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23 Must-Read Books for Health Coaches

by: Sarah Appleby
Published: April 4, 2018
Updated: September 13, 2023

While blogs and podcasts are a great way to gain information, there’s something satisfying about sitting down with a good ol’ book.

With so many to chose from, I find the best way to discover new books is from a recommendation.

Here we’ve done the hard work for you and put together a comprehensive list of must-read books for all you health coaches out there, on topics ranging from health and wellness to entrepreneurship.

Personal Development

As coaches, we understand the importance of investing in our own personal development—it’s essential for achieving professional and personal fulfillment.

Here’s our list of five books that will change your way of thinking and help you make things happen if you ever feel like you need a little push.

1. The Magic of Thinking Big by David J. Schwartz

Originally published 1959

An oldie but a goodie, The Magic of Thinking Big was written by motivational expert David J. Schwartz, and provides advice on goal setting, positive thinking, and how to think creatively so you can succeed at life, love, and business.

2. The Big Leap: Conquer Your Hidden Fear and Take Life to the Next Level by Gay Hendricks

Originally published 2009

The Big Leap will teach you how to live without limitations, how to release your fears, and will arm you with a new set of skills and habits that will allow you to achieve greatness. An all-important read for health coaches that want to break out of their comfort zone.

3. The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You’re Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are by Brené Brown

Originally published 2010

Do you have a habit of striving for perfection?

Let go of who you think you’re suppose to be and embrace who you are using these ten guideposts on the power of wholehearted living as outlined in The Gifts of Imperfection.

4. The Zen of Listening: Mindful Communication in the Age of Distraction by Rebecca Z. Shafir

Originally published 2000

Who would have thought that listening could be so powerful?

This book will teach you the secrets of mindful communication, improve your focus, and fine-tune your listening skills—a must for any successful coach and businessperson.

5. The Rhythm of Life by Matthew Kelly

Originally published 1999

Learn how to slow life down and become the best version of yourself. This book will help you see that who you become is more important than what you do or what you have.

Health and Wellness

There are so many wonderful health and wellness books out there it was hard to narrow this list down to five, but here it is—our top five health and wellness books for health coaches.

1. The Keto Reset Diet: Reboot Your Metabolism in 21 Days and Burn Fat Forever by Mark Sisson and Brad Kearns

Originally published 2017

Primal Health Coach Institute co-founder Mark Sisson and Brad Kearns provide their take on the ketogenic diet. Learn about fat-adaptation and nutritional ketosis so you can use keto to burn fat and eliminate hunger the healthy way.

2. Wired to Eat: Turn Off Food Cravings, Rewire Your Appetite for Weight Loss, and Determine the Foods That Work for You by Robb Wolf

Originally published 2017

We as health coaches understand that we all have unique nutritional needs—what works for one client doesn’t necessarily work for another.

Let Robb Wolf teach you how to design a personalized nutrition plan for optimal health based on gut flora, digestion, and inflammatory triggers.

3. The Dorito Effect: The Surprising New Truth About Food and Flavor by Mark Schatzker

Originally published 2017

Forget everything you thought you knew about taste and how we experience food and flavors. In this book, Mark Schatzker presents a compelling argument that suggests artificial flavoring is largely responsible for the worldwide preventable chronic metabolic disease epidemic. An absolute must-read for all.

4. Born to Run: A Hidden Tribe, Superathletes, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen by Christopher McDougall

Originally published 2009

Be inspired to move your body the way it has evolved to. This book will open your mind to what we as modern humans can do…We were born to run!

5. The New Primal Blueprint: Reprogram Your Genes for Effortless Weight Loss, Vibrant Health and Boundless Energy by Mark Sisson

Originally published 2009

An unquestionable must-read for all health coaches; we simply could not leave this book off the list! The New Primal Blueprint outlines the ten laws that will lead to optimal health and longevity.


The concepts behind a successful marketing campaign are surprisingly universal and have remained relatively unchanged throughout time. Here we’ve compiled our top five marketing books that will boost your reach and help attract clients.

