21 Health & Well-Being Books For Your 2023 Reading List
After a year as tumultuous as 2020, to say we're ready for a fresh start would be putting it lightly. At mbg, we're excited to apply all the important lessons we learned in the last 12 months and work toward a healthier, more joyful 2021.
For a little extra guidance and inspiration that lasts all year long, we're turning to top health and well-being experts and the titles they're releasing throughout the year. Here, we've rounded up the books we're most excited to dive into in 2021.
As a kid, you were likely told to "be yourself." But in an age of social media and personal branding, that's certainly easier said than done. This book, by authenticity expert Jessica Zweig, offers guidance for how to feel confident as you build connections with others and sculpt a future that's authentic to you.
(Read an excerpt about how Zweig made meditation a daily habit, here.)
Biohack Your Brain
With the rise of health-focused wearables, we're predicting biohacking will be bigger than ever in 2021. This book further fuels that theory, as leading neuroscientist Kristen Willeumier, Ph.D., shares ways to supercharge your brain (think boosting cognitive performance and prevent memory loss) via simple lifestyle changes.
Biohack Your Brain: How To Boost Cognitive Health, Performance & Power by Kristen Willeumier, Ph.D.
Body Love: A Journal
If you've read and loved nutritionist Kelly Leveque's bestselling books Body Love and Body Love Every Day, you'll definitely want to pick up a copy of this companion. The 90-day journal includes tools from Leveque to help apply her nutrition lessons to your own life and personalize them based on your own specific needs. What better way to kick off the new year?
(Read an excerpt about how to set healthy goals, here.)
Clean Mind, Clean Body
We could all probably use a bit more self-care heading into the new year. In this new book by Strala Yoga founder and mbg Collective member Tara Stiles, she outlines actionable ways to be more present and transform daily habits, all with the goal of improving mental and physical well-being.
Clean Mind, Clean Body by Tara Stiles
(Read an excerpt on how to make cooking at home more accessible, here.)
Cleaning Up Your Mental Mess
Communication pathologist and cognitive neuroscientist Caroline Leaf, Ph.D., BSc, has previously shared advice with mbg about mitigating worry and mental overload. In her latest book, Leaf offers a research-backed, five-step plan to detect and eliminate the root of anxiety, depression, and intrusive thoughts.
Cleaning Up Your Mental Mess: 5 Simple, Scientifically Proven Steps To Reduce Anxiety, Stress, and Toxic Thinking by Caroline Leaf, Ph.D., BSc
(Read an excerpt on how your negative thoughts affect others, here.)
Eat To Beat Depression and Anxiety
The power of nutritious food once again makes its way into the spotlight in the latest book by Drew Ramsey, M.D. In Eat To Beat Depression and Anxiety, Ramsey shares recent research on the connection between nutrition and brain health and includes a six-week food plan that features the best ingredients to simultaneously support your body and mind.
Read an excerpt on Ramsey's favorite cooking fats for brain health, here.)
Fast This Way
Bulletproof founder Dave Asprey was a fan of fasting long before it was popularized. In this book, he reveals insight gleaned from the latest research and his own personal experiences to help both novice and seasoned intermittent fasters optimize their eating routine, based on their personal biology.
Read an excerpt about reverse intermittent fasting, here.)
Happy Not Perfect
After perhaps one of the most anxiety-ridden years in our recent history, this book by wellness founder Poppy Jamie is a welcome read. In the pages, she details her work with mental health experts and researchers to uncover effective brain-rewiring strategies. Through her experience, you'll glean advice on how to be more adaptable and accepting of our very uncertain world.
(Read an excerpt on flexible thinking, here.)
The Energy Paradox
Following his bestselling books The Plant Paradox and The Longevity Paradox, Steven Gundry, M.D., is sharing even more valuable information on health and well-being in his latest work: The Energy Paradox. In the book, he homes in on how to increase mitochondrial energy production and nourish the microbiome; shares energy-boosting foods and recipes; and offers tools for readers to live overall healthier, more energetic lives.
The Energy Paradox: What To Do When Your Get-Up-and-Go Has Got Up and Gone by Steven Gundry, M.D.
How To Sleep
There's a reason mbg has been writing a lot about sleep—after a tumultuous year, rest is more essential than ever. In his new book How To Sleep, expert sleep clinician Rafael Pelayo, M.D., tackles the many issues that can affect shuteye (such as snoring and insomnia) with holistic solutions.
How To Sleep: The New Science-Based Solutions for Sleeping Through the Night by Rafael Pelayo, M.D.
