Robyn Conley Downs changed how she approached health and happiness when she realized the methods she was using weren’t working. She decided to find a system that worked for her. As part of her wellness journey, she launched a podcast and wrote The Feel Good Effect.
Said Amazon editorial director Sarah Gelman in an earlier article about The Feel Good Effect: “Listening to Downs’ podcast is like having the kindest, wisest friend supporting you through life.” Gelman added, “Downs’ mantra is ‘gentle is the new perfect.’ Is there a more relevant mantra for our current times? I think not.”
We reached out to Robyn Conley Downs to find out what she’s been reading and loving this year, and here is what she said:
“Reading has always been a source of joy in my life, serving as a time to reflect, learn, focus, and just to be. I love reading a few pages each day as part of my morning routine, and particularly lately have found it to be an essential way to find a sense of calm and grounding before facing the day ahead.”
You Belong: A Call for Connection by Sebene Selassie
Have you ever thought about what it really means to belong—not just a superficial fitting-in, but true, deep, meaningful belonging? This book has caused me to rethink belonging in the best possible way, including what creates separation and connection, why belonging can be a gateway to more joy, and why it’s a necessary component in acknowledging injustice in the world.
Good morning, I love you. Since reading this book I now start each morning with this simple self-compassion meditation, for myself and for others, and dare I say, it’s been life changing. Don’t let the simplicity of the concept fool you, though. The mindfulness strategies in this book will change your brain’s circuitry and allow you to find more clarity and joy in daily life.
Vibrate Higher Daily: Live Your Power by Lalah Delia
I often turn to spiritual teacher and activist Lalah Delia when I need a little encouragement to listen to my inner voice and trust my instincts. This book is a gorgeous mix of narrative and poetry, and reminds me that it’s the intentional day-to-day choices that make the biggest difference.
The Joy of Movement: How Exercise Helps Us Find Happiness, Hope, Connection, and Courage by Kelly McGonigal, PhD
Movement can and should be a source of joy. While radical in a time when exercise is often framed as a “no pain, no gain” way to achieve outward outcomes, research psychologist Kelly McGonigal reminds us that we can harness the power of movement to create more happiness, meaning, and connection. No pain required.
Author photo courtesy of Robyn Conley Downs
The author of "The Feel Good Effect" shares the books that have inspired her this year.