If you’re like us, you want to learn, evolve, and transform into a wiser and happier person. But we all know it can be ridiculously difficult to know where to start.

There are just SO damn many books, courses, tools, and resources out there. The Internet is like a freaking infinite library in which 90% of the tomes aren’t worth your time.

Even at HE, we’ve shared *thousands* of articles, books, resources, and multimedia gems to help you claim a higher perspective and more meaningful existence.

And again, the problem becomes: *WHERE TO BEGIN?!*

Well, right here on our resource page.

These books, tools, and resources are the ones that members of the HE team swear by.

These are the ones that have most deeply and genuinely altered our existences for the better.

The ones we literally rant and rave about to anyone who will listen (and sometimes to those who don’t).

The ones we know can best help you to elevate above the bullshit and heal your wounds, strengthen your spirit, and unlock the secrets of the universe.

These are the ones you’ve been waiting for.

Sincerely,

Jordan, Martijn, Jon & Jordan B

Life-Changing Reads

HighExistence Magazine

ad ipad2Anyone can change their life if they break the process down into simple, manageable steps.

We firmly believe this, and this belief motivated us to create a magazine based on ACTIONABLE advice and wisdom.

Every single article in the HighExistence Magazine will have a section at the end that explains how the article applies to your life, providing simple, practical steps to follow to implement the article’s teachings.

HighExistence Magazine is for the young movers and shakers who want to put a dent in the world. For the up and coming artists, creative types, and entrepreneurs. This magazine is going to take you by the hand and show you how to live a Higher Existence. :)

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Blinkist Free Trial

HE blinkist ad croppedBooks are awesome. As the old scribes at the dawn of civilization knew, a string of symbols in the right order, read at the right time, will surely change your life. However, not all books need to be scrutinized and reflected deeply upon to prove useful. Most personal development books have only a few fantastic ideas tucked within hundreds of pages of vacuous filler. The philosopher Francis Bacon said it best: “Some books should be tasted, some devoured, but only a few should be chewed and digested thoroughly.” Blinkist is a service that allows you to taste and devour an unlimited amount of personal development books without spending the hours searching for the bits worth digesting. The Blinkist team reads thousands of books each year and condenses their key insights into 15 pithy pages. You can read them on your phone, iPad, Kindle, and computer. They even have an accompanying audiobook that you can listen to in the gym or on your daily commute. We highly recommend you have a look at their free trial which gives you unlimited access. If you want to gain more knowledge faster, you will love Blinkist.

Books to Transform Your Life, Find Meaning, & Discover Happiness

59 Seconds: Think A Little, Change A Lot– Richard Wiseman

Positive Psychology book 1, 59 Seconds: Think A Little, Change A Lot – Richard Wiseman Professor Richard Wiseman has spent his career exploring the curious and quirky side of human nature. He’s published papers on everything from the psychology of being fooled by magic to the strange power our initials have over our destinies. He’s taken part in ghost hunts (he’s found no evidence) and has practiced hypnosis and magic as a semi-professional.

In 59 Seconds, Wiseman turns his attention to the field of self-help. He begins by telling us the story of the famous 1953 ‘Yale Goal Study’ which showed that the 3% of Yale students who wrote down their goals, 20 years later had accumulated more wealth than the other 97% combined. A powerful study that often gets referenced in popular self-help books in the ‘goal-setting’ section.The only problem with the study, says Wiseman, is that it never actually happened. It’s fictional, like many popular self-help myths he spends the remainder of the book debunking.

Professor Wiseman provides us with ten in-depth chapters, each covering important self-improvement topics including happiness, motivation, persuasion, attraction, and creativity. He tells us what doesn’t work and then breaks down the unusual empirical research that has the proven power to truly change your life. It’s a must read for anyone serious about peak performance and emotional well-being.

Quiet: The Power of Introverts In a World That Can’t Stop Talking – Susan Cain

Positive Psychology book 9, Quiet: The Power of Introverts In a World That Can't Stop Talking - Susan CainI had this book for a while but put off reading it because I didn’t like the idea of making myself feel good about being a wallflower. I wanted to be more extroverted and outgoing. When I did get around to reading it, I realized that this bias against introversion many of us have is precisely the point of the book.

