Words can inspire and motivate, and reading has even been scientifically proven to lower your blood pressure.

During times of difficulty, reading can make you feel less alone an empowered to make decisions.

So when you’re feeling down, lost, or lacking in motivation why not head out for a walk and explore the shelves of your local bookstore.

If you’re feeling low, need encouragement and motivation, read on…

Option B, Sheryl Sandberg and Adam Grant – to some extent, we are all living our Option B. Very few people are living the life they had originally planned. Sheryl Sandberg’s life changed unimaginably when her husband, Dave, died while on holiday. The story which follows documents how Sandberg picked herself up, how she found the strength to be the best possible mom to her children, return to work, and eventually start dating again. Life is for living.

Tiny, beautiful things, Cheryl Strayed – This would be my Desert Island Book. If I could only read one book again for the rest of my life, this would be it (no mean feat, coming from a staunch bibliophile). This is a collection of problems from Strayed’s advice column Dear Sugar, which was posted on The Rumpus.

Ice Cream for Breakfast, Laura Jane Williams – Williams suffered burnout after the publication of her first book, Becoming. She worked part time as a nanny to three girls to earn some cash while working on herself. Ice Cream for Breakfast is an uplifting read, which reminds you to play, keep in touch with your childish side, and re-focus on the things in life which really matter.

Milk and honey, Rupi Kaur – Kaur is far wiser than her 25 years. This book can help you rise from the ashes and soar, and realise that after the breaking comes the healing.

Peak, K. Anders Ericsson and Robert Pool –  This book explores the concept of talent and where you can be born with it, or whether it’s a skill you learn and hone. Ericsson and Pool argue the latter – while Mozart was a gifted pianist, he practised for several hours a day, every day. If we all did this, we too could be gifted musicians. If you want something you’ve never had before, you are going to have to try doing something different. If you’re looking for the motivation to spark change, this book is a great place to start.

Very Good Lives, JK Rowling – Harry Potter author JK Rowling’s speech from when she addressed Harvard class of 2008 has been made into a book. Perfect for graduates or anyone who may be at a crossroads in their lives. This book gives you permission to fail, and fail spectacularly. How do you know if you never even try?