8 wellness books for the mind, body and soul

Informative and inspiring titles to get your health on the right foot.

A round-up of reassuring books to boost your overall well-being

Take a leaf out of these new and insightful reads on intentional and meaningful living.


Handbook for Hard Times: A Monk's Guide to Fearless Living
By Gelong Thubten

A practical book on dealing with adversity, this guide teaches us that happiness, kindness and resilience can be cultivated through reframing life's difficulties as opportunities for transformation. Thubten offers simple but effective meditation and mindfulness practices as well as ways in which we can “lean into” our discomfort and find meaning in struggle. Designed for modern times, this accessible handbook is a valuable resource for those going through trying times, but also serves as a reminder that our complex emotions are what make us human and how bravely navigating them can help us find inner contentment and peace.


The Stress Prescription: Seven Days to More Joy and Ease
By Elissa Epel

To master stress is not to avoid it but to move through it. Dr Epel distils decades of research into a practical seven-day plan that can help abate its deleterious effects. The renowned health psychologist leads readers through seven major lessons, showing us how we can “stress better” by training our minds and bodies to shift towards a flexible and beneficial response. While it is mapped out as a week-long exercise, these science-backed tools and tangible tips — which address topics such as control, resilience and rest — are meant for the long run.


By Nathan Hill

Following his hilarious and wildly successful debut novel The Nix, Hill is back with a poignant but no less witty story, this time about modern married life and absurd New Age ideologies. After 20 years of marriage, Jack and Elizabeth become acutely aware of the growing distance between them. They are engulfed by cults disguised as mindfulness support groups, polyamorous would-be suitors, fitness trackers, fake love potions and Facebook conspiracy theories. The book captures a satirical and cynical snapshot of 21st-century life and pokes fun at its dysfunction, hinting that one should be careful of what they believe in.


The Way of Nagomi: The Japanese Philosophy of Finding Balance and Peace in Everything You Do
By Ken Mogi

Brought to you by the global bestselling author of Ikigai, The Way of Nagomi revolves around the philosophy of balance. This popular and common concept in Japan is achieved through having peace of mind and emotional stability. It can be applied in virtually all aspects of life, from the way one prepares food to celebrating transience, as seen during cherry blossom season. The neuroscientist illustrates how we can live a harmonious life by embracing both the positives and negatives through nagomi and explains how it can help in maintaining happy relationships with others and ourselves.


Ever-Green Vietnamese: Super-Fresh Recipes, Starring Plants From Land and Sea
By Andrea Nguyen

Ever-Green Vietnamese is perfect for anyone looking to incorporate plant-based cooking or introduce more greens into their diet. It starts with a comprehensive primer on Vietnamese ingredients — many of which are pantry staples in Malaysia too — followed by a slew of reimagined traditional recipes interspersed with brilliant advice and practical tips. Learn how to make flavour-boosting condiments (vegan fish sauce!), maximise the flavours of our region’s lush produce and pick up cooking hacks to save time. These recipes will show how you can enjoy fresh greens in new and exciting ways.


Living in the Light: Yoga for Self-Realization
By Deepak Chopra + Sarah Platt-Finger

Explore the enlightening benefits of Royal Yoga, the highest and most important of the practice’s traditions, in this exhaustive guide. The author deep dives into the philosophy and offers an illuminating 30-day programme for self-relisation, bliss and wholeness. It aims to help readers break limiting habits and beliefs through 50 stimulating and restorative asanas (accessible for all skill levels) that unite the mind, body and soul. The book touches on social and emotional intelligence, the power of attention, body awareness, breathing and living consciously.


The Sleep Solution: Why Your Sleep is Broken and How to Fix It
By W Chris Winter

Not clocking in the required hours of sleep can adversely affect our health. Neurologist and sleep expert W Chris Winter lays down the facts to help readers understand how sleep works and the ways in which food, light and other activities can help or hurt the process. He gives advice on how to achieve your best sleep without medication and provides insights into treating a multitude of disorders, from insomnia to sleep apnea. A good dose of humour makes the book enjoyable while also being extremely informative.


Built to Move: The Ten Essential Habits to Help You Move Freely and Live Fully
By Kelly Starrett + Juliet Starrett

After decades spent working with pro-athletes, Olympians and Navy Seals, mobility pioneers Kelly and Juliet Starrett are looking at improving the physical well-being of the average Joe. They break down 10 essential topics, from exercise and nutrition to sleep and mobility, offering an explanation, a test and simple steps on how to do so. For those looking to increase their functional fitness, these beginner-friendly principles are undemanding enough to work into any busy schedule and will lead to greater ease of movement, even as you age.


This article first appeared on Feb 19, 2024 in The Edge Malaysia.

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