Books, Websites and Apps to Help in Your Quest for a Healthier Mind and Life

As a follow-up to my post on mindfulness last week, these are some of the resources and tools that have been vital in my quest for a healthier mind and life. I hope they’re helpful to you as well. You can also view and/or print these resources as a handy PDF. Enjoy!

 

Books on Mindfulness

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Books on mindfulness!

I love books. The paper kind you can pull off a shelf and hold in your hands. These are some books that have taught me the most about mindfulness over the years.

The Mindfulness Edge
By Matt Tenney and Tim Gard
This book offers a compelling personal and business case for mindfulness. With neuroscientist notes throughout, for those who want to dig deeper into the research. Best of all, practical tips and exercises you can start using right away.

A New Earth
By Eckhart Tolle
Profound. It blew my mind open when I first read it in 2006. I can’t summarize this book adequately myself, so here, from amazon.com: “Tolle shows how transcending our ego-based state of consciousness is not only essential to personal happiness, but also the key to ending conflict and suffering throughout the world.”

The Seat of the Soul
By Gary Zukav
A thought-provoking exploration of who we are as humans and how we can harness our own source of authentic power from within vs. seeking it externally through climbing corporate ladders, needing stuff, or having wars. Originally published in 1989, but just as relevant today. Includes mindfulness exercises and study questions, so it could be great for a book club if that’s your thing.

The Power of Less
By Leo Babauta
A blueprint for taking your life back from the clutter, distractions and too-much-busyness that have become a modern way of life for so many of us.

The Gifts of Imperfection
By Brené Brown
Not technically about “mindfulness” but it’s related enough for me to include it here. Mostly because I love Brené Brown. I know she’s just a regular human like all of us, but she’s also a superhero. If everyone listened to her, the world would be a lot better. To me, this book is about connecting with yourself and developing self-compassion. It offers a roadmap for practicing greater presence, courage, compassion and connection with others in your daily life.

Buddhist Meditation for Beginners
By Jack Kornfield
An audiobook I first listened to on CDs in 2010. This is a collection of Kornfield’s most popular teachings and an easy entry point for someone who wants to learn meditation.

Awakening the Buddha Within
By Lama Surya Das
A simple but thorough introduction to the ancient wisdom and enlightenment trainings of Buddhism. Includes deep dives on seeing reality and ourselves as we really are, cultivating virtue and self-discipline, and practicing concentration and present-moment awareness.

The Alchemist
By Paulo Coelho
We all have a whisper inside. A voice trying to nudge us toward fulfilling our greatest potential in life. This beautiful story about a young shepherd boy helped me stop ignoring that whisper.

Lead Yourself First
By Raymond M. Kethledge and Michael S. Erwin
Solitude is where we find clarity and perspective. This book offers stories about the power of solitude, including the role solitude played in important decisions and innovations throughout history. And it offers a case for why and how we can carve out time for becoming better leaders of ourselves, so that we can be better leaders for others.

Daily Self Discipline
By Martin Meadows
Ever set a goal or commit to a new habit (like going to the gym, eating better, sleeping more, using your phone less…), but then lose momentum within a few weeks? This book will help you understand how to create new habits, build mental strength and become more resilient so you can push through temptations and stick to what’s important.

 

Websites on Mindfulness

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Websites on mindfulness!

Sometimes, I don’t want to commit to 200 or 300 pages in a book. I just want a quick dive into a topic. If that’s you right now, here are a few websites.

Wait … What is Mindfulness, Again?
In as few words as possible, mindfulness is: being present. Here are 20 other definitions to consider from mindfulness experts and organizations.

Mindful.org
Online home of Mindful magazine. They’ve got articles and resources on a wide range of topics. Lots to look through if you’re in the mood for exploring.

Getting Started Guide
Getting started with anything can be hard, because, well, where do you start? This page from mindful.org offers a bunch of suggestions.

Assess Your Stress
Practicing mindfulness is a foundational skill we all can develop and exercise. Sometimes we need to see the current state more clearly before we’re ready to make changes.

60 Minutes w/Anderson Cooper
TV news anchor Anderson Cooper was skeptical about mindfulness. So he went to a mindfulness retreat to figure out what all the hype’s about. This is his 13-minute journey.

 

Apps on Mindfulness

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Apps on mindfulness!

Our smartphones may be a source of distraction. But they can also be our best friend when it comes learning and practicing mindfulness. Funny how that works, isn’t it?

Headspace
Basics are free, pay to subscribe when you’re ready for more
This app was the key to helping me go from someone who WANTED to practice mindfulness to someone who actually does. It’s not a meditation app. It’s a how-to-be-in-the-present-moment app.

I can’t say for sure what results anyone else might get, but it helps me:

  • tune in to deeper self knowledge
  • open my mind and heart to new discoveries, even those that challenge what I already feel or know
  • cultivate compassion and gratitude
  • tap into creative flow
  • take courageous actions aligned with my deepest desires

If you challenge yourself to use this app every day for 10 days, there is no way you won’t be better off for it.

Stats from My Headspace Dashboard
It’s not about racking up mindful minutes, but seeing progress can be motivating.


Moment
Free basic edition or small fee for full functionality and reporting
What this app reveals to you could be scary. Not scary in the Freddy Krueger kind of way, but scary in the VERY-ALARMING-I-BETTER-MAKE-A-CHANGE way. Because spending 3, 4 or 5 hours a day checking, reacting, responding, scrolling, snapchatting, or whatever you do most on your smartphone, not only sucks your energy but also causes you to need reading glasses sooner (or to increase your Rx if you already wear them). And just imagine what else you could be doing with all those minutes and hours?

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Stats like these help you keep an eye on your smartphone use, and adjust when you need to.

 

And, last but not least…

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Want to keep these resources handy for future reference? You can view, download, save or print here: Mindfulness Resource Guide (PDF).

Want to be among the first to know when I post new content on mindfulness and other personal leadership topics? You can do that here: Subscribe to my blog by email.

What books, apps or other resources help you? Share in the comments below.

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