Top books about the brain
Co-founder Dan shares his top reads on brain health, and our community share their favourite books about the brain.
Whether you're a newbie to brain health or you're looking to delve deeper into the subject—here I’ve rounded up my top five books about the brain to help you on your journey. It’s been a supremely difficult task, as my favourites seem to change often, but after a lot of thought, this is where I landed.
And, if you’d like to hear what other brain enthusiasts have to recommend, keep scrolling to see what our community has to offer.
Warning: your must-read list is about to get very long.
Top 5 books about the brain
1. The Source— by neuroscientist, Dr Tara Swart
The power of visualizing the future you want, told from a neuroscientist’s point of view.
I’ve been a huge fan of this book, and Dr T, well-before she became Chief Science Officer at Heights.
Dr Tara gives readers an easily understandable introduction to neuroplasticity along with the tools to help you change your brain and your life for the better. The book includes a four step plan to awaken the power of your brain and shows people how to challenge autopilot thinking and rewire your brain's pathways to;
fulfill your potential
manifest the things you want by directing your energy towards your deepest values and ambitions
harness the power of visualization to prime your brain to grab opportunities and take control of your future and attack life with confidence
dispel fear and avoid negative thinking.
Who wouldn't want that?
2. Optimum Nutrition for the Brain—by nutritionist, Patrick Holford
A classic guide to improving your mood, boosting your memory, sharpening your mind, and solving mental health problems through nutrition. It outlines:
breakthrough discoveries on how specific essential fats, vitamins, and minerals can improve depression and anxiety
discusses the effects of stress, alcohol, and exercise on mental health
gives details on new discoveries in the treatment of autism and schizophrenia
provides concrete and well researched guidance for those with mental health difficulties
This eye-opening read was the first book recommended to me when I was suffering from anxiety and insomnia and I haven't looked back since.
Want to know more about my journey to braincare? Read my story here.
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3. Lost Connections—by the brilliant writer, Johann Hari
I heard about this book at a dinner party a few years ago (when that was a thing), and I impulsively bought it having no idea how incredible I would find it.
It is an absolute masterpiece that could totally change society and the way we think about it.
After suffering from depression all his life, Johan travels the world, uncovering stories from fellow sufferers and the key scientists who have helped shape the world of antidepressants to blow that story wide open, making room for a new improved one.
If you read one book in 2021, make it this. My favourite quote from the book is;
Humans need tribes like bees need hives.
4. Evolve your Brain. The Science of Changing your Mind—by Dr. Joe Dispenza
The book starts off in the most ridiculous fashion. Joe's personal story goes from being a chiropractor, to a neuroscientist, to a spiritual leader filling out stadiums on tour as a public speaker.
By employing some pretty powerful mind techniques in order to beat paralysis following a life-threatening crash, he embarks on a life of dedication and purpose. Explaining how all of this is possible if you understand how your brain works, why it does what it does, and how to make it work for you.
It is intense, it is long, but it is so powerful. Joe Dispenza’s story is unbelievable and I highly recommend it.
5. The Power of Now—by teacher and author, Eckhart Tolle
All negativity is caused by an accumulation of psychological time and denial of the present. Unease, anxiety, tension, stress, worry - all forms of fear - are caused by too much future, and not enough presence. Guilt, regret, resentment, grievances, sadness, bitterness, and all forms of non-forgiveness are caused by too much past, and not enough presence.
Food for thought.
This book presents itself as a discussion about how we interact with ourselves and others. The concept of self-reflection and presence in the moment are presented, along with simple exercises for the achievement of these principles.
And, whilst I am prone to hyperbole at times, as I have you here and now in the present, I would say it's not just in my top five brain health books, but in my top five books of all time.
Brain health books: community picks
While the above are in my list of top brain health books, we’re all about the community here at Heights. So, we put the question out on our social channels, and got some fantastic suggestions.
Here’s just a few to add to your braincare library. (My list has now quadrupled!):
The Inflamed Mind—by Edward Bullmore
Mindsight—by Daniel Siegal
Accessing the Healing Power of the Vagus Nerve—by Stanley Rosenberg
How to Build a Healthy Brain—by Kimberley Wilson
Why We Sleep: The New Science of Sleep and Dreams—by Matthew Walker
The Brain Fog Fix—by Dr Mike Dow
The Brain that Changes Itself—by Norman Doidge
The Man who Mistook his Wife for a Hat—by Oliver Sacks
The XX Brain—by Dr Lisa Mosconi
The Psychobiotic Revolution—by Scott C Anderson
The Body Keeps the Score—by Bessel van der Kolk
Life Lessons from a Brain Surgeon—by Dr Rahul Jandial