The best mindfulness books

12 authors have picked their favorite books about mindfulness and why they recommend each book.

Soon, you will be able to filter by genre, age group, and more. Sign up here to follow our story as we build a better way to explore books.

Shepherd is reader supported. When you buy through links on our website, we may earn an affiliate commission (learn more).

I Am Peace

By Susan Verde, Peter H. Reynolds (illustrator),

Book cover of I Am Peace: A Book of Mindfulness

I Am Peace is part of a wonderful series by this well-known team. The series explores topics such as compassion, empathy, resilience, and what it is to be a feeling human being. I Am Peace is about a child (gender not identified) who worries about the past and future and learns how to comfort and ground themselves by noticing the here and now, breathing evenly, and practicing kindness toward themselves and others. The simple, sparse text expresses these rather deep ideas in ways that all children can understand: “I can watch my worries gently pop and disappear. I let things go"; “I can hug a tree and thank it for its beauty and strength.” The back matter features a discussion of mindfulness and a guided meditation.


Who am I?

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!  


I wrote...

Charlotte and the Quiet Place

By Deborah Sosin, Sara Woolley (illustrator),

Book cover of Charlotte and the Quiet Place

What is my book about?

Charlotte likes quiet. But wherever Charlotte goes, she is surrounded by noise—her yipping dog, Otto; the squeaky, creaky swings; the warbling, wailing sirens. Even in the library, children yammer and yell. Where can Charlotte find a quiet place? Sara Woolley’s vibrant watercolors bring Charlotte’s city to life when Otto leads her on a wild chase through the park. There, Charlotte discovers a quiet place where she never would have imagined.

Charlotte and the Quiet Place shows how a child discovers mindful breathing and the beauty of silence. Children will relate to the unfolding adventure and message of self-discovery and empowerment. 2015 INDIEFAB Book of the Year Gold Award Winner, 2016 Independent Publisher Book Awards Silver Medalist, and 2015 National Parenting Publications Bronze Award Winner.

Alphabreaths

By Christopher Willard, Daniel Rechtschaffen, Holly Clifton-Brown (illustrator)

Book cover of Alphabreaths: The ABCs of Mindful Breathing

Alphabreaths is brilliant. It’s a colorful alphabet book and a mindfulness book in one. Clinical psychologist Christopher Willard teamed up with family therapist Daniel Rechtsschaffen and illustrator Holly Clifton-Brown to create mindful activities from A to Z. Kids will want to try out these breath and mindfulness techniques because they are so simple, and the illustrations so inviting. You can do each one without any prior understanding of mindfulness or breath techniques.

My favorite pages include: “Question Breath. As you breathe in, ask yourself how you are feeling. As you breathe out, answer.”

“Superhero Breathe. Breathe in and imagine you are a superhero. Breathe out and imagine how you will help someone.”

“Wish Breath. Breathe in and make a happy wish for yourself. Breathe out and send a happy wish to someone else.”

I’m crazy about Clifton-Brown’s illustrations. Her characters express innocence, wonder, and serenity. Her palette is soft yet…


Who am I?

Whitney Stewart will travel far for a story—trekking in a Himalayan snowstorm with Sir Edmund Hillary, climbing to remote Buddhist monasteries in Tibet, interviewing the Dalai Lama in India, and Aung San Suu Kyi in Myanmar. She is an award-winning author of nonfiction for children, and a longtime meditation practitioner. When she is not writing or traveling, she teaches mindfulness and self-care to children.


I wrote...

Mindful Tots: Tummy Ride

By Whitney Stewart, Rocio Alejandro (illustrator),

Book cover of Mindful Tots: Tummy Ride

What is my book about?

I adapted my mindfulness exercises from Mindful Kids Activity Deck into a board book series to help toddlers manage their emotions and engage more easily in life. Each of the four board books, beautifully illustrated by Rocio Alejandro, offers toddlers one simple mindfulness technique—to calm down, to share kindness with others, to relax into sleep time, or to transition from activity to activity. Barefoot Books published the series in English and in bilingual, Spanish-English editions.

You Are Not Your Thoughts

By Frances Trussell,

Book cover of You Are Not Your Thoughts: The Secret Magic of Mindfulness

The author of this book, Frances Trussell, explains so succinctly why the blessing of our self-aware mind can so easily become a curse for so many humans. So mindfulness and meditation is not so much about having no thoughts or making your mind go blank. Rather it is about coming to a different relationship with your thoughts. On the other side, lies a life of bliss and freedom.


Who am I?

