Our pick of the 10 best wellbeing books of 2021 so far

Stories for the Soul
8 min readJun 21, 2021

by Anne Blackburn

As we as a nation finally come out of lockdown and enter a world different to the one we remember from all those months ago, self-care has never been of greater importance. Mental well-being is a priority and so in order to help strengthen yours, here are the top 10 wellbeing books released in the first half of 2021.

Aromatherapy For Mental Wellbeing

Achieving good mental health and wellbeing in today’s world is challenging, and requires a toolkit of support options. Aromatherapy and more importantly blends of different essential oils utilises a direct pathway to our moods and emotions — our sense of smell.

In her bestselling book, Julia Oyeleye has combined her 22 years of clinical practice and experience as a teacher, with advice from other published aromatherapists and research scientists. It contains a practical 7 step guide to creating essential oil blends, 30 essential oil profiles and a place for you to record your own recipes so you can confidently use aromatherapy to support yours and your family’s mental wellbeing.

By Julia Oyeleye, available from Amazon. Paperback: £14.99

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Life: The Furnace of Your Soul

This inspirational book is a raw record of Laura’s tumultuous past and the step-by-step process she used to change her life and make her dreams come true. It’s a story of healing, transformation, and the power of unconditional love.

Within the pages, Laura openly shares her personal tragedy and the methods she used to rise up and transform her life. She takes readers by the hand and walks them through the process, sharing insights, journal prompts, and exercises to help create lasting change. With her strength, humour, and loving heart, Laura shows readers that they aren’t alone and true change is possible. This book is for anyone who wants to step into their power and make changes to their life but doesn’t know where to start. With love, honesty, and tremendous insight, Laura shows us that anything is possible and that anything you’ve dreamed of can be yours once you decide to take control of your life.

By Laura Hurubaru, available from Amazon. Paperback: £9.99

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Creativity: Stepping into Wholeness

This invigorating read is an in-depth exploration into the importance of nurturing creativity. In a society that focuses on achievement and competition, creativity for its own sake tends to be undervalued. Dr Ferrara uses scholarly research and personal experience to show the reader that not only is creativity to be valued, but it is, in fact, essential for one’s wellbeing.

Using evidence from a wide variety of sources, Dr Ferrara illustrates various ways creativity is stifled in young people and devalued by a patriarchal society that focuses mainly on power and conquest. Not only does she show how creativity can enhance a person’s wellbeing, but she also offers practical ways to develop and nurture one’s creativity by sharing personal journeys, her own as well as others.

This book is the perfect guide to nurturing creativity and embracing a more holistic way of being.

By Dr Helen Ferrara, available from Amazon. Paperback: £10.99

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Falling Awake — A Heroine’s Journey

A powerful true story about breaking free from the past and living a life beyond expectations. Falling Awake — A Heroine’s Journey is a is a riveting and wild new memoir by Victoria Smisek, published by Unbound Press. This powerful book is the true story of a woman who breaks away from the past and learns to embrace her true wild and wise nature. Victoria takes readers on a journey spanning years and miles across the globe, showing that it is never too late for a woman to set herself free and live her life as she pleases.

When a brain haemorrhage forced Victoria to stop and reassess her life at the age of 40, she knew it was time to make a change. She began to recognise the destructive patterns she had been repeating through her life from a very young age and sought ways to free herself and move forward.

Victoria’s raw, honest, occasionally hilarious and always heartfelt story is an inspiration for those who want a new beginning but feel it’s too late, and it’s for anyone ready to embrace their own wise, wild and free selves. As the world around us changes drastically each day, it’s vital to seize each moment and step into our power now.

By Victoria Smisek, available from Amazon. Paperback: 12.37

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Upside Down: How to Turn Your Thinking Upside Down

This ground-breaking new book provides a fresh perspective on how the nervous system works and how anyone can use their emotions as a guide to self-healing. Dr. Glen’s empowering book offers a unique blend of science, psychology, and spirituality as he provides numerous “real life” examples of his own journey to understanding the nervous system, along with some of his clients over the last decade.

According to Dr. Glen, “every emotion you feel has to be honored” and that, now more than ever, it’s crucial to identify the old belief systems that are not conducive to living a healthy, happy, and fulfilled life. Each person has an internal navigation system — a central intelligence — that needs to be acknowledged instead of ignored. Dr. Glen’s transformational book offers tools and techniques based on years of research; and is an invaluable resource for modern times, especially considering the global mental health crisis that has only been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. The approach adopted in ‘Upside Down’ is all about taking the danger symptoms — breaking free of the vicious cycle of the three T’s — Triggers, Trauma and Toxicity — all associated with strong emotional responses; diffusing those emotions by putting the power back in your hands through this nervous system approach, and then lastly addressing the limiting thoughts and beliefs that have been stored in your body — as opposed to the traditional therapeutic way of starting with tackling thoughts first, then feelings and actions to promote self-esteem.

