September came and went — and we’re officially back in the swing of things. If you’re like us, you probably hit the ground running after Labor Day. It’s easy to get caught up in the hustle, especially in the months following summer.  Stepping back to reset can be challenging this time of year; sometimes taking a bath or meditating doesn’t necessarily quiet the mind.

Interestingly, reading a book can actually lower stress levels. Research has shown that reading oftentimes works better and faster than other methods used to calm nerves such as listening to music or going for a walk. In a 2009 study, cognitive neuropsychologist Dr. David Lewis found that reading six minutes a day can lower stress by 68%. Not only can reading help ease anxiety, we see it as an efficient way to relax because of the knowledge we gain every time we open a book.

Winter will be here before we know it, but we promise there’s a bright side. As the temperatures continue to drop, we have three books that will help you zen out and get in touch with your inner-hippie.


The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho

What it’s about:

The Alchemist is a novel about Santiago, a shepherd who travels from his home on Spain’s southern coast in search of a treasure. Along the way, he meets a number of symbolic characters a king, a gypsy, a love interest, an alchemist. All of whom bring Santiago one step closer to (or in some cases, farther away from) what he seeks. His journey is filled with themes and lessons that we can translate into our present lives.

Why we love it:

This book enchants and inspires — it’s everything you’d want in a tale about self-discovery. Filled with some of our favorite quotes of all time, The Alchemist is a good reminder that it’s not the destination, but the journey. Cozy up on the couch, light a candle, and get lost in Santiago’s story.

"And, when you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it..."


A New Earth by Eckhart Tolle

 What it’s about:

Simply put, A New Earth is about personal transformation. Throughout its pages, Tolle addresses humanity's ego-based thinking and shifts in consciousness (what he calls “awakening”). He gives honest insight into our current world and offers suggestions on how we can make it better. Tolle narrates in a way that makes you feel as though he’s talking directly to you. And while the subject matter is deep, it’s conveyed in an understandable and engaging way.

Why we love it:

We wouldn’t say that this book is a “light” read, but it will certainly make you think. People have called A New Earth “transformative” and “life-changing.” We’ll let you decide on that one, but what we can tell you is that Tolle takes a complicated theory about inner purpose and makes it relatable. If you were one of the millions of people who read Eckhart Tolle’s first book, The Power of Now, you’ll love this one. If you haven’t read it, we’d recommend that one as well. Oh, and did we mention Oprah recommends them both too?


Western Body, Eastern Mind by Anodea Judith

What it’s about:

Famous for her teachings in psychology and sociology, Ph.D. Anodea Judith breaks down the chakra system in a way that subsetly weaves spirituality with science. She brings a new outlook to Western psychology and personal development while mapping out the Eastern philosophy on chakras.  Western Body, Eastern Mind seamlessly walks us through the characteristics, framework, and patterns of each chakra, taking a pragmatic approach to a subject that can be considered mystical or intangible.

Why we love it:

Ever wonder what your yoga teacher really means when she/he says “ground down through your Muladhara?” Maybe you haven’t or maybe you know; either way, Western Body, Eastern Mind is an insightful read for chakra beginners and experts alike. It gives a refresher on the basics while diving deeper into the social issues. And we love that Dr. Judith offers ways to achieve balance. At the very least, it’ll make for an interesting conversation-starter at your next dinner party.

Don’t let the “do-it-all” mentality take priority this fall. Take advantage of the cold weather — read, relax, and reset!

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