Find a health and wellness book written for you.

by Brenna McDermott

It isn’t necessarily easy to read books about health and wellness. You settle into the couch with a glass of wine and a soft blanket and you want to read about
. . . self improvement?

Where’s the engrossing mystery? The sweeping romance? Not exactly leisure reading. Because if you’re going to read a book about your health, don’t you have to, you know, do something after you read it?

And it can be overwhelming to take in the thousands of opinions from health authors. How many different diets are out there? Which ones are right and which ones are misleading? If you’re uncomfortable with the self-help genre, it can be intimidating to peruse the shelves at a bookstore.

And how do you narrow down “health and wellness?” Fitness? Diet? Disease prevention? Mindfulness?

Health reading doesn’t have to scientific gibberish, and it doesn’t have to be boring. Who read Cheryl Strayed’s “Wild” and wasn’t a little bit tempted to head to the mountains to improve physical health and maybe ditch the cell phone?

Stories of overcoming physical and emotional obstacles can be the most intimate and engaging stories of all — taking care of body and mind is something we can all relate to, and a reminder to focus on self-care once in a while can refocus and re-energize us.

Salt Sugar FatTo make reading about health less daunting, try narrowing the topic down. Are you interested in a cleaner diet? Try “Salt Sugar Fat: How the Food Giants Hooked Us,” by Michael Moss. Moss, a Pulitzer-prize winning journalist, explores how processed and packaged foods are manufactured to make addicts of consumers.

Maybe you want to focus on gratitude and happiness. “The Happiness Project,” by Gretchen Rubin, is one woman’s exploration into changing her world and her attitude. From family to finances to long-forgotten goals, Rubin explored new ways to enjoy life.

Take some time to evaluate your interests in the health and wellness arena. There are so many nonfiction accounts of everyday people changing their lives for the better. As you read, set three goals for incorporating advice into your everyday life. Write it in a journal and keep yourself honest. Taking time to read about nourishing your body, mind, and soul can not only be fun — it can be invigorating.

Staff picks

The COMO Living team weighed in on books that inspire them to better health.   

Help Thanks WowDeb Valvo’s Must-Read: Spirituality
“Help, Thanks, Wow: The Three Essential Prayers” by Anne Lamott
Lamott’s book breaks prayer down into three categories: asking for help, gratitude for the good in life, and recognizing a feeling of awe. The book reaffirms faith and the benefits of prayer.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Full Catastrophe LivingCassidy Shearrer’s Must-Read: Mindfulness
“Full Catastrophe Living” by Dr. Jon Kabat-Zinn
“Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.” Take a moment for yourself and try to establish some mental stability with these meditation practices.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Into Thin AirBrenna McDermott’s Must-Read: Endurance
“Into Thin Air” by John Krakauer
I started this book with no interest in climbing mountains, and the nonfiction account of his Everest ascent is downright scary at times. But it made me take a look at my fitness goals and think: I can do more.

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