Are you interested in minimalism? Do you want to try living like a minimalist but aren’t sure where to start?
The point of minimalism is not having less of everything. Rather, it’s about having more of the important stuff: more time, more energy, more space, and more happiness. A minimalist lifestyle is just a tool to get more of what life has to offer.
If you are curious about trying minimalism, you’ve come to the right place. We’ve rounded up a collection of the best minimalist books, blogs, and podcasts to source your minimalist inspiration.
What Is Minimalism?
Minimalism is the philosophy and practice of freeing yourself from the things that weigh you down, so you can live a meaningful life. Minimalists search for happiness through life experiences, not through possessions. Getting rid of material possessions is simply a means to an end, the end being having space to pursue the important things—which aren’t actually things, but rather experiences.
Best Minimalist Blogs
Minimalism is all the rage right now, and the Internet boasts hundreds of blogs that offer advice on how to simplify your life and be happy with less. Here’s our roundup of the best minimalist blogs to bookmark right now.
Zen Habits is a one-person blog run by simplicity coach Leo Babauta. He writes about mindfulness, minimalism, and finding meaning and happiness in simple things. His posts are always insightful and thought-provoking, written from personal experience and deep reflection.
We spend so much energy on unnecessary pursuits that consume our time yet add no value to our lives: Doing mind-numbing tasks we don’t care about, worrying about what to wear, impulsively buying things we don’t need. On her blog Be More With Less, Courtney Carver helps readers put an end to this futile chase for more and find happiness in owning less.
Michael and Maša Ofel, the bloggers behind The Minimalist Vegan talk about living with less stuff and more compassion. Their mission is to inspire people to design their lives in ways that are good for us, good for animals, and good for the planet—everybody wins.
Joshua Fields Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus (the authors of Minimalism: Living a Meaningful Life) achieved the American dream of corporate success and conspicuous consumption, but it left them unhappy, exhausted, and in debt. They quit their jobs, re-examined their lives, and started the popular blog The Minimalists.
Eating healthy can get too time-consuming and complicated, but it doesn’t have to be. Minimalist Baker will show you how to cook healthy and delicious mouthwatering meals with only 10 ingredients or less in a matter of 30 minutes or less. Their recipes accommodate all dietary preferences and needs, including vegan, gluten-free, and dairy-free.
Becoming Minimalist is a blog by Joshua Becker, a WSJ bestselling author of several books on minimalism. Thanks to minimalism, Joshua was able to discover more time, more money, and more freedom, which ultimately helped him transform his life for the better. Inspired, he started Becoming Minimalist to encourage others to embark on the intentional journey of owning less stuff.
Simply + Fiercely is a one-person blog by Jenniffer. Having been disillusioned by a life that “looked good on the outside but felt wrong on the inside,” Jenniffer took to minimalism as a way of breaking free from what felt like a trap. Living with her husband and daughter, Jennifer writes about the lessons she learned on her journey towards happiness through simplicity.
Best Minimalism Books
Reading minimalism books can help you reclaim your life from unnecessary clutter and stress. Below are our picks of the best minimalism books from Shortform’s library; learn about the philosophy behind minimalism, various ways to practice minimalism, minimalist finances, and much more.
Minimalism: Live a Meaningful Life by Joshua Fields Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus recounts how the authors found happiness and a meaningful life after rejecting the “American dream” of wealth and success, and instead embracing minimalism. Based on their experiences, they offer a formula for living a meaningful life by eliminating extraneous possessions and entanglements, and instead focusing on living by a specific set of personal values.
In Digital Minimalism, Carl Newport explains how you can transform your tech habits by adopting digital minimalism, which aims to maximize the benefits of technology and avoid the pitfalls by identifying your values and determining how to use technology to support them. Learn how tech companies use human psychology to make their apps addictive, how likes and comments are weakening your relationship, and why trading your smartphone for a dumb phone could change your life.
We feel we have to do it all. But because we’re going in so many directions, we make little progress in any of them. Yet most of these activities are trivial. As Greg McKeown, author of Essentialism puts it, we’re majoring in minor activities. The way out of this trap is to practice essentialism: “do less but better.” McKeown explains how you can distinguish the vital few from the trivial, then eliminate the nonessentials and make your optimum contribution in your life and work.
How can a loveable childhood character reveal the meaning of life? By living a simple life of doing nothing. In The Tao of Pooh, Benjamin Hoff reveals how the simple-minded character of Winnie the Pooh perfectly emulates the teachings of the ancient Chinese philosophy of Taoism. Taoist principles revolve around simply living as you are and following the natural power of the universe to find wisdom and happiness. While all the other creatures living in Pooh’s world get into all sorts of antics by overthinking or overacting, Pooh simply meanders as he is without question. The Way of Pooh is the Way of Taoism.