I'm So Effing Tired
Based on her own wellness journey, double board-certified doctor and mbg Collective member Amy Shah, M.D., created a program to help regain energy and take control of life—which she details in I'm So Effing Tired. In her book, Shah homes in on three critical systems in your body—gut, immunity, and hormones—and outlines how to nourish each one through what you eat, when you eat, and the ways you manage stress.
(Read an excerpt on questions to asks if you think you have a hormonal imbalance, here.)
Intermittent fasting and intuitive eating have become major buzz-phrases in the well-being world. Now, similar to the way he took the best of plant-based and ketogenic eating styles to form the "ketotarian diet," functional medicine expert William Cole, IFMCP, DNM, D.C., has created a guide for fasting more mindfully (aka "intuitive fasting"). In his four-week flexible fasting plan, Cole guides you through various IF windows, with each week targeting a different element of your health.
Intuitive Fasting: The Flexible Four-Week Intermittent Fasting Plan To Recharge Your Metabolism and Renew Your Health by William Cole, IFMCP, DNM, D.C.
Love Your Gut
Megan Rossi, Ph.D., R.D., shares her top gut health insights in this new book—including everything from how your gut works to why things might be awry. The book includes a gut health quiz to help you better understand your own body; tools to support your microbiome; and 50 plant-based, gut-healthy recipes to try.
Love Your Gut: Supercharge Your Digestive Health and Transform Your Well-Being From the Inside Out by Megan Rossi Ph.D., R.D.
(Read an excerpt on the nutrients you may be missing on a plant-based diet, here.)
At mbg, metabolic health is top-of-mind as we head into 2021. That's why we're excited about this new book from neuroendocrinologist Robert Lustig, M.D., which highlights how food is the best tool we have to create biochemical change in our bodies and prevent chronic disease.
Metabolical: The Lure and the Lies of Processed Food, Nutrition, and Modern Medicine by Robert Lustig, M.D.
The 30-Day Alzheimer's Solution
The daily food and lifestyle choices we make have a major impact on our overall well-being—and that applies to our brain health, too. In fact, as neurologists Dean Sherzai, M.D., and Ayesha Sherzai, M.D., point out in this book, food is the first line of defense against Alzheimer's. Based on decades of research and their own clinical experience, the husband-and-wife team created this comprehensive guide to help protect and maintain brain health.
The 30-Day Alzheimer's Solution: The Definitive Food and Lifestyle Guide to Preventing Cognitive Decline by Dean Sherzai, M.D., and Ayesha Sherzai, M.D.
(Read an excerpt on their 5-step method to support cognitive functioning, here.)
The Art of Impossible
Every new year, we strive to grow and shape even better versions of ourselves. To jump-start that goal, consider picking up a copy of bestselling author and speaker Steven Kotler's new book. It lays out how to optimize personal performance, based on the latest neuroscience research—condensed into a digestible guide.
The Art of Impossible: A Peak Performance Primer by Steven Kotler
The Case For Keto
There are some mixed reviews when it comes to the ketogenic diet, but in this book, journalist and bestselling author Gary Taubes shares his admiration for the low-carb eating plan. Based on years of interviews with physicians who support the keto lifestyle, Taubes advocates for the diet, asserting how it may help in the fight against diabetes and obesity.
You may have heard about the harmful effects of negative “self-talk.” In this book, psychologist Ethan Kross, Ph.D., takes that one step further, and unpacks how those nasty thoughts (which he calls “chatter”) can have a profound impact on our physical and mental health. What’s more, he shares simple strategies to make that internal voice a positive one.
Chatter: The Voice in Our Head, Why It Matters, and How to Harness It by Ethan Kross, Ph.D.
(Read an excerpt about how one woman lost her inner chatter and became liberated, here.)
The Scaffold Effect
Drawing on decades of clinical and personal experience, world-renowned child psychiatrist Harold Koplewicz, M.D., shares a smart, comprehensive guide for raising resilient children. His advice focuses on ways parents can build a solid foundation for kids to grow and develop independence—without overparenting.
The Scaffold Effect: Raising Resilient, Self-Reliant, and Secure Kids in an Age of Anxiety by Harold Koplewicz, M.D.
The Pegan Diet
In The Pegan Diet, functional medicine doctor and mbg Collective member Mark Hyman, M.D., outlines a food-is-medicine approach to nutrition. He takes the best of both Paleo and plant-based eating styles to create a diet that's thoughtfully designed to benefit your body, mind, and the planet.
