This list was curated by our Books Editor based on books she’s read or sampled and books that have great Goodreads reviews.
We’ve been through a lot this past year, and it’s midwinter to boot, so it’s understandable if you’re feeling a little low on energy, joy, and overall happiness right now. We’re right there with you, which is why we dove deep to put together this list of recent and new releases that enrich the soul.
These books, guided journals, and card decks might just be the spark you need to kindle a bit more well-being during the darkest part of the year. They may even help you create a fresh routine, self-care rituals, or entirely new ways of thinking that will light up your life year-round.
Here’s to feeling good.
1. Magical Self-Care for Everyday Life by Leah Vanderveldt
It’s all in the details, as they say, and creating little daily rituals is a great way to practice self-care. We love the fresh, magical ideas throughout these prettily photographed pages. If you’re woo curious, you’ll love these takes on supportive daily routines — like space-clearing breath work and high-vibe recipes — from well-being and nutrition expert Leah Vanderveldt.
A few of our favorite sections cover connecting to your inner wisdom with tarot cards, mirroring the pace of the seasons, and creating a calm, grounding space in your home. It’s full of ideas so you can see what works for you and really create your own personal “everyday magic.”
2. The Magical Nordic Tarot by Jayne Wallace
Taking a cue from the above-mentioned Magical Self-Care, you might want to incorporate tarot cards into your winter wellness routine — or your year-round routine, for that matter. If you’re looking for a good place to start, we love this new deck with beautiful wintry artwork full of northern lights and hygge vibes.
This one’s easy for beginners to use and comes with a guidebook to help you start your own journey with the cards. But it’s worth noting that only the major arcana feature unique artwork — the minor arcana simply display nine pentacles, five cups, etc.
Bonus: The endcap of the box makes a beautiful stand for cards. If you like this setup, The Magic of Tarot deck is another you’ll definitely want to check out.
3. Wintering: The Power of Rest and Retreat in Difficult Times by Katherine May
Sometimes we go through a winter season — and not just the kind with sparkling snowflakes. Most of us, realistically, will face many wintering periods in our lives. In Katherine May’s most recent book, she writes beautifully about the power of going with the flow of these darker seasons and the rest, retreat, and healing that can come from weathering difficult times in our lives.
This book is part memoir, part lamppost providing a glowing light in whatever storm you may be walking through. She explores ways we can lean into the ebbs and flows of what life throws at us, how we can care for ourselves and repair after being knocked down. This book was just released last month, and we don’t think it could have come out at a better time.
4. The Girl and the Goddess: Stories and Poems of Divine Wisdom by Nikita Gill
From Instagram sensation Nikita Gill comes a story of empowerment, overcoming adversity, finding hope amid the turmoil, and what it really means to be a human learning to love yourself. The Girl and the Goddess is a coming-of-age story full of Hindu mythology, told in linked poems (and sketches).
She’s been called one of the “most celebrated poets of this generation,” and after reading this we can see why. Even if you don’t often reach for poetry, there’s a good chance you won’t want to put this down. We found it to be incredibly moving, beautiful, and inspiring.
5. 52 Lists for Bravery by Moorea Seal
We’ve long been fans of Moorea Seal’s 52 Lists series. Bravery, her fifth, arrived just when we needed it, in September 2020. It contains “journaling inspiration for courage, resilience, and inner strength.” Each of her guided journals has 52 list prompts and action items (one for each week of the year). This one is split into sections called “Dream,” “Dedicate,” “Step Up,” and “Rise Up.”
We also reeeally recommend 52 Lists for Calm, which was released about a year ago. It contains journaling inspiration for “soothing anxiety and creating a peaceful life.” #YesPlease. In fact, Calm and Bravery as a duo make an incredible gift — their foil-finish covers and velvet marker ribbons are just as pretty as the contents are helpful.
6. The Power of Awakening: Mindfulness Practices and Spiritual Tools to Transform Your Life by Dr. Wayne Dyer
We may have used up an entire block of page flags when marking powerful passages in this one. Material in this book originally appeared in the form of audiotapes of Dr. Wayne Dyer’s lectures when he still walked this earth, and from those, the team at Hay House did a great job seamlessly creating his final book.
In these pages Dr. Dyer talks about accessing your higher self, quieting the ego, and how to harness the power of visualization, be authentically free, and train your mind to approach things from a higher state of consciousness. If you love philosophical and spiritual concepts, then this book is a must-read.
