10 Life-Changing Books About Health

Increase your health IQ with these essential reads.


After I got really sick a few years ago, I became obsessed with health books. I’d read anything I could get my hands on. I was so afraid of getting sick again, and I wanted to understand why I got sick in the first place. Needless to say, I developed a (healthy) addiction to being healthy. Now, I can confidently say that I’m very aware of the factors that led to my declining health, and have built myself back up to feel stronger than ever!

10 Life-Changing Books About Health

These books taught me how to make healthier choices.

There are a lot of great books out there, but I thought my readers would prefer it if I listed my favorites and helped them set a course for their own healthy future. In the beginning, I would buy books from Amazon or sometimes at a local bookstore if something caught my eye while walking down the street. Nowadays, I do most of my ‘reading’ via audiobooks. I love listening to them while I’m cooking, or driving in the car.

So, whether you’ll listen to these gems on your workout bike or on the commute home, you must put these life-enhancing guides towards the top of your to-do list. Your future, healthy self will be thankful you did.

The Beauty Detox Solution

Eat Your Way to Radiant Skin, Renewed Energy, and the Body You’ve Always Wanted

Nutritionist and beauty expert Kimberly Snyder helps multiple A-list celebs get ready for the bright lights on the red carpet. As someone who once struggled with her own health issues (bad skin, belly fat, etc), she decided to travel the globe and learn all there is to know about health and beauty. Not surprisingly, she discovered that the most important tool for staying healthy and maintaining a radiant glow was the proper diet.

Shedding unnecessary toxins and lowering inflammation can do wonders for your energy, weight loss, and eliminating acne. By emphasizing plant-based foods and eliminating harmful ingredients, she can help you look and feel better than ever. Kimberly brings a fun and vibrant energy that will help you redefine your fate and retake control of your health.

Mind Over Meds

Know When Drugs Are Necessary, When Alternatives Are Better and When to Let Your Body Heal on Its Own

It’s almost automatic in American culture to deal with any health-related ailments by simply popping a pill and waiting for it to work. Dr. Andrew Weil believes there are times that alternative approaches are better, and sometimes it’s as simple as letting the body heal on its own.

Prescription drug use in America has increased by TEN times in the last 50 years. Trouble sleeping? Back aching? Suffering from anxiety? Don’t worry, the magic pills will save the day. At least that’s what we’re made to believe. Unfortunately, there are many adverse side effects from many of these medications and, in some instances, it’s making people worse.

Did you know that adverse drug reactions are the fourth leading cause of death in the US?

This wonderful book helps you understand when it’s good to take meds, and when it’s best to turn down your doctor’s advice. Trust me, it could save your life.

10 Life-Changing Books About Health

The Cheese Trap

How Breaking a Surprising Addiction Will Help You Lose Weight, Gain Energy, and Get Healthy

I spent a good portion of my life vegetarian. And while I wanted to go full-on vegan, I always had a hard time giving up cheese. It turns out I’m not alone. This incredibly eye-opening book sheds like on why it’s so hard to give up cheese — and the damage it does to our bodies in the process.

Did you know that cheese triggers the same activity in the brain as heroin? (Check out my hubby’s article on cheese addiction.) Or that cheese is actually bad for your bones, accelerating symptoms that cause osteoporosis and cancer? It turns out the dairy industry has been pulling the wool over our eyes for decades, using savvy marketing campaigns to help us think otherwise. This is a must read. You’ll never look at cheese the same way again!

The Disease Delusion

Conquering the Causes of Chronic Illness for a Healthier, Longer, and Happier Life

Did you know that managing “chronic” diseases (diabetes, arthritis, etc) sucks up almost 80% of America’s healthcare costs? That’s just insane. Luckily, I’m not the only one who thinks so. Dr. Jeffrey Bland, on the cutting edge of function medicine for years, believes we need to spend more time preventing disease, not treating it. I couldn’t agree more!