(Read an excerpt about the leafy green Hyman wants you to add to your diet, here.)
The Illuminated Breath
Breathing is one of the most powerful stress management tools we have at our disposal—not to mention, it's free! In his book The Illuminated Breath, certified yoga instructor Dylan Werner shares the histories behind different breathing practices, and explains how to use them in everyday life to help achieve specific health and wellbeing goals.
The Illuminated Breath by Dylan Werner
(Read an excerpt on how to do the humming bee breath, here.)
Grounded: A Fierce, Feminine Guide to Connecting With the Soil and Healing From the Ground Up
If you've read our articles about the value of soil health here at mbg, but want a deeper dive on the role it plays in our own health and the health of the planet, pick up a copy of Grounded, written by Erin Yu-Juin McMorrow, Ph.D.. In her book, McMorrow explains how to create regenerative systems so that we can become more connected to and help heal the world around us.
Grounded: A Fierce, Feminine Guide to Connecting With the Soil and Healing From the Ground Up by Erin Yu-Juin McMorrow, Ph.D.
(Read an excerpt about how to live more regeneratively, here.)
After: A Doctor Explores What Near-Death Experiences Reveal about Life and Beyond
What happens after we die is a question that will be answered many different ways, depending on who you ask and what they believe. If the concept interests you, read Bruce Greyson, M.D.'s book After, which shares personal accounts of near-death experiences, plus what he's learned in his 50 years of researching the topic.
After: A Doctor Explores What Near-Death Experiences Reveal about Life and Beyond by Bruce Greyson, M.D.
(Read an excerpt about why death might not be so scary after all, here.)
Unwinding Anxiety: New Science Shows How To Break the Cycles of Worry and Fear To Heal Your Mind
As an addiction psychiatrist and neuroscientist, Judson Brewer, M.D., Ph.D., understands that anxiety is often the source of unhealthy coping mechanisms. Based on 20 years of research, his book Unwinding Anxiety, details a science-backed approach to break the cycle of worry and fear—which many of us got looped into this past year.
Unwinding Anxiety: New Science Shows How To Break the Cycles of Worry and Fear To Heal Your Mind by Judson Brewer, M.D., Ph.D.
(Read an excerpt to find out your behavioral tendencies, here.)
Set Boundaries, Find Peace: A Guide to Reclaiming Yourself
Not being able to leave home throughout the pandemic made setting boundaries with roommates, family, or partners a challenge. And now, as restrictions begin to lift, saying no to social gatherings may present its own challenge. Set Boundaries, Find Peace by licensed therapist Nedra Glover Tawwab, MSW, LCSW is a masterclass in learning to set and maintain healthy boundaries, without feeling selfish.
Set Boundaries, Find Peace: A Guide to Reclaiming Yourself by Nedra Glover Tawwab, MSW, LCSW
(Read an excerpt about the hardest boundary to set, here.)
Sharing The Covers: Every Couple's Guide to Better Sleep
Gone are the days where unhappy marriages are defined by whether or not you're sleeping in the same bed (enter: sleep divorce). Clinical psychologist and behavioral sleep specialist, Wendy Troxel, Ph.D., understands how valuable good sleep is to overall health and sexual wellness. In her book Sharing the Covers, she helps couples improve their sleep quality, whether or not they're in bed together.
Sharing The Covers: Every Couple's Guide to Better Sleep by Wendy Troxel, Ph.D.
(Read an excerpt on why most people skip out on sex, here.)
Comparisonitis: How to Stop Comparing Yourself To Others and Be Genuinely Happy
In the age of social media, comparison runs rampant. Even when you think you're perfectly content, that photo of a stranger's beach vacation will have you wishing for more time off, a bigger salary, and a cuter bikini. In Melissa Ambrosini's book Comparisonitis, she provides practical tips for breaking out of the cycle of comparison so that you can become more confident, creative, and grateful for the life you're living.
Comparisonitis: How to Stop Comparing Yourself To Others and Be Genuinely Happy by Melissa Ambrosini
(Read an excerpt on how to shift your energy when you're struggling with comparison, here.)
Whole Brain Living: The Anatomy of Choice and the Four Characters That Drive Our Life
If you've always believed the brain is divided between a logical left and an emotional right, prepare to have that very same mind blown. In Whole Brain Living, neuroanatomist Jill Bolte Taylor, Ph.D., explains that the two hemispheres have equal parts emotion and logic. Plus, she shares science-backed strategies for optimizing and uniting our brain's four "characters."
