In 2019, I became something of a self-help guru. I’m obsessed with becoming a better person. Of course, being a “better person” naturally means something else to everyone. For me, I wanted to work on being healthier and happier and having better relationships with the world. I wanted to stop crying when I got frustrated. I wanted to make better choices about men. Finally, I wanted to be the most productive lady you’d ever met in your entire life. So I did what any librarian would do–I did my research. I took classes–online and in person. I read books. And I listened to podcasts. I talked to people. I sent emails. And I did some deep reflection in my tiny shower. And now, as we end 2019, I realize I am “better.” I go to yoga and exercise in a healthy way, but I don’t beat myself up when I decide I’d rather sleep in. Okay, the whole “boy issue” is still being handled, but I’m working on it and improving every day. I smile more. I often wake up with a literal pep in my step. But I didn’t do it magically. I learned it from others–and you can too. Here are three podcasts and four books myself and others I admire recommend to become a “better person”–whatever that means to you. 


Before Breakfast Podcast

I’ll admit I’m a Laura Vanderkam fan girl, but this morning podcast is quick and to the point with advice on making your life better, easier, more productive, more fulfilling, et cetera. It’s perfect for working women!

The Happiness Lab Podcast

Want to be happier? Want to hear some amazing interviews? The Happiness Lab with Laurie Santos packs a punch with scientifically driven tips for being happier and great stories. 

Yoga Girl Daily Podcast

If you like meditation, yoga, or mindfulness, you’ll love this short daily podcast that will help you visualize the person you want to be and relax a bit. 


168 Hours by Laura Vanderkam

Another Laura Vanderkam suggestion. If you’re always saying you’re “too busy” then you need to read this book. It’s great for people looking to read more, spend more time with people, etc. You’ll learn SO much and her data is astounding. 

Deep Work by Cal Newport

I am still on hold for this book at the library but it comes highly recommended by an artist I follow on Instagram. This book will teach you how to really focus and get more work done and better work done, and who couldn’t benefit from that?

The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo

Hear me out. I know people crap on this book. But it’s actually very enlightening. You don’t have to become a minimalist overnight, but I read this book and felt a deep calling to really evaluate my possessions and think about my purchasing habits. 

Mistakes I Made at Work by Jessica Bacal

This was recommended to me by Amanda, our FFL fearless leader, and I loved it! It’s got a great selection of insight about being a working woman, taking chances, learning from your mistakes, and it’s witty and sassy. 

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Aryssa D
FFL Cabinet Member