30+ Inspiring Books on Positive Thinking & Behavior


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The human mind is wired for negativity. It helps us stay alert to danger and think quickly under pressure. Unfortunately, too much negativity can steal the joy in everyday life, causing long-term problems when left unchecked. 

Overview: Our Top Picks

Books for Children

Religious Books

Books for People with Cancer or a Serious Illness

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When you aren’t used to it, thinking more positively can seem unnatural and difficult. Here’s the good news — our brains are flexible and ready to learn all the time. Books on positive thinking and behavior can help you shift your mindset in a short time.

These books can also provide that much needed life-changing adjustment that you may only experience when reading. Check out the list below to find your next positive thinking book.

Best Positive Thinking Books for Children

Gratitude books and positive storybooks help kids learn in fun ways. They teach thinking skills and provide a chance for parents and kids to talk about important topics.

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1. What Should Danny Do? by Adir Levy and Ganit Levy

What Should Danny Do? teaches children about making positive choices. They learn about the influence their decisions have on themselves and others.

By understanding the power of positive choices, children learn to think ahead about their actions. 

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2. What to Do When You Grumble Too Much by Dawn Huebner

It’s easy to feel good when everything is going well. But life doesn’t work like that most of the time. Each day has challenges, and a child’s mindset can determine the day’s outcome.

The encouraging book What to Do When You Grumble Too Much teaches kids how to handle small mishaps that can turn a good day into a bad one. 

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3. My Strong Mind: A Story About Developing Mental Strength by Niels van Hove

My Strong Mind is a story about Kate, a young girl who uses her strong thinking skills to get through everyday challenges. She faces each situation in the story with a go-getter attitude and a sense of resilience. In this book, the author teaches several techniques like goal setting, positive self-talk, and gratitude. 

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4. How to Get Unstuck by Negative Muck by Lake Sullivan, Ph.D

In How to Get Unstuck from the Negative Muck, Dr. Sullivan acknowledges that we have many negative thoughts every day. We can’t get rid of all of them, but we can learn how to cope with them.

This book teaches children how to face negative thoughts and prevent them from determining the outcome of their day.

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5. The 3 Minute Gratitude Journal for Kids by Modern Kid Press

An attitude of gratitude can help kids see the world more positively. The 3 Minute Gratitude Journal for Kids is designed to help kids be thankful for what they have and look for simple joys.

As kids create a habit of looking for the positive in life, they develop resiliency and thoughtfulness. 

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6. My Strong Mind II: The Power of Positive Thinking by Niels van Hove

This story features a kind and happy boy who develops mental toughness through his daily experiences.

Author Niels van Hove empowers kids by teaching them how to make a positive difference every day. When kids build confidence and resilience, their positive mindset can keep them going when things get tough. 

7. Chicken Soup for the Soul: Think Positive for Kids by Kevin Sorbo and Amy Newmark

This collection of uplifting stories shares the power of positive thinking for kids. Each story shares lessons about how to make good decisions and simple things to be grateful for.

Parents can add valuable insight by discussing the story after reading it with their child. 

Tip: Read our guide on the best inspiring fiction and non-fiction books for even more recommendations.

Best Positive Thinking Books for Young Adults and Teens 

Teens and young adults deal with a lot of change as they mature. These positive thinking books help young people learn how to think more clearly, discover themselves, and find joy in everyday life.

8. Speaking to Yourself with Love: Transform Your Self-Talk (Volume 1) by Maryse Cardin

What kind of self-talk goes through your mind every day? This book takes a closer look at how your internal dialogue affects your mindset and how to improve it.

The tone is friendly and encouraging, helping you shift your inner conversation and change your life.

9. Mindfulness for Teens in 10 Minutes a Day by Jennie Marie Battistin, MA, LMFT

Teens can feel a lot of stress with school, relationships, and peer pressure. This book teaches simple mindfulness exercises to help teens feel more joy and calm each day. With 60 guided exercises, there’s plenty of variety to keep things interesting. 

10. How to Be Happy (Or at Least Less Sad) by Lee Crutchley 

People with depression and anxiety often struggle to enjoy simple pleasures. Lee Crutchley brings everyday joy back into focus in a relatable and practical workbook.