I started meditating in my min-40s as I was in a stressful job. I resisted at first, thinking I was too busy and that I couldn’t make my active mind go quiet. I persisted though and soon discovered that I had a better day all around on days when I meditated and seemed to be pushing water uphill when I missed my morning meditation. Intrigued by this, the engineer in me researched why this might be. I started writing books on how it can help and I learned how to script and record my own meditations. Over fifteen years later, I find myself as one of the top meditation guides on the Insight Timer app, with over 4 million listens.


I wrote...

The Authority Guide to Practical Mindfulness: How to improve your productivity, creativity and focus by slowing down for just 10 minutes a day

By Tom Evans,

Book cover of The Authority Guide to Practical Mindfulness: How to improve your productivity, creativity and focus by slowing down for just 10 minutes a day

What is my book about?

Daily meditation does more than help us relax. It is becoming well accepted and understood how our well-being benefits from the regular practice of mindfulness meditation. This book explores how even more tangible benefits can be delivered from just treating yourself to 10 minutes of ‘me time’ each day. Indeed, each of the ten chapters comes with a free ten-minute meditation.

Just imagine having more time in each day and clients and opportunities finding you. Just imagine being able to tap into unlimited inspiration. It is the key to living a blissful existence. This book is not just theory but also practice as each of the ten chapters is accompanied by a ten-minute meditation.

Don't Think Like a Human

By Lee Carroll,

Book cover of Don't Think Like a Human: Channelled Answers to Basic Questions

On the surface, this book might not seem like a book on mindfulness. The author probably wouldn’t make that claim. It is all about the mind though and how we think. Our thoughts don’t so much become things but they are things. What we think influences the world outside us, not just in how we perceive it but by our thoughts actually being mirrored in our reality. In an unusual style, of channeled Q&A, Lee Carroll outlines how we can think differently and, as a result, our world changes for the better.


Who am I?

I started meditating in my min-40s as I was in a stressful job. I resisted at first, thinking I was too busy and that I couldn’t make my active mind go quiet. I persisted though and soon discovered that I had a better day all around on days when I meditated and seemed to be pushing water uphill when I missed my morning meditation. Intrigued by this, the engineer in me researched why this might be. I started writing books on how it can help and I learned how to script and record my own meditations. Over fifteen years later, I find myself as one of the top meditation guides on the Insight Timer app, with over 4 million listens.


I wrote...

The Authority Guide to Practical Mindfulness: How to improve your productivity, creativity and focus by slowing down for just 10 minutes a day

By Tom Evans,

Book cover of The Authority Guide to Practical Mindfulness: How to improve your productivity, creativity and focus by slowing down for just 10 minutes a day

What is my book about?

Daily meditation does more than help us relax. It is becoming well accepted and understood how our well-being benefits from the regular practice of mindfulness meditation. This book explores how even more tangible benefits can be delivered from just treating yourself to 10 minutes of ‘me time’ each day. Indeed, each of the ten chapters comes with a free ten-minute meditation.

Just imagine having more time in each day and clients and opportunities finding you. Just imagine being able to tap into unlimited inspiration. It is the key to living a blissful existence. This book is not just theory but also practice as each of the ten chapters is accompanied by a ten-minute meditation.

Outside in

By Deborah Underwood, Cindy Derby (illustrator),

Book cover of Outside in

During the pandemic, I seek refuge outdoors. I walk from my home to a metro park in my neighborhood. The woods are soothing in their peacefulness and beauty. When I read Deborah Underwood’s Outside In, that same peacefulness surrounds me. Cindy Derby’s watercolor illustrations are stunning. The lyrical language and illustrations in the book are comforting and exhilarating at the same time. The beauty of nature is our hope for healing.


Who am I?

I am a word gatherer. I can sweet-talk a phrase here and surprise a pun there—finding the words to hold a feeling. I revel in playing with words for the sheer joy of writing. My passion is cultivating the heart-to-heart writer/reader connection. A joy-bringer, my glass is always half-full. A former Poetry Day Liaison for OCTELA (Ohio Teachers of English Language Arts), a Teacher Consultant with the National Writing Project, educator, author, and poet, I share hope-filled stories and poems.


I wrote...

When Water Makes Mud: A Story of Refugee Children

By Janie Reinart, Morgan Taylor (illustrator),

Book cover of When Water Makes Mud: A Story of Refugee Children

What is my book about?

When Water Makes Mud: A Story of Refugee Children is a tribute to the resourcefulness of children who have no toys but continue to play. Play is the work of a child. You will be inspired by the refugee children's use of critical thinking, problem-solving, design, and engineering skills. 

