A good book can actually change your life. It sounds corny, but it’s true. Reading has always been one of my favorite pastimes. It’s a way for me to escape from the annoying realities of everyday life and enter into a completely different headspace for as long as I want. I find that with a quality book, fiction or not, I always learn something new about myself. The type of books I tend to read shifts along with whatever is going on in my life. I’ve struggled a lot in the past year with my health and emotions, and I turned to books to find the peace and strength to get through things. Novels are my safe haven. I read a lot, looking for answers or comfort or direction, and I was lucky enough to stumble across a few books that truly did change my life.

You Are A Badass by Jen Sincero

I reread this anytime I need a kick in the butt. We live in a competitive world, and it’s easy to feel beaten down or wonder if you’re enough. You are. But this book will remind you that you can do whatever you set your mind to, and all of those voices inside and outside your head telling you that you can’t are so wrong. Jen is blunt and to the point while being incredibly motivational and uplifting. This isn’t a sob story — it’s a “get your ass off the couch and DO SOMETHING” kinda read.

Spirit Junkie by Gabrielle Bernstein

This took me a hot minute to get into. My hairstylist (AKA my second therapist) recommended it to me. I tried it briefly and gave up, but she encouraged me to give it another shot. So I did. And I’m so happy I did. This book changed my mindset about a lot of things and completely transformed the way I think about relationships and about myself. Gabby Bernstein is an incredibly inspirational being, and her message is one that should never die. If you read this book and truly take it to heart, you will learn something powerful about yourself. If you’re brave enough, let yourself fall into this book. It’s a different way of thinking than most people are used to, but it’s so important. You won’t regret it.

Quiet by Susan Cain

Our culture has implanted the idea in our minds that being outgoing and extroverted is the ideal, the key to success and happiness. This somehow casts a negative light on those of us who are “quiet.” Oftentimes the extroverts overpower the introverts – they get more attention and seem to always be the stars of the show. I would definitely consider myself to be introverted, and I love it. I don’t think enough people appreciate quietness in themselves or in others nearly as much as they should. If you’re one of those people, read this book. Susan Cain delves into the beauty of being quiet, and offers key insight into how critical introvertedness is to being successful in many aspects of life. Her novel offers an entirely new perspective on what it means to be “quiet,” and I think it’s massively significant.

Breaking Vegan by Jordan Younger

This hit me when I needed it most, and I didn’t even know it. I sat down with this book on my flight to Spain, and my eyes were glued to the pages until the plane hit the runway again. I’ve never felt so much emotion while reading a book. It resonated with me more than anything else I’ve read. Jordan’s story is extremely important. Too many people are scared to talk about their lives, their struggles, and their successes. Jordan lays it all out on the table, and her story is one that so many people can relate to, even if they don’t realize it. I’m an extremely open person, and it was such a breath of fresh air to encounter Jordan’s story because she just puts it all out there. Finally someone who isn’t afraid to talk about “it” or to be vulnerable. And I instantly felt less alone. I found her story so moving on so million different levels, and I related to so much of her story that it scared me. From her stomach issues, her perfectionist personality, her fierce determination, her orthorexia — it hit me like a bag of bricks. In a way that I needed. I found this at a time when I had never felt so isolated from the rest of the world, but I found comfort and safety in this book. I always tell people to read Breaking Vegan because it is so important to me. It’s so critical that people try to understand others and themselves. Even if you don’t have any health or emotional struggles, you will still find something in this novel that will tug at your soul. So if you don’t know Jordan’s story or haven’t read her memoir, I urge you to look into it, because it will truly open your eyes and your heart.

Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert

If you’re ever feeling uninspired or unmotivated, pick up this book. It will fix that problem. This novel was completely enchanting and left me feeling so damn inspired I felt like I was going to burst. After reading this, I immediately had a million ideas about things I wanted to do, people I needed to talk to, and places I needed to go. It lit a fire in my soul that’s still going strong. I couldn’t focus on anything for awhile immediately after reading this because my mind was racing with so many ideas and goals and plans. This novel put so many things into perspective for me, and it made me realize that there were so many things that I wanted to do but was afraid to actually do them. Why be afraid? This is the best thing you can read if you need to find that spark inside you. That’s the power of a good novel.

What are your favorite books?! I would love to hear! XO

P.S. If you’re not already following Jordan Younger and Gabby Bernstein on social media (Snapchat, Instagram, Twitter), then you’re missing out! DO IT.

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