15 Slow Living Books to Slow Down and Simplify Your Life

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In our fast-paced world, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed by the constant rush and seemingly endless to-do lists. In my opinion, it’s no wonder so many of us are burnt out and sick.

On the flip side of this is slow living – a philosophy that encourages us to take a step back, savour life’s simple pleasures, and focus on what truly matters.

In other words, it’s filtering out unnecessary noise and staying true to your values, at your own pace.

Slow living has been a big part of my recovery from chronic illness, and honestly, once you see what life can be like when you step out of the fast lane, I don’t think there’s any going back.

If you, too, are yearning for a more peaceful life that you don’t need to recover from, slow living books are the perfect gateway.

Below, I’ve compiled a list of 15 transformative reads to help you embrace the art of simple living and create a more relaxed and fulfilling life. Let’s get into it.

15 slow living books to help you slow down and simplify your life

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Slow Living Books to Help You Simplify Your Life

These slow living books will help you look inward to simplify your life and unsubscribe to the hustle and bustle.

You’ll find a range of topics in these books including the concept of slow living, mindfulness, “soft discipline”, minimalism, and even homesteading!

So whatever kind of life you want to create for yourself, you’ll find a book here to help you do just that.

  1. Slow: Simple Living for a Frantic World by Brooke McAlary
    $25.99 $16.97

    “Slow” is a beautiful invitation to live a slower, more intentional life.

    Brooke McAlary is a leading voice in the slow living movement and in this book she shares her personal journey from burnout to balance, offering practical tips for decluttering, simplifying, and finding joy in everyday moments.

    I think this book is a perfect starting point for anyone new to their slow living journey!

    Buy on Amazon Buy from Waterstones
    06/26/2024 12:24 pm GMT
  2. The Things You Can See Only When You Slow Down: How to Be Calm in a Busy World by Haemin Sunim
    $24.00 $14.69

    This international bestseller is written by Haemin Sunim, a Zen Buddhist teacher, who shares his gentle wisdom for living a more mindful life in today’s fast-paced world. It is filled with profound insights and beautiful illustrations that will encourage you to slow down and appreciate the beauty and simplicity of life.

    Consider it a comforting read if you’re somebody who is searching for calm amongst the chaos.

    “The world moves fast, but that doesn’t mean we have to.”

    Buy on Amazon Buy from Waterstones
    06/26/2024 12:25 pm GMT
  3. In Praise of Slowness: Challenging the Cult of Speed by Carl Honoré
    $15.99 $8.79

    In Praise of Slowness is an exploration of the slow living movement and its benefits.

    Carl Honoré examines how the “cult of speed” affects our health, relationships, and quality of life, advocating for a slower and more mindful approach to living.

    If you’re tired of the relentless pace of modern life and ready for a more intentional movement to get behind, this book is bound to resonate.

    Buy on Amazon Buy from Waterstones
    06/26/2024 12:26 pm GMT
  4. Laziness Does Not Exist by Dr. Devon Price
    $18.99 $13.59

    Repeat after me: my productivity does not determine my worth.

    In this thought provoking book, Dr. Devon Price looks to debunk the myth of laziness, instead encouraging all of us to prioritise self-care, set healthy boundaries, and embrace a more compassionate, slower pace of life.

    This book is a must-read for anyone struggling with guilt over not doing “enough”, or looking for a softer approach to productivity.

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    06/26/2024 12:26 pm GMT
  5. Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less by Greg Mckeown
    $19.00 $10.49

    “Essentialism” is a guide to the disciplined pursuit of less - focusing on what’s truly essential, eliminating what’s not, as essentially reclaiming control over our lives.

    If you’re yet to explore what truly matters to you, this book will help you cut through the noise to find it.

    Buy on Amazon Buy from Waterstones
    06/26/2024 12:27 pm GMT
  6. Chasing Slow: Courage to Journey Off the Beaten Path by Erin Loechner
    $19.99 $16.44

    Chasing Slow is an oxymoron, which I absolutely love!

    In this book, Erin Loechner shares her personal journey from a fast-paced high profile career to a slower, more meaningful life. She manages to keep things both inspiring and relatable, to help the reader find the courage necessary to take the path less travelled.

    This book is a testament to the power of slowing down to find true happiness, and might particularly appeal to those feeling unsatisfied in the corporate world.

    Buy on Amazon Buy from Waterstones
    06/26/2024 12:28 pm GMT
  7. Digital Minimalism: Choosing a Focused Life in a Noisy World by Cal Newport
    $30.00 $15.49

    Slowing down is more important than ever in today’s digital world. In this book, Cal Newport (the bestselling author of Deep Work) addresses the overwhelming presence of technology in our lives and the noise this can create.

    He offers practical strategies for reducing digital distractions and focusing on what’s truly important instead. This book is simply essential for anyone looking to reclaim their time and attention in an increasingly “connected” world (in my humble opinion, that should be all of us!)

