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Ikigai: The Japanese Secret to a Long and Happy Life by Hector Garcia and Francesc Miralles

Do you need a reason to get out of bed? Does every day appear the same as before and is the post-COVID world getting you down in the dumps? The Japanese feel that we all have a reason to get out of bed and go on with our day each morning. The real question is: have you discovered that purpose?

Ikigai is a book that delves deep into the art of living, while attempting to discover the passions and talents that reside inside each person so that each life may be lived with purpose. This book helps you take a step back, and contemplate your daily routine, maybe slow down your busy life and focus on something that is more meaningful to you. Start reading and make some notes while you’re at it!

An interesting takeaway from the book: To live is to move more!

Read this book from our Digital library collection here:

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Reasons to Stay Alive by Matt Haig

Is it an absolutely glorious day outside, and yet you feel empty inside and unable to find joy in it? Matt Haig writes about his experiences around depression, suicidal thoughts, feelings of worthlessness and being overwhelmed with negativity.

The book gives a brutally honest insight into the seemingly endless and dark tunnel of depression, and an equally honest journey of getting out of it through love, support, and some reading and writing! The writer talks about struggles around mental health in a non-preachy manner and the guide is bound to leave you hopeful as you finish the last chapter. Here’s a beautiful quote from the book, one of many passages that make for great reasons to read it asap!

“It may be a dark cloud passing across the sky, but - if that is the metaphor - you are the sky.

You were there before it. And the cloud can't exist without the sky, but the sky can exist without the cloud.”

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Remember This When You're Sad: A book for mad, sad and glad days (*from someone who’s right there) by Maggy Van Eijk

It only takes a few bad experiences in life to make a person start spiralling uncontrollably over a downward path with no hope in sight. Have you ever felt hopeless and thought: ‘I wish someone understood’? Maggy Van Eijk does.

After ending a three-year relationship, getting almost fired from work not once but twice, and ending up in A & E about twelve times, Maggy had every reason to quit. But she didn’t let that year stop her.

The author is open about her own mental health struggles and talks about a variety of mental health issues. The book is funny, insightful, comforting and relatable. Cosy up on a couch, grab a Maggy Van Eijk book for yourself and read through. You’ll be glad that this book exists!

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The Happiness Plan by Elise Billye

What if you could get your hands on a four-week wellness plan with guided meditations, mindfulness practices, recipes on healthy eating and anything and everything in between to reduce stress and worry. Sounds like a tonic, right? The Happiness Plan is exactly that with Dr. Elise Bialylew, an Australian doctor trained in psychiatry and mindfulness taking readers through a transformative journey of defeating those blues and replacing them with a positive and upbeat mood. This book has the power to change your life for the better.

Bonus tip: The Happiness Plan is available in our digital library!

Here’s the link:

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The Happiness Project: Or Why I Spent a Year Trying to Sing in the Morning, Clean My Closets, Fight Right, Read Aristotle, and Generally Have More Fun by Gretchen Rubin

What if your new brilliant idea for a brand new year is to make a plan to work on bettering your life by focusing on one aspect of it, each month? Rubin writes about her happiness project for a twelve-month period in a way that is relatable and gripping. She talks about working on her vitality, focusing on friendships one month and marriage, the other and of course some insights on money and work.

Try this book out and chart out the things that you need to work on, make those lists and goals to improve your life. You will then have your very own Happiness Project!

One of our most favourite takeaway messages from the book: while on a journey of bettering your life, don’t get so hung up on bigger things that you forget to focus on the smaller pleasures of life.