20 Popular Books About Mindfulness for All Ages

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There is no end of things available to entertain us in today's high-tech world. It's incredibly easy to distract ourselves from the world's chaos with television, movies, and social media. This endless stream of sensory input is diverting, but it can also make it hard for us to know ourselves. That's why more people are making an effort to embrace mindfulness. 

Overview: Our Top Picks

Books for Beginners

Books for Advanced Practitioners

Books for Teens

Books for Children

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Mindfulness is a form of meditation that helps practitioners become more aware of what they're feeling at any given moment. People can use breathing methods and guided energy to relax both mind and body and get more in touch with themselves. Sound intriguing to you? Check out these recommendations for books on mindfulness for people of all ages and levels. 

Popular Mindfulness Books for Beginners

If mindfulness is a new concept to you, these books provide a great entry point. Even if you’ve never practiced any form of meditation, mindfulness is a great place to start.

1. The Miracle of Mindfulness by Thich Nhat Hanh

Thich Nhat Hanh is a Vietnamese monk known for writing some of the best spiritual books from a Buddhist perspective. In The Miracle of Mindfulness, Hanh helps newcomers identify all of the opportunities you have to be mindful of throughout the day. Even during prosaic tasks, like washing the dishes, we have the opportunity to ground ourselves and hone in on our thoughts. 

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2. The Mindful Way Workbook: An 8 Week Program to Free Yourself from Depression and Emotional Distress by John Teasdale, Mark Williams, and Zindel Segal

The Mindful Way Workbook is an excellent jumping-off point if you’re interested in mindfulness but don’t know where to begin. It helps establish the basics and fundamentals of mindfulness in an orderly manner. It also provides a structured game plan that allows you to integrate mindfulness into your day-to-day life seamlessly. 

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3. Mindfulness in Plain English by Bhante Gunaratana

Mindfulness in Plain English has been one of the go-to guides on mindfulness for nearly thirty years. Written by a monk, this book breaks down meditation and mindfulness in clear and practical terminology. Look for the updated and expanded edition. 

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4. Aware: The Science and Practice of Presence by Daniel J. Siegel, M.D.

Many of the mindfulness books on this list are tied to spiritual practices like Buddhism. If you’re not spiritual in nature, you may wonder if mindfulness is right for you. Written by a neuroscientist, this book explores the science behind meditation’s effect on the brain. It’s a very informative book for a more science-minded skeptic.

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5. Practicing Mindfulness: 75 Essential Meditations to Reduce Stress, Improve Mental Health, and Find Peace in the Everyday by Matthew Sockolov

There are many different ways to explore mindfulness. What works for someone else may not work for you. This comprehensive book includes 75 simple exercises for practicing mindfulness, so you can explore and find the best fit for your practice. Each exercise takes between five to fifteen minutes to complete, so they’re simple to incorporate into your daily routine.

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Popular Mindfulness Books for More Advanced Practitioners 

If you’ve mastered the basic premises behind mindfulness, you may be ready to take your practice to the next phase. While the books in this section are rooted in mindfulness, some also explore deeper forms of meditation. 

6. The Mind Illuminated: A Complete Meditation Guide Integrating Buddhist Wisdom and Brain Science for Greater Mindfulness By Culadasa (John Yates Ph.D.)

The concept of mindfulness is trendy, so it’s easy to assume that it’s a relatively new practice, but in reality, it is deeply rooted in the Buddhist tradition. The Mind Illuminated highlights the rich history of mindfulness while also exploring the latest research in neuroscience and cognitive psychology. That balance of spirituality and science makes this a unique guide to mindfulness. 

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7. Mindfulness, Bliss, and Beyond: A Meditator’s Handbook by Ajahn Brahm

You may fear that the texts and teachings may feel dry as you delve deeper into mindfulness. This book proves that theory false. While this book is incredibly informative, there is no shortage of entertaining stories and lighthearted humor. Mindfulness, Bliss, and Beyond intends to empower people as they expand their meditation practices. 

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8. Trusting the Gold: Uncovering Your Natural Goodness by Tara Brach

Brach, a psychologist and longtime meditation teacher, is well-known for her work in promoting mindfulness. While her practice draws from Buddhist wisdom and tradition, she teaches in a way that is more accessible to people practicing mindfulness from a more Western perspective. Trusting the Gold helps free people from the judgment they may impose on themselves and help them remember their goodness.

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9. A Still Forest Pool: The Insight Meditation of Achaan Chah by Achaan Chah

Achaan Chah is an influential meditation teacher who has inspired popular contemporary writers such as Daniel Ingraham. Chah spent many years meditating in a forest monastery called Wat Ba Pong in order to understand his inner self. With the help of translators, his wisdom has been distilled into this helpful guide.

