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30 Brain Boosting Recommendations

Now more than ever we recognize how important it is that we develop our minds as much as we focus on our bodies—feeling good and looking good goes hand in hand, we think. And while we help you keep your hair luxurious and full, we want to help facilitate the same for your mind. 

We’re all looking to be the best version of ourselves. Whether we’re talking about it in a physical, mental, or emotional sense. While most of our blog posts and hair and beauty-focused, today, we wanted to take a break from our regular programming to focus on our minds and share some recommendations that will help you think better, be more grateful, and stay focused on your goals. 


BOOKS:

Brain Boosting Recommendations

1. Normal People by Sally Rooney

This novel published in 2018 became a bestseller in the US and we’re sure you’ll love it too. Normal People by Sally Rooney explores the complex relationship between two characters who explore their friendship and love as they journey through life.

2. How to Do Nothing by Jenny Odell

A NY Times bestseller, this book by Jenny Odell challenges our attachment to our digital life. She presents ideas about separating from our online existence that blends beautifully into what one might think is a self-help book but is truly an eye-opening political commentary.

3. Linchpin by Seth Godin

This book is about you-about helping you recognize and tap into your full potential and make a difference in your life. Our negative experiences create barriers that often hold us back from boldly moving forward. This book will help instill that confidence once again, so you can get out there and stop settling and start creating your own destiny.

4. The Body Is Not An Apology: The Power of Radical Self-Love by Sonya Renee Taylor

In a series of essays Sonya Renee gives us insight into how we are taught that our bodies are a source of shame and shows us how to undo these feelings of insecurity about how we look. She’s an advocate of radical self love and through this book, she guides us through a journey on how to love every inch of ourselves.

5. Start With Why by Simon Sinek

As human beings, we all think and act in similar ways—Start With Why by Simon Sinek challenges the way we approach problem-solving. The greatest leaders lead movements, gave the world innovative ideas, and shared their deepest insights and it all started with one simple word—Why?

6. Girl Get Your Money Straight by Glinda Bridgforth

Do you hate looking at your credit card bill every month, or are you tired of impulsively shopping online every week? This book leaves no stone unturned in helping you, well, get your money straight! Get to the root of why you spend the way you do and find healthy solutions to manage your money.


PODCASTS:

Brain Boosting Recommendations

1. Girlboss Radio

Real conversations, honest opinions, and vulnerability straight from revolutionary women that will help you navigate personal and professional environments like a boss. Hosted by the CEO and COO of Girlboss, Sophia Amoruso, and Neha Gandhi, this is one Podcast channel you gotta bookmark.

2. Yes, Girl!

This weekly podcast will give you your dose of celeb interview, a look into pop culture, and unbiased, unapologetic perspectives, highlighting everyone who is taking black culture higher.

3. This American Life

A journalistic take on podcasting topped with entertainment, big moments, and ideas that spark the interest of over 2.2 million listeners every week. They like to describe This American Life like, “Little movies for radio” and we love that!

4. Second Life

You'll hear from pioneers, artists, mothers, founders, writers, visionaries, designers, CEOs, and more about how they found their version of success and fulfillment. We’re peeling back the layers to their successes and sharing their winding roads of missteps, lessons, trying moments, and even outright failures that we can all learn from.

5. The Black Girl Bravado

Listen in on this podcast that gets REAL! Whether we’re talking about mental health, spirituality, humour or entrepreneurship. The Black Girl Bravado duo should be your go-to on days when you need a fresh perspective on life and relationships.

6. Beyond The To-Do List

Real people, exploring their ideas and perspectives on productivity, tasks, and goals at work and beyond. In the podcast, you will learn, be refreshed, and inspired as the host Erik Fisher talks to people from various backgrounds on how to successfully move forward in life.


ONLINE COURSES:

Brain Boosting Recommendations

1. RuPaul Teaches Self-Expression and Authenticity - Masterclass

Rediscover your confidence, and showcase your truest self as RuPaul teaches you how to be authentic, tune into your inner frequency using techniques like meditation and more.

2. Productivity and Time Management for the Overwhelmed - Udemy

If we were to break it down, the key to a successful workday is optimal time management. Sometimes your task list might overwhelm you, but this course will help you sort and prioritize your tasks.

3. The Science of Well Being - Coursera

This highly engaging course presents a series of challenges that are created to help you practice and build more productive habits. 

4. 50 Career & Self-Development Tips: Welcome to the New You - Mashable

If you feel stuck in your current job and are looking to discover what’s next, this course could help you get there. Find your passion and purpose, as well as self-development and personal improvement ideas.

5. Leaders of Learning - Harvard

This course explores how you define your personal theory of learning, what leadership looks like in various environments amongst other learnings. 

