Read More & Stress Less – Plus My 10 Favorite Books


Let’s pretend we just sat down at a coffee shop to sip our tea and talk favorite books, shall we? 

So, how often do you read?

The 17th century writer, Joseph Addison once wrote, “Reading is to the mind what exercise is to the body.” 

We know that exercise increases our overall health, strength, and stamina. It staves away disease and sickness — the benefits to exercise are endless! Exercise keeps us healthy and alive. So, if reading is to the mind what exercise is to our bodies, then reading is a necessity for life. 

Ready for some crazy benefits of reading? 

Reading fires up our imagination, stimulates the memory center of our minds, and strengthens our mental muscles. It helps us gain valuable knowledge, improves focus, mental health, communication skills, emotional intelligence, and our ability to empathize. It also relieves stress by helping our bodies relax by lowering our heart rate and easing tension in our muscles. Simply put, reading expands our minds, our horizons, and allows us to live longer.

Author and speaker, Jen Hatmaker, ends each podcast episode with the question, “What is saving your life right now?”

If you were to ask me, my answer (almost) every time would be the book I’m currently reading. I LOVE reading and I make it a priority in my life. 

Where are my fellow readers at?

Annie Dillard wrote, “She read books as one would breathe air, to fill up and live.” 

Can you relate? I would rather read than watch tv and I’ll stay up way too late or sneak in a few chapters at nap time. Don’t get me wrong, there are days when it feels impossible to find time to read. Life is busy! There are days when it feels like the to-do list is never ending or nap time didn’t happen and I’m too tired to read after the kids go to bed or I just don’t feel like it. 

Does that sound like you? If so, you are definitely not alone!

Here are a few quick tips to help you find more time to read:

Put it in your schedule. 

When you write it down (or type it out) it’s bound to happen! You can set reminders and an alarm so you don’t miss out on your scheduled time to read. 

Set a timer. 

You don’t have to read for hours and hours at a time! Start slow, begin with 10 minutes and then add a few more minutes every time you sit down to read. It eases the pressure and adds to the suspense and enjoyment of reading. 

Make it a habit. 

Prioritize reading and make it a part of your daily routine — even if only for a few minutes. In other words, “Just Do It!”

Make a reading list. 

Create a dream book list and start chipping away — that way, you never have to wonder what you should read next. However, it’s as Mortimer J. Alder said, “In the case of good books, the point is not to see how many of them you can get through, but rather how many can get through to you.”

Maybe, you are someone who simply doesn’t enjoy reading? If that’s true, you are not alone! 

J.K Rowling said, “If you don’t like to read, you haven’t found the right book.”

I completely agree. So, here are 10 of my favorite books to help point you in the right direction, if you’re not sure where to get started: 

  1. Balanced and Barefoot by Angela J. Hanscom 
  2. There’s No Such Thing As Bad Weather by Linda Akeson McGurk
  3. Ancient Remedies by Dr. Josh Axe 
  4. The Earth Diet & Cancer Free With Food by Liana Werner-Gray
  5. Gut and Psychology Syndrome by Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride, MD
  6. Atlas Of The Heart by Brene Brown (Really any book by Brene Brown)
  7. A Return To Love by Marianne Williams
  8. Stress Less, Accomplish More by Emily Fletcher
  9. Shakespeare After All by Marjorie Garber 
  10. WonderWorks by Angus Fletcher 

I hope you find a new passion or a deeper passion for reading. I hope you carve out time in your busy schedule, to rest, de-stress and curl up with a good book.

Which book will you read first? What’s on your must-read list?

Lisa Kleypas said, “A well-read woman is a dangerous creature.” I TOTALLY agree.

Cheers to favorite books. To reading more and stressing less, to life-saving books, and to being dangerous creatures. Happy reading, friends!