There’s no sugarcoating it: 2020 year stink, stank, stunk. While a calendar year is an arbitrary measure of time when it comes to the end of things such as a pandemic, the promise of a new year is a simple and effective way to help people look forward to new beginnings and to give them hope for change. 2020 was most definitely a year unlike anything we have experienced before, in the most drastic of ways, and early on, the pandemic brought a halt to so much. It stopped people from accomplishing their New Years resolutions, it sent us into isolation, and brought a lot of hardship and despair into our lives.
Obviously, the pandemic didn’t miraculously disappear when the clock stuck midnight on New Year’s Day. But the world is well on its way to a cure, and a little optimism would do us all some good right now. Which is why it’s important to take care of your mental health and your spiritual well-being. Self help isn’t just an Instagram hashtag, it’s an essential part of healthy living. And what better way to learn about all the good things that you can do for yourself than by—say it with me now—reading books! Here are six inspirational books to guide you into a new year, new you, and help you succeed in having a happy new year in 2021. Because we deserve it.
Have you ever felt like your life's path has been about following what is expected of you instead of what you dream for yourself? In Adventures in Opting Out, Cait Flanders helps you decide what comes next after you overcome your fear of trying something new. Using her insight and personal experience, she'll help you realize how taking the path less traveled in life can be the more fulfilling choice.
by Sarah Knight
With half a dozen No F*cks Given guides under her belt, Sarah Knight is the queen of straight talk and, well, giving no f*cks. In this fun journal she will help you learn how to place importance on the things that matter to you, and explain how rid your life of the stuff you don't want, using her easy-to-follow two-step NotSorry method. You will quickly be on your way to spending your time, energy, and money on only the things you care about!
With Kris Bearss
If you want to be the boss of your life, you must first learn how to set achievable goals and draw up clear plans for your future. And that's where Jeff Reeter comes in. He is here to help people who want to start leading for themselves, but don't know how to take the first step. Using guiding questions and exercises, he will help you create your very own custom-tailored master action plan that will quickly have you on the way to living the life you've always wanted.
And this is a beautiful deluxe edition of the bestselling inspirational book by illustrator Monica Sheehan! With whimsical drawings and little gems of wisdom, Be Happy dishes out inspiration to help brighten your day and stay inspired. It makes a great gift for grads, mom and dads, and anyone else in your life who could use a smile.
by Karen Barrow
by Tim Herrera
by Karron Skog
If you're looking to improve some trouble areas of your life, like work or finances, the contributors to the New York Times Smarter Living section are here to help! The Smarter Living section was started in 2016 to help New York Times readers improve certain areas of their life, such as career and finance, love and relationships, health and wellness. Since then, over 250 advice articles have been published, and are collected here to help readers be on their way to a happier, healthier life.
by Joel Osteen
And bestselling author Joel Osteen offers advice on how to rid your mind of the negative thoughts that are weighing you down, to make way for more creativity, happiness, and confidence. Osteen leads readers through ways to push out the negative each morning to help you head into the day with positive energy to improve your overall wellbeing.
What to Read Next
Liberty Hardy is a Book Riot senior contributing editor, co-host of All the Books, and above all else, a ravenous reader. She resides in Maine with her cats, Millay, Farrokh, and Zevon, who hate to read.