1. The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing by Al Ries and Jack Trout

Originally published 1994

If you’re looking to maximize your marketing reach, then this book will not disappoint. Al Ries and Jack Trout’s compendium of twenty-two innovative marketing rules have stood the test of time, and could provide you with a winning advantage when it comes to securing new clients.

2. Building a Story Brand by Donald Miller

Originally published 2017

Learn how to use storytelling as part of your own business brand by applying seven universal story points all humans respond to. Building a Story Brand discusses the real reason customers make purchases, how to simplify a brand message so people understand it, and how to create the most effective messaging for websites, brochures, and social media. This book will change how you view brand storytelling.

3. Marketing, A Love Story by Bernadette Jiwa

Originally published 2014

If you’re looking for that marketing edge over your competitors, this book is for you. It’s a compilation of blog posts that will teach you how to incorporate emotion into your marketing.

4. Don’t Make Me Think: Revisited by Steve Krug

Originally published 2014

Do you want to learn how to turn your business website into your biggest marketing asset? Then look no further than Steve Krug’s revised version of his highly successful guide to website design, Don’t Make Me Think.

5. Hit Makers by Derek Thompson

Originally published 2017

Derek Thompson explores what it takes to make a “hit” by finding commonality between the big hit makers of the past two centuries, taking a closer look at inspiring game-changers from impressionist art to powerful political speeches. This is an absolute gem of a book for any entrepreneur looking to find the winning formula for their marketing campaign.


Sales doesn’t come naturally to everyone, but it’s something that improves with practice.

Here we’ve compiled our top three books on sales so you can nail your perfect pitch, every time.

1. The Sales Bible: The Ultimate Sales Resource, Revised Edition by Jeffrey Gitomer

Originally published 2003

Whether you’re new to sales or a seasoned professional, this book has you covered. Gain all-important advice on lead generation, pipeline management, and pitching.

2. Pitch Anything: An Innovative Method for Presenting, Persuading, and Winning the Deal by Oren Klaff

Originally published 2011

This book will help you master your sales pitch—an essential part of winning new clients.

3.  How I Raised Myself From Failure to Success in Selling by Frank Bettger

Originally published 1992

A business classic and a must-have for anyone working in sales. Frank Bettger shares his sales secrets that turned his life around from failed insurance salesperson to one of the highest paid salespeople in America.


Simple fact is, having the best coaching skills does not mean a thing unless you know how to run a successful business.

Here’s our list of the very best entrepreneurial books that will help you run your business like the boss you truly are.

1. How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie

Originally published 1936

A groundbreaking classic that provides time-tested advice on how to succeed in business and in life. You’ll find tips on how to make people like you, how to win people over to your way of thinking, and how to change people’s minds without arousing resentment.

2. The 4-Hour Work Week by Timothy Ferriss

Originally published 2007

The title of this book speaks for itself. It’s a great read for any entrepreneur wanting to maximize productivity and save time. You’ll find tips on the art of negotiating and how to outsource.

3. How to Talk to Anyone: 92 Little Tricks for Big Success in Relationships  by Leil Lowendes

Originally published 1999

Learn masterful communication skills that will help you succeed in life, love, and business with the 92 clever tips outlined in this book. A must-read for any entrepreneur.

4. The E-Myth Revisited: Why Most Small Businesses Don’t Work and What to Do About it by Michael E. Gerber

Originally published 1986

This book provides step-by-step advice on how to start your business, carry it through its adolescence, and move onto mature entrepreneurial success. It’s definitely worth a read for anyone looking for a business-edge, no matter what stage your business is at.

5. Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion by Robert B. Cialdini

Originally published 1984

Have you ever wondered how some people seem to be able to get what they want in business and in life?

You too can learn the psychology of persuasion, how to use it, and how to defend yourself from it with the six universal principles outlined in this book.

That’s our list of must-read books for health coaches. Is your favorite read on our list?

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