Need inspiration? 13 books that improved my life

Today we’re going to talk about inspiring books. I often have two or three books on the go and I have a strong Amazon and library habit. In 2016, I ordered from Amazon 53 times (sorry bank account) and borrowed 72 books from Hackney Library …

inspiring books

Inspiring books do a lot for me. They are are my relaxation, my education and my therapist.

I’ve mentioned before that I started to work on myself and began to recognise that my relationship with myself, and with alcohol, was detrimental to my quality of life.

Over the last two years, real shifts have happened. I’m nowhere near the end of my journey, in fact I feel like I’ve barely even started on the path. But something about the last year few years, and all of the inspiring books I read and people i spoke to, fundamentally changed my perspective and my relationship with myself.

It took work. Bloody hell it still takes work. Every. Single. Day.

Sometimes I slip into full on “princess” mode – I’m actually having one of those days today as I write this – I think “it’s not fair”, “why am I naturally inclined to the dark and stormy?”, “why do I have to work so hard just to get up in the mornings?” Why. Why. Why.

I strop. I cry. I get incredibly annoyed with my own situation.

But then I get back to it. I acknowledge that my life is better for the routine I’ve but in. I’m better for the challenges I’ve faced. And when the darkness shifts, I feel brighter. So much brighter.

The level of self awareness that I am beginning to cultivate has breathed light into so many different areas of my life. I’m expanding every day,  and “princessing” less often.

It’s a long one!

Here’s my pick of the inspiring books that worked to change my perspective on money, food, drinking, myself and life in general:

These books helped me become the girl  who is sitting here, writing to you, sharing her hopes, dreams & all the shit in between with you in her tiny corner of the internet.

1.Buddhist Boot Camp by Timber Hawkeyeinspiring books

Written by Timber Hawkeye, this book is broken down into short stories that can be digested easily. I keep it by my bedside table and still pick it up most mornings.

Each story, inspirational quote, and teaching offers mindfulness-enhancing techniques that anyone can relate to. You don’t need to be a Buddhist to find the Buddha’s teachings motivational. As the Dalai Lama says, “Don’t try to use what you learn from Buddhism to be a Buddhist; use it to be a better whatever-you-already-are.”


2.The Art of Creative Thinking by Rod Judkins 

Anyone can be creative, and you can be creative in all aspects of your life. There are a few books on this list that help give you permission to be creative, this is one of them. Full of anecdotes and useful tips, it will inspire you to be creative. It inspired me. I scribble constantly, and it even got me drawing again, but creativity isn’t being an artist – and this book will guide you towards your own creativity in life, business and beyond.

Be stubborn about compromise.

Plan to have more accidents.

Be mature enough to be childish.

Contradict yourself more often.

Discover the Art of Creative Thinking.

3.The Miracle Morning: The 6 Habits That Will Transform Your Life Before 8AM by Hal Elmrodinspiring books

I mentioned this book in my post about mornings, reading Hal’s Miracle Morning
was my first proper foray into self development. It helped me structure a morning routine and got me set on a path to changing my habits. I don’t stick to his SAVERS (more on that in this post) religiously anymore but I do strive to have a morning practice every day. 




4.You Are a Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life by Jen Sincero

I first read this at the beginning of 2016. I had yet to go through a lot of the shifts that happened last year and then my goals centred around getting promoted and losing two stone (that is a story for another day). Inspired by an interview I listened to with Jen Sincero recently, I downloaded the book on Audible & it was the best thing I could have done! It got me in the third week of January when I was feeling the very typical January blues and like the things I wanted weren’t going to happen. Jen get’s it, and she sets up a very practical guide to making shit happen for you and embracing the crazy life and world we live in in all it’s wonder.

5.Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear by Elizabeth Gilbert

Another book I have on Audible and the book version, though I think I’ve listened to the Audible version 5+ times …  (if you’ve never used Audible before – or have but it’s been over a year – you can get a months free trial and a free book) it’s another great book for when you are in a total life funk – plus Liz herself narrates it which I LOVE.

By sharing stories from her own life, as well as those from her friends and the people that have inspired her, Liz Gilbert challenges you to embrace your curiosity, tackle what we most love and face down what we most fear.