Quiet is easily one of my favorite books of all time. After reading it, I felt transformed: not into another person but into my true self.

Susan Cain begins Quiet by saying:

“I have been working on this book officially since 2005, and unofficially for my entire adult life.”

In the book, Cain doesn’t just cite scientific studies; She acts as a psychological journalist attending a three-day Tony Robbins event, signing up to social anxiety classes and interviewing students at Harvard Business School, all the while sharing her unique and often amusing insights along the way.

She goes back in time to the dawn of self-help and gives us a history lesson on how extroversion became the ideal, showing examples of how advertisements shifted to associate extroversion to their products to increase sales.

Introverts, Cain argues, are biologically more sensitive than extroverts. In the following introversion definition from Quiet, I felt as though I was reading about myself, and so will many HEthens no doubt:

“Introverts tend to be keen observers who look before they leap. They arrange their lives in ways that limit surprises. They’re often sensitive to sights, sounds, smells, pain, coffee. They have difficulty when being observed (at work, say, or performing at a music recital) or judged for general worthiness (dating, job interviews).

Introverts tend to be philosophical or spiritual in their orientation, rather than materialistic or hedonistic. They dislike small talk. They often describe themselves as creative or intuitive. They dream vividly, and can often recall their dreams the next day. They love music, nature, art, physical beauty. They feel exceptionally strong emotions — sometimes acute bouts of joy, but also sorrow, melancholy, and fear.

Introverts also process information about their environments — both physical and emotional — unusually deeply. They tend to notice subtleties that others miss — another person’s shift in mood, say, or a lightbulb burning a touch too brightly.”


If this sounds at all like you I can’t recommend this book enough. You’ll discover more about yourself than if you spent 10 years in a therapist’s chair. You’ll learn about creativity, leadership, and learning itself. But most importantly, you’ll learn to love yourself and hopefully help others to do the same.

The Book: On the Taboo Against Knowing Who You Are – Alan Watts

41KA60WmO6L._SX315_BO1,204,203,200_If you want to reach a new understanding of your true identity — an understanding that will heal and liberate you in marvelous ways — read The Book. The incredible Alan Watts brilliantly argues that human conflict, in our personal lives and on the global scale, results from a fundamental misunderstanding of who we are. The illusion that we are separate beings, cut off from the rest of the universe, causes us to see the “outside” world as a hostile place, and has led us to misuse technology and violently subjugate the natural world. In order to remedy this situation, we need to reconnect with the truth that our true identity is something much greater than we could have imagined: We are the whole universe, the fundamental ground of being. In this extraordinary and revelatory book, Watts elucidates what it means to be human, how to get in touch with the central mystery of existence, and why doing so will be the most fulfilling path imaginable.

Nietzsche and Zen: Self Overcoming Without a Self – André van der Braak

51vYq+LcjFL._SX312_BO1,204,203,200_Everything you ever wanted to know about Friedrich Nietzsche and Zen philosophy can be found in this magnificent book. Both Nietzsche and Zen claim that selves don’t exist. Both deny an intrinsic order or value at the core of the cosmos. Both hold it is possible to reach a higher existence through the cultivation of the bodily drives. For Zen, it is the goal of no-goal, Nirvana. For Nietzsche, it is the progression from the camel, through the lion, to the child. How do we attain truth? How can we overcome ourselves if selves don’t exist? Prof. van der Braak writes eloquently when he looks at Zen through the eyes of Nietzsche and at Nietzsche through the eyes of Zen. A powerful book, a book for everyone and no one.