This book has guided exercises, open space for scribbling, and uplifting stories to open your mind and heart. It encourages mindfulness and a positive mindset as you rediscover happiness.

11. Self Discovery Journal for Teens and Young Adults by Gerald Confienza

This book combines the openness of a journal with the guidance of a workbook to present 200 self-discovery questions.

Every day, one question will take your mind on a journey to rediscover hobbies, laugh, and get creative. Each of these questions nudges your mind in a positive direction as you start your day.

12. Conquer Negative Thinking for Teens by Rachel Davidson Miller

This book explains how the thinking mind works and how teens can easily get caught in negative thought cycles. Teens learn awareness of their thought patterns and learn how to break harmful habits.

When negative thoughts become less prominent, their power diminishes, and a positive mindset can take root.

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13. I Would, But my Damn Mind won’t let me! by Jacqui Letran

Teens can easily be overwhelmed by negativity and stress. This book teaches teens how to fight back by changing old harmful mental habits into positive ones.

This approach helps teens manage common feelings of fear and self-doubt. Teens learn how to work through tough emotions instead of feeling trapped by them.

14. Conquer Negative Thinking for Teens: A Workbook to Break the Nine Thought Habits That Are Holding You Back by Mary Karapetian Alvord, Ph.D and Anne McGrath, MA

Negative thinking patterns can create an endless cycle of anxiety and stress. This book teaches a technique called cognitive restructuring to help teens become more flexible thinkers. Teens learn more about recognizing negative thoughts and replacing them with more realistic and helpful ones.

Best Positive Thinking Books for Adults 

Positive thinking and success often go hand-in-hand. Many of these books explore improving mental habits, reducing stress, and finding joy. Some of these books can provide supplemental thought alongside the books to read before you die.

15. Think Like a Warrior by Darrin Donnelly

This book highlights five inner beliefs that help you build a strong and resilient mindset. It’s written in a way that makes it easy to digest and see benefits from your actions.

By focusing on the inner beliefs, you’ll learn more about positive self-talk, being a positive leader, and bringing enthusiasm to each day.

16. Victory Favors the Fearless by Darrin Donnelly

In this other book by Donnelly, he addresses seven types of fearful thinking that holds people back from happiness.

The lessons are illustrated through the story of a pro boxer navigating through his professional career. He faces and overcomes each type of fear throughout his journey.

17. Brain Makeover by Phyllis Ginsberg

This book helps you retrain your brain to improve your sense of well-being. The practical exercises will help you understand how to create healthier mental habits, reduce stress, and make better choices.

It takes self-honesty and commitment to make these changes stick, but this book provides a simple path to getting started.

18. On the Bright Side by Melanie Shankle and Jen Hatmaker

If you need more joy and positivity in your life, this book reminds you of where to look. The authors share relatable stories and humor as they explore kindness, love, mercy, and joy. This book stimulates a positive mindset by highlighting the good in yourself and around you. 

19. Percolate: Let Your Best Self Filter Through by Elizabeth Hamilton-Guarino and Katie Eastman

The fresh ideas in this book will help you find more meaning and purpose in your life. The authors teach you practical ways to put more positivity into your life every day.

You’re encouraged through each chapter to follow your heart and take action to become your best self. 

20. Conscious Communications by Mary Shores

At the foundation of this book is one single truth: words have the power to create and transform. The author uses research and personal experiences to show how you can change the pathways in your brain. This book will teach you how to create new thinking patterns and build a more positive reality. 

21. Becoming Better Grownups by Brad Montague

According to the author, the secret to finding joy is to become more childlike. Joy is easy to miss when we get stuck in the seriousness of the adult world. This book combines storytelling with wisdom to reveal lessons about living better and helping others.

Religious Positive Thinking Books

Our world bombards us with negativity and conflict. These religious positive thinking books can be your guiding light when your spirit feels covered in fear and worry.  

22. Don’t Give the Enemy a Seat at Your Table by Louie Giglio

Author Louie Giglio describes how our spiritual enemy is lying in wait, looking for a chance to come between us and Jesus. Don't Give the Enemy a Seat at Your Table shows you how to knock the enemy out by finding encouragement, hope, and strength every day of your life. 