6. Do Things, Tell People: The Power of Personal Branding - SkillShare

If you want to identify and build your personal brand online, this course is for you. In a series of great videos, it shows you how to network well, promote yourself in an authentic manner, and talk to your audience in a real way. 


DOCUMENTARIES:

Brain Boosting Recommendations

1. ‘Tony Robbins: I Am Not Your Guru’

This popular documentary gives us an insider’s perspective on how one man can affect the lives of millions. Tony Robbins and his unorthodox approach as a life coach has helped thousands of people stay positive and motivated.

2. Miss Representation

Do you want to open your eyes to what the media is actually selling you? Miss Representation is a bold, truthful take on the idea of how society reinforces women to see their value in their youth, beauty, and sexuality and not their leadership potential. 

3. Dark Girls

Beauty is but skin-deep—For years we’ve heard this saying, while the media fuels the narrative that white=beautiful, and black=not pretty. To learn more about this dysfunction, the documentary Dark Girls showcases the historical, psychological, and emotional context on why we have these biases.

4. Steve Jobs: The Man in the Machine

Steve Jobs, a name nobody does not know. This film will inspire, and spur you on to achieve your personal goals as it showcases the life and work of Steve Jobs, and his passion to change the face of technology for the world.

5. Before the Flood

Climate change is real, and our beloved, Leonardo DiCaprio meets with scientists, activists, and leaders from all around the world to discuss the reality and solution to this very daunting issue.

6. Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room

This eye-opening documentary shows you all the illegal schemes, deeply intertwined corruption in the corporate world. It shows you the extent Enron traders go to to keep their high-paying jobs. 

FOODS:

Brain Boosting Recommendations

1. Dark Chocolate

Packed with antioxidants and minerals. Not only is it a delicious dessert (where you don’t need to count the calories) but it also helps improve cognition, prevent memory loss, and boost your mind.

2. Avocados

Who doesn’t love a good, fresh avo on toast? This superfood is not popular just because of social media but because of its high fiber, folate, potassium, vitamin E content.

3. Spinach 

Popeye’s age-old method to a healthy body is, in fact absolutely accurate. If you haven’t started incorporating spinach into your meals regularly, it’s time you do! It is packed with nutrients that help with hair, skin, and bone health.

4. Salmon

Not only is this fish super easy to cook, but it also comes with packed with vitamins (B6, D, B12) and nutrients that improve bone health, immunity, and fertility. 

5. Almonds

Almonds are a great non-dairy source of calcium and while also hitting high on the Vitamin E and protein meter. But do remember to keep your portion size in check when you eat almonds as they are high in calories.

6. Pumpkin Seeds

Pumpkin seeds help with insomnia, to boost your immune system, and keep your weight loss and digestive system in check because of it’s high-fiber content. Plus they’re a great addition to your acai bowls, smoothies, and flavored yougurt for snack time!


TED TALKS:

Brain Boosting Recommendations

1. Why We All Need To Practice Emotional Aid  - Guy Winch

Are you paying attention to your mind as much as your body? In today’s social media-driven world where people are constantly selling you how to ‘look’ perfect on the outside, take a minute to practice emotional aid and take care of your mind, emotions, and heart as much as we do for our bodies. Watch it here.

2. The Habits Of Happiness - Matthieu Ricard

What is the source of your happiness? Is it based on temporary things like good food, a great party or your newest beauty haul? Matthieu Ricard, a biochemist turned Buddhist monk shows us how to train our minds to get a true sense of happiness and contentment. Watch it here.

3. How To Overcome Our Biases? Walk Boldly Toward Them - Verna Myers

The first step is to growth is acknowledging your biases—Verna Myers’ TedTalk shows you how to do that and move towards it, not away from it. Talk to the people that make these conversations about race and class uncomfortable–that is where the real world-changing happens. Watch it here.

4. How to make hard choices - Ruth Chang

The choices we make shape our everyday lives—the easy and the difficult. But when we’re faced with hard choices, our minds channel our fight or flight response. Ruth Chang breaks it down and helps us face these difficult choices that life inevitably throws at us. Watch it here.

5. Unlock the intelligence, passion, and greatness of girls - Leymah Gbowee

Leymah Gbowee, a Nobel peace prize winner tells her own uplifting story and helps us recognize the untapped potential of girls around the world. If you need to feel motivated to do more than your usual 9-5 job, watch this. Watch it here.

6. How To Create Meaningful Connections While Apart - Priya Parker

The world took a 180 degree turn when the COVID-19 pandemic hit. It evidently affected businesses but it also affected human connections in a drastic way. Priya Parker sheds light on how we can continue to create and maintain meaningful relationships in this post-pandemic world. Watch it here.

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