The most recommended mindfulness books

Who picked these books? Meet our 132 experts.

132 authors created a book list connected to mindfulness, and here are their favorite mindfulness books.
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Book cover of The Art of Practicing: A Guide to Making Music from the Heart

Gayla M. Mills Author Of Making Music for Life: Rediscover Your Musical Passion

From my list on helping you make music.

Why am I passionate about this?

After dabbling in music in my youth, I returned to playing roots music over fifteen years ago. I’ve joined music circles, jammed, made new friends, and learned a lot. My husband Gene and I have recorded three albums and played at bars, festivals, weddings, and listening rooms. Professionally, I’ve spent years as a writing teacher and writer, and I also teach at an annual folk music camp. I wanted to share the joys of music with others, so I talked with dozens of musicians, dug down to find rare resources, and pulled it together into Making Music for Life to make it easier for others to pursue their own musical journey.

Gayla's book list on helping you make music

Gayla M. Mills Why did Gayla love this book?

Madeline Bruser is a professional musician and teacher focused on teaching dedicated music students of all ages. She brings her own meditation practice and fresh insights into improving music practice through mindfulness, attention to the sounds and sensations one experiences while practicing or performing, and increased awareness of the joys of music. Although I haven’t attended music school or spent a career as a professional musician, I still picked up useful tools and insights that have improved my practice time. If you’re finding practice to be boring, painful, or unproductive, this book can help you reorient your approach and savor music more fully.

By Madeline Bruser,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Art of Practicing as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

An illustrated guide for the amateur and professional musician that teaches us how to transform practicing from an often laborious activity into an exhilarating and rewarding experience

Foreword by Yehudi Menuhin • “Give this book to any musician you love and to any person who loves what music does for them and for the world.”—Richard Stoltzman, clarinetist 
 
In The Art of Practicing, acclaimed pianist and teacher Madeline Bruser combines physiological and meditative principles to help musicians release physical and mental tension and unleash their innate musical talent. She offers practical techniques for cultivating free and natural movement, a keen enjoyment…


Book cover of Mindfulness

Keisha Blair Author Of Holistic Wealth: 32 Life Lessons to Help You Find Purpose, Prosperity, and Happiness

From my list on resilience and overcoming setbacks.

Why am I passionate about this?

I'm a trained Economist and Harvard Trained Policy Expert. I was part of the Prime Minister's supporting delegation to the World Economic Forum, ASEAN, and APEC Summits in Singapore. I'm the Founder of the Institute on Holistic Wealth and host of the Holistic Wealth podcast. I wrote a viral article entitled "My Husband Died At Age 34. Here Are 40 Life Lessons I Learned From It". I coined the term Holistic Wealth with the publication of the first book on Holistic Wealth. I am the founder of the Holistic Wealth movement and known as the Mother of Holistic Wealth. I've written three books on Holistic Wealth (series). 

Keisha's book list on resilience and overcoming setbacks

Keisha Blair Why did Keisha love this book?

Mindfulness is a critical part of building resilience and overcoming setbacks. It’s part of the Art of Recovery from disruption that I outlined in my book.

Professor Ellen Langer is now called the “Mother of Mindfulness” for a good reason, her book and over four decades of ground-breaking research has been applied to a wide number of fields, including health, business, aging, social justice, and learning.

I loved her applications of mindfulness throughout the book and this quote on mindfulness: “the more we realize that most of our views of ourselves, of others, and of presumed limits regarding our talents, our health, and our happiness were mindlessly accepted by us at an earlier time in our lives, the more we open up to the realization that these too can change. And all we need do to begin the process is to be mindful.”

By Ellen J. Langer,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Mindfulness as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In the years since it was first published, this influential book based on the highly innovative findings of social psychologist Dr. Ellen J. Langer and her team of researchers at Harvard made its mark for its unique concept of mindfulness, thoroughly adapted to contemporary life in the West. Langer's theory has been applied to a wide number of fields, including health, business, aging, prejudice, and learning. There is now a new psychological assessment based on her work (called the Langer Mindfulness Scale) as well as an institute in Mexico founded to apply the concepts of mindfulness to health and wellness.…


Book cover of Peace Is Every Step: The Path of Mindfulness in Everyday Life

Lynda Allen Author Of Grace Reflected

From my list on life-changing world-rocking books.

Why am I passionate about this?

I think of myself as a listener and life in progress. As a poet and author, I’m always listening to the words that move through my heart. I’m also a spiritual seeker, always looking for the Divine in the world around me and almost always surprised by the ways it shows up when I’m paying attention. Yet, there’s another part of me that is a Jersey girl through and through, looking for humor or irreverence in the face of life’s challenges. All these aspects come together in an unusual harmony, creating an openness to being changed by the things that come into my life. Hence, a list of life-changing books.

