top of page

Welfare Week 2023 | Reading List

12 Books That Will Inspire You

It's Welfare Week this week from the 17th - the 21st of April here at Leeds Arts Union! We have put our heads together in the Union Team to bring you a well-being-inspired reading list for this campaign week to uplift and boost your mood!

We have selected a variety of genres for you to browse through and pick your favourites, whether that's a guided journal or an insightful non-fiction read, so there's something for everyone!

Make sure to tag us at @LeedsArtsUnion on Instagram and use the hashtags #LAUWelfareWeek2023 in your Welfare Week reads and other activities!



Why Has Nobody Told Me This Before?
by Dr. Julie Smith

Published in 2022

Why Has Nobody Told Me This Before? draws on years of experience as a clinical psychologist, online sensation Dr. Julie Smith shares all the skills you need to get through life's ups and downs. Filled with secrets from a therapist's toolkit, this is a must-have handbook for optimising your mental health. Dr. Julie's simple but expert advice and powerful coping techniques will help you stay resilient no matter what life throws your way.

Find out more information here:


The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle

Originally published in 1997

The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment is a book by Eckhart Tolle. It presents itself as a discussion about how people interact with themselves and others. The concept of self-reflection and being present in the moment are presented along with simple exercises for the achievement of its principles.

Find out more information here:


Atomic Habits by James Clear

Published in 2018

Atomic Habits is the most comprehensive and practical guide on how to create good habits, break bad ones, and get 1 percent better every day. Transform your life with tiny changes in behaviour, starting now. People think that when you want to change your life, you need to think big. In this ground-breaking book, Clears reveals exactly how these minuscule changes can grow into such life-altering outcomes.

Find out more information here:


Journals & Workbooks


The Self-Healer's Journal
by Rachel Havekost

Published in 2020

The Self-Healer's Journal is your guided path to an aligned, grounded, and blissful life.

In this easy-to-follow guided journal, you will dive deep into old stories, reframe unhelpful thinking, find your inner worth, care for your inner child, instill hope and courage in your psyche, and heal worthiness wounds from within. This journal blends research, psychology-backed tools, and holistic healing to bring you a spiritually scientific self-discovery experience!

Find out more here:


The Positive Student Planner
by The Positive Planner

Published in 2021

The Positive Student Planner was created in collaboration with The Positive Planner and Samaritans, with students for students. More than just a diary, this planner uses evidence-based strategies to help you organise your life and your mind. Backed by a leading student mental health expert, filled with activities and tools, daily journaling and mindful activities.

10% of this planner’s revenue generated by The Positive Planner

will be donated to Samaritans.


I Am Here Now
by The Mindfulness Project

Published in 2015

I am here now is the first mindfulness book of its kind. It’s full of creative activities and inviting space that will inspire users to explore their world with greater curiosity, find more moments of mindfulness in everyday life and unleash their creativity along the way. The book includes an interactive introduction, over 80 creative activities, insights and instructions, and a meditation ‘field notes’ section for journaling.

Find out more information here:




The One Hundred Years of Lenni & Margot
by Marianne Cronin

Published in 2021

The One Hundred Years of Lenni and Margot reminds us of the preciousness of life as it considers the legacy we choose to leave, how we influence the lives of others even after we’re gone, and the wonder of a friendship that transcends time. This book has been described as delightfully funny and bittersweet, heartbreaking yet ultimately uplifting.


The Midnight Library by Matt Haig

Published in 2021

The Midnight Library, Matt Haig's enchanting blockbuster novel, Nora Seed finds herself faced with this decision. Faced with the possibility of changing her life for a new one, following a different career, undoing old breakups, realising her dreams of becoming a glaciologist; she must search within herself as she travels through the Midnight Library to decide what is truly fulfilling in life, and what makes it worth living in the first place.

Find out more information here:

The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho

Originally published in 1988

The Alchemist is a classic novel in which a boy named Santiago embarks on a journey seeking treasure in the Egyptian pyramids after having a recurring dream about it and on the way meets mentors, falls in love, and most importantly, learns the true importance of who he is and how to improve himself.




Hold Your Own by Kae Tempest

Published in 2019

Hold Your Own, Kae Tempest's first full-length collection for Picador is an ambitious, multi-voiced work based around the mythical figure of Tiresias. This four-part work follows them through their transformations from child, man and woman to blind prophet; through this structure. Tempest holds up a mirror to contemporary life in a direct and provocative way rarely associated with poetry.

Find out more information here:


Primary Colors by Liza Rose

Published in 2018

Primary Colors is a collection of poetry and prose by Liza Rose. It is broken up into three parts: 'Red', 'Blue', and 'Yellow'. The section 'Red' focuses on love and heartbreak, and contains many LGBT+ pieces. 'Blue' talks about sadness and depression in sensitive and yet powerful ways. 'Yellow' is about happiness, feminism, and self-love. Liza's writings cover a wide range of styles and topics, making this book perfect for anyone who considers themselves a lover of literature.

Find out more information here:


The Sun and Her Flowers
by Rupi Kaur

Published in 2017

From Rupi Kaur, the #1 New York Times bestselling author of 'Milk and Honey', comes her long-awaited second collection of poetry. A vibrant and transcendent journey about growth and healing. Ancestry and honoring one’s roots. Expatriation and rising up to find a home within yourself. Divided into five chapters and illustrated by Kaur, The Sun and Her Flowers is a journey of wilting, falling, rooting, rising, and blooming. A celebration of love in all its forms.

Find out more information here:


Short Stories & Graphic Novels


The Book of Hopes by Katherine Rundell

Published in 2020

The Book of Hopes aims to comfort, inspire and encourage children during lockdown through delight, new ideas, ridiculous jokes and heroic tales. There are true accounts of cats and hares and plastic-devouring caterpillars; there are doodles and flowers; revolting poems and beautiful poems; and there are stories of space travel and new shoes and dragons.


Incarnation and the Eternal Flow
by Ramin Nazer

Published in 2019

"If I don't figure it out in this incarnation, I will in another one. What else am I going to do?"

Incarnation and The Eternal Flow is a graphic novel written and designed by Ramin Nazer. This book follows the journey of a soul and how it grows tired of incarnating into new realities until one day it wishes to become nothingness. But then the soul realises that there are no new experiences to be had and chooses to journey through other many different forms, both physical and non-physical.

Find out more information here:


The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse
by Charlie Mackesy

Published in 2019

The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse are four friends who share a deep, unshakable bond. Through a series of brief but profound conversations, Mackesy teases universal truths and rich wisdom from the mouths of his characters, celebrating warmth and empathy in all its myriad forms. Exploring kindness through exquisite, sensitive artwork and delicate calligraphy, The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse is a moving study in friendship and the perfect gift for those people that you hold closest to your heart.

Find out more information here:


We hope you enjoyed having a look through our Welfare Week top picks! Whether that was a deep dive into some self-care tools or maybe you've found a cosy book that will help you unwind this week.

Why not also check out the LAU Library Department and see if the books listed above are available at either Blenheim Walk or Vernon Street campus?!

Make sure to follow the @LAULibraryDepartment on Instagram.


bottom of page