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400 Reads: Here are 3 self-improvement books to try in 2020
Becky Cahill
Becky Cahill is a career educator and an avid reader. She reads extensively in her free time and tracks her favorites (and those that aren’t even close) on her blog at Becky is the host of ‘Read It or Leave It!’ a weekly reading podcast available on Apple Podcasts and Spotify.

This article appears in the January 2020 issue of 400 LIFE magazine.

As 2019 comes to close and a new decade begins, health and wellness will be on the top of many resolution lists. The books I selected this month will support growth in mental wellbeing and self-care. These would be excellent gift ideas for friends and family members looking for guidance on personal growth and reflection.

Braving the Wilderness

By Brené Brown

Braving the Wildness

Brené Brown is a well-known author and researcher in the fields of courage and vulnerability. She has published 10 non-fiction books with the intention of guiding the reader toward self-acceptance and improved self-worth.

You can read her books in any order, but a great place to start is with "Braving the Wilderness." In this book, Brown asks the reader to consider the balance between belonging with others without sacrificing who you are. Brown does not pull punches in her delivery or her approach to radically examining yourself.

Everybody Always

By Bob Goff

Everybody Always

Bob Goff left his career as an attorney to become the honorary consul for the Republic of Uganda and founded a non-profit organization, Love Does. Goff believes that the best way to help yourself is to support and love other people. 

In his book, "Everybody Always," the author shares personal stories in each chapter to highlight faith-based beliefs about giving love to those around you. The informal and approachable story-telling style creates a quick read that packs a lot of emotional punch. 

This would be a helpful book to share with anyone seeking inspiration, especially in their interactions with others.

The Happiness Project

By Gretchen Rubin

Happiness Project

Unlike the other authors mentioned here, Gretchen Rubin did not use years of research or humanitarian experiences to write a book but rather decided to increase her own happiness with a year-long social experiment.

Rubin was then able to write "The Happiness Project" as documentation of her month-by-month process of building a stronger sense of self and consequently stronger relationships with those around her.  Rubin focused on a different area of her life each month and her experiences might help you find areas of your life that you would like to improve.

How to dive in more

All three of the authors mentioned above have a strong social media presence and either create or consult on podcasts.

Gretchen Rubin hosts Happier with Gretchen Rubin, which examines various aspects of achieving happiness, ranging from health to pets to history.

Bob Goff hosts the Dream Big Podcast with Bob Goff and Friends, which shines a light on the steps people are taking toward achieving their dreams.

Brené Brown does not host her own podcast -- yet! Brown is starting a podcast called Unlocking Us in March. In the meantime, you can listen to Brown on plenty of other popular podcasts. She's been featured on over 35 podcast episodes, which can all be accessed from her webpage.  She also has one of the top five most popular Ted Talks of all time, "The power of vulnerability," with more than 45 million views.

Becky Cahill is a career educator and an avid reader. She reads extensively in her free time and tracks her favorites (and those that aren't even close) on her blog at Becky is the host of 'Read It or Leave It,' a weekly reading podcast available on Apple and Spotify.