Stressed? Try these nonfiction titles!

Are you stressed? I can always tell trends in society based on trends in book publishing. Lately there has been an uptick in stress-busting titles at the library. This sent me down a rabbit hole of looking up stress-relief books: what’s considered a classic title and what’s new. If you’re a person like me who finds help within books, the below titles will provide practical and somewhat immediate relief to the stressful situations in your life.

As always, the titles in this list have not been talked about on the blog before. They are also owned by the Davenport Public Library, so click on the titles and put a hold on today! The descriptions have been provided by the publisher or author.

Titles published in 2023 and 2022

Awe by Dacher Keltner

From a foremost expert on the science of emotions and consultant to Pixar’s Inside Out, a groundbreaking and essential exploration into the history, science, and greater understanding of awe

Awe is mysterious. How do we begin to quantify the goose bumps we feel when we see the Grand Canyon, or the utter amazement when we watch a child walk for the first time? How do you put into words the collective effervescence of standing in a crowd and singing in unison, or the wonder you feel while gazing at centuries-old works of art? Up until fifteen years ago, there was no science of awe, the feeling we experience when we encounter vast mysteries that transcend our understanding of the world. Scientists were studying emotions like fear and disgust, emotions that seemed essential to human survival. Revolutionary thinking, though, has brought into focus how, through the span of evolution, we’ve met our most basic needs socially. We’ve survived thanks to our capacities to cooperate, form communities, and create culture that strengthens our sense of shared identity—actions that are sparked and spurred by awe.

In Awe, Dacher Keltner presents a radical investigation and deeply personal inquiry into this elusive emotion. Revealing new research into how awe transforms our brains and bodies, alongside an examination of awe across history, culture, and within his own life during a period of grief, Keltner shows us how cultivating awe in our everyday life leads us to appreciate what is most humane in our human nature. And during a moment in which our world feels more divided than ever before, and more imperiled by crises of different kinds, we are greatly in need of awe. If we open our minds, it is awe that sharpens our reasoning and orients us toward big ideas and new insights, that cools our immune system’s inflammation response and strengthens our bodies. It is awe that activates our inclination to share and create strong networks, to take actions that are good for the natural and social world around us. It is awe that transforms who we are, that inspires the creation of art, music, and religion. At turns radical and profound, brimming with enlightening and practical insights, Awe is our field guide, from not only one of the leading voices on the subject but a fellow seeker of awe in his own right, for how to place awe as a vital force within our lives. – Penguin Random House

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The Creative Act by Rick Rubin

From the legendary music producer, a master at helping people connect with the wellsprings of their creativity, comes a beautifully crafted book many years in the making that offers that same deep wisdom to all of us.

“I set out to write a book about what to do to make a great work of art. Instead, it revealed itself to be a book on how to be.” —Rick Rubin

Many famed music producers are known for a particular sound that has its day. Rick Rubin is known for something else: creating a space where artists of all different genres and traditions can home in on who they really are and what they really offer. He has made a practice of helping people transcend their self-imposed expectations in order to reconnect with a state of innocence from which the surprising becomes inevitable. Over the years, as he has thought deeply about where creativity comes from and where it doesn’t, he has learned that being an artist isn’t about your specific output, it’s about your relationship to the world. Creativity has a place in everyone’s life, and everyone can make that place larger. In fact, there are few more important responsibilities.

The Creative Act is a beautiful and generous course of study that illuminates the path of the artist as a road we all can follow. It distills the wisdom gleaned from a lifetime’s work into a luminous reading experience that puts the power to create moments—and lifetimes—of exhilaration and transcendence within closer reach for all of us. – Penguin Random House

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Why Has Nobody Told Me This Before? by Dr. Julie Smith

Drawing on years of experience as a clinical psychologist, online sensation Dr Julie Smith provides the skills you need to navigate common life challenges and take charge of your emotional and mental health in her debut book.

Filled with secrets from a therapist’s toolkit, Why Has Nobody Told Me This Before teaches you how to fortify and maintain your mental health, even in the most trying of times. Dr Julie Smith’s expert advice and powerful coping techniques will help you stay resilient, whether you want to manage anxiety, deal with criticism, cope with depression, build self-confidence, find motivation, or learn to forgive yourself. Why Has Nobody Told Me This Before tackles everyday issues and offers practical solutions in bite-sized, easy-to-digest entries which make it easy to quickly find specific information and guidance.

Your mental well-being is just as important as your physical well-being. Packed with proven strategies, Dr. Julie’s empathetic guide offers a deeper understanding of how your mind works and gives you the insights and help you need to nurture your mental health every day. Wise and practical, Why Has Nobody Told Me This Before might just change your life. – HarperCollins

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The Power of Regret by Daniel H. Pink

“No regrets.” You’ve heard people proclaim it as a philosophy of life. That’s nonsense, even dangerous, says Daniel H. Pink in his latest bold and inspiring work. Everybody has regrets. They’re a fundamental part of our lives. And if we reckon with them in fresh and imaginative ways, we can enlist our regrets to make smarter decisions, perform better at work and school, and deepen our sense of meaning and purpose.

In The Power of Regret, Pink draws on research in psychology, neuroscience, economics, and biology to challenge widely-held assumptions about emotions and behavior. Using the largest sampling of American attitudes about regret ever conducted as well as his own World Regret Survey—which has collected regrets from more than 16,000 people in 105 countries—he identifies the four core regrets that most people have. These four regrets, Pink argues, operate as a “photographic negative” of the good life. By understanding what people regret the most, we can understand what they value the most. And by following the simple, science-based, three-step process that he sets out, we can transform our regrets in a positive force for working smarter and living better.

With Pink’s signature blend of big ideas and practical takeaways, captivating stories and crisp humor, The Power of Regret offers an urgent and indispensable guide for a life well lived. – Daniel H. Pink

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Happier Hour by Cassie Holmes

Learn how to reframe your time around life’s happiest moments to build days that aren’t just full but fulfilling with this “joyful guide” (Eve Rodsky, New York Times bestselling author) that is the antidote to overscheduling.

Our most precious resource isn’t money. It’s time. We are allotted just twenty-four hours a day, and we live in a culture that keeps us feeling “time poor.” Since we can’t add more hours to the day, how can we experience our lives as richer?

Based on her wildly popular MBA class at UCLA, Professor Cassie Holmes demonstrates how to immediately improve our lives by changing how we perceive and invest our time. Happier Hour provides empirically based insights and easy-to-implement tools that will allow you to:

-Optimally spend your hours and feel confident in those choices
-Sidestep distractions
-Create and savor moments of joy
-Design your schedule with purpose
-Look back on your years without regrets

Enlivened by Holmes’s upbeat narrative and groundbreaking research, Happier Hour “is filled with loads and loads of practical, evidence-based advice for how to live better by investing in what really matters. It’s the kind of book that can change your life for the better” (Laurie Santos, Yale professor and host of The Happiness Lab podcast). – Simon & Schuster

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Titles published in 2021 and before

Burnout by Emily Nagoski

Chatter by Ethan Kross

The Comfort Book by Matt Haig

Dopamine Nation by Anna Lembke

Four Thousand Weeks by Oliver Burkeman

Unwinding Anxiety by Judson Brewer

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