Some books entertain, some are informative, some are thrilling.
But then there are those books that speak directly to your soul and stay with you long after you’re finished reading.
You can easily remember the books that have had a profound impact on your life or have inspired an “aha” moment.
These 27 books fall into that category. Each is a joy to read, interesting to ponder, and will ultimately change something inside of you.
Here are 27 of the top life-changing books to inspire you:
1. Braving the Wilderness: The Quest for True Belonging and the Courage to Stand Alone by Brene Brown
What brings meaning to your life in our polarized society?
Brene Brown offers a new conversation about culture and helps you find your real purpose and sense of belonging.
Brown's vast following appreciates her ability to make a lasting difference in people's lives with her wisdom.
This book might be right for you if you want to learn how to be independent while also being a part of the crowd.
2. Year of Yes: How to Dance It Out, Stand In the Sun and Be Your Own Person by Shonda Rhimes
Imagine what would happen if you said “yes” to every opportunity that came your way.
Rhimes shares her experience of doing just this and how it completely transformed her life.
This genuine book makes people laugh, think, grow confident, and become inspired.
It is an especially good read for people who like to have a sneak peek at the behind-the-scenes of celebrity life.
3. Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear by Elizabeth Gilbert
Discover the passion and joy that you haven't yet uncovered by reading this spiritual and impactful book.
Learn to face down your fears and embrace the things you love.
If you dream of living a life of creativity, Gilbert inspires you to be brave, break out of your creative rut, and follow your dreams.
She is honest and tells it like it is while still being compassionate and conversational.
4. The Life Passion Journal: 102 Powerful Prompts to Crush Self-Doubt and Unlock a Remarkable Life by Barrie Davenport
What is holding you back from experiencing your passions in life?
Davenport offers insightful questions and prompts to not only help you pinpoint what you want, but also instructions on how to attain those dreams.
Each question offered by Davenport will lead you closer to self-discovery with quotes to help inspire and prompt your thinking.
This journal offers space to write your thoughts as well as guidelines to get the most benefit you can out of your journaling habit.
5. Designing Your Life: How to Build a Well-Lived, Joyful Life by Bill Burnett
Before any product is created, it goes through a design process in which experts create the most effective version of the product to best meet its intentions.
Every design begins with a problem that needs solving, so the end result needs to properly address the issue at hand.
When it comes to your life, using design thinking can help you create and live a meaningful and fulfilling existence, no matter what your age is.
You simply need to approach challenges with an open mind and be willing to experiment and go through trial and error to find out what works and make changes to what doesn't work.
6. The Obstacle Is the Way: The Timeless Art of Turning Trials into Triumph by Ryan Holiday
When you come to an obstacle in life, do you stop and freeze? Or worse, turn around?
Persevering through adversity requires turning challenges into opportunities.
If you’re stuck in a rut, you can rethink your problems to make them into advantages by reading this book and applying the lessons that are provided.
The author inspires you with dozens of true stories of the most successful people in history to prove his point that everyone runs into challenges along the way, but that shouldn't be a reason to give up.
7. Tribe of Mentors: Short Life Advice from the Best in the World by Timothy Ferriss
This compilation of advice, tools, and habits from over 130 of the world's most successful people has something to offer for everyone.
Mentors share their stories and insights on how to solve whatever problem you're facing.
Whether you are stuck in a job that you don't love or you can't seem to reach a final goal, people have been in your shoes before and reading this book will give you a new perspective.
Readers appreciate the variety of actionable pieces of wisdom that are provided in each story.
8. You Can Heal Your Life, by Louise L. Hay
If you are willing to put in the mental effort, you can accomplish anything.
The saying “mind over matter” holds a lot of truth in it and when you learn to practice it and apply it to your life, you will see how much you can improve your overall wellbeing.
Your thoughts and actions are responsible for both the good and the bad things that happen in your life, and Hay uses her professional experience to help you heal anything that has gone wrong.
