Wellness books can offer realistic ideas and advice on how to live a healthier, happier life. Whether you are looking for help with understanding yourself, making your clothes last longer, or just ways to uplift your mood, there is something for you here.
Hygge (pronounced hyoo-guh) is a Danish winter practice of creating a warm, enjoyable atmosphere either alone or with a group. It doesn’t have to be winter for you to begin practising this philosophical self-care way of living.
The Little Book of Hygge
The Danish Way To Live Well by Meik Waking is the perfect foray into leaning into hygge. The book demystifies the concept and explains how simple things like lights, food, and even a drink (hot chocolate, anyone?) can make for a cosy atmosphere.
For those who rather get their hands busy — food, decoration, and crafts are an important aspect of embracing hygge, there is Scandinavian Comfort Food: Embracing the Art of Hygge by Trine Hahnemann for comfort recipes, no matter where you live. Jonny Jackson’s Joy of hygge: how to bring everyday pleasure and danish coziness into your life is packed with craft ideas for decorating your home, knitting a snuggly pair of mittens or socks or scarves and inspirational pleasures to finding magic in life. This will probably clamber to the top in the list of wellness books you love.
Fika (pronounced fee-ka) is the Swedish tradition on a twice-daily coffee break ritual, which I was made aware of thanks to my friend who works at IKEA (Hi Zainab!).
Anna Bornes’s Fika: The Art of The Swedish Coffee Break, with Recipes for Pastries, Breads, and Other Treats delves into the roots and modern incarnations of this cherished custom, anecdotes about Swedish coffee culture, along with an illustrated recipes for traditional baked goods to have with your coffee.
Ikigai (pronounced ick-ee-guy) is the Japanese wellness concept, which means ‘a reason for being’. Similar to finding a purpose in life along with appreciating the small and big things that bring us satisfaction.
Ken Mogi’s Awakening Your Ikigai: How The Japanese Wake Up To Joy And Purpose Everyday will help you become a morning person. The book introduces the five pillars of ikigai to help you make the most of each day and become your most authentic self.
Nunchi (pronounced noon-chee) from Korea is the philosophy to the “art of understanding what people are thinking and feeling” — akin to developing an emotional quotient to help tune into the feelings of people around you, at home and work. TLDR, nunchi is the ability to “read the room”.
The Power of Nunchi: The Korean Secret To Happiness And Success by Euny Hong explains in easy manner how to tune into your environment to help you become a better person.
Sisu (pronounced see’-soo) is the self-care wellness from Finland, which is about developing the courage to embrace whatever life throws at you. Adopted as an empowering concept which can be applied to any situation, sisu is not about giving in but rather finding that ‘second wind’ to help through the obstacles.
Finding Sisu by Kate Pantza is an excellent starter book to embodying this concept.
Lagom (pronounced la-gum) is a Swedish word that means “enough, sufficient, adequate, just right.” It is all about being happy with what you have.
Live Lagom: Balanced Living, The Swedish Way by Anna Borges is perfect as an introductory book into the Swedish concept of finding balance in moderation in your home, work, and health.
For those looking to bring in the concept of “enough” in their wardrobe, Linnea Dunne’s Lagom: The Swedish Art of Balanced Living, offers practical tips on how to clean and functional design aesthetic on clearing the clutter around your house and organising your wardrobe.