Looking for some inspiration? Some personal uplift and empowerment? These 5 books have become of few of my favorites that I always recommend.
Sometimes a good book is exactly what you need. Whether you're having a bad day (or a bad year) or just want a good read — these all come highly recommended (by me, my friends, and those bestsellers lists ... so you can trust us). And bonus! They're all $20 and under so it's good for your college budget too.
Find more tips like this on our list of All The Things To Do In Your Twenties
So whether you're listening to it on audio during you summer backpacking Europe or curled up in a hammock with one of these in your hands, we have a feeling you'll be ready to take on the world after reading a book from this list.
Not really a reader? Here's some movies that will give you the travel bug. Or you can just catch the audio version of these books because they're just that good.
Just as a heads up, this post has affiliate links for your convenience (which means if you make a purchase after clicking a link, we earn a small commission). Just know that we're only sharing books that we ourselves have read and loved or that other volunteers have recommended.
When Breath Becomes Air
Ok, welcome to my favorite book to recommend to friends. Why's it my fav? Most people I talk to haven't heard of it yet and that needs to be changed pronto.
The story behind this book is what pulled me in. The author was just about to finish medical school when he found out that he had stage IV lung cancer. He wrote about his experiences, his plans for the future, and how that all changed so quickly. I know this sounds a bit heavy (and it is) but it's beautifully written. It will leave you with more gratitude for the present and what you have right now, today.
This is for anyone who doubts their talent. It's for anyone who admires creative people and wishes they had that kind of talent themselves. It's for anyone who has something thats holding them back. I'm loving this book right now. It is SO good. It's an easy but uplifting and empowering read.
Plus, it's by the author of Eat, Pray, Love so we already love her right? If you haven't read Eat Pray Love yet, I'd pick this up too. But just be prepared to catch the travel bug. She talks about her journey as she picked up her life in the States and moved to spend a year in Italy, India, and Bali.
I recently ordered this one because my Instagram feed was blowing up with glowing recommendations of Glennon Doyle's new book. Full disclosure, I'm only about 1/3 of the way through so far, but I'm on board. And loving it.
The book is about experiences that Doyle has had in her life and the lesson she's learned from it. It's about anyone who's looking to take control and design their life to be one they can feel authentic and happy in.
And since I'm not a fast reader, I'm really in love with the super short chapters that help keep my wandering mind engaged.
You Are A Badass
Okay — all of my friends are reading this book. Like all of them. And loving it. More about believing in yourself, overcoming fear, and going after the life you want, all laid out in an hilariously irreverent yet powerfully convincing tone. Jump on the bandwagon and read this book!
Get it here on Amazon and add your review to the thousands of 5 stars.
The cover of this book really sums up what it's all about: "transform fear to faith". It's another good read about helping you overcome your self doubt and live the life you want right now, guiding you to focus on happiness, security and clear direction. I read this book while I was traveling in China and found so many gems within the book that increased my experiences there. It helped me open my eyes and my heart, be more present, and just get more from my travels that I still cherish today.
Find it on Amazon
Ok, now that you've got your reading list to live a more proactive and happy life
... what are you going to do with that all inspiration?
Take more college courses in the things you actually love even if it's not your major? Go for that job you're not sure you'll get? Spend a semester abroad? Whatever it is, follow your heart.
If your heart is saying go for the trip around the world, we can help you with that! We are a non-profit organization: ILP or International Language Programs, based out of Utah with service opportunities all across the globe for college-age volunteers — Here's what it takes to volunteer with us.
With our volunteer program, you can travel around the world to places like Thailand or the Caribbean (here's a list of all of our countries) with other college-age volunteers, make a difference, and just have an experience that will change your life.
If you're curious about what a semester abroad looks like, follow us on Instagram. We frequently share photos that our volunteers take to help you discover what program would be best for you!