This book explains what functional medicine is and how it can help you stay healthy in order to prevent these “chronic” problems from ever occurring. You will learn that your environment, every aspect of it, is talking to your genes and creating your state of health or of disease. You will also learn the tools to begin changing the messages from your environment to your genes, and how this will change your health destiny. What I love about this book is that his solutions are science-based. There’s no way around the truths found in this book.

Functional medicine (the practice of optimizing the functionality of the body and its organs via a whole-body approach to medicine) is a phrase you’re going to start hearing a lot more about in the coming years. If traditional medicine is like a flip-phone, then functional medicine is the iPhone. Basically, it’s a game changer. Don’t be the last one to get on board. This is one health trend that’s here to stay.

10 Life-Changing Books About Health

The Wellness Project

How I Learned to Do Right by My Body, Without Giving Up My Life

For anyone who’s had to battle with autoimmune disease or other life-shaking conditions, this book will resonate with you bigtime. Phoebe Lapine put together one of the most impressive books I’ve ever read when it comes to tackling complex and often confusing ailments that doctors can’t seem to fix.

Her road to recovery really resonated with me, as it was very similar to my path to health, which was laden with confusion, mixed messages, and various other frustrations that had me feeling as if I’d never get well again.

After Phoebe was diagnosed with an autoimmune disease in her earlier twenties, and a host of disappointing doctor’s visits, she decided to take her health into her own hands and forge her own path to recovery. This funny, witty, and soulful book will give you the confidence to stare down any health challenge and send it packing. Part memoir, part health and wellness guide (including lots of healthy recipes), this book is a true treasure that will inspire you to new health heights.


The History and Science of Our 2.5-Million-Year Obsession with Meat

It seems that almost daily, we learn more about the health risks of eating meat and the harm it does to our bodies and the planet. Yet it seems almost unfathomable for most folks to cut meat out of their diets entirely. Some have resorted to eating less (reducetarians). Others have turned a blind eye to the science and don’t believe the ‘hype.’ The truth is, many simply can’t turn away from the fried, greasy meats that surround us in everyday culture.

Marta Zaraska’s book does an incredible job helping the reader to understand why we crave animal protein, and what makes it so hard to give up. She refers to it as the ‘meat puzzle’ and looks at our two and a half million year love affair with meat to uncover how we can take steps to change our eating habits to resist the temptation to stuff the cancer-causing flesh down our pie holes.

How Not To Die

Discover the Foods Scientifically Proven to Prevent and Reverse Disease

There has been a growing theme in the world of health the past few years, and it’s a game changer. Doctors like Michael Greger have learned that the vast majority of premature deaths can be prevented through changes to diet and lifestyle.

In this ‘page’ turner, he examines the fifteen leading causes of death and helps us understand how our choices around food and nutrition are largely to blame. That adds up to 1.6 million –potentially preventable– deaths in America each year. Basically, bad food is like terrorism on steroids! The good news is we don’t need an army to fight these killers. All it takes is switching to a plant-based diet and forgoing foods that contain unhealthy chemicals, fillers, and additives.

Incredibly, not only can this diet prevent disease, but it can also help reverse disease too. It’s so game changing that it’s hard to believe it’s real. But don’t take my word for it. Listen to this incredible man lay out the twelve essential foods we should consume every day that can help you fight off any unwanted health issues and live a long healthy life in the process.


Why Health Care Has Failed You and How You Can Become Smarter Than Your Doctor

It regularly astonished me how bad some of the advice I got from doctors was. Often times I felt so confused because I knew certain facts that doctors would contradict in our sessions. Like the one time a dermatologist (educated at Yale!) told me that what I put on my skin doesn’t absorb into the bloodstream. (Check out my article about the state of the modern medical system.) But I digress.

The sad truth is many modern –and woefully uneducated– doctors hold themselves up as all-knowing beings that know every aspect of our health. Now that we have the internet and host of other tools at our disposal (like this book), people no longer need to be at the mercy of their doctor’s half-baked opinions, which can turn out to be deadly.

What I love about listening to this book is the Dr. William Davis encourages us to become better educated than our doctors and take our health into our own hands. His advice is crystal clear and practical. Undoctored is the spark that we need to put the individual, not the doctor, at the middle of health-related decisions.