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10. Abiding in Mindfulness Series by Joseph Goldstein

Technically this isn’t a book, it’s a series of teachings available in audiobook format. This series provides an excellent deep dive into mindfulness through a distinctly Buddhist lens if you take in knowledge better through listening than reading. Specifically, it explores the four foundations of mindfulness in a well-organized and informative curriculum.

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Popular Mindfulness Books for Teenagers

Teenagers today grapple with a significant amount of stress, perhaps more so than the generations that preceded them. They are constantly inundated with stressors, from school to social media to fear about the future. These mindfulness books can help teens feel more grounded in today’s world.

11. Mindfulness for Teens in 10 Minutes a Day: Exercises to Feel Calm, Stay Focused & Be Your Best Self by Jennie Marie Battistin MA, LMFT

Most teenagers have full schedules between school, family, friends, and extracurricular activities. It can be challenging to carve out time for self-improvement. Mindfulness for Teens in 10 Minutes a Day is full of exercises and breathing techniques to help teens focus and get hold of their feelings. 

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12. Anxiety Relief for Teens: Essential CBT Skills and Mindfulness Practices to Overcome Anxiety and Stress by Regine Galanti PhD

According to the National Institute of Mental Health, as many as 31.9% of adolescents have some form of anxiety disorder. Mindfulness is an excellent way to come to terms with anxiety. Anxiety Relief for Teens uses a combination of mindfulness practices and techniques used in cognitive behavioral therapy to help teens get control over their anxiety.

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13. Mindfulness Workbook for Teens: Exercises and Tools to Handle Stress, Find Focus, and Thrive by Linette Bixby

Simply reading a book about mindfulness techniques will be enough for some teens. However, some teenagers do better with hands-on learning. The Mindfulness Workbook for Teens is the perfect introduction to teens who want to reduce stress through mindfulness. 

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14. Stuff That Sucks: A Teen’s Guide to Accepting What You Can’t Change and Committing to What You Can by Ben Sedley PhD

Some books geared towards teenagers are a little flowery in their approach. As you can tell by the title of this book, this book takes a more direct approach. Teenagers are savvy, and they know that the world is imperfect. Stuff That Sucks acknowledges that sometimes stuff sucks and meets teens at their level by speaking their language. 

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15. The Self-Compassionate Teen: Mindfulness and Compassion Skills to Conquer Your Critical Inner Voice by Karen Bluth PhD

Many teens face pressure from external sources like overbearing parents or bullying from classmates. But for other teens, their inner voice is their worst enemy. The Self-Compassionate Teen helps teens who are hard on themselves begin to show themselves more compassion and care. This book is excellent for sensitive teenagers or teens with ADHD who also wrestle with rejection-sensitive dysphoria. 

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Popular Mindfulness Books for Children or Elementary School Students

It’s never too early to teach mindfulness! Even young children can benefit from this practice, as it can help them cope with outsized emotions. These mindfulness books are a great way to introduce younger kids to the concept of self-care.

16. The Mindful Dragon: A Dragon Book About Mindfulness by Steve Herman

The Mindful Dragon is part of a broader series on teaching kids about emotions. The storyline of this beautifully-illustrated book centers around a child showing his pet dragon how to cope with his worries through mindfulness techniques. It’s a great way to model mindfulness for children by casting a child in the teaching role.

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17. Happy by Nicola Edwards

Happy is the perfect introduction to mindfulness for children as young as three. While it doesn’t directly layout mindfulness practices, it more abstractly explores the importance of breathing to calm yourself down. It’s the perfect foundational guide for younger kids. 

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18. Breathe Like a Bear: 30 Mindful Moments for Kids to Feel Calm and Focused Anytime, Anywhere by Kira Willey

Breathe Like a Bear uses sweetly illustrated characters to teach elementary-school-aged kids different mindfulness techniques. There are 30 short and simple breathing exercises within its pages, designed to help kids cope with stress. 

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19. Mindfulness for Kids in 10 Minutes a Day: Simple Exercises to Feel Calm, Focused, and Happy by Maura Bradley

This book, designed for kids aged 8 through 12, provides more structured mindfulness techniques that are still age-appropriate. It helps establish a consistent practice in stress reduction at an age when kids are becoming more aware of societal pressure. 

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20. Mindful Games For Kids: 50 Fun Activities to Stay Present, Improve Concentration, and Understand Emotions by Kristina Sargent

Younger children often learn best through games and hands-on activities. This book is an excellent resource for parents who want their elementary-school-aged children to learn mindfulness techniques.

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Mindfulness Is Key At Any Age

In a world as chaotic as ours, it’s tempting to distract ourselves with games, memes, and social media posts. But the best thing you can do for yourself in an uncertain world is develop a strong sense of self. Children, teens, and adults can benefit from being more mindful and self-aware. When you know your mind and are deeply in touch with your feelings, it gives you the ability to cope with whatever life throws at you. 


Source:
  1. “Any Anxiety Disorder.” National Institute of Mental Health, NIMH.gov, Nimh.nih.gov.
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