Whole Brain Living: The Anatomy of Choice and the Four Characters That Drive Our Life by Jill Bolte Taylor, Ph.D.
(Read an excerpt about the 4 ways your brain operates, here.)
Brain Inflamed: Uncovering the Hidden Causes of Anxiety, Depression, and Other Mood Disorders in Adolescents and Teens
The isolation, loss, and uncertainty surrounding the pandemic caused many people's mental health to suffer—kids and teens, not excluded. In Brain Inflamed, integrative medicine doctor Kenneth Bock, M.D. highlights the rise in mental health disorders among younger populations, along with his theory that inflammation may be the underlying cause, and how to manage the symptoms from a holistic standpoint.
(Read an excerpt about why childhood allergies may be on the rise, here.)
Yoke: My Yoga of Self-Acceptance
The autobiographical account of Jessamyn Stanley's life in Yoke: My Yoga of Self-Acceptance, explores yoga, not only as a practice, but as a reflection of her celebrations and challenges throughout life.
Yoke: My Yoga of Self-Acceptance by Jessamyn Stanley
(Listen to an excerpt about simplifying your breathwork routine, here.)
Nervous Energy: Harness The Power Of Your Anxiety
When anxiety is channeled into self-criticism, perfectionism, or OCD tendencies, well, it can certainly impact your well-being. If this sounds like your inclination, we suggest reading psychologist Chloe Carmichael, Ph.D.'s book Nervous Energy, where she shares tips for harnessing that anxious energy in more productive ways.
Nervous Energy: Harness The Power Of Your Anxiety by Chloe Carmichael, Ph.D.
(Read an excerpt on what to look for in a therapist, here.)
Every Memory Deserves Respect: EMDR, the Proven Trauma Therapy with the Power to Heal
While Prince Harry's docuseries with Oprah may have placed Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) in the cultural zeitgeist, the therapy has been around far longer than 2020. To learn more about the history of EMDR, and how it works to help heal trauma, grab Every Memory Deserves Respect, co-written by Michael Baldwin and psychotherapist Deborah Korn, PsyD.
Every Memory Deserves Respect: EMDR, the Proven Trauma Therapy with the Power to Heal by Michael Baldwin and Deborah Korn, PsyD.
(Read an excerpt about what EMDR is, here.)
Nobody Knows the Trouble I've Seen: The Emotional Lives of Black Women
The underlying racism that leads to chronic stress, as well as the generational trauma affecting Black communities, leads to chronic illness and poor mental health. Nobody Knows the Trouble I've Seen by Inger Burnett-Zeigler, Ph.D., details the unacknowledged suffering of Black women and urges them to prioritize their own needs and self care in order to cultivate vulnerability, joy, and better health.
Nobody Knows the Trouble I've Seen: The Emotional Lives of Black Women By Inger Burnett-Zeigler, Ph.D.
(Read an excerpt about what to consider before getting into a relationship, here.)
Who Do You Want To Be When You Grow Old?: The Path of Purposeful Aging
If you're no stranger to mbg, you know that longevity is a hot topic, but it's not just about living longer: it's about living a longer, healthier, and more fulfilling life. In their book, Who Do You Want To Be When You Grow Old?, Richard Leider and David Shapiro interview hundreds of elders to find out the key to purposeful aging.
Who Do You Want To Be When You Grow Old?: The Path of Purposeful Aging by Richard J. Leider and David A. Shapiro.
(Read an excerpt about the key to purposeful aging, here.)
FORGETTING: The Benefits of Not Remembering
With the rates of Alzheimer's disease and dementia on the rise, maintaining cognitive functioning is of high priority in every decade of life. As a neurologist and Alzheimer's researcher, Scott Small, M.D., understands this all too well—and still, in his book Forgetting, he reassures people that memory isn't always what it's cracked up to be and in some cases, forgetting can actually serve us.
FORGETTING: The Benefits of Not Remembering by Scott A. Small, M.D.
(Read an excerpt about how forgetting can support creativity, here.)
Kristine is a writer, editor, and editorial consultant who lives in Long Beach, CA. Kristine is a New York University graduate with a degree in journalism and psychology, and also a NASM-certified personal trainer. She has spent her editorial career focused on health and well-being, and formerly worked for Women’s Health and Health. Her byline has also appeared in Men’s Health, Greatist, Refinery29, HGTV, and more. In her current role she oversees, edits, and writes for the health, food, and movement sections of mindbodygreen.