There’s nothing like a good book to inspire, challenge and nourish you.

Or even better, shoot an arrow straight into your heart with a home truth. In an instant, you’re able to let go of something that’s been weighing you down for a long time. Or that mush of ideas that have been sloshing around in your head suddenly crystalise.

In the spirit of clarity and freedom for your year ahead, here’s the lowdown on a few game-changing reads to support you in 2016.


There’ll be one on this list that you feel drawn to more than others, perhaps not knowing why. Go with that one. (Nobody enjoys battling through a book we think we ‘should’ read. Let your intuition take the lead on what you need to hear right now.)

And may the reading of it be a gloriously simple self-care practice. Get super comfy (armchair and tea compulsory), light a candle and let the words sing to your soul.


Epiphany – Elise Ballard

A gorgeous book, which captures life-changing moments and realisations of people from all walks of life, from Maya Angelou to Barry Manilow. Having completely devoured this on first read, I now love to dip in and out of the stories when I’m in need of inspiration or a jolt to connect me back to what actually matters.


Playing Big – Tara Mohr

 So many a-ha moments, it’s ridiculous (my whole copy is highlighted and dog-eared). Tara lays out, with alarming clarity, the many ways (both subtle and overt) we play small as women. It’s a highly practical book with useful tools and exercises to tame our inner critic, discover our voice and step into our power.


The Desire Map – Danielle LaPorte

It turns out that most of us tend to strive for things we want to get or accomplish and just expect that we’ll be happy and fulfilled when we receive or achieve them.

Danielle challenges us to first get clear on how we actually want to feel in our life so that our feelings consciously inform our planning and striving.

Cue more ‘no thank yous’ and more ‘hell yeses’; less proving and more living.


Daring Greatly – Brene Brown

If the idea of asking for help or producing anything that isn’t perfect sends you into a cold sweat, then grab this book and settle in. As a self-proclaimed former cynic and perfectionist, Brene writes compellingly about the power of embracing vulnerability and imperfection in order to live a wholehearted and courageous life.

Her other books are also fantastic, in particular The Gifts of Imperfection and her newest, Rising Strong.


The Alchemist – Paulo Coelho

Uplifting and beautiful, this fable tells the story of a young Andalusian shepherd on a quest through the desert to follow his dream and fulfill his destiny. Reach for this one when in need of a reminder that following your own path is always worthwhile, even when faced with overwhelming fear and uncertainty. A light yet soulful read full of joy and adventure.


Outrageous Openness – Tosha Silva

A cross between that unbeatable first dive into the ocean after winter and a warm hug from your favourite grandma! An entertaining collection of stories about the synchronicities that occur and the experiences that are enabled when you trust and surrender to your own intuition and the support of the Universe. Mind = blown.


Broken Open – Elizabeth Lesser

Ever felt shattered by something or someone, so completely floored that you’re not sure which way is up? This is the book for those moments. A hugely impactful collection of personal stories (hers and many others), exploring what Elizabeth calls the ‘Phoenix process’ – positive life changes that can emerge from very difficult life events. It’s been my lifejacket when I’ve been drowning in a sea of grief and hopelessness more times than I can count.


Body Respect – Lucy Aphramor and Linda Bacon

A foil to the constant messaging we’re exposed to about the value of being thin. Often without knowing it, we’re consistently taught to shame our bodies and restrict them into submission. Lucy and Lisa illuminate this relentless pressure and challenge common assumptions about weight and body image. An eye-opening, fact-filled book and an important read if you have a challenging relationship with your body, food and weight.


Share this:

Thanks for reading

Words by

I’m a life coach, writer, body love champion and curator of #sundaysoulbite. I work with my clients to reconnect to their gorgeous selves and follow their inner guidance towards a life that lights them up.

You can find me at, as well as facebook (jessheadingcoaching) and instagram (@jessheading)