Do you feel overwhelmed by assignments, meetings, and obligations? Are you constantly interrupted by email, social media, and the urge to follow every headline? Does it feel like there’s never enough time in the day, and none for what you really want to do?
In Make Time, Jake Knapp and John Zeratsky argue that we live in an information landscape designed to steal our time and attention. In order to escape from all of our modern distractions, you must be proactive to take back your time. The authors offer tips, tricks, and hacks to reclaim control of your day-to-day life and make time for the things that matter most.
How you handle your finances determines whether you succeed in life. In The Total Money Makeover, radio talk show host and author Dave Ramsey lays out simple steps for freeing yourself from debt and setting yourself up for success: following a monthly budget, buying only what you can afford, eliminating consumer debt, saving for emergencies, investing for retirement and your kids’ college education, and paying off your mortgage. Intended for everyone—from high earners to people with thousands of dollars in debt—Ramsey’s principles put you in control of your money and your life.
In The One Thing, real estate entrepreneur Gary Keller argues that the key to extraordinary success is focusing daily on the “One Thing” that’s most important for achieving your goal, rather than scattering yourself in many directions. Keller and co-author Jay Papasan explain how to determine your goal or life purpose, then focus intensely on getting there, while avoiding pitfalls such as multitasking, relying on an unprioritized to-do list, thinking too small, misunderstanding willpower and discipline, and neglecting your personal life. When you know and focus exclusively on the most important thing every day, everything else falls into place. Extraordinary focus on One Thing brings extraordinary success.
In today’s hustle culture, many people think the only way to live a productive and rewarding life is to work as hard as possible. This idea is so ingrained in our culture that many work to the point of near-constant exhaustion, sacrificing their mental and physical health. But according to business strategist Greg McKeown, there’s an easier way to get the most out of your time and effort. In Effortless, he expands on this one simple truth: Achieving your goals doesn’t have to be so hard. By simply taking the easiest path, we can be healthier, happier, and more productive.
The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari is a parable centered on Julian, a hotshot-lawyer-turned-monk, and his former colleague John. Julian shares with John what he’s learned from studying with a near-mythological group of monks in India who know the secrets to enlightenment. His lessons teach how to live a simple, fulfilling, and happy life.
Everyone wants to find true happiness in their lives, but many of us believe that happiness can only come from experiencing huge changes—such as a trip around the world or a lottery jackpot. But, as it turns out, you can change everything…without changing much at all.
In The Happiness Project, Gretchen Rubin explains how resolving to make the smallest of changes in your everyday life—using the “good” dishes, remembering friends’ birthdays, or singing in the morning—can translate into more vivid memories, stronger relationships, and a deeper sense of happiness and gratitude in your life.
Best Minimalist Podcasts
Listening to podcasts is great if you like consuming content on the go. Here’s our roundup of the best minimalist podcasts to follow in 2022.
In Millennial Minimalists, Kelly and Lauren talk about how to simplify your life and make room for more by getting rid of the excess. From time to time, they get personal by answering their audience’s questions and sharing the areas of clutter they continue to work through. In addition to minimalism, they discuss health and fitness, sustainability, and productivity.
Stephanie Seferian, the host of the Sustainable Minimalists podcast, believes that the minimalism movement is too focused on decluttering to the neglect of sustainability and eco-friendliness. In the podcast, she aims to fill the gap by discussing minimalism in conjunction with conscious consumerism and sustainable living.
The Slow Home Podcast is for those who have grown tired of living in the frenetic pace of our consumerist culture. Hosts Brooke and Ben McAlary explore ways to slow down, opt out, and say no to the excesses of modern life. If that’s the attitude that speaks to you, tune in for weekly episodes of one of Australia’s longest-running health podcasts.
In The Minimalists podcast, best-selling authors (Minimalism: Live a Meaningful Life) and the world’s most famous minimalists Joshua Fields Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus discuss ways we can declutter our lives to make space for the things that matter most.
Ten Percent Happier with Dan Harris, the author of NY Times bestseller 10% Happier, is a podcast about ways to inject a little more happiness into your life by slowing down and savoring each moment through mindfulness and intentional living. Harris has interviewed many big names including Brené Brown, Karamo from Queer Eye, and even His Holiness the Dalai Lama.
On The Minimalist Vegan Podcast, bestselling authors and passionate bloggers Michael and Maša Ofei explore ways to live more simply, mindfully, and intentionally. They cover a breadth of topics revolving around minimalism, veganism, and sustainability.
Practicing a minimalist lifestyle helps to remind us of the important things in life and keeps us from cluttering our homes and schedules with unnecessary possessions and meaningless activities. These minimalist resources can help you learn about minimalism and connect with like-minded individuals who are committed to consuming less and creating more.