9 Mindfulness Books to Add to Your Reading List

In our spring roundup of the best new mindfulness books, you’ll find titles that offer transformational wisdom on self-care, belonging, power, and more.

Adobe Stock/ N.Savranska

The latest mindfulness books range from exploring the transformational power of self-care to benefits of practicing mindfulness for pain relief. Here are the Mindful editors’ favorite new titles. 

9 Mindfulness Books to Add to Your Reading List

1) Permission to Speak

How to Change What Power Sounds Like, Starting with You

Samara Bay • Crown

“To speak with the full wingspan of your voice requires some technical know-how as well as a certain flex of the permission muscle,” writes Samara Bay in this book that delivers plenty of each, and more besides. Bay is a speech and dialect coach who’s worked with actors, politicians, business leaders, and others who are looking for ways to fully discover and inhabit their voice. Permission to Speak goes beyond the easy “use your voice” platitudes that power hashtag-girlboss memes, and instead explores what it might mean to show up fully, in the way that we want to, and to find the joy in saying what we came to say. The book never shies away from frank talk about the ways systems of oppression have squelched and silenced some voices, and at every turn, Bay offers practical and doable exercises and practices that address both the technical know-how parts and the permission muscle flex—from working with breath to “looping it through the heart” or, in other words, saying it like it matters.

Bay writes with humor and ease, sharing stories from her own experience and those of her clients: analyzing how and when Oprah Winfrey uses vocal fry to connect with her audience, and offering a trick for aligning your skull with your spine in order to relax your throat that is worth the book’s cover price alone.

At the heart of it all is Bay’s belief that helping people—women, especially—find and step into their true voice with confidence, heart, skill, and vulnerability can ultimately lead to a more just world, where a wider variety of voices and messages can be heard in boardrooms, living rooms, market halls, and government halls. – SD

2) Real Self-Care

A Transformational Program for Redefining Wellness

Pooja Lakshmin MD • Penguin Life

Pooja Lakshmin balances a compassionate tone and frank dissemination of the facts. “I was taught to prescribe medications or provide psychotherapy for issues that were clearly systemic,” she writes in the introduction. She compiles anecdotes from her personal life, her education as a psychiatrist, and her clients to dispel the myth that the cure to burnout and self-criticism is found at the bottom of a turmeric latté or in a wellness getaway. Real self care, she writes, is based on four principles: holding boundaries, cultivating kinder self-talk, being intentional about what and who we surround ourselves with, and using our power for good. She guides the reader to make changes that benefit themselves, their workplaces, and their communities. – AWC

3) Year

River Wolton • The Poetry Business

Wolton, former poet laureate of Derbyshire, UK, dedicated her year to loving-kindness on January 1, 2020. “I resolved to write a poem a day and not to shy away from the realities of irritation, ill will, rage and pettiness,” she writes. Year compiles these poems, with grayscale watercolor illustrations by Emma Burleigh. We’re likely to recognize not only the experiences broadly shared in 2020—pandemic isolation, Black Lives Matter, losing loved ones, getting sick, seeking solace in nature—but, intimately, how we felt about it all. Throughout, the theme of loving-kindness persists as Wolton lets her “negative” emotions be part of the path back to compassion a