Man’s Search for Meaning – Viktor Frankl

41C2r7-HbkL._SX280_BO1,204,203,200_For three years, Viktor Frankl labored in four different Nazi concentration camps, including Auschwitz. Both chilling and uplifting, Man’s Search for Meaning is a story of Frankl’s experience and that of his fellow prisoners — people who were confronted with the idea that they would be trapped for the rest of their lives. It is a story of the difference between the people who found meaning in spite of the abominable circumstances and those who succumbed to nihilism. A blend between a memoir, a psychological investigation, and a self-improvement book, Frankl delivers a powerful message: Finding meaning lies at the core of being human. From his own experience as a psychiatrist combined with anecdotes from his time in the concentration camps, he tells us how important it is to find meaning in our own lives and what we can become if we don’t. Suffering, he conveys to us, is inevitable. But how we cope with it is dependent on ourselves. If there is meaning to be found even in the worst acts our species has ever inflicted upon his fellow man, then meaning is always available to us.

You Must Change Your Life – Peter Sloterdijk

41mi0yepkhL._SX329_BO1,204,203,200_In this dazzling display of historic inquiry, Sloterdijk delves deep into our human tendency to experience ‘vertical tension’ — the call to outgrow oneself and leave behind our old deficient selves. He argues that religion is just one of many ‘anthropotechniques’ we use to answer the call for growth. We train and discipline ourselves and, in this regard, the athlete is the same as Kafka’s ‘fasting artist,’ and the farmer is no different than the yogi. And in the same way, philosophy, the reading of books, and the use of psychedelics can be seen as valid ways to improve our psychic immune-system. The only question that remains is, which anthropotechniques should we keep, and which ones should we disregard? We can’t be sure of our place in the cosmos or what we are or who we must become, but we can be sure of one thing: With the modern convergence of cultural, economic and ecological crises, each of us is challenged to respond to the imperative: ‘You Must Change Your Life’.

A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose – Eckhart Tolle

41XhFsjCNML._SX330_BO1,204,203,200_If you want to read an amazing book about living in the now and letting go of all drama in your life, this is it. In A New Earth, Eckhart Tolle explains the freedom and joy of a life lived in the present moment and shows how transcending our ego-based state of consciousness is essential to personal happiness. Beyond that, he argues that ending suffering and conflict throughout the world depends on our ability to detach from our ego-driven perspective. Tolle also explains that in our personal lives, attachment to the ego leads to anger, jealousy, and unhappiness. Ultimately, he shows us how to awaken to a different state of consciousness and follow the path to a truly fulfilling existence. 

Books on the History, Applications, & Healing Potential of Psychedelics

Acid Test: LSD, Ecstasy, and the Power to Heal – Tom Shroder

51cD8ss2AhL._SX330_BO1,204,203,200_Acid Test is the true story of what really happened when the DEA banned psychedelics for personal use, therapeutic applications, and even for scientific research. Shroder wonderfully writes about a group of psychedelic geniuses who tried to prevent this, failed, and then decided to beat the system from the inside out. This is the complete story of the origins of MDMA, its use in therapy, the DEA ban, and the founding of the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS), now widely known for their research on veterans with PTSD. (Listen to our podcast with Tom and veteran Nick here) Acid Test tells the the genealogical stories of Michael Mithoefer, a psychedelic therapist, Nicholas Blackstone, an Iraq vet who has had his PTSD cured with MDMA, and Rick Doblin, the founder of MAPS. It’s a positively illuminating, well-researched and very accessible introduction to psychedelic medicines.

Food of the Gods: A Radical History of Plants, Drugs, and Human Evolution – Terence McKenna

51GnMjdqKlL._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_In Food of the Gods, Terence McKenna argues for a radical re-telling of human history in which psychedelic plants contributed to our evolution. While there are many things yet unknown about our co-evolution of plants and animals, McKenna argues that psychedelics were powerful tools that aided the human species, and that we need to re-discover their potential. As the world steers towards destruction, it is evident that our current cultural glasses are insufficient to look for a solution. Psychedelics have the power to upgrade our glasses completely, to get back to what makes ‘sense’ and to become more self-reflective only in order to find no self at all. And this alone, Terrence argues, will foster the creativity that is direly needed to save the world. If you dare to enter the literally forbidden world of mind-exploration, read Food of the Gods.