I love the anecdote she uses of her friend who skates, every morning 3 times a week – not because she wants to be a skater or give up her job to become a skate coach, but because she loves it. Creative living, every day. Whether you long to write a book, create art, cope with challenges at work, embark on a long-held dream, or simply to make your everyday life more vivid and rewarding, Big Magic inspired me to start this blog, to write more and to follow my curiosity (most days) …

inspiring books

Image via The Sobriety Collective

6.The Inner Fix: Be Stronger, Happier and Braver by Joey Bradford & Persia Lawson.

Ahhh The Inner Fix! I could rave about this book all day long … Joey & Persia’s practical step-by-step programme guides you to help dramatically improve your relationships, feel more confident and satisfied with your work, confront your financial blocks and become the best version of yourself – both inside and out. Working through sections on money, work, relationships and more, the girls guide you with their own stories and wisdom.

The book also comes with lots of extras including some meditations, which I still listen too regularly (they’re saved on my phone). I’ve bought this book for two friends also, highly recommended.



inspiring books

7.The Goddess Revolution: Make Peace with Food, Love Your Body and Reclaim Your Life by Mel Wells

If you struggle with disordered eating, or any sort of body image issues, or a lack of self confidence, this book could be magic for you. It was for me. I lost count of the number of books I bought to help me through my food struggles, and the money spent on therapy and CBT (invaluable), but this book by Mel just clicked.

She is positive and inspiring and I read it in about two days! In this book Mel shows how it is possible to have a healthy, satisfying and guilt-free relationship with our bodies without any dieting or strict regimes. She tackles modern issues – including ‘fitspiration’ and the unrealistic strive for perfection caused by celebrity culture and magazine airbrushing – and shows us how we can truly start to show our body the love it deserves, take back our power around food and, in return, feel better than ever.

8. This Naked Mind: Control Alcohol: Find Freedom, Rediscover Happiness & Change Your Life: Volume 1 by Annie Grace

A totally different approach on not drinking, from a female perspective. I guess in someways it is quite alike to Jason Vale & Allen Carr’s books but it is so easy to read and approachable. Annie’s words don’t force or slam into you that you shouldn’t drink but it is a persuasive read and one to buy if you’re contemplating quitting drinking – or already have!

9.Money, a Love Story: Untangle Your Financial Woes And Create The Life You Really Want by Kate Northrup

I have read a lot of books on finances, in fact I could probably write a whole blog post on those books but I’ll hold off until I have a better grasp on mine. The stories and anecdotes are great but what really helped me in this book were Kate’s step-by-step exercises that address both the emotional and practical aspects of your financial life. They help you figure out your personal perceptions of money and wealth and how to change them for the better. This book teaches you how to shift your beliefs about money, create a budget, spend in line with your values, get out of debt and so much more. It’s the beginning of my money journey, not the end – but I felt inspired when I completed the exercises & not depressed at my situation and that was a very positive shift for me!!


inspiring books

10. A Return to Love: Reflections on the Principles of a “Course in Miracles” by Marianne Williamson

I’m not sure I can do this book justice with my words but I urge you to read it. My copy is a mess, scrawled throughout with notes, underlines and folded corners. This book is an inspiring guide to how to live a more whole. fulfilling and spiritual life.

I’ve borrowed from Amazon to explain Marianne’s book better than I can … Marianne explains how applying the principles of love to all difficulties can aid in healing and bring about a personal transformation of the reader. She reveals how you can bring universal spiritual principles into your everyday life by accepting God and expressing love.

Whether your ‘pain’ is in the area of relationships, career, health or emotions, this book shows you how love is the key to inner peace, and how by practising love we can make our own lives more fulfilling while creating a more peaceful and loving world for our children.

11. When Things Fall Apart: Heart Advice for Difficult Times by Pema Chodron

Another book that had a profound effect on me yet I struggle to explain how. Pema is a buddhist nun, and her voice recordings (which you can hear on Audible) have also helped me profoundly. Her book shows that moving toward painful situations and becoming intimate with them can open up our hearts in ways we never before imagined. Drawing from traditional Buddhist wisdom, she offers life-changing tools for transforming suffering and negative patterns into habitual ease and boundless joy.

