“We read to know that we are not alone.” — C.S. Lewis
We can all experience emotional seasons in our lives now and again. Life fluctuates, and we can never be certain as to what may happen. One small trigger can tip us over the edge when we least expect it. When undergoing stress, sadness, or uncertainty, it's common to not always know how to process it all. I feel like many of us often reach for quick bursts of dopamine to get us by. Doom scrolling, as many would say.
However, the best way to truly lift our spirits, I think, is to slow down, be present, and explore your emotions and feelings. One way to do this is to engross ourselves in the world of a great story, or the wise teachings of someone else.
In fact, reading can actually help reduce stress by lowering your heart rate and flooding your body with feel-good hormones.
Here are 7 of my favorite books to help you feel happy, and a little less alone, in whatever you may be going through.
1. Eat Pray Love by Elizabeth Gilbert
This is probably quite a cheesy choice, and you've probably heard about it before. But for some time, I actually read Eat Pray Love once a year, every summer. This was between high school and a few years into college when I didn't know who or what I wanted to be. Every time I read about Elizabeth Gilbret's wild adventures to Italy, India, and Bali, I learned something new about myself.
This book is great for when you may be feeling uncertain of your calling, and are in need of some inspiration to take flight and embark on a new journey.
2. Cul-De-Sac Angels by Michelle Emily Garcia
My oh my, this book! I don't even have the words to express the beauty of Michelle's poetry and prose. I ate it up in nearly a single sitting, absolutely whirled away by the comfort and familiarity of these pieces. This book was like a warm blanket on a stormy night. Please, do yourself a favor and give it a read.
3. The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
This is a timeless classic of mine, one that I either read or watch when feeling low. Sometimes, Charlie is a character that you just relate to at a given time. Sometimes, more often than others. This story is a tangled and beautiful mess that I return to, again and again, to get me through a difficult time.
4. The Universe Has Your Back by Gabrielle Bernstein
If you are interested in the practices of manifestation, then you will love this book, too. Gabrielle Bernstein has a phenomenal gift of reminding you that, at all times, The Universe is supporting you. She teaches you how to trust and have faith that everything will work out, exactly as it should. If you're feeling lost, this is a great book to dive into.
5. Don't Sweat The Small Stuff... and It's All Small Stuff by Richard Carlson
This is a short but powerful book that reminds you to slow down and get out of your own head. Personally, I found Carlson's teachings incredibly helpful, as sometimes, I can overthink or make a big deal out of small occurrences.
6. Paw Prints at Owl Cottage by Denis O'Conner
This book is truly a heartwarming story. I had it on my shelf for quite some time when I decided I wanted to read something sweet and tender. This is a true story about a man and his beloved cats over the years. These sweet cats are truly his best friends, and O'Conner reminisces on their shared times together. This book may make you tear up a bit, but I can assure you that it is splendidly adorable.
7. One Day in December by Josie Silver
Now, for the fun and sweet romance book! My book club friends will laugh at me for this one because to them it wasn't very good. But sometimes, you just need to read something cheesy, simple, a little dramatic, and, of course, holiday-themed to make yourself smile. I read this one in one setting and cried. Happy tears. Yes, it was that good! To me, at least (this is a rom-com we're talking about). Give it a try--it might be just what you need.
I hope you've enjoyed my list of 7 books to read to help lift your spirits. Have you read any of these? If so, let me know down below!
And I know that whatever you may be experiencing in this moment will pass, with time. In the meantime, try to slow down and enjoy the simplicities of life in your every day. This will make a world of difference.