These are the books and podcasts our editors swear are life-improving

18 April 2018
By Fashion Quarterly

Never not up for a bit of self-improvement, the Miss FQ team gets into some top-shelf self-help. Here are their life-improving finds below…

How to Win Friends and Influence People, by Dale Carnegie

Associate editor, Phoebe Watt @phoebewatt

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Scorpio, Slytherin, ENTJ… whether you consult my star sign, my Sorting Hat quiz results, or my Myers-Briggs personality type, the same keywords crop up over and over. Ambitious. Magnetic. Resourceful. Cunning. Ruthless. Unforgiving. While I make no apologies for (most of) these traits and would argue their positives, I’ve read enough personality test post-analyses to know that if the goal is to get what I want (always!), then being domineering (or TBH, a bit of a beyatch) isn’t always the most effective route. A little empathy can apparently go a long way, and this realisation led me to the OG of self-improvement books, How to Win Friends and Influence People. First published in 1936, and now with a glowing endorsement by billionaire Coca-Cola founder Warren Buffett (“It changed my life”), it’s sold more than 30 million copies worldwide, and you can add one more sale to that tally. I thumbed straight to section six: ‘Be a Leader: How to Change People Without Giving Offense or Arousing Resentment’.

Find it here.

Ask and It Is Given, by Esther and Jerry Hicks

Managing editor, Sally-Ann Mullin @sallyannmullin

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After 30-plus years of being #blessed in every area of my life, 2017 was the year my good luck packed up and moved away. My car being towed three times in one day was the final straw, so having dabbled with the law of attraction in my early 20s, I was eager to revisit this way of thinking. A slightly more mysterious and less Oprah’s Book Club version of The Secret, Ask and It Is Given promised to help me manifest my heart’s desire through the power of positive thought and vibrations. Unfortunately, as someone who works with fonts and designs on the daily, the book’s cover did not appeal. I also struggled with the central claim that the words within were essentially written by a spirit (the spirit of Abraham, to be exact). But with nothing to lose and everything to gain, I figured it was worth the $12 Kindle download. Call it a coincidence, but I’ve already more than made that back in free carparks outside my favourite restaurants.

Find it here.

PowerfulJRE, hosted by Joe Rogan

Senior art director, Alice Morgan

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When I think Joe Rogan, I automatically hear the words “Fear is not a factor for you!” and envisage a cast of hapless individuals partaking in gut-wrenching stunts. Ten years on from that horror show, and here we have the former Fear Factor host sitting in a studio, questioning the meaning of life. With guests ranging from politicians and scientists to actors and philosophers, each three-hour PowerfulJRE podcast makes you think — even if you don’t agree with what’s being said. My most disliked episode features Milo Yiannopoulos, a British political commentator, journalist and publisher with extreme right-wing views. They’re not my views, but it’s interesting to get a different perspective on why people believe what they do. And in this divided world we live in, it’s never been more important for women to take a stand, so if you want to be more informed about society, politics or religion (I highly recommend the Scientology episode featuring Leah Remini!), PowerfulJRE is a great place to start.

Find it here.

Peace Is Every Step: The Path of Mindfulness in Everyday Life, by Thich Nhat Hanh

Fashion editor, Danielle Clausen  @danielleclausen

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I recently became more curious about the role that stress plays in my life. Rather than defaulting to a distressed state every time I felt overwhelmed by something, I began to wonder, what if I could choose to change my response to factors outside my control? Peace is Every Step: The Path of Mindfulness in Everyday Life is a book that was written with me in mind, its main lesson being how to make positive use of situations that usually antagonise us. I’m not entirely convinced my emotions won’t continue to take over when the pressure hits, but surely that’s all the more reason to take that first step.

Find it here.

Listen Money Matters, hosted by Andrew Fiebert, Matt Giovanisci and Thomas Frank

Beauty editor, Megan Bedford @meganbedford

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Given I’m in my 30s, you’d think I’d have a handle on money matters. Although I’m not ridiculous, I do spend too much on things that aren’t essential. Working on a fashion mag is hard, okay? Temptation stalks me daily. So I wondered if listening to some straightforward, relatable financial advice on my daily hour-plus commute could help me get into a more proactive, saving-not-spending state of mind. I’m not talking investing, I just want someone to tell me which of my spending habits could be adjusted, and with episode names like ‘Stop Wasting Money Already’; ‘Put Your Adult Pants On’ and ‘Getting Financially Naked with the Broke Millennial’, Listen Money Matters really drew me in. Sorry, fellow commuters, I wasn’t nodding “Good morning” to you, just agreeing as the hosts (who’re not preachy at all) mention things that I do daily. An enjoyable and entertaining listen, I’m definitely going to adopt some of their tips.

Find it here.

Rebooted Body, hosted by Kevin Michael Geary

Digital content producer, Terri Dunn  @terriloudunn

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You know those Instagram quotes that say, “Quit your job. Buy a ticket. Travel the world”? Well in 2017 I did just that, threw in some study overseas, landed my dream job and moved cities. There were some high highs, but with that came even lower lows, and it got me thinking that being more active might help smooth the ebbs and flows of life. Having a PT would help, but I’d need a knock-on-my-door-at-6am-and-hold-my-hand-down-the-driveway one, to ensure I actually made it past the letterbox. Not a particularly realistic option, then. Instead: Kevin Michael Geary’s podcast Rebooted Body. “Want to get a body and life you love without obsession, perfectionism or the misery of dieting?” he asks. I mean, I’m already sold. Perhaps it’s the fact that it’s doing away with dieting; cooking is an important therapy for me. What’s stopped me from getting into the fitness thing is my perfectionism — I know I won’t just wake up and be good at it overnight, so I require a change in mindset there. I’m getting the impression that’s what I’m going to get out of this. #life-improving

Find it here.

The Minimalists, hosted by Joshua Fields Millburn & Ryan Nicodemus

Digital content producer, Ella Francis  @thisisellafrancis

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Although I’m 100% the opposite of a minimalist, I’ve recently found myself gravitating towards the idea of stripping back. I seem to pack my days with people, places and stuff to the point that life becomes a bit of a battle. Enter Joshua Fields Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus, AKA The Minimalists, and their podcast series that discusses how to clear away unnecessary clutter. The dynamic duo argue that minimalism is less about having less, and more about making room for all the good things in life, like contentment, passion and growth. I’m curious to see how my life will be affected by learning from the masters, and the benefits are already starting to show. Instead of jamming my life full of anything and everything, I’m starting to become more selective about what I say yes to.

Find it here.

Photos: Getty Images, Supplied


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