12. Rise Sister Rise by Rebecca Campbell

Rebecca’s second book, Rise Sister Rise shook me right up. It felt like the call to action I’d been waiting for to truly start being myself and to start something (you’re reading it!). It is full of stories, anecdotes, mantras and actions that will help you embrace your light and yourself. I still keep it on my bedside table and often pick it up and open it on a random page for a little bit of guidance.


inspiring books

13. Love Warrior (Oprah’s Book Club): A Memoir by Glennon Doyle Melton

A friend lent Love Warrior to me and I haven’t been able to put it down since! Although my life is on paper very different to Glennon’s, her words seem to write a lot of my story and I have been totally engrossed.

Glennon’s words stick with me as I tell my own story: “Me too, me too, me too. We see your dark and it matches ours. You are not alone …”

It is a memoir and so much more, I’m not sure I can write much more that will do it justice but if you have ever struggled with self worth and self love  you will find something of yourself in her story.

I would recommend any and all of these books to you. I’d love to know which ones, if any, you’ve read and which you are planning to read.

I’m going to work on a few more inspiring book posts, one specifically for booze, and I’m planning on keeping an online list and a roundup of what I’ve been reading over 2017. Let me know if you’d find that useful, and any inspiring books you’d recommend …

All my love as always, L xx

You can find this post linked to some of these amazing blog link ups –

Mummy Fever, #SharewithMe / #BlogCrush Naptime Natter / #BloggerClubUK / #The FriYay Linky / #ThatFridayLinky /#TheListLinky / Brilliant Blog Posts / #TuesdayTreasures

inspiring books
inspiring books

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  1. March 10, 2017 / 8:07 AM

    Great suggestions, thanks!

  2. March 10, 2017 / 8:08 AM

    Great suggestions, I love self help books, thanks!

  3. March 10, 2017 / 9:36 AM

    Really enjoyed reading this 🙂 I’m a proper bookworm but I feel like I never give myself time for it anymore, which is such a shame. Great post, thank you!

  4. Kayla
    March 10, 2017 / 12:18 PM

    Ahh I was just looking for some new inspirational books, so this list is definitely come in handy 😉 I’ve just read The Miracle Morning and it was so helpful:) Thanks for sharing!

  5. Kristin
    March 10, 2017 / 1:47 PM

    Want to say thank you. I read unwanted and listened to Caroline Knapp story. All helpful. Unwanted was great. Im off Alcohol 6 years and because I used it to numb my fears I continue to discover more and more about me as I stay clean.

    Thank you for this next book post… I will check them out.

    Glad I am connected to this community.

  6. March 10, 2017 / 4:08 PM

    loved you are a badass. thanks for the other suggestions…think i’ll grab buddhist boot camp (:

  7. March 11, 2017 / 3:05 PM

    Great content! I am really interested in self-care books as well so this has been really helpful for me. Will definitely consider these on my next visit to the bookstore! <3


  8. March 12, 2017 / 12:54 AM

    Great post! I have been looking for book recommendations recently – can’t wait to start reading some of these! Thanks for sharing 🙂 x

  9. March 12, 2017 / 9:24 PM

    Great collection! I need to make the time to read more!

  10. Joanna
    March 14, 2017 / 6:17 PM

    A Return to Love was life changing! I also enjoyed Breaking the Habit of Being Yourself: How to Lose Your Mind and Create a New One by Dr. Joe Dispenza. The Universe Has Your Back by Gabrielle Bernstein was a good one. I also enjoyed Ask and It is Given by Esther and Jerry Hicks.

    On my list is The Untethered Soul, The Peaceful warrior, The Power of Intention, and The Power of Now. Thanks for sharing your recommendations!

  11. March 31, 2017 / 12:29 PM

    I love reading and it was one of my goals to read more this year, although I don’t seem to have quite stuck to that. I need to make more time to read, I enjoy it so much.#ThatFridayLinky

  12. March 31, 2017 / 1:42 PM

    Thank you for sharing – I feel like I need to work my way down the list 🙂 #thelistlinky

  13. March 31, 2017 / 2:01 PM

    Thank you for sharing your great choices with us. I’d like to read ride sister ride. Thank you for linking up to #ablogginggoodtime ?

