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11 Best Nonfiction Books Guaranteed to Boost Happiness: From Memoirs to Journals + More!

Woman's World books editor (and book lover!) shares 11 must-read happiness books — enjoy them all!

Endless to-do’s, work, family obligations, low moods…sometimes we just need a reset from daily life. These resets come in all forms, from quick naps to weekends away or walks in nature. Another place to revitalize your mood and find renewed purpose? In the pages of a good book! In this case, nonfiction books about happiness prove particularly helpful because they act as a real-life guide.

Here, we collected 11 of our go-to nonfiction books — from memoirs to journals — filled with wise life advice. If you’re looking to infuse more joy into your work life, check out Netflix sensation Marie Kondo’s Joy at Work. Or if you’re in the mood for a meditative, uplifting mix of quotes, artwork and motivation, give social media sensation and artist Morgan Harper Nichols’ All Along You Were Blooming a try. Check out the rest of our recommendations below!

I Did a New Thing: 30 Days to Living Free by Tabitha Brown

I Did a New Thing: 30 Days to Living Free by Tabitha Brown (books about happiness)
William Morrow

Are you about to try something new but find yourself feeling self-conscious or nervous? To the rescue: Bestselling Christian author and beloved social media star Tabitha Brown’s book helps readers find the joyful benefits of pushing yourself to try new things. With her signature warmth and wise insights — like tapping into the wonder of your inner child and not letting your triggers set you back — she gently guides users through a 30-day challenge to try one new thing a day to boost confidence, overcome fears and find happiness in unexpected places!

What readers are saying: “This is a super fun way to connect with your younger self and start the healing process to becoming a better version of you! Be sure to buy one for you and one for a friend! In fact, I strongly suggest you read it with a friend or two.”

Must-read: Tabitha Brown Opens Up About Embracing Change, Her Tearful ‘Freedom Walk’ and Lessons From Her Sweet Mama (EXCLUSIVE)

3 Minute Happiness Journal: create Happy Habits. Change Your Brain. Transform Your Life by Kristen Butler

3 Minute Happiness Journal: create Happy Habits. Change Your Brain. Transform Your Life by Kristen Butler
Power of Positivity

We’ve all heard about the mood benefits of journaling daily, but it’s tough to fit it into a busy schedule! Now, author Kristen Butler, founder of Power of Positivity — an online community with more than 50 million followers — shares easy ways to turn journaling into a 3-minutes-a-day habit. Packed with inspiring exercises like practicing gratitude and setting intentions, the book shows how easy it is to set aside a few minutes a day for a quick “check-in” that will infuse your life with joy!

What readers are saying: “Love the daily quotes and uplift meant. This is helping me create habits for the rest of my life by focusing on morning and evening gratitude, affirmations and daily accomplishments.”

Attention Span: A Groundbreaking Way to Restore Balance, Happiness and Productivity by Gloria Mark, Ph.D.

Attention Span: A Groundbreaking Way to Restore Balance, Happiness and Productivity by Gloria Mark, Ph.D. (books about happiness)
Hanover Square Press

In a world where technology overuse drains us, we often find ourselves pining for a digital detox. To the rescue: psychologist and author Gloria Mark, Ph.D.’s new book, which delivers advice for restoring balance and joy amid daily tech use. In it, she shares results from decades of research on how technology affects our attention span. She offers easy tips to minimize tech damage — like planning for 20 minutes of daily contact with nature — so you can feel refreshed and focused again.

What readers are saying: “After spending my week glued to a screen, I enjoy having a digital detox on Saturdays,” says Maggie Dillard, Woman’s World Senior Associate Editor. “This was an engrossing, timely read. I now feel confident in my ability to unplug more and restore focus.”

The Happiness Upgrade: One Small Step to a Happier Life by Gabrielle Lichterman

The Happiness Upgrade: One Small Step to a Happier Life by Gabrielle Lichterman
Happiness Upgrade Press

We all want to feel more joy and peace, but with endless responsibilities and daily stress, it can feel like an uphill battle. To the rescue: Woman’s World’s own health journalist Gabrielle Lichterman introduces science-backed ways to lift your mood in the moment. Using a 365-day journal format, Lichterman offers helpful ways to pause unhealthy habits with 52 practical tips — like smelling fresh flowers or enjoying a comforting drink — that lead to a happier day every day.

What readers are saying: “This gem of a book from Gabrielle Lichterman is full of easy to navigate lists as well as journaling prompts so that readers can upgrade their happiness and keep track of what works for them. It is rich on ideas and helpful to all.”

The Happiness Recipe by Rebecca C. Morrison

The Happiness Recipe by Rebecca C. Morrison
Untangle Happiness

If you’re like us, trading your daily to-do’s and worries for a little more joy and peace feels almost impossible, but former lawyer turned “Happiness Coach” Rebecca C. Morrison insists tapping into happy is easier than we think. In her new book, Morrison outlines the recipe for a more joyful life, using tools — like journaling prompts and “action steps” to shift your mindset — that help us focus on what matters most. This ­practical guide is the secret “ingredient” to slashing stress and boosting bliss! 

What readers are saying: “This is one of the best self-help books I’ve read in a long time. As I read I began to give myself the permission I needed to move forward and feel happy — and it felt great to know I wasn’t alone! Definitely a must read!”

