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Top 10 Must Read Books on Wellness Coaching

The difference between a good and a great coach is their willingness to learn and develop their skills further. As a coach, it is your responsibility to provide your client with guidance, advice and encouragement to make better decisions.

With the rapid growth of the wellness and lifestyle industry, the demand for wellness coaching is higher than ever and the quality required to meet that demand can only be achieved through continuous learning and growth.

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Reading is an activity that is enjoyable and one that adds the most value to a person’s knowledge. By reading books on wellness coaches, coaches can become more self-aware, gain insight into the world around them and, consequently, be a in a more informed position to provide guidance to their clients.

The list of books discussed below includes 10 of the most popular, must-read books of recent times. These books have been categorized as game changers in the world of wellness coaching.

In Brief : Top 10 Must Read Books On Wellness Coaching
  • Helping People Change – Guides wellness coaches in fostering compassion, empowering clients to create sustainable life changes through positive visions, real-life stories, and research.
  • Wellness Coaching For Lasting Lifestyle Change – Focuses on building trust and creating comprehensive plans with clients, emphasizing the Wellness Mapping 260 Methodology for effective wellness coaching.
  • The Wellness Workbook – Explores the interconnected areas impacting life, offering structured exercises and practical advice for self-awareness and reflection.
  • Masterful Health & Wellness Coaching – Provides a comprehensive framework for understanding health and wellness coaching, focusing on transformation, a coach’s presence, and the art of coaching.
  • Learned Optimism – Explores the importance of optimism, offering techniques to break the habit of negativity and engage in positive internal dialogue for improved mental health.
  • Mindset – Emphasizes the impact of mindset on success, encouraging a growth mindset to foster learning and progress in individuals, cultures, and organizations.
  • Changing To Thrive, Janice & James Prochaska – Guides readers through a six-step process of change, incorporating interactive exercises to help individuals understand and sustain positive changes.
  • Becoming A Professional Life Coach, Williams & Menendez – Covers the basics and advanced aspects of life coaching, emphasizing essential capabilities such as listening, gaining clarity, and providing continuous feedback.
  • The Positive Shift – Explores the science of mindset, offering practical strategies to make minor adjustments for improved happiness, health, and longevity.
  • Motivational Interviewing 3rd Edition, Miller & Rollnick – Introduces motivational interviewing processes, engagement, focus, evocation, and planning, using real-life examples and case studies for effective application.

How Wellness Coaching Books Help a Coach

Wellness coaching books are not fancy words and miraculous claims on paper. They are practical experiences and valuable learning written and published by those that make the same mistakes we are about to make a few years earlier and were kind enough to want to help others out. 

Wellness coaching books are diverse, and inclusive and have the power to bring about change, not just in your mind but in your actions as a wellness coach as well. Wellness coaching books are simplified maps that are available for a coach to use to navigate through his journey in his career.

10 Books for Every Wellness Coach

1. Helping People Change: Coaching with Compassion for Lifelong Learning and Growth by Richard Boyatzis, Melvin L. Smith and Ellen Van Oosten

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One of the most important character traits in a wellness coach is compassion. Without compassion, it is impossible to completely understand the plight of your client which makes you unable to help them. “Helping People Change,” published in 2019, is aimed at differentiating between the want to “fix” someone and empowering them to bring about a sustainable change in their life. 

The book is a powerful, yet practical piece of writing that emphasizes the need to inspire people through a goal or a positive vision about themselves. Great coaches know that without energy drawn from their visions, dreams and aspirations help sustain clients through even the most difficult parts of their journey.  

The book is a collection of real-life stories and years of research which back up the claim that a positive association with the future is what encourages clients to open up and explore their options more freely and creatively. 

The book is not just useful for coaches but any person who wants to provide support to those around him in an effective manner. It is also helpful for clients who are seeking coaching as it can help them understand how this style of coaching works and what they can expect from the service. 

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2. Wellness Coaching For Lasting Lifestyle Change,2nd Ed. by Arloski

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Published in 2014, the 2nd edition of Wellness Coaching for Lifestyle Change is one of the leading books on the topic. It has been updated and revised multiple times over the years but the quality has remained the same, if not improved. Healthcare professionals, independent coaches and professors alike; all have benefitted from the content of the book. 

The first edition came out in 2007 and Michael Arloski has built on the original foundations of concepts that he lay in it. One of Michael’s focal points is the Wellness Mapping 260 Methodology. The second edition has brought more value to it. 