  14. March 31, 2017 / 2:17 PM

    Wow, fantastic selection of books. I’ve had The Goddess Revolution on my TBR list for ages. Thanks for reminding me I should get round to reading it.
    Thanks for sharing

  15. March 31, 2017 / 3:19 PM

    I was just browsing Audible not being able to choose, then I came across your post and I’ve just downloaded Big Magic, thanks for the inspiration.

  16. March 31, 2017 / 5:54 PM

    Love a great book. So I’ve pinned this to reflect back upon. #ablogginggoodtime

  17. April 1, 2017 / 3:56 AM

    I’m reading “You Are a Badass” right now! It’s so good!

  18. April 1, 2017 / 1:55 PM

    Ah! LOVE Elizabeth Gilbert! Thanks for the suggestion on Buddhist Bootcamp. That’s going on the library list now!

  19. April 1, 2017 / 7:46 PM

    Wow, there are so many great books on this list. My bank balance may not be happy, but I will be ?

  20. April 2, 2017 / 6:35 PM

    These are awesome book suggestions! 🙂 I will definitely be adding some of these to my list for 2017. Thanks for sharing.

  21. April 2, 2017 / 7:24 PM

    I need to read The Godess Revolution. It’s been on my reading list for a long time. This is an excellent list of ideas.

  22. Nige
    April 2, 2017 / 7:36 PM

    Some great choices there I will be checking some of those out fab post Thanks for linking to the #THAT FRIDAY LINKY come back next week please

  23. April 3, 2017 / 1:59 AM

    I have just recently began reading again, and I will be adding several of these to my “to be read” list! Thank you!

  24. April 4, 2017 / 8:21 AM

    What a great list! Books mean so much to me, much as they do to you. And I’ve only read one of these, so I can’t wait to dig into more! Definitely saving this list!

  25. April 4, 2017 / 9:15 AM

    I’m thinking I should also learn to be a badass and the morning routine before 8am also sounds great. Thanks for linking to #sharewithme

  26. April 4, 2017 / 1:14 PM

    I am going to pick up the Goddess Revolution, that sounds exactly what I need to read! The book that I read that started to change my life was by Brene Brown, The Gifts of Imperfection. Great book!

  27. April 4, 2017 / 1:20 PM

    Wow, thanks for your suggestions! I’m definitely gonna check some of these out, they all seem so inspirational and spirit-lifting. 🙂

  28. April 5, 2017 / 6:18 PM

    I will have a look at these, especially the last one. They do sound interesting and books really help me and my anxiety. #TuesdayTreasures

    • Girl & Tonic
      April 5, 2017 / 8:25 PM

      Me too – reading & books have really helped me with my anxiety xx

  29. April 6, 2017 / 6:48 PM

    I can honestly say I have never read any kind of self help book but there are a few here I would love to read. You have inspired me to try something other than fiction. So glad to gear you have found them so helpful. Thank you for linking up to #BlogCrush xx

  30. April 6, 2017 / 10:21 PM

    Thank you so much for linking this up to the #friyaylinky I have had such a tough week and this is exactly the kind of inspiration I need right now. Wen I’m back from holiday I will definitely treat myself to one, probably Inner Fix or goddess revolution, though they all sound great!

  31. April 8, 2017 / 9:48 AM

    There are some incredible suggestions here x #TuesdayTreasures

  32. April 10, 2017 / 4:00 PM

    Ooo I needed some inspiration for new books and here it is, thanks! Thanks for linking up to #TuesdayTreasures.

  33. April 26, 2017 / 4:34 PM

    Great list girl! I want to read A Return To Love!

  34. July 24, 2017 / 1:09 PM

    I’m just now getting back into reading after about a year or so of reading nothing so I loved reading this post to get some suggestions. I think I’m going to check out Big Magic and You Are A Badass 🙂

    Julia // The Sunday Mode

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