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  • Writer's pictureBrigitte Granger

30 of the Best Motivational Books

Words motivate. The next time you need some inspiration to take action, look to a good book! Whether you’re trying to find your life’s purpose or are hoping to get back to a healthy routine, pick up a motivational book to get your head in the right place.

Need suggestions? Here’s a roundup of 30 of the best motivational books suggested by the Supporti community!

Life Purpose

1. How Will You Measure Your Life? By Clayton Christensen, James Allworth, and Karen Dillon

Late Harvard professor Clayton Christensen shared his guidelines for how he found meaning and happiness in life. A quick read, this book is inspired by a graduation speech that focuses on some of life’s most pressing questions.

2. The Five People You Meet in Heaven by Mitch Albom

This one inspires through story—through the eyes of a man who awakens in the afterlife and meets five people who help him understand the meaning of his time on earth.

3. Unlimited: A Three-Step Plan for Achieving Your Dreams by Jillian Michaels

Known for her tough love in fitness, Jillian Michaels’ gives her no-nonsense take on finding your life’s purpose by getting real around the attitude and skills you need to level up.

4. Awakening Your Ikigai: How the Japanese Wake Up to Joy and Purpose Every Day by Ken Mogi

Learn about how some of the world’s longest-living people enjoy happy and meaningful lives through ikigai—the Japanese concept of your “reason to get up in the morning.”

5. 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

Looking for happiness? Read how Gretchen Rubin experimented with various projects over the course of a year in pursuit of happiness in this #1 New York Times Bestseller.

6. Find Your Why: A Practical Guide for Discovering Purpose for You and Your Team by Simon Sinek, David Mead, and Peter Docker

This is an actionable guide to help you uncover the why, how, and what within your organization, inspired by Sinek’s famous TED talk on Start with Why.

Health & Well-being

7. Why We Sleep: Unlocking the Power of Sleep and Dreams by Matthew Walker

We spend so much of our lives asleep, but sleep itself is not very well understood. Recent science has uncovered some of the fascinating facts about sleep and how it impacts every aspect of our physical and mental health. Check out Walker’s book to learn more.

8. The Miracle Morning: The Not-So-Obvious Secret Guaranteed to Transform Your Life by Hal Elrod

A popular pick among Supporti buddies, Hal Elrod explains why you should make time for personal development as the first thing you do when you wake up.

9. The Blue Zones, Second Edition: 9 Lessons for Living Longer From the People Who've Lived the Longest by Dan Buettner

What’s the secret to living longer? Dan Buettner talks to communities with some of the oldest-living people in the world and uncovers what practices lead to longevity.

10. Keep Sharp: Build a Better Brain at Any Age by Sanjay Gupta

This science-based book focuses on what really matters for helping your brain function optimally no matter how old you are.

11. In Defense of Food: An Eater's Manifesto by Michael Pollan

Michael Pollan sheds light on the paradox that despite American obsession with nutrition, our diets have become less healthy. He makes a compelling case for eating more naturally and nutritiously, and does so with simple, sound advice that you can put into action immediately.

12. Declutter Your Mind: How to Stop Worrying, Relieve Anxiety, and Eliminate Negative Thinking by S.J. Scott, Barrie Davenport

Mental health is as important for well-being as physical health. This book provides tips and strategies for taking control of your thoughts and to limit worrying.


13. Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance by Angela Duckworth

A shared trait among high-achievers is that they often have both passion and perseverance. If you’re striving for big things, learn how to increase your grit to get through challenges.

14. Designing Your Life: How to Build a Well-Lived, Joyful Life by Bill Burnett and Dave Evans

If you’re thinking about what comes next for your career, don’t miss this novel approach that uses design thinking techniques to help you brainstorm a future for yourself that’s meaningful and fulfilling.

15. What Got You Here Won't Get You There: How Successful People Become Even More Successful by Marshall Goldsmith

Marshall Goldsmith reveals the unconscious habits that hold you back from succeeding towards your big goals.

16. In Transition: From the Harvard Business School Club of New York's Career Management Seminar by Mary Lindley Burton and Richard A Wedemeyer

This book is adapted from the hit seminar that has helped more than a thousand Harvard MBAs achieve their career goals. Use the exercises in the book to understand your strengths and identify what you really want out of your job.

17. What Color is Your Parachute? by Richard N. Bolles and Katharine Brooks

This is a must-read for job hunters looking for the right fit. Using the Flower Exercise, this approach will help you evaluate your passions, traits, and transferable skills to create your dream job.

18. You Are A Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life by Jen Sincero

If you like frank talk and don’t mind a bit of cursing, Jen Sincero’s books hit the spot. She helps you get in the right headspace to move your dreams forward and create a life you love.


19. Mindset: The New Psychology of Success by Carol Dweck

Carol Dweck is one of the foremost researchers in the field of psychology. In this book, she explains the difference between a fixed mindset and a growth mindset, and how having the right mindset can help you succeed.

20 Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead by Brené Brown

If vulnerability makes you uncomfortable, you’re doing it right. Brené Brown uses her research to explain why putting yourself out there is the key to experiencing the best life has to offer.

21. Feeding the Soul (Because It's My Business): Finding Our Way to Joy, Love, and Freedom by Tabitha Brown

A few words of wisdom can shift your perspective in the darkest of times. Tabitha Brown is like a beloved auntie who helps you refocus on the things that matter most: love, joy, and feeling seen.

22. Failing Forward: Turning Mistakes into Stepping Stones for Success by John C Mackwell

How you respond to failure can make or break your success in life. Learn how other people have failed in the past and how they overcame it, and see how you too can rebound from failure.

23. Unf*ck Yourself: Get Out of Your Head and into Your Life by Gary John Bishop

For those who need some tough love, Gary John Bishop offers tools and advice to let go of the things that are weighing you down. The book can motivate you by helping you control your thoughts and inner dialog.

24. Make Your Bed: Little Things That Can Change Your Life...And Maybe the World by Admiral William H. McRaven

It’s the little things that add up to big change. Admiral McRaven provides solid life lessons and explains why something as simple as making your bed can lead to masterful changes. The Admiral’s anecdotes as a Navy SEAL make this read particularly engaging.


25. Atomic Habits: An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones by James Clear

One of the most clear (James Clear, ha!) frameworks for thinking about habits and behavior, and how to use different levels to start a new positive habit, or get rid of a bad one.

26. Good Habits, Bad Habits: The Science of Making Changes that Stick by Wendy Wood

If you're the type of person who is motivated by the facts, then Wendy Wood’s collection of well-researched science about habits and actionable strategies for how to start making real behavioral change will make you want to put the book down and spring into action.

27. Tiny Habits: The Small Changes That Change Everything by BJ Fogg

Stanford professor BJ Fogg’s approach to habits is extremely actionable and simple, and it means you can start right now. It helps you build habits so that you don’t need much to start putting wheels in motion.

28. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change by Stephen R. Covey

Many readers have described this classic as transformational in its impact. The seven strategies in this book continue to inspire those looking to lead more productive lives.

29. The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing by Marie Kondo

Keeping tidy comes down to creating systems in your home and building habits for putting objects back after you use them. Marie Kondo’s famous book will drive you to go through your house and evaluate whether your possessions spark joy or not.

30. The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business by Charles Duhigg

Understanding habits and how to use them to achieve your goals with this New York Times Bestseller, a must-read in the world of habit-building.

Be sure to bookmark this page so that the next time you're looking for suggestions for what to read (or need some support), this list has got you covered.

What books inspired you into action? Share them with us to include in future lists!


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