The Sleep Revolution

Transforming Your Life, One Night at a Time

This book, by HuffPo founder Ariana Huffington, will teach you how critical good sleep can be to decision making, your sex life, and a host of other important aspects in your daily life. It turns out that America is in the midst of a sleep deprivation crisis, and it is sapping us of our productivity and happiness.

What I love about this book is all the lifehacks she offers up. Like how to avoid technology before bed, and ways to use sleep to lose weight and prevent Alzheimer’s. Whether you’re a ladyboss like Arianna, or someone simply looking to get a solid night sleep after a stress-filled day, this book with help you get quality sleep like never before.

10 Life-Changing Books About Health

Eating on the Wild Side

The Missing Link to Optimum Health

Unfortunately, humans have been slowly degrading the quality of seeds and food we eat, causing us to become vulnerable to disease even when we think we’re ‘eating healthy.’ This colorful audiobook has made waves with simple yet revolutionary methods to select fruits and vegetables that reclaim the nutrients and taste that seems to have been lost in our food system.

The funny thing is, I almost didn’t buy this audiobook because I wasn’t sure if it was a history book or a diet book. Boy, am I happy that I did though, as this book did such a good job of helping me navigate the grocery aisles with precision in a way that I didn’t think was possible. It also includes a number of hacks for the kitchen, including things like letting garlic sit 10 minutes after being cut before using it, which helps maximize its most valuable nutrient, allicin. Eating on the Wild Side is a great book that I keep going back to as a food-buying guide. My guess is that after you listen to this gem, you will too!

There’s never been a better time to learn about living a healthy lifestyle to prevent disease and maximize your potential for greatness. These books are tools that you can leverage to get a step ahead in life and prevent many problematic years, even early on in life (I’m talking to you twenty-somethings!). I remember feeling invincible when I was younger. Now that I’m in my thirties and survived a serious health scare, I can’t tell you enough how important it is to get your health IQ way up. More people than ever before are flocking to audiobooks like these to take control of their lives. Don’t be the one who gets left behind…

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Audible. The opinions and text are all mine.
Avatar of Hilary Rowland

A writer, artist, and designer since she was young enough to put pencil to paper, Hilary taught herself code and created Urbanette when she was a teenager. Currently, she lives in Monte Carlo, but spent the past decade living in NYC, still considers herself a New Yorker, and visits regularly. She's always traveling, looking for hot new topics, destinations, and life hacks to bring to Urbanette readers.

Reader Discussion: 106 Comments

  1. Avatar of Alia Salem

    Alia Salem

    This article may be of interest to you:


  2. Avatar of beryl


    To be honest I really love cheese! HAHA now I know why. Thanks though 🙂

  3. Avatar of Anyssa Delorso

    Anyssa Delorso

    I’m so surprised about the cheese things… I thought it was a “safe” food but obviously not… Thanks for sharing that I’ll check that out later, and maybe stop eating cheese 😮

  4. Avatar of Luthi Sanders

    Luthi Sanders

    Take care of yourself, Hilary! Keep doing what you’re doing and I know that you’re gonna have a healthier life!

  5. Avatar of KIM


    Living healthy is not just all about eating right and exercise, it’s also making your mind healthy! I read books like these to feed my body and mind.

  6. Avatar of Ani Hoker

    Ani Hoker

    I’d always stick to doctors that are recommended by my friends because some of them just want to gain money from sick patients!

  7. Avatar of Kseniya Tomlin

    Kseniya Tomlin

    Let’s all choose to live a healthier lifestyle to have a longer life. Who wouldn’t want that right?

  8. Avatar of Cristina


    I’d love how convenient it is to listen to an informative health book! Thank you to the person who started audiobook! You didn;t know how much you made everything better!

  9. Avatar of Jesse Wyss

    Jesse Wyss

    Most people are into fast food, then they stupidly wonder why they’re unhealthy. They should be reading these books if they want to make their lives better.

  10. Avatar of George


    Audio books have always been my companion when I travel. I’ve switched into a healthier lifestyle for a year now and I’m recommending these books!

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