Darwin’s Pharmacy: Sex, Plants, and the Evolution of the Noosphere – Richard M. Doyle

51Lw7HaoF2L._SX387_BO1,204,203,200_From his own personal encounters with the ayahuasca spirit to the ‘other vector’ of evolution — namely, sexual selection — Prof. Doyle weaves an intricate argument that, once understood in its entirety, will destroy your world and make room for a far more colorful one. Are humans like bees, buzzing around psychedelics plants to feast on their nectar while unintentionally helping them reproduce? Does the psychedelic experience break down symmetry and order so new forms of information can arise? While analyzing thousands of trip reports in the same way Darwin analyzed animal behavior, Doyle comes to a stunning conclusion. Going from consciousness to shamanism, from quantum mechanics to cannabis pornography, and from the discovery of LSD to the discovery of DNA, Prof. Doyle finds that ‘ecodelics’ help us to reach ecstatic states of consciousness where the duality of thought can be overcome and our connection with nature can be restored. Read Darwin’s Pharmacy twice.

Books to Read to Understand Modern Global Society & Culture

Sacred Economics: Money, Gift, & Society in the Age of Transition – Charles Eisenstein

51M2XUIujLL._SX332_BO1,204,203,200_This is the number one book we recommend for understanding the root causes of many of the world’s problems today. In Sacred Economics, Charles Eisenstein masterfully explains how our broken economic system reflects our cultural assumption that we are separate individuals living in a hostile universe. Eisenstein explains in-depth how many of our societal ills (poverty, overconsumption, ecological devastation) stem from this unsustainable economic system. He takes us on a journey to the very beginning of currency to argue that we need to update our money system to align with the idea that we are all connected. He then lays out feasible ways to start weaning ourselves away from the current system to create a new economy and, consequently, a new world. Throughout the book, Eisenstein offers tremendous insight into the condition of the modern world and the sense of alienation that seems to permeate our present society. His words will cut to the core of your own experience and inspire you to want to seize a more beautiful world.

The Chalice and the Blade: Our History, Our Future
by Riane Eisler

41EvoENj6HL._SX319_BO1,204,203,200_In The Chalice & The Blade, Riane Eisler, a world-renowned systems scientist, writer, and social activist, proposes that we ought to understand human cultures and societies in terms of two fundamental categories: “dominator” and “partnership.” She suggests that our conventional social categories — religious vs. secular, right vs. left, capitalist vs. communist, Eastern vs. Western, etc. — are insufficient to describe the whole of a society’s values, beliefs, and institutions. Eisler argues that these categories overlook the fact that, historically, many societies in all of our typical categories have been unequal and violent, whereas some societies — the majority of which existed millennia ago — have been much more equalitarian and peaceful. Thus Eisler argues that we need to think of societies and cultures on a continuum from “dominator” to “partnership.” She argues that the future of our global society will be determined by whether those working for an equitable partnership society can overcome those who cling to patterns of domination. This is an absolutely astonishing work that should be read by everyone on the planet.

The Spell of the Sensuous: Perception and Language in a More-Than-Human World – David Abram

51xYOti3lXL._SX319_BO1,204,203,200_After you read this book, you will be able to read the world. Abram writes pure poetry and argues that through abstract writing and thought we have severed our connection with the sensuous world around us. Abram explores the origin of language, synesthesia, shamanism and phenomenology, and the way we experience consciousness to unearth a world inhabited by an ‘Other’ who fundamentally complements our being human. He traces the origin of language back to a much older way of reading — that of tracks in the mud and the change of weather conditions in the rain. He reconstructs how language through alphabetization became more abstract and lost its connection with the living flesh of the earth, culminating in an all-too-human world that is completely self-enclosed. However, this book liberates us from this perspective and brings our bodies back in tune with the pulse of the earth. Brilliant, sensational, and mind-blowing, ‘The Spell of the Sensuous‘ is the book for the new ecology movement.

The Story of B – Daniel Quinn

51HY8Z7EHCL._SX310_BO1,204,203,200_A philosophically driven novel, The Story of B packs an idea-punch capable of utterly reassembling the way you understand history, humanity, and our relationship to the planet. The book tells the tale of a prophet, B, who is spreading a new kind of gospel: A secular gospel about historical events that have been swept under the proverbial rug. Essentially, the book argues that the modern world’s overpopulation, endless consumption, and the corresponding environmental crises are the result of mankind having once forgotten that it is not exempt from ecological laws. When we adopted practices of totalitarian agriculture, we began to sew the seeds of our own demise. But is there time to remember the error of our ways? I literally tore through this book, and it was like one colossal moment of clarity. Another one that every single human should read.