7. Change the Story by Kristine Pidkameny
This is a guided journal full of forward-moving energy, uplifting quotes, and practical prompts for “inspiring awareness and action today and beyond.” It has a thick cardboard cover and fabric spine and contains activities to help propel your life journey.
You’ll begin with some warmup writing prompts, do some mental exercises to reconnect with your true self, explore your inner landscape so you can really define your dreams, and then start taking actual steps to realize your vision, practice self-care to support your larger purpose, and practice staying motivated.
8. Wild Beauty: Wisdom & Recipes for Natural Self-Care by Jana Blankenship
Well-being isn’t just meditation and journaling. It comes in many forms, and finding solace and joy in aspects of natural beauty-self-care can be pretty awesome too. This aesthetically pleasing book contains stories and recipes that help you reconnect to nature every day through DIY skin care, hair care, mental well-being, essential oils and the power of aromatics, and more.
Even if you’re not into DIY projects, this book can help you understand ingredient lists and become wiser about the products you choose to use in your daily rituals. It’s penned by the creator of the nautically inspired beauty company Captain Blankenship.
9. Total Meditation: Practices in Living the Awakened Life by Deepak Chopra, MD
You’ve likely heard of this author, who’s been at the forefront of the meditation revolution in the West for the past 30 years. He has, after all, written more than 20 bestsellers and countless other books. In his latest, he discusses practices you can make in your life to live fully awake (this is a great read in combination with The Power of Awakening by Dr. Wayne Dyer).
The book guides you through a transformative process to awaken your body, mind, and spirit so you can be more aware and live from a place of higher consciousness all the time… not just during your 10-minute “meditation session.” There’s even a 52-week program of meditations to help you relieve stress all year and really shape your own reality in a more mindful way.
10. WishCraft: A Complete Beginner’s Guide to Magickal Manifesting for the Modern Witch by Sakura Fox
Looking to find those glimmers and create a bit more magic in your everyday rituals? If you’ve ever made a wish on a birthday candle, you’ve already begun practicing WishCraft. “Making a wish is simply an expression of a desire,” as the author notes, and we often do that many times each day without even realizing it.
The power of intention can have a mega impact on positive change in your life, and this book will guide you in ways to focus those desires and that “wishing energy” so you can manifest your best life, including 39 little easy-to-follow wishing rituals.
Note: This book is specifically written in a way directed toward women, but anyone who desires a bit more cosmic sparkle in their life will enjoy.
11. Chatter: The Voice in Our Head, Why It Matters, and How to Harness It by Ethan Kross
Our inner voice can be helpful, but when it becomes that incessant stream of negative chatter, it can be pretty harmful. In this book, award-winning psychologist Ethan Kross examines why we talk to ourselves, when it can backfire, and how occasionally thinking to ourselves in the third person can be helpful.
He also looks at what part social media plays in our modern “chatter” and how spending time outside can be a balm to our inner mind, and he provides guidance on how to put together your own “tool box” so you can steer clear of those negative thought spirals. We found this book to be chock-full of fascinating scientific studies and beneficial insights.
Chatter hits shelves January 26.
12. Mindful Living Journal & Mindful Living Inspiration Cards by Katie Rose
If you’re attracted to the whole blush-and-rose-gold vibe, you’re going to love this journal and card deck. The journal (with flexible cover) or the deck on its own is great, but we find the duo incredibly worthwhile. Both invite you to live more consciously and deepen the mindful moments in your life, blending the “energetic plane with the practical realm.”
It’s full of prompts, of course, but there are no rules: Write free-form, scribble poetry, or fill your journal with drawings if you wish. You’ll find sections on compassion, gratitude, developing a “sacred outlook,” connecting with nature, intention and manifestation, discovering your life path, and spiritual activism.
The card deck has 36 affirmations for mind, body, and spirit, offering wisdom from Ayurveda and yoga philosophy — and we love that it comes with a little fold-out stand for your card of the day.
The journal and deck are both out on March 21.
Shop this book and tarot deck online.
Naomi Farr is the books editor and a copy editor at Greatist. She loves focusing on all things books, beauty, wellness, and mental health. She’s also a YA fantasy writer and bookstagrammer. You can find her (and her cat) @avioletlife.