The exquisite pictures in a National Geographic article started the picture book story for me. Nora Lorek, the photographer graciously gave me her email and became my inspiration and resource. This picture book is dedicated to the 200,000 refugee children living at the Bidibidi settlement in Uganda. These refugee children come with nothing but their hopes and dreams. Their hope becomes our hope. Publisher’s profits from this book are being donated to UNICEF Uganda.

Breathe Like a Bear

By Kira Willey, Anni Betts (illustrator),

Book cover of Breathe Like a Bear

While this book is a bit longer than a traditional picture book, the simple text and fun, colorful illustrations make it suitable to share with young children. Activities like “Hot Chocolate” and “Bear Breath” introduce simple breathing and stretching exercises. Pick a handful of favorites to practice when your child is feeling overwhelmed to help them find a sense of calm.


Who am I?

I am a children’s book creator and a parent. Raising an anxious child can be challenging. Events that many children find fun and exciting can be overwhelming and scary for your child. Seemingly small changes in their daily routine can throw some youngsters into a swirl of emotions that is upsetting to them and to those who love them. When I was searching for picture books to help the young worrier in my life, I looked for books that acknowledged their distressing feelings while giving them some strategies with which to cope with their overwhelming emotions. That premise became the theme of my Maud the Koala book series. 


I wrote...

Much Too Much Birthday (Maud the Koala)

By J.E. Morris,

Book cover of Much Too Much Birthday (Maud the Koala)

What is my book about?

Maud the Koala is excited. Today is her birthday and she is getting ready for her big party, after all, big birthdays are the best birthdays. Right? But Maud’s mother has some concerns when she discovers Maud invited 56 children to her backyard celebration. As the crowd builds, Maud starts feeling dizzy and slips behind a bush to find some peace and quiet. In the shrubbery, she finds Simon who is also overwhelmed by the hubbub. Slowly Maud and Simon reengage with the party at their own pace. Socially anxious children will relate to Maud and Simon as they realize big crowds aren’t everyone’s cup of tea.

Best Ever You

By Sally Huss, Elizabeth Hamilton-Guarino,

Book cover of Best Ever You

Sally Huss is one of my favorite picture book authors. She teams up with mindfulness coach, Elizabeth Hamilton-Guarino to discuss how children and adults can look within themselves to find the best person possible. Trevor looks in the water and decides he will be someone special. Different animals that he encounters show the reader the importance of qualities like patience, cooperation, thankfulness, gratitude, generosity, paying attention, and friendship. All of us could do this. I especially appreciated the certificate children can reward themselves with when they discover and later accomplish practicing these qualities.

Who am I?

As a parent, grandparent, retired educator, historian, and children’s book author, I am an avid reader and advocate for children’s literacy. My forty years of experience working with children and their families gives me the background and expertise to identify high-quality books and the types of subjects that children will want to read and adults in the family will enjoy sharing with them.


I wrote...

Little Miss History Travels to Mount Vernon

By Barbara Ann Mojica, Victor Ramon Mojica (illustrator),

Book cover of Little Miss History Travels to Mount Vernon

What is my book about?

Who was George Washington? Washington is best known as America's first president, but he was also a military hero. If you asked George Washington what he really wanted to be, he would reply, "a farmer." Seeking to revolutionize antiquated 18th-century farming methods, Washington experimented with crop rotation, fertilizers, plowing, and plants. The Mount Vernon Ladies Association began restoring his estate to its former glory in 1853. Today the buildings, grounds, and The Donald W. Reynolds Museum and Education Center reveal the real Father of the United States of America.

Winner of a B.R.A.G. Medallion. Winner of the 2018 International Book Excellence award in children's nonfiction. Winner of the 2018 Reader's Favorite International Book Awards silver medal in children’s educational books.

The Healing Power of Mind

By Tulku Thondup,

Book cover of The Healing Power of Mind: Simple Meditation Exercises for Health, Well-Being, and Enlightenment

I have given this book as a gift to friends and acquaintances who were struggling with health issues, trauma, depression, anxiety, or loss. Recipients of this book have told me how much it has benefited them—they found peace and renewed energy on their path of healing physical and emotional pain. It’s a short book packed with easy-to-practice meditations that are simple, yet profound. It is suitable for reader’s of all backgrounds and belief systems.


Who am I?

Jean Muenchrath wrote down her story to heal herself from the trauma of a life-threatening mountaineering accident, an epic survival incident, and decades of chronic pain. She then published her memoir to inspire readers to follow their dreams and to encourage them to overcome whatever challenges their life presents. Before she became an author, Muenchrath was a park ranger with the National Park Service for over thirty years. She’s led trekking tours in Nepal and Thailand and worked in Bhutan with the World Wildlife Fund. Jean enjoys traveling to foreign lands, exploring wild places and sitting quietly in meditation.