Consider the Lobster – David Foster Wallace

41LuDLgf0lL._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_David Foster Wallace’s Consider the Lobster is a rare sort of book — one which traverses boldly across numerous disciplines to dissect the dark underbelly of modern American culture, politics, and society. Published nearly 10 years ago, Wallace’s conscientious commentary remains utterly poignant today, and its central theme — that we, as individuals, must take responsibility for becoming thoughtful and scrupulous cultural participants lest we be led as blind cattle to doom by the misguided or maligned agendas of those in power — is arguably timeless and universal. Thus, a hearty recommendation to anyone with a pulse: purchase and read Consider the Lobster

Sex at Dawn: How We Mate, Why We Stray, and What it Means for Modern Relationships – Christopher Ryan & Cacilda Jetha

51P9bNxycQL._SX329_BO1,204,203,200_If you think you know everything there is to know about sex and relationships, think again. Sex at Dawn explores the history of human sexuality through surprising truths about our anatomy, indigenous societies, and our closest primate relatives. The authors continually pile on scientific evidence to support what some might have guessed from our 50% divorce rate: monogamy, especially sexual monogamy, is far from natural. Don’t read this unless you’re ready to destroy and rebuild your views on human nature, relationships, marriage, and sexuality. It’s that crazy.

Books on Spirituality, Religion, & Mythology

Religion for Atheists: A Non-Believer’s Guide to the Uses of Religion – Alain de Botton

419lP+TCPAL._SX323_BO1,204,203,200_What would happen if we viewed religion as neither the gold standard of truth nor as a bunch of nonsense? In Religion for Atheists, Alain de Botton argues that we can benefit from the wisdom and power of religion — without having to necessarily believe any of it. He suggests that rather than dismissing religion, agnostics and atheists should instead learn from it — because the world’s religions are packed with great ideas on how we might live and arrange our societies. De Botton examines religion for insights into how to build a sense of community, make relationships last, overcome feelings of envy and inadequacy, inspire travel, get more out of art, and reconnect with the natural world. For too long non-believers have faced a stark choice between swallowing many peculiar doctrines or doing away with a range of consoling and beautiful rituals and ideas. Religion for Atheists offers a far more fascinating and truly beneficial alternative.

The Hero With a Thousand Faces – Joseph Campbell

51E+qZyyKKL._SX349_BO1,204,203,200_Since its release in 1949, The Hero with a Thousand Faces has impacted millions of readers by combining the insights of modern psychology with Joseph Campbell’s revolutionary understanding of comparative mythology. In these pages, Campbell explains the Hero’s Journey, a universal motif of adventure and transformation that runs through virtually all of the world’s mythic traditions. As it turns out, the archetypes and patterns of the Hero’s Journey can be applied to our individual lives to better understand ourselves and our purpose. Ultimately, this is a book about why humans must tell stories and how the stories that we have been telling for millennia all share common ground — common ground that remains relevant to our lives today. To read The Hero with a Thousand Faces is to experience the compendium of humanity’s culture knowledge in an entirely knew way and to begin to see your own life as something much greater than you previously thought.

Conversations With God: An Uncommon Dialogue – Neale Donald Walsch

41vSgf+KL2L._SX336_BO1,204,203,200_Conversations With God has been mentioned and recommended many times on HighExistence, and with good reason. Neale Donald Walsch is a frustrated Christian who angrily writes God a series of questions one day and is shocked to hear a voice begin answering back. Whether you believe the non-fiction label or not, that voice paints an absolutely beautiful, and above all logical picture of the true nature of reality, and explains where modern religions have gone wrong. Every single person I have recommended this to has been moved. A common phrase I hear back is, “It’s like I knew all of this before, but had forgotten until reading this book.” At the very least this book will give you a massive amount of food for thought.

