I Want to Die but I Want to Eat Tteokbokki by Baek Sehee; translated by Anton HurWhat it is: a candid and relatable memoir of depression, stigma, and the one thing author Baek Sehee could still summon enthusiasm for in the depths her mental health struggle -- the titular spicy fried snack.
Recommended by: K-pop superstar RM of the group BTS.
Reviewers say: "This is a sincere attempt at self-discovery that will resonate with young people who suffer from similar forms of depression and anxiety" (Library Journal).
How to Calm Your Mind: Finding Presence and Productivity in Anxious Times by Chris BaileyWhat it's about: learning to embrace the other side of the productivity coin by making time and space for calm and being more present in the moments outside of our productive time.
Why you might like it: Ironically, it was Chris Bailey's work specializing in productivity that gave him insight into the need for periods of restorative calm as an important part of our ability to get things done.
Topics include: the pitfalls of "busyness" for its own sake; the relationship between anxiety and the brain's drive for dopamine; the similarities and differences between analog and digital experiences and how they affect anxiety.
The Sugar Jar: Create Boundaries, Embrace Self-Healing, and Enjoy the Sweet Things in Life by Yasmine CheyenneWhat it is: an inclusive, accessible guide to taking care of yourself and healing from the past with an emphasis on learning to set boundaries.
Sugar jar? This is author Yasmine Cheyenne’s handy metaphor for your energy in its many forms -- a resource that is limited but can be replenished as much as it is depleted.
Read it for: the practical tools and exercises that will help you take stock of what saps or restores your energy and teach you a proactive approach to managing it.
Financial Feminist: Overcome the Patriarchy's Bullsh*t to Master Your Money and Build A... by Tori DunlapWhat it is: a well-researched look at the gender gap in personal finance education and how women can reclaim power and autonomy through financial independence.
Read it for: the busting of popular financial myths (lattes and avocado toast are not keeping young women from amassing wealth); the practical tips and judgment-free tone.
About the author: Tori Dunlap is the founder and CEO of Her First $100k, a financial literacy platform created to help women learn to manage and grow their money.
The Stress Prescription: Seven Days to More Joy and Ease by Elissa Epel, PhDWhat it's about: evidence-based approaches to harnessing the mind’s natural stress response instead of letting it overwhelm you.
Topics include: stress as a fact of life, which had evolutionary benefits for early humans; focusing on what you can control and learning to let go of everything else.
Reviewers say: “This is just what the doctor ordered” (Publishers Weekly).
Why We Meditate: The Science and Practice of Clarity and Compassion by Daniel Goleman and Tsoknyi RinpocheWhat it is: a well-researched and reflective guide to meditation as a tool to help you break free from negative thought and behavior patterns.
Read it for: the careful examination of the purpose behind a different aspect of meditation that opens each chapter.
For fans of: The Zen of Therapy by Mark Epstein; Finding Peace by Yeshe Losal Rinpoche.
Two Old Broads: Stuff You Need to Know That You Didn't Know You Needed to Know by M.E. Hecht, MD and Whoopi GoldbergWhat it's about: making the most of life's later years with curiosity and humor.
Why you might like it: the infectious enthusiasm and irreverent tone are well balanced with reflections on some of the inescapable challenges of aging, such as chronic pain.
Reviewers say: Two Old Broads is “a fun, sassy reminder that no one is just a number” (Library Journal).
Overcoming Parental Anxiety: Rewire Your Brain to Worry Less & Enjoy Parenting More by Debra Kissen, PhD; Micah Ioffe, PhD; and Hannah Romain, LCSWWhat it is: affirming, science-based advice for navigating the understandable anxieties that come with parenting and savoring its joys.
Read it for: the practical tools and actionable tips which are presented in digestible, accessible chunks.
Try this next: Mother Brain by Chelsea Conaboy.
Sleep Reimagined: The Fast Track to A Revitalized Life by Pedram Navab, FAASMWhat it's about: the importance of sleep, the factors that can disrupt it, and what we can do to repair our relationship with it.
Why you might like it: The mix of information and straightforward advice provides something for everyone, from those who are just curious about sleep to those desperately seeking it.
Reviewers say: “This solid manual will put readers to sleep, in a good way” (Publishers Weekly).
Breathe In, Breathe Out: Restore Your Health, Reset Your Mind and Find Happiness Through... by Stuart SandemanWhat it is: a candid and impassioned look at the transformative power of breathwork to improve your stress management,
Read it for: author Stuart Sandeman’s personal connection with breathwork, which he became interested in while working through grief.
Is it for you? Although the concept of breathwork can seem a bit too mystical for some, the tips and exercises presented here are short and low-stakes enough that it's worth everyone's time to give meditative breathing a chance.
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