Need some audio book recommendations? If you’re interested in human psychology (as it relates to healthy living, fitness, nutrition), habits, mindset, and nutritional science, check out my three recent favourites.
If you haven’t got an Audible.co.uk account, sign up! Listening to audiobooks is a great way to actually “read” (if I didn’t listen to audio versions, I’d only get through about 25% of the amount of books). If you like the book enough, or think you want a paper copy so you can mark it up, you can just buy it afterwards.
Most of my Audible library is non-fiction books about sport psychology, mindset, productivity, nutritional science, and human behaviour.
(I also listen to fiction – I think it’s important for copywriters to read/listen to a wide range of writing – and I just finished “The Tiger’s Wife” by Téa Obreht – the youngest winner of the Orange Prize for Fiction. It was AMAZING and I’d thoroughly recommend it. I was bereft when the nice Audible man said the familiar “Audible hopes you have enjoyed this programme…”)
Mindset presents a huge body of research in a very accessible way. It’s fascinating, but practical too. It centres around “growth” and “fixed” mindsets and how they can either limit us or help us set goals and achieve incredible things. The book is split into four sections: mindset relating to business, sport, parenting, and relationships. It turns out that our mindset isn’t set in stone, and this book gives plenty of practical tips for changing yours, once you’ve identified how it could be holding you back. There are lots of interesting case studies (some very famous – listen to the Sports section and you’ll get the distinct impression that Dweck is not a McEnroe fan!) Dweck looks at how our individual mindset is shaped by – and starts to develop – in childhood, but makes it clear that there’s plenty we can do at any age to change it. I imagine this book would be an interesting listen for business and sports coaches, parents, business owners and entrepreneurs, and anybody wanting to get more from life. I’ve recommended this book to so many people!
The title Mindless Eating is a bit misleading – it’s by no means just about mindless eating. In fact, it’s about how our food choices, behaviours, and habits (good and not-so-good) are shaped by our home and work environments, and of course by restaurants, shops, advertising, and food industry marketing. Even if you think you are totally clued up about how the food industry works, you’ll be stunned by some of the findings. If you want to change your food behaviours, or if you just find the psychology of food and eating interesting, you’ll love this book. It’s grounded in research but is very engaging and actually very funny (I’ve heard Wansink on a few podcasts and he’s hilarious). Learn about the “halo effect” of so-called healthy foods and healthy living fads, discover the hidden cues that probably affect you every day, and get clued up on ways you can redesign your environment to help you be more in control of how much you eat. I bet this book will change the way you look at food, eating, shops, restaurants, and even your own kitchen – in a good way!
I’m still listening to The Willpower Instinct but I’d recommend it already. The title is slightly tongue-in-cheek, because McGonigal argues that “willpower” isn’t actually set in stone. In fact, she presents the idea of “I will”, “I won’t” and “I want” powers instead. This book is about the science of self-control and can be applied to any habit you want to change. You’ll hear about what willpower is (and isn’t), and how it’s actually a biological function, not a virtue to be boasted about or longed for. The book sets out simple ways to identify things in your life that make “willpower” difficult, and ways to improve your environment and reactions so you are more successful at achieving your desired responses and actions. Each chapter has an exercise you can do (based on McGonigal’s popular Science Of Willpower course at Stanford University). You can listen to the book straight through and pick the exercises which will best help you, or work through it methodically and do each exercise in turn. Either way, I bet you’ll find it fascinating.
Have you listened to (or even actually read!) any of these? What did you think?
Nicola Joyce – the Fit Writer – is a freelance copywriter and journalist who writes for the sport and fitness industry. Her main website is here.