The Prophet – Kahlil Gibran

41pvwwHajfL._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_Having read this book twice already, I am convinced that I will return to it for the rest of my life. Published in 1923, The Prophet contains 26 prose poetry essays written by the Lebanese philosopher and poet, Kahlil Gibran. Though popularity is sometimes not a suitable metric by which to gauge the value of books, it should be noted that The Prophet has been translated into over 40 languages, sold tens of millions of copies, and has made Gibran the third-best-selling poet of all time, behind Shakespeare and Lao Tzu. The mass appeal of The Prophet is a testament to the universality of its themes — its capacity to slice through surface-level differences of nationality, religion, race, gender, and age to get at the core of the human experience. The book dispenses healing wisdom on everything from love and freedom, to crime and punishment, to houses and work, to clothes and laws — topics relevant to most every human in history. Its words turn conventional wisdom on its head, opening up new ways of seeing and understanding. All of this makes The Prophet an indispensable feast for the soul. 

 Books on Food, the Body, and Healthy, Mindful Eating

The Omnivore’s Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals – Michael Pollan

41fndihpMML._SX323_BO1,204,203,200_We are bombarded by one food fad after another and modern societies suffer from what can only be described as a national eating disorder. Will it be fast food tonight, or something organic? Or perhaps something we grew ourselves? The question of what to have for dinner has confronted us since man discovered fire. But as Michael Pollan explains in this revolutionary book, how we answer it now, at the dawn of the twenty-first century, may determine our survival as a species. Packed with profound surprises, The Omnivore’s Dilemma is changing the way we think about the politics, perils, and pleasures of eating. It’s literally page after page of mind-expanding information and perspective on where our food comes from and how to make food choices that benefit your body and your planet. 


Mindless Eating: Why We Eat More Than We Think – Brian Wansink

51oJ6KSjW-L._SX277_BO1,204,203,200_This book will change the way you think about your next meal. Food psychologist Brian Wansink revolutionizes our awareness of how much, what, and why we’re eating — often without realizing it. His findings are often surprising. The book dives into findings regarding a number of questions: Can the size of your plate influence your appetite? Why do you eat more when you dine with friends? What “hidden persuaders” are used by restaurants and supermarkets to get us to overeat? How does music or the color of the room influence how much — and how fast — we eat? How can we “mindlessly” lose — instead of gain — up to twenty pounds in the coming year? After reading Mindless Eating, you can make more mindful, enjoyable, and healthy choices at the dinner table, in the supermarket, at the office — wherever you satisfy your appetite. Trust us, you will never go back.

The Yoga of Eating: Transcending Diets and Dogma to Nourish the Natural Self – Charles Eisenstein

51n3XrfBeoL._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_There is much more to learn about eating than you think you know. In The Yoga of Eating, Eisenstein masterfully explains the shortcomings of Western views on nutrition and why you should transform your eating habits to get more enjoyment and nourishment out of your food. He discusses how being present while eating and truly tasting your food affects your body’s absorption of nutrients. This book is a practical and extraordinarily inspiring manual that offers original insights on the physical and spiritual functions of sugar, fat, meat, and other foods; fasting, dieting, processing, willpower, and the deeper principles of self-nurture. This book appeals to a higher authority — your own body — and shows how to access and trust the wisdom your body has to offer. 

Wonderful Introductions to Philosophy & Science

The Consolations of Philosophy – Alain de Botton

515ArrMbqwL._SX324_BO1,204,203,200_Philosophy can seem like an intimidating and cryptic subject, but it doesn’t have to be. In fact, philosophy is about one of our most basic human drives: To ask questions and search for answers. The Consolations of Philosophy is a remarkable introduction to philosophy. It draws on wisdom from the greatest thinkers of the ages and distills complex ideas into simple advice for day-to-day life. Solace for the broken heart can be found in the words of Schopenhauer. The ancient Greek Epicurus has the wisest, and most affordable, solution to cash flow problems. A remedy for impotence lies in Montaigne. Seneca offers advice upon losing a job. And Nietzsche has shrewd counsel for everything from loneliness to illness. The Consolations of Philosophy is a book as accessibly erudite as it is useful and entertaining. If you’re interested in getting your feet wet in philosophy, look no further.