By Dr Glen Hong, available from Amazon. Paperback: £11.52

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8 Wise Ways to a Healthier Happier Mind

8 Wise Ways to a Healthier Happier Mind by qualified psychotherapist, coach and corporate trainer Kim Rutherford, is ideal for those who are looking to take back control of their mental health and to begin the process of feeling better about themselves and all aspects of their lives.

8 Wise Ways is based on 8Wise™, a tried and tested formula that Kim uses with both her coaching and corporate clients; helping those who have mental health issues to gain a sense of purpose, be actively involved in both their work and personal lives, have hobbies that are satisfying, find happiness, have joyful relationships, and assisting them with looking at ways to cultivate a healthy body and living environment.

Kim believes that our wellness is a combination of eight core dimensions and that by achieving balance across these dimensions, anyone reading the book can take steps to improve their quality of life in every area.

The book has been written for those looking to bring some balance to their lives, because the real pandemic is the mental health crisis that was already looming prior to COVID-19. 2021 is a year for each individual to take back control of their mental health, and so this book will help the reader with taking their first steps towards becoming more resilient.

By Kim Rutherford, available for pre-order from Amazon. Paperback: £12.49

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It Is What It Is!

It Is What It Is is a personal account of the many universal lessons Marie-Claire Donnelly was taught during lockdown. From the outset of the pandemic, she made a conscious decision not to despair over the enormous changes and severe restrictions, and instead chose to view it as a learning experience.

Marie-Claire shares her story and her wisdom in the pages of It Is What It Is as she walks us through her days of home schooling, livestreaming on social media for the first time, mishaps with children and pets, and the importance of faith, self-acceptance, and ultimately, self-love.

It Is What It Is offers all readers a chance for reflection and growth with the belief statements, affirmations and questions posed at the end of each chapter. Marie-Claire suggests that readers keep a journal while they read, and that by doing the exercises, they will gain personal insights and transformations.

This book will appeal to anyone who has experienced similar trials in lockdown, or who is looking for ways to make the best of the situation we are all still suffering through. It is ideal to give everyone a little bit of hope and motivation in playing their part in returning the world to a place of love.

By Marie-Claire Donnelly, Available from Amazon. Paperback: 10.99

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Natural Magic For The Modern Goddess

Natural Magic for the Modern Goddess is a mindful tool for spiritual empowerment, to help you craft the very best version of yourself as you learn to embody the unique energies of nature and the moon through mindful journalling, energy work and guided meditations that are tailored holistically to the three areas of your health — mind, body and spirit.

Along the way, you will learn to weave the gentle support of natural therapies, essential oils, crystals and flowers into your health and wellbeing; discovering a deeper connection between all three aspects in order to enjoy balanced and harmonious health. Each part of the book is interlaced with Lisa’s personal story: in an exquisitely heartfelt manner, she shares with her readers an account of how she came to stand in her light after many years that were interspersed with darkness and struggle, with a view to gently empowering and encouraging others to strive towards their dreams.

By Lisa Melbourne, available from Amazon. Paperback: £8.18

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Awaken the Guru in You

If you are one of those people who have ever regretted not listening to your intuitive vibe, then this book — written by psychic medium and intuitive advisor Trish Ottone — is for you!

Awaken the Guru in You is all about learning to listen and trust that little intuitive voice when it nudges you. This book is a powerful guide that teaches you how to develop and cultivate your own intuitive powers. It will lead you to experiencing an ease and richness of life that you have never known and explain what being ‘in the flow’ really means. It is a powerful guide with proven techniques shared alongside the real-life stories and Divine lessons of a professional intuitive with over two decades of experience.

By Trish Ottone, available from Amazon. Paperback: £11.17

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The Message

The Message is an important, transformative and powerful new guidebook for modern times. Written by spiritual teacher, Julianna Lovett it delivers uplifting messages of self-acceptance, empowerment and freedom. The Message will open your heart to the truth of who you are, and who you have always been. The Message is a beautifully poetic guide for reclaiming and evolving the human experience. If you were a lover of The Secret, then this wonderful book will speak to your heart and to the deepest parts of you, time and again.

Everywhere we turn we are told to follow “the rules” if we want to feel safe, loved and accepted. But whose rules? And why don’t we feel confident and safe as the extra rules governing our day-to-day activities pile on? The answer, according to The Message, is because in life there really are no rules. The only way out of the chaos is taking full responsibility for our lives, on every level. This can feel overwhelming when someone first wakes up and realizes that, in the immortal words of the Talking Heads, “how did I get here?”

The Message was written for anyone who has reached a crossroads in their lives, or anyone who is feeling overwhelmed or caught up in negativity and fear. It is the perfect gift for a loved one in today’s landscape of chaos, disconnection and upheaval.

By Julianna Lovett, available from Amazon. Paperback: £5.04

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Stories for the Soul

A collection of soul-led stories, articles, news and features, shared in the hope they can enrich the readers wellbeing and soul.