Michael emphasizes the need to build a comprehensive plan with clients to empower them to make decisions based on their perception of their ability and resources.  

Wellness coaching is all about establishing a relationship based on trust with your client and Wellness Coaching for Lasting Lifestyle Change is your guide to that. 

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3. The Wellness Workbook, Jack Travis & Regina Ryan

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It has been more than 30 years since the first ever rendition of the wellness workbook came out. The most recent version is the 3rd edition which was published in 2004. 

The book talks about the relationship between the twelve forms of energy and how they promote health and wellness. The twelve interconnected areas that majorly impact your life include love and self-responsibility, playing and working, sensing, breathing, thinking, moving, communicating, finding meaning, sex and transcending. In the optimal state of being, all twelve of these energies are balanced and there is less exposure to life-depleting factors like disease or stress. 

The wellness workbook, in its third refined version, contains the most comprehensive and structured exercises that are helpful in ensuring you gain your life’s control back. The text is easy to read, practical and has support from scientific and other research. It is the perfect self-help guide for a big number of readers making them more self-aware and reflective. 

If you are looking for a simple yet effective crash course into wellness and streamlining your troubles in life, The Wellness Workbook is the book for you. Get it here: 

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4. Masterful Health & Wellness Coaching: Deepening Your Craft, Arloski (In Press)

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Perhaps one of the most recent additions to the literary world of wellness coaching and this list is “Masterful Health and Wellness Coaching: Deepening your Craft.” Published in the year 2021, it is one of the finest works of Dr Arloski who is well renowned for his brilliance in the field of coaching and writing. 

Arloski is a best-selling author who is best known for his works of writing on coaching. In this book, Arloski provides his readers with a comprehensive framework to understand the process of health ad wellness coaching. He talks to his readers about honing the craft and how it improves their performance as wellness coaches. 

The book is structured into three major chunks. The first section of the text focuses on transformation, with an emphasis on self-reflection and subsequent growth. The second part points out the importance of a coach’s presence and how they are expected to behave around clients especially. Part three makes the readers jump right into the art of wellness coaching. 

This book is a layman’s guide to excellence in wellness coaching. It is an easy read and covers a lot of ground in terms of the essentials needed to become a great wellness coach. 

If you are interested in improving your skills and abilities as a wellness coach under the guidance of Dr Arloski, buy the book here: 

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5. Learned Optimism: How to Change Your Mind and Your Life by Martin E. P. Seligman, PhD

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“Learned Optimism: How to Change Your Mind and Your Life” by Martin E. P. Seligman is an old gem that we just could not skip from the list. This book was published in 1990 and has been one of the leading books on the topic ever since. 

Martin E.P. Seligman is known as the father of the science of positive psychology and he has out his years of rigorous research to excellent use according to the context of the book. His primary focus is the importance of optimism and how it can improve one’s quality of life. Seligman claims that anyone can practice optimism regardless of the state of mind they are in. 

The book includes several techniques on how to break up the habit of giving up and engaging in positive internal dialogue. These skills come in handy when it comes to dealing with repetitive cycles of mental health issues. 

Seligman talks about learned optimism as a tool that can be used to improve the quality of life at all ages and in all circumstances. It is profound and practical. These kinds of tools come in handy as a wellness coach. Rated as one of the most important books of the century, it is a must-read regardless of your age, stage of life or profession. 

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6. Mindset: The New Psychology of Success by Carol Dweck, PhD

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Coming up at number 6 is 2017 published, “Mindset: The New Psychology of Success.” As the name suggests, the book is about achieving the right mindset. How we think about an event, has the power to influence how well it is going to go. Stanford University Psychologist Carol S. Dweck talks about the importance of thinking positively about our abilities and talent before embarking on something challenging. Those who think their abilities are constant lose out on the learning opportunity and fail to progress and grow as individuals. 

The author interestingly takes us down the route of identifying a false growth mindset and replacing it with a true growth mindset. This phenomenon applies fully to things beyond individuals including cultures and organizations. 

The key to consistent accomplishment is the right mindset that believes it can be down. With the right mindset, you have the power to inspire people to transform their lives and not just your clients, but your friends and family as well. 

The book is an exciting read and makes you take a step back and think about how you’re thinking about things. The concepts are easily applicable in everyday life and what is most fascinating is that the power is all in your mindset. 