23. Develop a Beautiful Mind God's Way by Eunice Onode

Eunice Onode recognizes something we all struggle with—worrisome negative thoughts. When anxiety weighs you down, it's hard to feel like you're in charge of your mind. 

With Develop a Beautiful Mind God's Way, you can let God guide the way. Learn to recognize God's invitation to think like Him and stop the blizzard of negative thoughts in your mind.

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24. The Muslim Mindset: Practical Lessons in Achieving a Positive Mental Attitude by Zakia Khalil 

A positive mindset is the foundation of a rich and fulfilling life. It can set you on the path you are supposed to be on in life. But sometimes, it's hard to know where to start and how to keep moving.

The Muslim Mindset uses practical advice and lessons to guide you on your way to spiritual transformation.

25. Sacred Intentions: Morning Inspiration to Strengthen the Spirit Based on the Jewish Wisdom Tradition by Rabbi Lori Forman-Jacobi  

Sometimes a power-packed quote is all you need to refresh your mind. That’s the focus of Rabbi Lori Forma-Jacobi’s book, Sacred Intentions. Every day you get the power of the positive word and the thoughts of spiritual leaders from the Jewish faith.

26. Winning the War in Your Mind: Change Your Thinking, Change Your Life by Craig Groeschel

Craig Groeschel draws on wisdom from scripture to create a guide for positive thinking. In his book, Winning the War in Your Mind, you’ll learn how your mind develops mental habits, how to change unhealthy thinking patterns, and how to transform your mind with prayer.

27. 100 Days of Believing Bigger: Devotional Journal by Marshawn Evans Daniels

Does it seem like negative thoughts are in the driver’s seat, and you’re just a passenger? After 100 Days of Believing Bigger, Daniels’ devotional journal, you’ll believe bigger and understand more about God’s promises for your life.

Positive Thinking Books for People Who Have Cancer or a Serious Illness

Cancer and severe illness can give you a new perspective on life. The emotional journey can be difficult, but it can also shape lives in meaningful ways. 

28. Humor After the Tumor: One Woman's Look at Her Year With Breast Cancer by Patty Gelman

When cancer takes you on an unwanted journey, humor is one of the best ways to keep going. Humor After the Tumor started as an online journal about author Patty Gelman’s journey and became an inspiring, humorous book.

29. The Healing Power of Humor: Techniques for Getting Through Loss, Setbacks, Upsets, Disappointments, Difficulties, Trials, Tribulations, and All That Not-So-Funny Stuff by Allen Klein

Cancer is no laughing matter, but humor does have healing powers. The Healing Power of Humor has more than just a collection of funny stories. Klein shows you how to use humor to get through life’s more difficult moments.

30. Living with Cancer - A Journey of Hope: My personal story of the power of positive thinking by Margot Larson

Cancer is personal, and Margot Larson offers her experiences with cancer as a down-to-earth guide. Living with Cancer is full of practical tips, information, and hope when you need it the most.

31. Finding the Can in Cancer by Nancy Emerson, Susan Moonan, and Terri Schinazi

This group of cancer survivors poured their experiences together into one helpful handbook, Finding the Can in Cancer. They share practical advice and inspiration and show how friendship can keep you going through the most challenging days.

32. Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl

Man's Search For Meaning is a must-read book, full of wisdom found from moments of unspeakable pain. Viktor Frankl was a psychiatrist and neurologist before he was captured and taken to a Nazi concentration camp. There, he determined that meaning, not happiness, was the greatest pursuit for every human being.

33. Rise and Thrive: A Guide for Transforming Your Mood, Cultivating Inspiration, and Living Vibrantly with Chronic Illness by Masumi Goldman

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Living with a chronic illness is exhausting, and it’s easy to lose hope some days. Author Masumi Goldman has been there and understands how defeating it can be to face your illness each day. This book shows you how to develop powerful habits to take your life in a more positive direction. Yes, there will still be challenging moments. But with practice and encouragement, you can cultivate a habit of positivity. 

Books on Positive Thinking: Food for Thought

Positive thinking books can be a handy tool whether you’re looking for a book for your child or yourself.

Many of these books are enjoyable to read, but true change takes more than absorbing information. It also takes action. When you find the right book, you can begin embracing a more positive healthy mindset. 

Infographic of inspiring books on positive thinking for children

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