13 Mindfulness Books To Read If You Want To Be More Present

“Mindfulness” is a bit of a buzzword at the moment, especially now that prioritizing our mental health more (about damn time!). However, understanding what the concept actually means and putting it into practice in our own lives is a bit more complicated. If you’re not sure how to get started and want some guidance from those who have mastered the practice, here are some great mindfulness books to help you on your journey.

  1. “The Miracle of Mindfulness” by Thich Nhat Hanh This is a classic of the genre written by a literal Zen master, so he knows what he’s talking about. “The Miracle of Mindfulness not only offers personal stories from Hanh’s life but also gives plenty of exercises to start your own practice.
  2. “Wherever You Go, There You Are” by Jon Kabat-Zinn The author of this book also happens to be the inventor of the Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) program, so he knows what he’s talking about. “Wherever You Go…” explores the concept of mindfulness and offers simple practices for everyday life. He’s written more than a dozen books, but this is one of his best.
  3. “Radical Acceptance” by Tara Brach You don’t have to be religious or even spiritual to appreciate Brach’s book, which is rooted in Buddhist teachings. This is one of those mindfulness books that doesn’t just examine the elements in your life that are holding you back, it also gives you meaningful ways forward to find freedom.
  4. “The Gift of Presence: A Mindfulness Guide for Women” by Caroline Welch Human beings all have many of the same struggles regardless of gender, but women’s experiences can often feel more emotionally fraught and our challenges more unique. That’s why Welch’s book is so helpful. It focuses on the four things women need to live more fulfilling lives: presence, purpose, pivoting, and pacing. If you only read one mindfulness book on this list, make it this one.
  5. “Good Vibes, Good Life” by Vex King You may be familiar with King from his incredibly successful Instagram account, but if not, you’re in for a treat. This is less of a straightforward mindfulness guide and instead utilizes self-love and positive self-talk as a path to living your best, most authentic life. King offers up some of his own relevant and relatable experiences to illustrate just how possible it is to overcome adversity with the power of your mind.
  6. “The Power of Now” by Eckhart Tolle If you’ve heard of any of the mindfulness books on this list before, it’s probably this one. Tolle’s spiritual enlightenment guide might be a little la-di-da for some, but it packs some powerful messages about how we treat ourselves and our ability to see ourselves clearly. It’s an international bestseller for a reason!
  7. “The Practice of Not Thinking” by Ryunosuke Koike Sometimes mindfulness is less about what’s going on in our brains than it is about shutting all of that stuff down. Here, Koike proposes focusing our attention outside of ourselves to find peace and understanding in our daily lives.
  8. “Manifest: 7 Steps to Living Your Best Life” by Roxie Nafousi Nafousi describes herself as the “Queen of Manifesting,” and she is pretty good at teaching those of us who are easily distracted how to focus our minds and energy to get the things we want in life. She hopes that by the end of the book, you’ll feel empowered to make the changes you desire.
  9. “The Little Book of Mindfulness” by Patrizia Collard If you’re someone who doesn’t have a lot of time to focus on mindfulness but understands its importance, Collard’s book is for you. She claims that in just 10 minutes a day, you can find much more balance and harmony in your life, and she lays out specific practices you can employ to make it happen.
  10. “How to Stop Overthinking: The 7-Step Plan To Control and Eliminate Negative Thoughts, Declutter Your Mind, and Start Thinking Positively in 5 Minutes or Less” by Chase Hill and Scott Sharp Hill and Sharp pretty much say it all in the title here. The book is for chronic overanalyzers who often feel paralyzed by their need to obsessively and repeatedly go over every last detail of an event, conversation, etc. You’ll get the skills to stop that toxicity in its tracks and find freedom.
  11. “Mindfulness For Beginners” by Graham Cann If you really are starting from ground zero when it comes to mindfulness, this is one of those books that kind of spells it out all for you without making you feel like an idiot. Cann makes mindfulness accessible and understandable, not to mention less intimidating.
  12. “Real Happiness” by Sharon Salzberg If you want a little structure to your mindfulness practice, Salzberg offers a 28-day meditation program in “Real Happiness” that works for all levels, whether you’re brand new to the idea or you consider yourself a seasoned pro. The latest version released for the book’s 10th anniversary also includes guided meditations, journal prompts, and other exercises.
  13. “The Art of Being” by Erich Fromm We’re all so obsessed with our phones and other technology that we’re constantly distracted from ourselves. Fromm’s aim is to restore our sense of self so we can achieve clarity, calm, and a true sense of self.
Jennifer Still is a writer and editor with more than 10 years of experience. The managing editor of Bolde, she has bylines in Vanity Fair, Business Insider, The New York Times, Glamour, Bon Appetit, and many more. You can follow her on Twitter @jenniferlstill