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7. Changing to Thrive, Janice & James Prochaska

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If changing unhealthy behavior and letting go of bad habits were easy, nobody would be living with them. Published in 2016, Changing to Thrive is one of those books that just help you become a better person. 

Janice and James have designed multiple interactive exercises presented to the reader throughout the book which are there to push the reader through the different stages of change and sustain that change to enable them to thrive in the long run. 

Change is a six-step process and it is aimed at ensuring that you are ready to embrace the change internally and externally before pushing to sustain said change. The field of behavior change has not been the same ever since this masterwork by the two brilliant authors was published. 

The book is the kind of feel-good book that motivates you from within and makes you believe you have the power to do anything and everything. It allows you to understand your motivation and what drives it, so you can be your own judge. 

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8. Becoming a Professional Life Coach, Williams & Menendez

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Pat Williams is better known for his bestselling work, “Therapist as Life Coach” in which he took the initiative to integrate the worlds of therapy and life coaching together. He now works as a full-time professional life coach and has covered all the basics of life coaching in the previous renditions of his work. 

This new edition, published in March 2017, takes the readers on a step-by-step journey into the world of coaching. It covers the technicalities as well as the fundamentals of what it takes to survive and do well in this industry.  

The book highlights the most important capabilities of a life coach including, listening, gaining clarity about the client’s goals, a system of continuous and honest feedback, asking insightful questions, enacting change with the clients and many more. 

With their years’ worth of experience and impeccable knowledge on the topic, Williams and Menendez have given their readers all the nuts and bolts they need to become successful life coaches

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9. The Positive Shift: Mastering Mindset to Improve Happiness, Health, and Longevity by Dr Catherine Sanderson

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As mentioned a couple of times before, our mind is a powerful tool. If we gain control of it and master our mindset, we will essentially get the emotional remote controller in our hands. Dr Sanderson does a brilliant job at breaking down the science behind our thought process and demonstrates how our psychological and physical health is largely influenced by our mindset. 

Dr Sanderson talks about the need to practice making minor tweaks to our mindset in an attempt to improve the overall quality of our life. The book contains a plethora of easy and practical strategies that are effective in changing thought patterns as well as behaviors, supported by research and inspiring real-world stories.  

These behaviors include something as simple as appreciating nature by eating lunch outdoors, volunteering to give back to the community etc. These small actions have the power to influence our minds, which influences our mood. The Positive Shift is a thoroughly enjoyable piece of writing and for anyone looking for a fresh perspective on how to train your mind to stay in control, it’s the perfect little book. 

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10. Motivational Interviewing 3rd Edition, Miller & Rollnick

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Published in 2012, the 3rd edition of the masterpiece by Miller and Rollneck comes with exciting new additions in content. The book explains how motivational interviewing has four main processes: engagement, focus, evocation and planning. It demonstrates how these four works together to bring about meaningful results. 

Real-life interview examples are used in the text to strengthen the claims made by the author along with advanced techniques to understand and teach Motivational Interviewing. 

The book also includes case studies and counselling situation examples to help deepen the reader’s understanding of the concepts and encourage application in the practical world. 

It is an overall powerful book which is actively used in health settings as well as by those teaching and guiding others. If you’re in need of some effective learning, get the book here: 

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For the purpose of this article, we have limited the list of must-read books on wellness coaching to just the top 10. However, the list does not end here. There is a myriad of books on wellness coaching out there and most of them are putting out differentiated that might even seem outrageous. 

However, as a coach, it is your first priority to keep an open mind and never shy away from learning more and gaining more knowledge. The more books you read, the more perspectives you come across and then you can decide which one applies to you the most and implement it in your life and practice.

Frequently asked questions

Which is the best overall book to read on wellness coaching?

All of these books have made the list for different reasons and each book has a unique quality that makes it better than the rest in that category. Different perspectives resonate with different people and what one person might regard as the best book might not even be close to the list for the other. Therefore, there is no overall best book

How does reading books help in strengthening concepts of wellness coaching?

Reading books opens up your mind to welcome differing perspectives. It inculcates the habit of tolerance which is an invaluable skill for a wellness coach. Tolerance for other people’s views and the ability to hear them out without judgment is what makes an excellent wellness coach. Reading books written by different people helps train your brain and polish that skill.

What are some techniques to effectively practice theoretical knowledge on clients?

Understand the needs of your clients
Think of or search for relevant examples for each concept while reading the book to gain further clarity 
Talk to experienced wellness coaches and gain an insight into how they do it
Observe more, listen more, talk less

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