9. Flourish: A Visionary New Understanding of Happiness and Well-being by Martin E.P. Seligman
As the leader of the Positive Psychology movement, Dr. Seligman shies away from the standard goal of psychology to relieve human suffering and focuses more on building strong relationships, cultivating talents, experiencing pleasure, and giving back to the world in which we live.
You need optimism and motivation to get the most out of your life. Seligman offers exercises to help you explore the sources of your happiness, your goals, and your aims.
After reading this book, you will have new tools to help you reach your full potential.
Readers appreciate the inspiring stories that are told in this book that focus on positive psychology and the exercises that help you explore your own attitudes.
10. Declutter Your Mind: How to Stop Worrying, Relieve Anxiety, and Eliminate Negative Thinking, by SJ Scott and Barrie Davenport
Everyone has negative thoughts from time to time, but how do these thoughts affect your life if they're working overtime?
Practicing mindfulness techniques gives you the peace of mind and clarity that you need to live a happy life, and in this book, the authors teach you the habits, practices, and mindsets that you need in order to do just that.
Readers appreciate learning the lasting ability to push aside thoughts that don't matter and only focus on things that are helpful in making progress in life.
Using the practical exercises that are outlined in this book, you will see an immediate positive change in your mindset and your life. Once you are able to clean up your mind, you will find it easier to relax and enjoy life.
11. How to Be an Imperfectionist: The New Way to Self-Acceptance, Fearless Living, and Freedom from Perfectionism, by Stephen Guise
Our society certainly demands perfection at times, but is that truly attainable?
Think of how much freer you would feel if that need to be perfect didn't exist.
Instead of constantly working toward perfection, take simple, yet strategic, actions to learn to let go of perfectionism to live a more satisfying life.
Readers love how relatable this book is because the author clearly admits to no longer being a perfectionist, but knowing what it feels like to be one.
Guise proves to readers through his own personal stories how perfectionism can be overcome.
12. The Bright Hour: A Memoir of Living and Dying, by Nina Riggs
This memoir is both heartwrenching and funny as the author details her life and attitude after being diagnosed with terminal cancer at the age of 37.
The author's journey teaches you how to find beauty during times of turmoil and urges you to cherish each day while living a life filled with happiness and comfort.
She proves that oftentimes, people miss the mark on what is actually important in life, and she urges readers to reconsider their priorities in order to experience true happiness.
13. Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience, by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi
Having the positive state of mind that Csikszentmihalyi refers to as “flow” allows you to have optimally satisfying experiences in life.
While some are already familiar with the idea of being so mindful that you're focusing only on the task at hand and ignoring outside matters, the author digs deeper into this concept to give it a wider context that anyone can relate to.
Readers learn how to control this positive mindset to improve their lives by increasing their potential and finding genuine happiness.
14. 201 Relationship Questions: The Couple’s Guide to Building Trust and Emotional Intimacy, by Barrie Davenport
How well do you feel like you know your partner? How well do you feel you understand your partner?
Knowing the right questions to ask each other builds an ideal relationship and teaches you to address conflict before it impacts your intimacy.
Commit to a joyful relationship by engaging in mutual questioning with the person you love that proactively addresses potential issues and creates a deeper level of compassion and understanding for a lifelong relationship.
Readers appreciate how much this book is able to open up the lines of communication in their relationship and create a foundation for a true commitment.
15. How Will You Measure Your Life?, by Clayton M. Christensen
Learn to live a fulfilling life with the insights and inspiration provided by Christensen.
No matter how old you are or what profession you are in, you can apply the author's observations to your life that will lead to pure satisfaction.
Readers have found this book to be enlightening into their true goals and desires for what they want out of life.
16. 13 Things Mentally Strong People Don't Do: Take Back Your Power, Embrace Change, Face Your Fears, and Train Your Brain for Happiness and Success, by Amy Morin
If you want to increase your resilience, you have to eliminate your destructive thinking.