I wrote...

If I Live Until Morning, A True Story of Adventure, Tragedy and Transformation

By Jean Muenchrath,

Book cover of If I Live Until Morning, A True Story of Adventure, Tragedy and Transformation

What is my book about?

After skiing more than 200 miles along California's John Muir Trail, Jean faces death from a mountaineering accident on Mount Whitney. Broken and bleeding on the highest peak in the continental United States, she vows to realize her greatest dreams if she lives until morning. Her escape from the Sierra Nevada Mountains turns into an amazing five-day survival story. Jean's recovery is equally daunting. In this outdoor adventure memoir, her three-decade journey takes her from the depths of despair and chronic pain, to the heights of the Himalayas and on travels around the world. When the specter of Mount Whitney continues to shatter her life, Jean befriends Tibetan lamas. Their ancient wisdom guides her on a path beyond her wildest dreams.

Buddha's Brain

By Rick Hanson, Richard Mendius,

Book cover of Buddha's Brain: The Practical Neuroscience of Happiness, Love, and Wisdom

If you have an inner critic who berates you like Logan in Succession, you need this book. Learn how to work your mind and creating what you want is so much easier. Rick guides you to understand how your brain works – science is so cool! - and then how to change your brain so it works far better and that Logan guy shuts the hell up.


Who am I?

I’ve been obsessed with the creative process since I was 8 and read Harriet the Spy and realized her writing saved her and after I spied on one of my parent’s cocktail parties and wondered why everybody was so dull (I was so cheeky). Still, it’s the quest that drives me: how do we be fully ourselves in this world and how does creativity help? I explore this question on my podcast Create Out Loud and in my weekly newsletter, and these books have helped me formulate, if not answers, creative and mindful practices that sustain me daily. I hope they inspire you too.


I wrote...

Why Bother: Discover the Desire for What’s Next

By Jennifer Louden,

Book cover of Why Bother: Discover the Desire for What’s Next

What is my book about?

In Why Bother? best-selling author Jennifer Louden dares you to face the question we all ask at some point: why bother? Why bother to create, to write, to love, to risk disappointment again? She shows how to prioritize what’s calling you, especially when you’ve sidelined your creative dreams to raise kids, pay the rent, or take care of aging parents. And crucially, she shows you why tapping into your desires will give you the energy to move forward—even when there seems to be no point. Why bother is not a question to be ashamed of or run from, it’s a question to embrace and let it show you what’s next.

Sane New World

By Ruby Wax,

Book cover of Sane New World: Taming the Mind

I first came across Ruby Wax when she was a comic on the London comedy club scene in the 1980s. I met her briefly again, some 30 years later signing books next to me at a mindfulness conference. What’s so good about her writing is that it comes with great poignancy and is laced with her acerbic sense of humour. Her comedy was based on seeing through a situation and reframing it so we get a higher and more realistic view on things. In this book, she presents an accessible raison d’etre for taming the so-called ‘monkey mind’.


Who am I?

I started meditating in my min-40s as I was in a stressful job. I resisted at first, thinking I was too busy and that I couldn’t make my active mind go quiet. I persisted though and soon discovered that I had a better day all around on days when I meditated and seemed to be pushing water uphill when I missed my morning meditation. Intrigued by this, the engineer in me researched why this might be. I started writing books on how it can help and I learned how to script and record my own meditations. Over fifteen years later, I find myself as one of the top meditation guides on the Insight Timer app, with over 4 million listens.


I wrote...

The Authority Guide to Practical Mindfulness: How to improve your productivity, creativity and focus by slowing down for just 10 minutes a day

By Tom Evans,

Book cover of The Authority Guide to Practical Mindfulness: How to improve your productivity, creativity and focus by slowing down for just 10 minutes a day

What is my book about?

Daily meditation does more than help us relax. It is becoming well accepted and understood how our well-being benefits from the regular practice of mindfulness meditation. This book explores how even more tangible benefits can be delivered from just treating yourself to 10 minutes of ‘me time’ each day. Indeed, each of the ten chapters comes with a free ten-minute meditation.

Just imagine having more time in each day and clients and opportunities finding you. Just imagine being able to tap into unlimited inspiration. It is the key to living a blissful existence. This book is not just theory but also practice as each of the ten chapters is accompanied by a ten-minute meditation.

Or, view all 67 books about mindfulness

New book lists related to mindfulness

All book lists related to mindfulness

Bookshelves related to mindfulness