By Pieter De Wit

Due to the Coronacrisis, I have had a lot of time to go on weekly cycling trips to absorb the surrounding nature. In the gym, I always exercise with music to get me pumped up, but in the peaceful meadows with sunshine on my skin, I was looking for something else to augment my feel-good moments. And so I dug out an old habit of mine: listening to audiobooks. 

Recently I have had to drive long journeys between Belgium and the Netherlands looking for a new apartment, offering another excellent opportunity to plug in my earphones. I started looking forward to the trips that I previously dodged as time flew, and I arrived at my destination, feeling mentally stronger. Unusual, considering the traffic! 

Since I love anything about self-development and happiness, the following 5 books fill me with motivation, happy vibes and feel-good moments. I highly recommend them.

The Code Of The Extraordinary Mind By Vishen Lakhiani

I first became aware of Vishen Lakhiani while working in New Zealand, and I signed up to his  Mindvalley website, searching for free meditation music. But oh boy, little did I know that I was entering a whole new universe! I started listening to his podcasts of interviews with the most powerful minds on the planet, leading me to this New York Times Bestseller.

In The Code Of The Extraordinary Mind, Vishen questions our beliefs and concepts of the world we inhabit. He talks about the “Brules”, (aka bullshit rules) that society made up and almost nobody dares question. He notes that high achievers dare to question and bend, not necessarily break, the rules, to achieve their dreams.

The Art Of Minimalism By Zoe McKey

I can’t say I’m a true minimalist yet, being the owner of a handful of high-tech devices to help get me through the day. But thanks to my travel adventures, minimalism got my interest. It may sound cliche, but the happiest times in my life were moments where I hardly owned any money or had few possessions, yet was able to enjoy the moments as they were. Now, I no longer have a strong desire to buy “stuff”, so I consider myself a minimalist in training. 

But if like the old me, you are thinking that minimalism is a synonym for getting rid of all material possessions, then you are misled. In The Art of Minimalism, Zoe McKey explains how to find balance at the edge of minimalism and consumerism. With her four easy-to-adopt methods, you’ll discover how to apply the concept to your personal life. And you’ll realise that clutter is not only materialistic… 

The Blue Zones Of Happiness By Dan Buettner

You might have heard about the geographical blue zones—places where people live healthier and longer lives. Okinawa, Japan, is said to be home to the world’s longest-living women according to the New York Times best-selling author Dan Buettner. In his book The Blue Zones of Happiness, he helps you discover the three pillars of happiness—pleasure, purpose, and pride—that feature prominently in the world’s happiest places. 

Ready to level up your feelings of wellbeing? Take the Blue Zones Happiness Test to help pinpoint the areas of your life where you could develop greater joy and satisfaction. 

Ikigai, The Japanese Secret To A Long And Happy Life By Héctor García

Credit to my girlfriend for advising me on this audiobook. Héctor García gave me reassurance when I needed it most, at moments when I felt lost on my life path and wondering if everything I was doing was right for me. 

Ikigai is the Japanese concept of finding your true life purpose. It’s your reason to get up in the morning, and if you find it, you’ll never feel like you are working another day in your life. Good news—to find your Ikigai you don’t need to go on a lifelong quest. It is where your passion, mission, vocation, and profession intersect. This book gives you insights on how to get there. Good luck! 

You Are A Badass By Jen Sincero

If bestselling author Jen Sincero tells me I’m a badass, she has my attention! In this hilarious work full of inspiring stories, she gives you insight into why you keep sabotaging yourself. 

You Are A Badass consists of 27 little chapters helping you recognise the self-sabotaging beliefs you may hold, enabling you to change the behaviours that stop you from getting what you want. I find the audio version a perfect way to absorb the occasional swear words and verbal punches in the face. Take the insights with a healthy dose of humour, and you’ll feel ready to kick some ass! 

The sound of a voice in an audiobook can give an extra dimension not present in reading especially in feel-good self-development books such as these. The author or storyteller guides you and lets you feel the intended energy that he/she wanted to bring.

By indulging in an audiobook while working out, driving or doing household chores, you can turn every moment into me-time. Go on, spoil your brain this weekend with feel-good moments that help you achieve your bliss!