15 Books That Will Actually Change Your Life and Why

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heads to Barnes and Nobles stat

1. The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron


Whether you're a career artist or just looking to tap into your inner creativity, this beautifully written book will guide you along the path to healing and inspiration. A unique approach to creativity as a method of spirituality, The Artist's Way is both an inspirational self-help book and workbook combined. With weekly tasks and exercises at the end of each chapter, it will help you remove creative blocks, remember the loves of your inner child, and teach you to heal from past wounds and regrets.

2. Dark Nights of the Soul by Thomas Moore

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Though not necessarily the most uplifting read, Dark Nights of the Soul is a lifesaver during life's rough patches. The author begins by explaining that in the constant drive towards happiness championed by our culture, few of us are ever really taught how to be sad. Whether you're grieving a loss, experiencing economic difficulty, or just generally going through a hard time, this book will teach you how to navigate life's dark times.

3. Women Who Run With The Wolves by Clarissa Pinkola Estés

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A must read for every woman, Women Who Run With the Wolves is a gorgeously written portrait of the female psyche and the deep inner instincts and vitality that are the birthrights of women everywhere. The author, Clarissa Pinkola Estes, Ph.D., is both a Jungian analyst and Cantadora storyteller who uses myths, folk tales, and even fairy tales to help female readers tap back into the beauty hiding within our own souls.

4. The Hero with a Thousand Faces by Joseph Campbell

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Though this one is far from an easy read and may take awhile to digest, it will change the way you see books, movies, and myths forever. Throughout Hero With a Thousand Faces, the brilliant Joseph Campbell maps out what's come to be known as "The Hero's Journey," and proves that all stories are actually the same story which hides an ultimate universal truth.

After finishing this masterpiece you'll be able to understand why George Lucas used the same basic story line to write "Star Wars" as ancient story tellers used to craft fairy tales centuries ago.

5. The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom by Don Miguel Ruiz

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Healer and Shamanic teacher Don Miguel Ruiz has created a delightful, easy to read book packed full of age old wisdom in The Four Agreements. Using knowledge passed down from his Toltec ancestors, Ruiz reveals the importance of four major concepts that can change your life and the way you view relationships of any sort forever.

6. The Language of Letting Go by Melody Beattie

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If you've ever had problems standing up for yourself or knowing how and when to set appropriate boundaries, then you owe it to yourself to pick up a copy of this beauty. Best-selling author Melody Beattie formats the book as a year's worth of daily meditations that will teach you all the things about relationships that can be so challenging to figure out on your own.

From when it's appropriate to say "no" to why the temptation to "save" someone else is a trap, The Language of Letting Go is a treasure trove of wisdom you'll find relevant for years to come.

7. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change by Stephen R. Covey

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Let's just say that there's a reason why this one's been a must read for over 25 years now. Throughout this self-help staple, Stephen R. Covey provides readers with a chance to decode what kinds of actions set the successful apart from the crowd. The 7 habits detail the specifics of how to: Be proactive, Begin with the end in mind, Put first things first, Think win-win, Seek first to understand, then to be understood, Synergize, and Sharpen the Saw. Whether you're looking to be more successful in business or life in general, this is a classic you can't go wrong with.

8. The Prophet by Kahlil Gibran

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If you're a lover of great quotes or other gems of wisdom, then this work of beauty is your new favorite read waiting to happen. Since its publication in 1923 it's sold more than 100 million copies worldwide due to it's unique blend of storytelling, wisdom, and ridiculously gorgeous poetic prose. It's formatted as a story about a prophet named Almustafa who shares his wisdom on various topics such as good and evil, love, work, religion, and pain, while waiting to board a ship on which he plans to sail away forever.

9. The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success: A Practical Guide to the Fulfillment of Your Dreams by Deepak Chopra

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If you've ever been interested in the wisdom of Eastern spirituality, then this is a great book to get you started. In The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success, best-selling guru Deepak Chopra outlines ancient spiritual traditions of the Eastern thought and how you can apply them to your life today.

The Laws include those of: Pure potentiality, Giving, Karma, Least effort, Intention and desire, Detachment, and Dharma. Throughout the book, Chopra emphasizes that our lives are the direct results of what we put out into the universe and provides strategies for how you can plant spiritual seeds for future success.

10. Awaken the Giant Within: How to Take Immediate Control of Your Mental, Emotional, Physical, and Financial Destiny by Anthony Robbins

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Awaken the Giant Within is a great place to begin if you're feeling a little stuck and are ready to start making positive changes for a better life. Best-selling author Tony Robbins explains that many of our actions are actually the results of subconscious habits or beliefs we may not even be aware of. In order to help you avoid falling into the same old traps, he then provides strategies and techniques to help remove limiting thought patterns that may have kept you stuck in the same unconscious rut for years.

11. The Untethered Soul: The Journey Beyond Yourself by Michael A. Singer

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If you often feel overloaded by your own thoughts, emotions, or anxiety, The Untethered Soul is a beautiful reassurance that the path back to spiritual freedom is possible. Beginning with the life-changing premise that you are not your thoughts, the book then teaches you not only to separate yourself from the noise inside your own mind, but ultimately to learn to control it. If you're ready to be the master of your thoughts rather than feeling like their slave, this is a great read to help you along the journey.

12. The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho

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If you're looking for an easy-to-read tale packed full of both adventure and wisdom, then look no further than The Alchemist. The story of a shepherd boy named Santiago, the novel reads almost like a fairy tale for adults. It will remind you of the magic of life and all the miracles that can happen when you decide to follow your dreams.

13. The War of Art: Break Through The Blocks and Wind Your Inner Creative Battles by Steven Pressfield

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Have you wondered how to control that voice inside your head that keeps you from doing what you know in your heart that you were born to do? Whether we dream of writing a novel or opening a new business, few or us are able to launch out into a new venture without having to contend with that inner naysayer that tells us we're not good enough. Learn why exactly that is and how to overcome it with this fun, practical guide to overcoming your inner resistance.

14. Sophie's World by Jostein Gaarder

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Next time you want to get your ponder on, check out this hybrid of a novel and philosophical work all rolled into one. The story follows a teenager named Sophie as she's introduced to some of the deepest questions in life by a philosopher named Alberto Knox. As she attempts to figure out who she is and where this world came from, you won't be able to resist setting your deep-thinking gears in motion as well.

15. The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman

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Ever wonder why hugs seem to mean so much to some people but others can't stand them? Or why some of your family members seem to always convey their love through gifts while others prefer to show they care via quality time? Gary Chapman will teach you why that is in The 5 Love Languages. Not only does he explain the five different ways that different people naturally express love and intimacy, he even provides a guide to help you and your love ones find out which one you relate to the most.