Joy at Work by Marie Kondo with Scott Sonenshein

Joy at Work by Marie Kondo with Scott Sonenshein
Little, Brown Spark

Marie Kondo, organizing pro, Netflix star and bestselling author of The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, has teamed up with organizational psychologist Scott Sonenshein to bring tidiness — and happiness! — into our everyday work spaces. This easy-to-follow guide is packed with simple strategies using the KonMari Method and cutting-edge research to banish clutter “hot spots” around your desk and home office so you can focus on what really matters. It’s guaranteed to boost productivity, lower stress and, best of all, spark pure joy!

What readers are saying: “If you want more out of your job, career and life this is a beautiful place to start with practical actions. Thank you Marie Kondo and Scott Sonenshein.”

A Year of Living Kindfully by Anna Black

A Year of Living Kindfully by Anna Black (books about happiness)
CICO Books

Mindfulness expert and bestselling author Anna Black believes cultivating daily acts of kindness — toward ourselves and others — has the power to usher in lasting joy, no matter what challenges we face. In her new workbook of weekly activities, Black explains how self-compassion forms a ripple effect of kindness that transforms our relationships and experiences. Each writing prompt and mindful exercise — like an “intention” walk — leads readers to a well of peace and happiness.

What readers are saying: “This book gives great insight into how we relate to ourselves which then helps us to better relate to others with mindfulness and kindness. I highly recommended this for anyone who needs a little extra joy in their lives.”

The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin

The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin
Harper Paperbacks

This touching memoir follows Gretchen Rubin who dedicated 365 days to applying practical (and sometimes impractical) happiness-boosting advice from science and pop culture, then analyzing its impact. What follows is a deeply moving and relatable story filled with helpful tips for everyday living.

What readers are saying: “I’m a huge fan of inspiring true stories,” shares Melissa D’Agnese, Woman’s World Senior Editor. “So I was thrilled to find this memoir of a woman who spent a year focused on increasing the joy in her life. Not only did the story fill me with positive vibes, but Rubin offered lots of concrete, easy-to-follow tips that I’ve started applying in my own life.”

Dream Big by Bob Goff

Dream Big by Bob Goff
Thomas Nelson

If you’re like us, day-to-day stress, responsibilities and anxiety don’t leave us much space to even think about our dreams, much less follow our heart’s deepest desires. But bestselling author and motivational speaker Bob Goff insists that we all have the power to turn our biggest dreams into a reality. In his inspiring new guide based on his popular “Dream Big”workshop, he uses thought-provoking questions and easy tips — like journaling and acts of love — to help readers achieve the life they’ve dreamed of. 

What readers are saying: “This is one of my favorite books of all time! I liked what he said about asking people when was the last time they felt lonely, and instead of trivial conversations with others about the weather, asking ‘How is it really going?’ My other favorite part is ‘Know what I want, why I want it and what I’m going to do about it.'”

Growing Joy: The Plant Lover’s Guide to Cultivating Happiness (and Plants) by Maria Failla

Growing Joy: The Plant Lover’s Guide to Cultivating Happiness (and Plants) by Maria Failla (books about happiness)
St. Martin’s Essentials

From easing anxiety to nixing stress and boosting happiness, gardening is study-proven to benefit our mood and health! In her new book, gardening pro, podcaster and plant-lover Maria Failla shares even more science on how plants can heal. Whether you’re a pro or don’t have a green thumb at all, her easy tips — like simply making it a habit to look at a plant before a screen in the morning, or how to nurture an aloe plant in your windowsill — help us grow in joy.

What readers are saying: “There’s something positive that everyone and anyone can take from this book. Maria draws comparisons between plant care and self care as well as fantastic reminders that we are not so different from plants ourselves with our rhythms and cycles. Definitely worth a read!”

Related: Container Garden Ideas: These Displays Are Inexpensive, Easy to Make & Simply Stunning

All Along you Were Blooming by Morgan Harper Nichols

All Along you Were Blooming by Morgan Harper Nichols (books about happiness)
Zondervan

In this breathtaking collection of illustrations and poetry, readers are taken on a journey alongside artist, poet and writer Morgan Harper Nichols. In this book, Nichols invites you to “stumble into the sunlight.” Each page is filled with a lovely mix of poems, quotes and pictures filled with hope and love. Whether read in the morning with a cup of coffee or enjoyed for a few minutes each night before bed, this inspiring book promises gentle guidance and reassuring life advice.

What readers are saying: “I came across Morgan’s work during a difficult season in my life and I am so thankful that I did. I resonated with so much. Some works helped me feel emotions I was burning and let me express them. Other’s filled me with joy. And some nostalgia. Morgan’s words and art are absolutely beautiful and some of her most impactful ones are short and sweet.”


For more book recommendations and book content, check out these stories:

10 Books To Keep You Company When You’re Feeling Lonely: From Sweet Romances to Heartfelt Short Stories

12 Must-Read Historical Fiction Books That Will Send You Back in Time

Best Book Club Books: 10 Page Turners, From Romances to Thrillers to Historical Fiction

10 ‘Found Family’ Books That Will Warm Your Heart: From Romance to Historical Fiction!

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