’s a bountiful selection of self-help books out there for you to browse in the airport lounge or reclined on the beach for a trick or two. Whether you’ve booked your next trip or you’re still hunting for the perfect retreat, your journey of self-discovery can start before you even take off with these seven essential self-help books for every situation.
Year of Yes: How to Dance It Out, Stand in the Sun and Be Your Own Person by Shonda Rhimes
A New York Times bestseller, Year of Yes is a memoir and self-help book penned by Grey’s Anatomy showrunner Shonda Rhimes detailing the gratifying improvements saying ‘yes’ has made in her life. Chronicling tales of empowerment, excitement and exploration, Year of Yes will motivate you to make the first steps to new opportunities.
The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art by Marie Kondo
If you’re en route to ditching the digital sphere, forget about the Netflix series and pick up the book it’s based on. The KonMari method of tidying and how an organised physical space can translate to a clear and sound mind is described in detail by none other than tidying expert Marie Kondo. Promising to spark joy, this is an essential read for decluttering both your flat and your life.
10% Happier by Dan Harris
One conscious breath. Former news anchor and author of 10% Happier, Dan Harris says this is the beginning to becoming more levelheaded and in tune with ourselves. A guide on mindfulness and meditation, 10% Happier transforms the way you respond to little things in life and everyday issues, teaching you to be aware but less judgemental of yourself and to tame the voice inside our head which keeps you from living a better life.
Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert
Big Magic is a testament that a plane ticket isn’t an essential item when it comes to learning about yourself and understanding the world around you. A follow-up to Eat, Pray, Love which spurred the idea of finding yourself in a foreign country, Big Magic is instead about the pursuit of creativity and the journey one takes to find it. Whether you’re looking to make a career change or are simply on the fence about learning a new skill, for anyone looking to feel inspired Big Magic makes for a worthwhile read.
How to Hygge: The Secrets to Nordic Living by Signe Johansen
Best described as ‘cosiness of the soul’, hygge is the Danish living philosophy that’s taken the world by storm, advocating the return to small moments and simple living. Signe Johansen, author of How to Hygge is a catalyst to the wave of Nordic well-being. Exploring how the culture of hygge makes life more fulfilling, with everything from recipes for fika (gatherings over cake and coffee) to the practice to enjoying outdoors, How to Hygge is a guide to finding contentment in comfort.
Calm by Michael Acton Smith
So much of our time is spent locked to our screens that even the popular meditation app Calm wants to find ways for us to take a step back and press pause, with a bed-side read that won’t leave you feeling overwhelmed with existential questions. Helping to foster less stress and better sleep, the tools and tricks in Calm by Michael Acton Smith challenges you to change your life, one page at a time.
Subtle Art of Not Giving A F*ck by Mark Monson
The self-help book to end all self-help books, Mark Monson takes a no-nonsense approach to navigating life’s never-ending questions. Looking at how we spend too much of our time caring about how our peers and co-workers see us, the book is a guide into letting go of that habit in order to live a happier, fuller life.