With the winter season now in full swing, the excitement and beauty of snow tends to be overshadowed by the less attractive parts of winter: it’s cold, it’s dark, and most time is spent indoors. If you find that you’re struggling to feel like yourself this season, you’re not alone. Studies show that over 20% of the population deals with varying forms of the winter blues¹.
Here are some great books to help get you out of a seasonal funk, bring back your confidence, or maybe just put a smile on your face.
Girl, Wash Your Face by Rachel Hollis
In her best-selling book, popular lifestyle blogger and media company CEO Rachel Hollis outlines twenty deeply-ingrained lies and misconceptions that often get in the way of a happy and productive life, and shares how these lies affected her own life before she was able to kick them to the curb. This book will give you the encouraging push you need to get your life together and start living confidently and happily, with practical strategies and touching anecdotes that will help make you feel less alone.
How to Stop Feeling Like Sh*t by Andrea Owen
How to Stop Feeling Like Sh*t takes a no-nonsense approach to feeling better and breaking bad habits. Whether it be the hard-to-admit facts or a blunt wake-up call, nationally renowned life coach Andrea Owen is dedicated to getting you to stop feeling bad for yourself and start on the path to a happier, more fulfilling life. The short chapters make this book easy to read sporadically, perfect for those who struggle with energy in the colder months.
Gmorning, Gnight!: Little Pep Talks for Me & You by Lin-Manuel Miranda
Widely known as the creative force behind Broadway’s hit sensation Hamilton, Lin-Manuel Miranda has been writing and inspiring for years. Even before his career skyrocketed, Miranda would use the social media platform Twitter to share words of encouragement, aphorisms, and poetry with himself and his followers. In this book, he compiles a collection of his favorite Tweets and messages, all illustrated by famous artist Jonny Sun.
I’m Judging You: The Do-Better Manual by Luvvie Ajayi
In her debut book, popular blogger Luvvie Ajayi provides comedic and nuanced insight on the current obsessions of the modern world, including the growing dependence on social media and technology. Whether it’s Shonda Rhimes’s newest hit television series, representation of minorities in media, or family Facebook blunders, Ajayi manages to blend a healthy dose of the hard truth with sharp wit and solid advice on how to do better in a world that is just as harsh and self-involved as it is rewarding.
Furiously Happy: A Funny Book About Horrible Things by Jenny Lawson
Some say laughter is the best medicine. For Jenny Lawson, laughter is extra effective against her mental illness, especially when what she’s laughing about is her crippling anxiety and depression. In Furiously Happy, Jenny goes over the funny ways her mental health has affected her life, and the way of thinking that has kept her happy and strong all these years. This book inspires us to celebrate all parts of ourselves—the good, the bad, and the ugly—and use them as fuel for the best type of medicine.
A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman
Ove is the textbook definition of a grumpy old scrooge, and everyone who lives near him knows it. But what they don’t know is that Ove’s gruffness hides a lifetime of sadness and pain. When a happy-go-lucky nuclear family moves in next door, their lives collide quite literally with Ove’s through the accidental smashing of his mailbox. But as the family gets to know the cranky curmudgeon next door, they begin to realize the humor, depth, and sadness that hides underneath Ove’s prickly exterior. When you finish the book, be sure to check out the award-winning movie as well.
The Wangs vs. the World by Jade Chang
The Wangs vs. the World is an outrageously funny tale about a wealthy Chinese-American family that “loses it all, then takes a healing, uproarious road trip across the United States” (Entertainment Weekly). Their spectacular fall from riches to rags brings the Wangs together in a way money never could. It’s an epic family saga and an entirely fresh look at what it means to belong in America, and guaranteed to bring a smile to your face.
Hector and the Search for Happiness by François Lelord
Young psychiatrist Hector is thoroughly dissatisfied with his life, but he doesn’t plan to stay that way. Instead of accepting his fate, Hector decides to travel around the world in an attempt to discover what it is that truly makes people happy. Over the course of his journeys, Hector meets and befriends an entire cast of characters, all against the backdrop of some of the world’s most culturally and visually stimulating locales.
The Friend by Sigrid Nunez
Sometimes when we’re down, we need a good pep-talk or push in the right direction. Other times, we just need to smile and read a heartwarming tale about a dog. When her mentor and ex-lover passes away, a writer inherits his Great Dane. As she mourns her friend, the dog mourns its owner, and the two form an inseparable bond through their grief. Winner of the 2018 National Book Award for Fiction, you’ll laugh, cry, and breathe sighs of relief while reading this beautiful tale.
The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin
A. J. Fikry, the irascible owner of Island Books, has recently endured some tough years: his wife has died, his bookstore is experiencing the worst sales in its history, and his prized possession–a rare edition of Poe poems–has been stolen. Over time, he has given up on people, and even the books in his store, instead of offering solace, are yet another reminder of a world that is changing too rapidly. Until a most unexpected occurrence gives him the chance to make his life over and see things anew.
The Princess Bride: S. Morgenstern’s Classic Tale of True Love and High Adventure by William Goldman
Regardless of whether you’ve seen the cult-classic movie, The Princess Bride is a book guaranteed to entertain, amuse, and enrapture. The story, about the adventures of the lovable Wesley and Buttercup, is presented by Goldman as the abridged “good parts” version of S. Morgenstern’s longer book (which doesn’t actually exist). Throughout this “abridged” version, Goldman offers commentary on the plot and characters, much like the grandfather in the movie adaptation.