21 Relaxing Books to Read Before Bed

Here are 21 relaxing books to read before bed. These books will inspire, motivate, and entertain you as well as help you fall asleep and wake up feeling better.

I love reading in bed before I fall asleep. Reading a relaxing book before bed calms my mind and lets me drift gently to sleep.

Updated: 6/19/2020 I’ve been reading some good books the past few months, so have added them to the list.

While writing another post, How to Wake Up Happier Every Day, I realized that I had a big list of books that I have read over the past two years.

Many of these books have been a huge influence on my life and in my work. Some feel like healthy foods or vitamins, they are just good for you.

Read to Help You Sleep Better

As I said, my favorite books to read at night are books that are interesting enough that I look forward to them but not so exciting that they rev up my nervous system or keep me awake for hours.

As you can tell from the list, I really like self-help books and memoirs. These seem to be the best for helping me fall asleep. A good novel is often hard to put down! So, at night I stick to good-for-me books.

Here are 20 relaxing books to read before bed. These books will inspire, motivate, and entertain you as well as help you fall asleep and wake up feeling better.

The pictures of the books are links to amazon where you can read the description and reviews. These are affiliate links and you can read my full disclosure here.

My List of 20 Books to Read Before Bed to Help You Feel Better

I Will Always Write Back– Martin Ganda

This book was so so so AMAZING. I give it my own award as Best Book I Read During Stay at Home.

It’s the story between a young girl in the US, who becomes penpals with a young boy in Africa.

The story is so much better than it sounds with my inadequate description. It’s a wonderful story. Go check it out NOW.

Untamed–Glennon Doyle

This is the first book I have read by Glennon Doyle. It’s a unique love story. One of the things that is so interesting about Glennon, is the dramatic twists her life has taken. As they happen publicly because she is a popular writer, you go on that humbling journey with her. But there is love, always love.

Solve for Happy – Mo Gawdat

This inspiring story is about a man whose beloved son died unexpectedly. The family decided to honor his memory but also strive to be happy. The book is part their story and part what creates happiness.

Happier at Home – Gretchen Rubin

This is my favorite of the Gretchen Rubin books. She divides the book into 9 months, each month devoted to a way of finding more happiness in her home.

“So, starting in September (the new January), Rubin dedicated a school year—September through May—to making her home a place of greater simplicity, comfort, and love.” (Amazon)

Braving the Wilderness – Brene Brown

I think you can pick any Brene Brown book and have a great before bed read.

An Invisible Thread –Laura Shroff

This is the story of a woman with a busy professional life in NYC who befriends a young boy on the street. This story covers their 25-year story. I have to admit, this is one I read through in a weekend. So good!

Jump and Your Life Will Appear – Nancy Levin

How to make change with small steps.

Dying to Be Me – Anita Moorjani

A great book about a near-death experience.

Marrow – Elizabeth Lesser

This is the story between two sisters. One who needed a marrow transplant and the other who was the perfect match.

Brave Enough – Cheryl Strayed

This is a book of quotes from Cheryl Strayed’s books and writings. So read a little, feel inspired, and go to sleep.

Wild: From Lost to Found – Cheryl Strayed

I’ve read this book three time! The last time I read it was right before I went on my first hike. I love books about people doing these long hikes. For the most part they are simply plodding along day after day, yet her inner struggle to complete this walk was engaging.

AWOL on the Appalachian Trail – William Monk

One of my favorite hiking books. I was constantly highlighting things that inspired me.

The Big Leap – Gay Hendricks

This book is a helpful if you find yourself approaching success or happiness and you sabotage yourself. Here’s how to move past that.

Big Magic – Elizabeth Gilbert

The magic of creation. If you are a creative, this is a must-read!

Friendships Don’t Just Happen – Shasta Nelson

The importance of different kinds of friendships and how they fit into our lives.

Change Me Prayers – Tosha Silver

So often, we want others to change before we will change how we feel. Short stories accompanied by a prayer asking for help changing ourselves.

The Rainbow Comes and Goes – Anderson Cooper and Gloria Vanderbilt

Anderson Cooper and his mother write to each other in this loving story between a mother and a son.

The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up – Maire Kondo

I read this a few years before you began hearing about Marie Kondo everywhere. I actually still use many of her ideas to this day.

Simplify – Joshua Becker

More on a minimalist lifestyle

It Was Always Meant to Happen this Way – Brooke Castillo

Lots of bite-size bits of wisdom from Brooke. She’s gone on to be a major Life Coach.

A Little Princess – Frances Hodgson Burnett

This in hands-down my favorite kid’s lit book. It’s by the author of the Secret Garden. It’s a good fairy tale with lots of good lessons.

A Walk in the Woods
Bill Bryson

The book is WAY better than the movie! This is my favorite Bill Bryson book–just an ordinary guy walking the Appalachian Trail, with lots of funny moments.

For five more books, check out my post, How to Wake Up Happier Every Day.

Keep showing up my friends,



Hi, I'm Sara! As a counselor and college advisor/coach, I've helped thousands of people make positive changes in their lives. Join me on the adventure of thinking big and living well!

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Sara | MyThinkBigLife.com

Hi, I'm Sara and I'm so happy you're here! My Think Big Life began shortly after I turned 50. Big changes can happen with a small start, an adjustment of thought, or a simple process. Over time, you transform your life into the one you always dreamed of having. As a coach, I can help you create a life you love. Click here to schedule a free 30-minute coaching session.