6 books to read in the new year for stress relief and self-improvement
6 books to read in the new year for stress relief and self-improvement
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If you are like me, you are prone to anxiety, worrying over everything, and obsessed with the idea that there is still room for growth. That’s probably why you clicked to read this post on stress relief and self-improvement! And it’s a good thing you did.

I would love to share with you books that I have read in the past that have helped me in my journey to becoming a more stress-free and aware person. Some are favorites that I read over and over and some are books that I think are worth reading at least once, but in the end, they all contain really good lessons and advice about life to mull over.

Here are six books you got to give a try if you want that stress relief and self-improvement!

6 –ย Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff… and It’s All Small Stuff by Richard Carlson

don't sweat the small stuff

This small book is one of my favorites–especially when it comes to stress relief. It’s packed full with short, effective chapters on the ways to get over all the small stuff that plague your life and mind. Although you may consider the tips common sense if they were told by anyone else, Richard Carlson has an expert way of putting a different spin or perspective on it that will make you go, “Ohhhh, I never thought of it like that.”

He provides wisdom like 1) your to-do list will never be empty so don’t focus so much on getting every task done, and 2) ask yourself if whatever you’re stressing out about will even matter in ten years. The memorable writing, engaging voice, and simple format will make this a great book to carry around in your bag no matter where you go. Mark it, write in it, dog-ear it, make it yours. Put in your own comments. Let it be your companion!

Buy it here.

5 –ย The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck: A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life by Mark Manson

subtle art

I love this book! If you already read a lot of soothing self-help books like the one mentioned before and are looking for something new and different, go for this book because it takes on a whole new approach to living stress free–basically, just stop giving a f*ck. I mentioned this book in another post, actually, which you can read here. I loved this book because it is refreshing and real–and it has a lesson that I’ve been struggling with all my life. I can have people-pleasing tendencies and I care about my image to a degree, but when does it become too much burden on myself? Why do I spread myself thin and worry anxiously that I said something wrong when I could choose to not give a f*ck? That’s when this book comes in to teach you to stop caring so much about things that don’t care about you. Stress relief will come from caring less, and he takes a fun approach here.

Buy it here.

4 –ย A Beautiful Mind, A Beautiful Life: The Bubz Guide to Being Unstoppable by Lindy Tsang


If you follow Bubzbeauty or Bubzvlogz on YouTube, then you know Lindy Tsang, the kindhearted, bright, cheery, and quirky internet personality who is like a sister to all her fans. She released her book and I wrote a review on it, which you should check out! Even if you don’t know her or follow her, you will feel all warm inside when you read her book on her personal struggles and advice for others that has a motherly or sisterly warmth to it.

She truly wants to help you and has a creative way of expressing this through thought-provoking, memorable metaphors. What’s especially touching is how real she is about her life, opening up about marital problems and family issues, so she shows that she truly understands you. She’s all about positivity and self-love, so if you want to absorb some of her infectious optimism and wisdom, definitely read this book!

See Also:  Replace "should have" with this for a happier you

Pre-order it here. (Already available at Barnes & Noble.)

3 – Bunny Buddhism by Krista Lester

bunny buddhism

Whether you are Buddhist or not, this book is both adorable and super helpful. You will be told Buddhist mantras through the perspective of a bunny, so the religion won’t feel too forceful if you are concerned about that, but the beauty of Buddhism is that it’s really all about life lessons that apply to self-improvement and self-enlightenment. It’s relevant to anybody.

The book is quite straightforward because it is really a list of wise sayings that are incredibly gentle yet powerful at the same time. For example, “The bunny who chews at his wound does not allow it to heal,” which is incredibly relevant for people who stubbornly hold onto grudges instead of moving on for their own sake. There are a few illustrations scattered throughout that will make you smile for that extra stress relief, as well.

Buy it here.

2 – Year of Yes by Shonda Rhimes

year of yes

This is one of the books I read once and am not sure I would reread. I do think I should because it was an excellent read, but I am the type who thinks that it should be more socially acceptable to stand your ground and say “no.” I hate that people are made to feel guilty about this when they should feel free to look out for themselves–but I do agree with her point that saying “no” puts a wall down between yourself and amazing opportunities and experiences. It’s all about finding that balance.

I also appreciate that Shonda Rhimes, a wildly successful TV producer and writer, wrote this book because she shows that anyone can feel as scared as she was when she challenged herself. Whether you agree wholly or not, this book brings up a popular conversation about the power of saying yes and the importance of leaving your comfort zone, so I still highly recommend it. Actually, I really should read it again. BRB!

Buy it here.

1 – What I Know For Sure by Oprah Winfrey

what i know

We all know Oprah Winfrey! She’s a wise, kind soul, so are you really surprised her book made this list? This was a sweet read that I want to revisit. The down-to-earth Oprah writes about what she “knows for sure,” which are really life lessons and advice that everyone needs to be reminded of, such as this gem: “Everyone wants to ride with you in the limo, but what you want is someone who will take the bus with you when the limo breaks down.”

You can always learn from someone as bright and generous as Oprah. When you feel lost, you turn to role models, and Oprah can be anyone’s role model. Her optimistic personality will also be instant stress relief while you learn ways to improve your mind and soul.

Buy it here.

Now you have a couple of truly great reads to add to your #TBR, right? It is important to get that stress relief and continually improve yourself, so definitely check out the recommendations above! I hope you will like them!


gallantly gal



  1. Bry Jaimea

    March 25, 2018 at 8:25 am

    Adding these al to my Amazon wishlist! A shame they’re US affiliate links though, as I’ll be ordering from UK Amazon ๐Ÿ™

    1. gallantly gal

      March 25, 2018 at 12:40 pm

      Thank you so much for letting me know! I just set up the OneLink for Amazon so it should now automatically take you to the UK site. Could you let me know if the redirect works or not for future reference? Either way, I hope you enjoy the books! ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. Christy B

    March 25, 2018 at 2:24 pm

    I love anything Oprah writes – I always feel so strong afterwards! I had heard that Shonda Rhimes book is amazing and now that I hear you agree I’ll have to check into it further ๐Ÿ˜‰ Thanks for letting us know about these ones!

    1. gallantly gal

      March 25, 2018 at 2:50 pm

      Of course! I hope you enjoy reading them ๐Ÿ™‚

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