A Short History of Nearly Everything – Bill Bryson

41Z3XNXTcHL._SX329_BO1,204,203,200_This book is a magnificent introduction both to science and to “big history,” an emerging discipline that seeks to study the history of the universe from its origins to the present. In A Short History of Nearly Everything, Bill Bryson grapples with the oldest, biggest questions we have posed about the universe and ourselves, who are we and where do we come from? Taking as territory everything from the Big Bang to the rise of civilization, Bryson seeks to understand how we got from there being nothing at all to there being us. To that end, he interviews a host of the world’s most distinguished archaeologists, anthropologists, and mathematicians, traveling to their offices, laboratories, and field camps. He read their books, pesters them with questions, and apprentices himself to their powerful minds. A Short History of Nearly Everything is the record of this quest, and it is a sometimes profound, sometimes funny, and always supremely clear and entertaining adventure in the realms of human knowledge, as only Bill Bryson can render it. Science has never been more engrossing and entertaining.

Extraordinary Novels

The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle – Haruki Murakami

51qSvFN+jLL._SX322_BO1,204,203,200_If you’ve never read this book, you’re missing out on the chance to lose yourself in a waking dream. The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle tells the strange story of Toru Okada, a man who is simply looking for his missing cat and ends up being forced to navigate a netherworld that lies beneath the surface of Tokyo to save his wife from doom. Haruki Murakami is a modern master of magic realism and mind-bending metaphysical mischief and has an uncanny and enchanting way of unraveling ideas through the medium of fiction. And this book is widely regarded as one of his absolute best. His writing will mesmerize you while simultaneously provoking unusual and head-spinning thoughts. It will feel like a dream, and you will find yourself asking “What just happened?” when it’s over. This is a novel that I could never, ever forget. 

Siddhartha – Herman Hesse

41drZBnWSzL._SX302_BO1,204,203,200_Siddhartha is a beautiful story of the hero’s journey and the sometimes unusual paths that individuals take to attain wisdom. The book tells the story of Siddhartha, a young man who leaves his family for a contemplative, spiritual life, but then grows restless and discards it for a life of decadence and luxury. Eventually, though, Siddhartha moves on again, returning to the life of an ascetic wanderer. After much wandering, he happens upon a river and an old man who will transform him forever. In the tradition of stories of the hero’s journey, Siddhartha must vacate the shore of the familiar and enter the ocean of the unknown, facing challenges in order to gain the understanding that will ultimately liberate him and allow him to teach others. Herman Hesse was heavily influenced by Nietzsche and Schopenhauer, and you can see how the ideas of those philosophers play out in some ways in this novel. All in all, it’s a profound read that will resonate with anyone who has ever abandoned the norm in favor of searching for a higher existence.

The Sirens of Titan – Kurt Vonnegut

41NpTHgxYeL._SX325_BO1,204,203,200_This is a novel that will wrench your mind, heart, and imagination wide open. The Sirens of Titan centers around the richest, most depraved man on Earth, Malachi Constant, who is given the opportunity to take a space journey to distant planets with a gorgeous women at his side. But there’s a catch to the invitation, and it involves a prophecy about the purpose of human life that only Kurt Vonnegut could invent. The novel is a splendid satire bursting with mordant wit and black humor, but it’s way more than that too. It’s a meditation on morality, inequality, metaphysics, and what it means to be a human being. In characteristic fashion, Vonnegut manages to countenance some of the biggest question marks in existence while still writing a vividly captivating and enjoyable story. It’s a wonderful time and so damn worth it.

Wellness

Examine.com Stack Guides

sleep_stack_ipad.png.pagespeed.ce.npRr9xnVREIf you’re like me, you don’t want to dedicate a huge portion of time and energy necessary to master the contradictory field of health and fitness, you just want practical answers… quickly. The Examine Stack Guides were made for this. There are 16 guides in total, each covering a different health goal, from sleep quality to fat loss to memory and focus to cardiovascular health, and more. This is Examine’s version of a how-to guide for hacking your health. Each guide tells you exactly which supplements are proven to work, which supplements are overhyped, and how to structure and combine your supplements for optimal results. Check out some of the reviews on Examine’s Stack Guides here.