Lynda's book list on life-changing world-rocking books

Lynda Allen Why did Lynda love this book?

Reading this book helped me change my life for the better. Putting Thich Nhat Hanh’s teachings into practice in my daily life helped me live a more mindful, more peaceful life at a time of great transition in my personal life.

One of the things I love the most about this book is how simple it is to incorporate its practices into daily life. There are sections on how to be mindful about washing dishes or answering the phone! There are also sections that went much deeper, which dealt with how to be mindful of my emotions, which I have found so valuable in dealing with anxiety, difficult situations, and fear.

One of my favorite experiences related to this book was guiding a group of middle school-age kids through a discussion inspired by the “Tangerine Meditation.” Instead of a tangerine, we considered a piece of paper and talked about the…

By Thich Nhat Hanh,

Why should I read it?

6 authors picked Peace Is Every Step as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

'This is a very worthwhile book. It can change individual lives and the life of our society.' The Dalai Lama

Lucidly and beautifully written, Peace is Every Step contains commentaries and meditations, personal anecdotes and stories from Nhat Hanh's experiences as a peace activist, teacher, and community leader. It begins where the reader already is - in the kitchen, office, driving a car, walking in a park - and shows how deep meditative presence is available now. Nhat Hanh provides exercises to increase our awareness of our own body and mind through conscious breathing, which can bring immediate joy and…


Book cover of The Quiet Book

Deborah Sosin Author Of Charlotte and the Quiet Place

From my list on mindfulness and silence.

Why am I passionate about this?

Charlotte and the Quiet Place is somewhat autobiographical, as I tend to crave quiet. For many years, I’ve been meditating twice a day for 25 minutes. I relax my mind and body, sometimes silently repeating a word or sound or just breathing rhythmically. I’m almost always more peaceful and energized after meditating. In addition to being a writer, I’m a therapist with a mindfulness specialty. I believe deeply that every child (and adult, too) can tap into their quiet place inside by noticing what’s happening in their mind and body, no matter what’s going on in their lives. We all need this skill—now more than ever!  

Deborah's book list on mindfulness and silence

Deborah Sosin Why did Deborah love this book?

This is one of my favorite all-time picture books! Each page identifies one “type” of quiet accompanied by a whimsical illustration with delightful animal characters. Some of my favorites are “Hide-and-seek quiet,” which shows a baby moose trying unsuccessfully to hide behind an office chair; “Lollipop quiet,” which shows a bear and a rabbit with bandages comforting themselves with lollipops; or “Top of the roller coaster quiet,” which shows an assortment of animals anticipating that fateful moment! The words and illustrations are beautifully paired and children will want to invent their own stories about each scene. A sweet, evocative, and original book that expands the notion of quiet in imaginative ways.

By Deborah Underwood, Renata Liwska (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Quiet Book as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Quiet can be sweet, and cozy, and can most definitely help you fall asleep. This irresistibly charming bedtime classic explores all the different quiets that can fill a child's days from morning; until night. Sweet, beautifully rendered bears, rabbits, fish, birds, and iguanas propel the story far beyond words.


Book cover of The Miracle of Mindfulness: An Introduction to the Practice of Meditation

Guy Claxton Author Of The Heart of Buddhism: Practical Wisdom for an Agitated World

From my list on Buddhism that get to the heart of the matter.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a long-time meditator and student of Buddhism, and a retired but still active academic. I am a cognitive scientist specialising in the learnable aspects of real-world intelligence. My meditation ‘career’ started when I was an undergraduate studying psychology at Cambridge in the late 1960s, and has since taken me to America, India, and Japan, as well as to many retreats in the UK with visiting teachers from all the main branches of Buddhism. In my academic life, I have a doctorate in psycholinguistics from Oxford and have been Professor of the Learning Sciences at the University of Bristol and the Research Director of the Centre for Real-World Learning in Winchester. My books on the crossover between Eastern and Western Psychology include The Psychology of Awakening, Wholly HumanNoises from the Darkroom, and The Heart of Buddhism.

Guy's book list on Buddhism that get to the heart of the matter

Guy Claxton Why did Guy love this book?

This little book is the best introduction to the practice – and benefits – of mindfulness I know. It is easy to make meditation more complicated than it needs to be, and Vietnamese Zen teacher Thich Nhat Hanh keeps drawing you back to the simple essence of the practice, and to the peaceful aura of the present. Just above my computer screen I have one of his postcards pinned to the wall. “Here I am, sitting in this room, aware of the chair, aware of the sitting, aware of the breathing – aware of this precious moment.” What an effective stress-buster – bringing me back from the maelstroms of thoughts inside my head to the simple, pleasurable fact of just being alive, here, now, and enabling me to reset the emotional dashboard!