    Buy on Amazon Buy from Waterstones
    06/26/2024 12:29 pm GMT
  8. The Little Book of Hygge: The Danish Way to Live Well by Meik Wiking

    If you’ve never heard of this book, you might just have been living under a rock (which, when it comes to slow living, is not actually such a bad thing after all.)

    The Little Book of Hygge introduces the rest of the world to the Danish secrets of living well. Put simply, this is the Danish art of creating cosy and joyful environments to feel more fulfilled.

    Meik Wiking’s insights on savouring simple pleasures and fostering a sense of comfort and contentment are perfect for anyone looking to romanticise their life.

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    06/26/2024 12:29 pm GMT
  9. Wintering: The Power of Rest and Retreat in Difficult Times by Katherine May
    $25.00 $13.07

    The truth is, we’re not supposed to be operating at our max capacity all the time. Wintering explores the importance of rest and retreat, particularly during challenging times, just as nature does so effortlessly.

    Drawing on her personal experiences and mythology, Katherine May advocates for embracing periods of dormancy and reflection, that are essential for our wellbeing.

    Navigating a difficult phase in your life? This book might just be your permission slip to take it easy.

    Buy on Amazon Buy from Waterstones
    06/26/2024 12:30 pm GMT
  10. The Ruthless Elimination of Hurry: How to Stay Emotionally Healthy and Spiritually Alive in the Chaos of the Modern World by John Mark Comer
    $25.00 $13.99

    The Ruthless Elimination of Hurry addresses the damaging impact of a busy and hurried life on our emotional and spiritual wellbeing. John Mark Comer offers practical advice for slowing down, simplifying, and staying connected to what matters most.

    This book is a powerful reminder to prioritise our health and relationships over the relentless pursuit of more, faster.

    Buy on Amazon Buy from Waterstones
    06/26/2024 12:31 pm GMT
  11. The Lady Farmer Guide to Slow Living: Cultivating Sustainable Simplicity Close to Home by Mary E. Kingsley

    This book is an exploration of sustainable living, offering practical tips for cultivating simplicity, from growing your own food to creating a simpler living environment.

    If you’re looking to embrace a more sustainable, slower paced lifestyle that’s closer to your roots, this book is a great read.

    Buy on Amazon Buy from Waterstones
    06/26/2024 12:31 pm GMT
  12. Soulful Simplicity: How Living with Less Can Lead to So Much More by Courtney Carver
    $20.00 $11.99

    Soulful Simplicity is a heartfelt guide to decluttering your life and finding more meaning with less “stuff”. Courtney Carvey shares her personal story of simplifying her life after a health crisis and offers actionable steps for anybody reading to do the same.

    If you want to pursue a more intentional way of living and restore a deeper connection to life, this book is perfect.

    Buy on Amazon Buy from Waterstones
    06/26/2024 12:32 pm GMT
  13. Destination Simple: Everyday Rituals for a Slower Life by Brooke McAlary

    It’s important to acknowledge that a big part of a slow living lifestyle can be found in the little things.

    In Destination: Simple, Brooke McAlary highlights the importance of establishing rituals and rhythms that bring peace and structure to our days, making us more resilient to our modern world.

    This book is therefore a great practical guide for anyone looking to make small changes that lead to a calmer, more fulfilling life overall.

    Buy on Amazon Buy from Waterstones
    06/26/2024 12:33 pm GMT
  14. How to Do Nothing: Resisting the Attention Economy by Jenny Odell
    $18.99 $12.20

    How to Do Nothing is a bold manifesto against the “attention economy”. In this book, Jenny Odell encourages us to resist the pressure to constantly produce and consume, and go against the status quo by living more mindfully.

    This book is a thought provoking read for anyone looking to reclaim their time and attention, and might just make you feel bold enough to “do nothing”!

    Buy on Amazon Buy from Waterstones
    06/26/2024 12:33 pm GMT
  15. Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge and the Teachings of Plants by Robin Wall Kimmerer
    $20.00 $12.59

    If you’re feeling disconnected from life itself, this book is for you. Braiding Sweetgrass weaves together Indigenous wisdom and scientific knowledge to give insight into our relationship with the natural world.

    This is a calming read that will inspire you to slow down and reconnect with the earth, as well as a powerful reminder about the importance of living in harmony with our environment.

    Buy on Amazon Buy from Waterstones
    06/26/2024 12:34 pm GMT

Speaking from experience, embracing slow living can help to bring more peace, joy, and even health into your life, and sometimes you only need small shifts in your day-to-day to get there.

These 15 slow living books offer a wealth of wisdom and practical advice to help you do just that.

Whether you’re looking to declutter your mind, reduce digital distractions, or find comfort, there’s a book here to guide you on your slow living journey.

So, take a deep breath, carve out a personal reading hour, and let these books inspire you to slow down and enjoy a more fulfilling life.

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Esther is the founder of Through the Phases, a wellbeing and healthy lifestyle blog dedicated to sharing mind/body/soul practices for self-exploration, healing, and fulfilment. She has a degree in Psychology, is yoga teacher trained (200hr), and is currently pursuing a Neuroscience MSc to further study the mind-body connection. Read more about her story here.

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