Examine.com’s Supplement Goal Reference Guide

supp refThis guide is the ultimate resource for supplements. Currently clocking in at over 1,200 pages, it has every health goal, every supplement, and every human study relating to supplements… ever. But the best part is how easy it is to use. Simply click on a health goal (such as acne, muscle gain, hair loss, memory, etc.), and you’ll get a list of all the research-proven supplements with their recommended dose and trivia. You can also click on a supplement to see what health goals it will help you achieve. Click here to see what everyone is saying about the Examine Supplement Goal Reference Guide.

Psychology & Happiness

Happify

happify-nowHappify is created by a team of positive psychologists who want to make you happier. It is an amazing tool that consists of simple and effective games to teach you happy habits that work. Want to think more constructively? End negative thoughts? With happify you can ‘gamify’ your live to see the world from the bright side. While the aim of ‘positive psychology’ is to help us to thrive in all areas of existence, it’s a mistake to lump it into the same box as positive thinking. Positive psychology takes ideas, disciplines, and philosophies and filters them mercilessly through the rigor of academia. Most of the time positive psychology studies reach the sad conclusion that lasting fulfilment is a slippery salmon indeed. But once in a while they make a discovery that has the power to genuinely improve the quality of our lives, with science to back it up.  Whether you want to be more confident, distance yourself from negative emotions, or just get the most out of your life, Happify will give you the tools to make this happen. Try your free Happify trial here.

The Five-Minute Journal

five minute journalBestselling productivity author Tim Ferriss uses The 5-Minute Journal every single day. “I’ve found this [journal] to dramatically improve the quality of my life,” says Ferriss. It’s that simple. It just works. Why? The 5-minute journal ticks what psychologists call the “ABC of change.”

A = Affective: The journal primes you with beautiful quotes and feelings of appreciation.

B = Behavioral: The journal makes it easy to create the physical habit of writing.

C = Cognitive: The journal trains your mind to focus only on the positive.

There are tons of journals on the market, each claiming to solve your every need. The reason The 5-minute journal is by far the best is because it’s super quick to use (hence the 5 minutes), elegantly simple to fill in, and based on the cutting-edge science of positive psychology (see Happify above).

Personally, I’ve experimented with all the popular journaling apps; they were all too complicated and buggy. I’ve also gone old school and used pen and pad; that was clunky and awkward and felt too much like homework. The only journal that has truly worked for me over the long-term is The 5-minute Journal

Wim Hof Method

wimhofThe Wim Hof Method is a scientific proven technique that boosts your immune system, increases your focus and strengthens your cardiovascular system. It teaches you how to go deep into your immune system so you can learn how to fight of illness, depression and insomnia. Based on ancient tummo meditation and modern scientific findings, this online course trains you to wake up to your inner potential. You follow Wim ‘The Iceman’ Hof who climbed past the ‘death zone’ (7,500m) on Everest wearing nothing but a pair of shorts, completed a marathon above the arctic circle in Finland in temperatures close to −20 °C dressed, again, in nothing but shorts. Wim also ran a full marathon in the Namib Desert without water and he holds over 20 world records, among them the longest time spent in an ice-bath: 1 hour, 52 minutes and 46 seconds. In as little as four days he’s taught people, using his Wim Hof Method, to withstand extreme cold. He has even taught people to control their autonomic immune response after being injected by toxins.

What makes Wim Hof different is that he routinely asks scientists to scrutinize and validate his and his student’s feats. The Wim Hof Method is proven to work, and now you can learn it yourself.

But again, Wim Hof is not superhuman. With the right guidance, you can do this too. The Wim Hof Method will improve your general well-being and overall life satisfaction whether you’re on the peak of Everest or merely looking up from the gutter.

Click here to find out what exactly the Wim Hof Method is. Exclusive discount: If you use the coupon ‘high25‘ you’ll get 25% off!