By Thich Nhat Hanh,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Miracle of Mindfulness as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

One of the best available introductions to the wisdom and beauty of meditation practice. --New Age Journal

In this beautiful and lucid guide, Zen master Thich Nhat Hanh offers gentle anecdotes and practical exercise as a means of learning the skills of mindfulness--being awake and fully aware. From washing the dishes to answering the phone to peeling an orange, he reminds us that each moment holds within it an opportunity to work toward greater self-understanding and peacefulness.


Book cover of Get Out of My Head: Inspiration for Overthinkers in an Anxious World

Chloe Carmichael Author Of Nervous Energy: Harness the Power of Your Anxiety

From my list on anxiety from a psychologist's perspective.

Why am I passionate about this?

I'm Dr. Chloe Carmichael, clinical psychologist and USA Today bestselling author of Nervous Energy: Harness the Power of Your Anxiety (endorsed by Deepak Chopra). As a clinical psychologist, a lot of people ask me how to get rid of their anxiety. They're often surprised to learn that actually, we don't always want to get rid of anxiety—because the truth is that anxiety actually brings many benefits, if we know how to unlock them. Anxiety’s healthy function is actually to stimulate preparation behaviors. In this book, I share nine tried and tested tools with step-by-step instructions and real life examples to help readers harness the healthy power of anxiety.

Chloe's book list on anxiety from a psychologist's perspective

Chloe Carmichael Why did Chloe love this book?

Last but not least is Get Out of My Head, written by my friend and Pinterest’s Chief of Staff for TwentyTwo, Meredith Arthur. This book not only talks about overthinking and anxiety, it also delves into other important topics such as perfectionism, people-pleasing, and knowing and understanding oneself. The book has great content, plus it is visually beautiful—Meredith’s background at Pinterest definitely shows in the book’s amazing artwork and overall aesthetic. 

By Meredith Arthur,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Get Out of My Head as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Calm your thoughts, navigate your stress, and understand your anxiety with Get Out of My Head, a compact illustrated guide for overthinkers everywhere. Are you an overthinker? You're not alone! In a world full of deadlines, and technology, and constant stress, anxiety sometimes feels inevitable. But what if you learned to ride the wave of anxiety, instead of getting lost in it? Get Out of My Head is here to help, providing guidance and inspiration for anxious overthinkers of all sorts. This compact, illustrated book offers soothing techniques for understanding anxiety and moving through the traps of overthinking. Aimed at…


Book cover of Harriet's Monster Diary: Awfully Anxious (But I Squish It, Big Time)

Elizabeth James Author Of Pippa Speaks Up!

From my list on books for kids with anxiety (that actually help!).

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve struggled with anxiety since childhood, but it wasn’t until I was an adult that I even realized that I could do something about my anxiety. Then, when my seven-year-old daughter was diagnosed and began therapy for her anxiety, I knew other kids deserved to learn these tools, too. No child should have to suffer with anxiety like I did for years. Instead, it’s my hope that through fiction books like these, kids can identify with these characters suffering from anxiety, see themselves in their stories, and be equipped to manage their anxiety so that they can flourish in their lives—starting right now.

Elizabeth's book list on books for kids with anxiety (that actually help!)

Elizabeth James Why did Elizabeth love this book?

I love the premise of this heavily illustrated, diary-style chapter book: It not only teaches kids that even monsters can get anxiety—but also that they can do something about it through the author’s method of breathing and mindfulness.

I loved how thorough it was, taking time to really lead kids through the process (what he calls Stop, Take Time To Think) as she considers her fears about giving a speech in school and whether those fears will actually happen—a pretty mature technique that I wish I had known how to tackle when I was growing up! I also loved the sweet relationship she had with her grandma (Bobbe) and how her whole family rallied around her to conquer her anxiety and reframe what it means to be brave. 

By Raun Melmed, S.E. Abramson, Arief Kriembonga (illustrator)

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Harriet's Monster Diary as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 7, 8, 9, and 10.


Book cover of Gratitude: A Day and Night Reflection Journal

Denise Kiernan Author Of We Gather Together: Stories of Thanksgiving from Then to Now

From my list on gratitude making every day feel like Thanksgiving.

Why am I passionate about this?

Denise Kiernan is a multiple New York Times bestselling author of narrative nonfiction books including The Girls of Atomic City, the Last Castle, and We Gather Together. Throughout her career as a journalist and an author, she has explored underrepresented stories and characters and the impact they have had on history. These stories of the unsung offer fresh perspectives on historical tales we think we already know. At the heart of many of Kiernan’s nonfiction explorations are women from a variety of different backgrounds and time periods. She has devoted her last three books to the history of Thanksgiving and gratitude, writing separate books for all ages.

Denise's book list on gratitude making every day feel like Thanksgiving

Denise Kiernan Why did Denise love this book?

