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Author Recommendations for Wellness Nerds 

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at USFSP chapter.

If you are anything like me, self-development and wellness must be a top priority in your life. As a health sciences major in university, I find it fascinating how we can mold and remold our brains to change the quality of our lives through nutrition and daily habits. I have developed a passion for continuing to grow in my knowledge about this topic and have come across so many inspirational professionals in my search for more. I have picked some of my favorite authors to share in this article for my fellow self-development readers out there. However, even if you are not a reader, these individuals share so much to learn from in their podcasts, shows, and other platforms.  

Jay Shetty 

Let’s start off with a man who combines it all. Jay Shetty had just graduated from the University of London with a degree in behavioral science when he decided to travel as a Hindu monk across Europe and India for three years, studying Hinduism and practicing service and mindfulness. Jay Shetty now shares what he learned as a monk in hopes to “make wisdom go viral.” Shetty combines ancient wisdom with what he continues to learn about physical and mental health in his explanations, putting them in terms and scenarios applicable to a Western lifestyle.  

In addition to speaking at conferences and hosting the #1 Health and Wellness podcast in the world, Jay Shetty has written Think Like a Monk and 8 Rules of Love. Think Like a Monk is excellent for anyone seeking to deepen their knowledge of themselves and how to best connect with themselves and others. The book delves into what Shetty learned from ancient Hindu scripture about overcoming negative thoughts, stress, and obstacles in our relationships, as well as reaching our potential as we discover our gifts and purpose. In 8 Rules of Love, Shetty uses Vedic scripture and modern science to teach us how to practice and nurture love, and how to healthily let it go when the time is right.   

I also believe his podcast, On Purpose, is well worth a try. On Purpose features a wide variety of professionals and the episodes cover a wide variety of topics. I thoroughly enjoy the episodes surrounding health, nutrition, spirituality, relationships, and self-development. They never fail to fascinate me and teach me at least one incredibly valuable lesson. In fact, the next three authors I will mention were featured on his podcast. 

Dr Daniel Amen 

Dr. Daniel Amen is a physician, psychiatrist, and founder of the Amen Clinics, BrainMD, and Amen University. He also launched a digital series in 2020 called Scan My Brain and has produced a number of national television shows about the brain. Dr. Amen’s focus lies in brain function and how our lifestyles and diets affect it, and in turn our quality of life. Seeing a great need for psychiatrists to view the organ they work with, Dr. Amen developed a method in which single-photon emission computerized tomography (SPECT) scans are used to evaluate patients’ brain health to help identify possible treatments. His methods also involved using lifestyle and diet changes before resorting to medication. 

Dr. Daniel Amen has written a variety of books, a popular one being Change Your Brain, Change Your Life. This book shares how to boost memory, overcome negative thoughts, and fight impulsivity, depression, anxiety, and obsessive worrying by utilizing supplements, dietary strategies, breathing techniques, and other natural methods. It is great for anyone seeking to improve their mood, relationships, and quality of life. I read Magnificent Mind at Any Age and thought it was a great read for anyone interested in the neuroscience and medical aspects of brain health in relation to success and life satisfaction. 

Dr. Mark Hyman 

Dr. Mark Hyman is a general physician and an author that advocates for the use of functional medicine in treating patients. Functional medicine steers away from disease-centered methods and toward more patient-centered practices that help physicians understand how an individual’s genetics, environment, and lifestyle may be negatively affecting their health. Dr. Hyman also hosts a leading podcast, The Doctor’s Farmacy, in which he speaks with other professionals about critical issues in health and how nutrition can heal the body. 

Dr. Hyman has released many books, including cook books in which he shares recipes that promote life-long health by reducing inflammation, which in turn reduces the risk of developing chronic disease. Dr. Hyman has also written non-fiction books such as Food Fix which tackles issues in our food system and our society’s lifestyle that have weakened our national health and our natural resources. Chronic illness, particularly cardiovascular disease, has become the global leading cause of death, and many cases can be prevented by dietary changes that reduce inflammation. Hyman’s Food Fix provides solutions for individuals, businesses, and policy makers to help restore our health and environment. 

Shawn Stevenson 

Shawn Stevenson studied biology, nutritional science, and business, cofounded Advanced Integrative Health Alliance, and now hosts The Model Health Show podcast. Shawn Stevenson has shared his story about developing degenerative disc disease and spending years experiencing chronic pain and depleting physical and mental health. Doctors claimed his case to be incurable until Stevenson took it upon himself to begin using food as his medicine. After several months, Stevenson’s chronic pain diminished, and his physical health improved drastically to a point that allowed his spinal tissue to regenerate. Stevenson now dedicates his life to teaching others about everything he learned on his journey and continues to learn as a nutritionist and health coach. 

Stevenson’s podcast features what Stevenson refers to as “masterclass episodes” that delve into topics surrounding health and wellness. During his time as a nutritionist, Stevenson has also written Eat Smarter and Sleep Smarter. Eat Smarter includes a 30-day program that breaks down the science behind how food can help reboot metabolism, balance hormones, and improve brain function, as well as how these benefits affect one’s sleep, career life, personal life, and happiness. Sleep Smarter includes Stevenson’s 14-Day Sleep Makeover to increase quality of sleep by creating the right environment, regulating circadian rhythms with sunlight, identifying helpful nutrients and supplements, reducing stress with exercises provided in the book, and increasing mental and physical acuity with fitness tips also given in the book. 

These authors feed my obsession with all aspects of brain health, self-development, and spirituality. I chose these authors because of their stories with overcoming the obstacles they now teach about, from Jay Shetty’s troubled past to Shawn Stevenson’s recovery from degenerative disc disease. Their intense passion for what they do and how it shines through their work is incredibly inspiring to me, both on a human and professional level. If you are seeking to delve into these topics, I hope you find the time to explore Jay Shetty’s ancient Vedic wisdom in finding purpose, Dr. Amen’s work in brain health, Dr. Hyman’s methods of using food as medicine, and Shawn Stevenson’s methods of using food, sleep, and fitness in creating a successful life. 

Hi, my name is Sofia! I was born in Santiago, Dominican Republic, but I am also Colombian on my mom's side. I am a student majoring in Health Sciences at the University of South Florida St Petersburg campus. I am pursuing a career in neuroscience. I enjoy being involved on campus, dancing, reading, going to museums, trying new things, and listening to music!