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Top 10 Must-Reads for Well-Being Pros: 2023 Edition

2-minute read

Whatever your role, invigorate your career and well-being plus inspire others with learnings gleaned from these selections:

  1. Awe: The New Science of Everyday Wonder and How It Can Transform Your Life (2023). Described as a field guide to this mysterious and vital force, the new release from emotions researcher Dacher Keltner may be just what the world needs right now.
  2. Coaching A-Z – The Extraordinary Use of Ordinary Words (2022). Communication researcher Haesun Moon distills a wealth of findings and insights into a simple framework for elevating our dialogues from commonplace to exceptional.
  3. Conversations Worth Having: Using Appreciative Inquiry to Fuel Productive and Meaningful Engagement, 2nd Edition (2021). Jackie Stavros and Cheri Torres illustrate the power of appreciative dialogues in fostering positive change, enhancing creativity, and unleashing potential in people and organizations.
  4. How to Tell a Story: The Essential Guide to Memorable Storytelling from The Moth (2022). Well-told stories captivate and connect in nearly any context. Directors of the wildly popular nonprofit/podcast The Moth reveal best ways to mine your life, then polish and share compelling stories of your own.
  5. On Second Thought: How Ambivalence Shapes Your Life (2022). Motivational interviewing cofounder William R. Miller illuminates a feature of human nature often seen in a negative light. Ambivalence, he points out, has its own merits and doesn’t always need to be resolved.
  6. The Empathy Effect – 7 Neuroscience-based keys for transforming the way we live, love, work, and connect across differences (2018). Harvard psychiatry professor and researcher Helen Riess presents an intriguing deep dive into the neurobiology of empathy and connection, offering specific ways to understand and increase both.
  7. The Good Life: Lessons from the World’s Longest Scientific Study of Happiness (2023). Still ongoing, the Harvard Study of Adult Development began in 1938; findings reveal the power of social connections in predicting brain and body well-being throughout life. Researchers Robert Waldinger, MD and Marc Schulz, PhD weave in personal stories to highlight the impact —  explaining the how, why, and what’s next of creating a more fulfilling, meaningful, and vibrant life.
  8. The Joy Choice (2022). Packed with applied neuroscience, this engaging book by motivational scientist Michelle Segar inspires well-being professionals and consumers alike to approach behavior change in ways that align with how the brain works best. Today’s world calls for this fresh, flexible, fun approach.
  9. The Power of Character Strengths: Appreciate and Ignite Your Positive Personality (2019). An easily-digestible resource from the VIA Institute on Character, this comprehensive guide to the heavily researched and validated VIA Survey of Character Strengths aids in understanding, amplifying, and cultivating strengths in yourself and others. The result: less stress, more fulfillment, and higher resilience.
  10. Tomorrowmind: Thriving at Work with Resilience, Creativity, and Connection Now and in an Uncertain Future (2023). This work by BetterUp CPO Gabriella Rosen Kellerman and renowned psychology researcher Martin Seligman presents steps toward a workplace environment that fosters connection and meaning, giving people and organizations increased odds of flourishing in these rapidly changing times.

What’s on your reading list this year? Please share in comments below. For more ideas, explore our previous lists:



Beth ShepardBeth Shepard
Well-being consultant, educator, writer |National Board Certified Health & Wellness Coach |Certified Lifestyle Medicine Coach|ACSM Certified Clinical Exercise Physiologist |25+ years in wellness |Jazz enthusiast.