Let me be clear: You absolutely do not have to buy a gratitude journal, per se, to practice gratitude. But as a writer, I know that there’s nothing scarier than facing a blank page.

You may have heard that such a practice is important, but you’re a little nervous about where to start. This highly popular journal presents you with two pages a day for 90 days—a morning and evening reflection page. The morning page provides blanks for your daily focus, affirmations, what you’re excited and grateful about. The evening page prompts you to assess the day, spell out what went well for you, and guides you to positive thoughts before bedtime.

To make the most of a book like this, you’ll need to check in twice a day. If you don’t transition from this kind of book to a blank notebook, understand that your choice means you are committing…

By Insight Editions,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Gratitude as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Center your life around positive thoughts with this guided gratitude journal!

Celebrate each moment, big or small, and preserve important memories with everyday mindfulness. This 90-day reflection journal gives you a path to developing a habit of daily gratitude that you can carry throughout your life. Cultivating thankfulness is a potent exercise, proven to have a positive effect on a person's mental health and general well-being. Each spread of this positivity journal includes space to record expressions of gratitude, personal affirmations, memories of positive interactions, and commentary on the significance of it all.

The perfect self-care or mindfulness gift for…


Book cover of The Art of Pilgrimage: The Seeker's Guide to Making Travel Sacred

Brandon Wilson Author Of Along the Templar Trail: Seven Million Steps for Peace

From my list on doing a pilgrimage and our search for meaning.

Why am I passionate about this?

Brandon Wilson is an author, photographer, explorer, and pilgrim. He is a voracious explorer of nearly one hundred countries, he has trekked many pilgrimage trails, including: the Camino de Santiago, Camino Catalan, Camino Aragonés and Via de la Plata across Spain, and twice the St. Olav’s Way across Norway and Sweden. Brandon and his wife Cheryl were the first Western couple to complete the 1100-kilometer pilgrim trail from Lhasa, Tibet to Kathmandu, and he was the first American to traverse the 1850-kilometer Via Francigena from England to Rome. In 2006, he and his French friend re-blazed the 4500-kilometer route of the First Crusades from France to Jerusalem, naming it the Templar Trail, to establish it as a path of peace.

Brandon's book list on doing a pilgrimage and our search for meaning

Brandon Wilson Why did Brandon love this book?

For many, travel reaches a point where it becomes something more than a moveable buffet and checks off a bucket-list. The Art of Pilgrimage helps you make this transition and realize you’re not alone. It traces the history of pilgrimage or mindful journeys with stories and anecdotes from past sojourners to a wide variety of locations for equally diverse reasons.

By Phil Cousineau,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Art of Pilgrimage as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The Spiritual Traveler's Travel Guide

"A must read before a trip." Escape

"One of the greatest travel books I have ever read." Peter Feibleman, author of Lilly: Reminiscences of Lillian Hellman

#1 Bestseller in Atlases & Maps

The classic guide to making travel meaningful. The Art of Pilgrimage is a travel guide full of inspiration for the spiritual traveler.

Not just for pilgrims. We are descendants of nomads. And although we no longer partake in this nomadic life, the instinct to travel remains. Whether we're planning a trip or buying a secondhand copy of Siddhartha, we're always searching for a…


Book cover of A Monk's Guide to a Clean House and Mind

Alexandria Blaelock Author Of Christmas Travesties

From Alexandria's 3 favorite reads in 2023.

Why am I passionate about this?

Author Knowledge collector Reader K-drama watcher Dog owner (sorry not sorry)

Alexandria's 3 favorite reads in 2023

Alexandria Blaelock Why did Alexandria love this book?

Cleaning and tidying are definitely my least favourite things to do. I even wrote a book about minimally viable housekeeping! But I’m fascinated by people who love it and embrace it, and like to read about them while I contort my face with increasing incredulity. Perhaps the same way as I’m fascinated by venomous spiders.

So, this book gave me a glimpse behind the scenes of the Komyoji Buddhist Temple in Tokyo, along with the interesting “fact” that cleaning can be a way to cultivate the mind, and clean the soul.

I can’t say it’s made an enormous difference to me, aside from wanting to throw out almost everything I own so I don’t have to clean or tidy it. That’s a philosophy I can get behind!

Also, the illustrations are adorable and made me want to do better.

By Shoukei Matsumoto,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked A Monk's Guide to a Clean House and Mind as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Cleanliness is next to enlightenment. In this Japanese bestseller a Buddhist monk explains the traditional meditative techniques that will help cleanse not only your house - but your soul.

Live clean. Feel calm. Be happy.

We remove dust to sweep away our worldly cares. We live simply and take time to contemplate the self, mindfully living each moment. It's not just monks that need to live this way. Everyone in today's busy world needs it.

In Japan, cleanliness is next to enlightenment. This bestselling guide by a Zen Buddhist monk draws on ancient traditions to show you how a few…