Nothing is permanent. Not even the bad days. But while they last, bad days can be hard to go through. Books are your best friends because they make you forget your troubles and experience a life that is full of cheer and positive vibes. Not all books are capable of doing that, of course. There are certain paperbacks whose storyline, characters, and writing brings a smile to your face and a lightness to your heart, lifting you from all that is troublesome in the real world.
Here are 8 feel-good books that serve your brain with some fresh dollops of dopamine.
1. Heidi by Johanna Spyri
The world of Heidi is so inviting that you want to stay there forever and ever. The simple story by Johanna Spyri brings alive the mystic and stunning mountain views of the Swiss Alps along with its soothing breeze. Read this classic tale of a small girl forced to live with her indifferent grandfather and let its magic sweep you away to a place of pure calm, happiness, and love. Rich with the beauty of nature and purity of emotions, this feel good book is worth multiple reads.
2. Short Stories by Ruskin Bond
I was once feeling really terrible at work for no apparent reason. I carried the feeling with me even after leaving the office. I thought the rest of my day will go feeling this way. But then magic happened.
I got on the train that would take me home. I took out a Ruskin Bond book- I don’t remember which one but it was a short story collection- even though I didn’t feel like reading (yes, I was so down!!). As soon as the first words hit my senses, I got lost in the story and forgot where I was, and how I was feeling. With each passing sentence, my spirits soared, my insides smiled, and my mind hit the refresh button. Since then, Ruskin Bond has been my favorite pick for days when my mood needs a dose of cheerfulness.
3. How to Fall in Love by Cecelia Ahern
A depressed man trying to end his life meets a woman who wants to interfere and save him. The perfect plot for a gushy love story. And How to Fall in Love is all that and much more. Enter the lives of not-so-perfect Adam and Christine and with them learn the art of falling in love with life and yourself. The irony of the book is it is a story about two depressed individuals but it does everything to you other than make you feel sad. This feel good book was recommended to me by my friend and I absolutely loved it.
4. Novels by R.K. Narayan
Mr. Narayan, like Bond, has the gifted ability to make you feel good with his stories. His novels beautifully blend reality with fiction, which makes them more engrossing. Pick any book by the author and see your spirits soar high. I personally recommend The Guide, The Dark Room, Malgudi Days, and Gods, Demons and Others.
5. Wise and Otherwise: A Salute to Life by Sudha Murthy
Sudha Murthy falls in the same lines as RK Narayan and Ruskin Bond given her relatable, real-life based stories told simply. The chairperson of Infosys Foundation, Murthy has written many delightful books including short stories and novels. One of her short story collections titled Wise and Otherwise is a must-read feel good book. The stories are from her real encounters with real people. They are enthralling, entertaining, and sometimes tear-worthy. Each story has the power to enlighten your mind and make you smile.
6. A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman
This beautiful feel good book about a man struggling with life after his wife’s demise wins you over for its relatable and humour-touched story. Ove is a man of few words and emotions and he is on the verge of ending his life. Enter Parvaneh with her family consisting of a good-for-nothing husband and two little girls. The life of Ove takes a U-turn from there as he is always interrupted in his attempt to die by suicide by the new arrivals. The story is heart-touching, yes, but it is also positive and rekindles your zest for love.
7. Me Before You by Jojo Moyes
Heart touching? Yes.
This book ticks all the boxes that make for a feel-good read. A young woman chooses the job of nursing a quadriplegic man (one whose body below the head is unmovable). The story is about how Louisa becomes a better version of herself after she meets Will. It has moments that make you experience warmth, joy, and lightness. Though it doesn’t end on a happy note, the story still manages to keep the feel-goodness intact. That’s a winner!
8. Matilda by Roald Dahl
A quirky and fun story accompanied by beautiful illustrations makes Matilda a joyful read. The book will not bore you even for a second and if you are thinking it is for kids, discard that thought. It is one of those rare books that is suitable for kids and adults alike. All Roald Dahl books have this quality and Matilda promises you loads of adventures and feel-good vibes. Go for it.
Feel good books have the power to make you realise your problems are not to be taken so seriously and life can be fun even during the not-so-good days. Start reading and see your bad mood go away almost instantly.