The strategies provided by Morin are applicable to anyone's life and give you the power to overcome hardships.
17. Emotional Intelligence: Why It Can Matter More Than IQ, by Daniel Goleman
Anyone can develop emotional intelligence, and it is arguably more critical to have for success than a record high IQ.
Learn the skills of emotional intelligence and how this can determine your success in your personal, professional, and physical well-being in this book that offers a new concept of what it means to be smart.
18. Not Nice, by Aziz Gazipura
How easily can you say “no” to people or confidently and directly ask for things that you want?
Learn to be more assertive without feeling the guilt associated with not being nice to liberate your authentic self and get more of the things you want in life.
19. I Hear You: The Surprisingly Simple Skill Behind Extraordinary Relationships, by Michael Sorensen
This quick read teaches you the ins and outs of validation.
The author teaches you techniques to improve your relationships by preventing arguments, increasing respect, and calming the uncertainties of other people.
20. The Element, by Ken Robinson
When your talent and passion collide, you come to a point of high inspiration and achievement.
This “element” reveals your true self at your highest potential.
Written with a sense of humor, this must-read book reveals the conditions that help and hinder the possibility of finding your passion and purpose in life.
21. Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway, by Susan Jeffers
Everyone shares the same fears, but those who know how to turn fear into power are able to overcome these obstacles to improve their lives.
Learn how to power through the unknown with bravery and handle any situation that comes your way.
22. Peace of Mindfulness, by Barrie Davenport
Your life may seem perfect on paper, but do you feel as calm and happy as one might think you should?
By learning the practice of mindfulness, you can enhance your well-being and transform your life into one of tranquility and positive mental health.
Readers appreciate the comprehensive research that is laid out in this book and the author's ability to instill confidence in her readers.
23. The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, by Marie Kondo
Author and Japanese cleaning consultant, Marie Kondo, teaches a cleaning method for readers to use to keep their houses tidy and prevent the common clutter from building up.
Using her method, you can completely organize your home just once and have lasting results so you don't have to continuously pick up after yourself.
Readers appreciate the calm atmosphere they are left with after learning the techniques that are taught in this book.
24. Drive, by Daniel H. Pink
The methods of motivating people have changed throughout the years, and the modern secret to high performance is the innate human need for self-direction, to discover and create new things, and to improve ourselves and the world around us.
People are motivated by intrinsic factors rather than external monetary bonuses that come and go.
Using forty years of research on motivation, the author explains how businesses are not motivating people properly to rise up to the current challenges our society faces.
25. The How of Happiness, by Sonja Lyubomirsky
Based on scientific research, this comprehensive guide explains the elements of happiness.
Readers appreciate the practical, workbook format that offers empowering strategies, quizzes, and exercises to help people understand themselves in a new light.
Lyubomirsky argues that all humans are born with the potential for joy and the ability to sustain it. This might be the right book for you if you are ready to take your happiness into your own hands.
26. 12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos, by Jordan B. Peterson
Using traditional, ancient knowledge along with modern scientific research, Peterson offers a bit of humor as he explains the twelves rules for life that he has found to be true.
The rules laid out in this book are transforming and enable readers to grasp the world, understand how other people think, and why things in life tend to go wrong.
27. The Untethered Soul: The Journey Beyond Yourself, by Michael A. Singer
While the question, “Who are you?” may seem simple, one's identity is actually a complex issue to address.
Singer argues that the answer to this question lies in one's consciousness, ability to observe oneself, and the ability to see the surrounding world.
Using meditation and mindfulness, you learn how developing consciousness can help you live in the present moment and release negative thoughts that prevent you from being happy.
Readers enjoy the light and engaging writing in this book and the simple exercises taught in each chapter that help put the presented lessons into real-life practice.
Whether you are seeking to live a happier life or become more motivated in your job, these inspiring books will help you get there. Start with one or two and implement the changes that it offers to begin transforming yourself into the best you can be.