Whether you like to begin your day the moment you get out of bed or ease gently into it with a cup of coffee, you can count on audiobooks to boost your mornings and kickstart those cognitive functions. Immersing yourself in a well-narrated book might just help wake you up, make your commute more entertaining, and set a positive tone for the day ahead. And a book is definitely better than the sleep-shattering buzz of an alarm clock.
From words of wisdom and truth courtesy of Oprah Winfrey, to laughs and enlightening insights from Rainn Wilson, to a number of titles that are fresh for 2023, here are a few of our favorite audiobooks for your morning commute.
What I Know For Sure
Written and narrated by Oprah Winfrey
After film critic Gene Siskel asked her, “What do you know for sure?” Oprah Winfrey began writing the What I Know For Sure column in O, The Oprah Magazine. Citing that the question offered her a way to “take stock of her life,” Oprah has penned one column a month over the last 14 years, during which time she retired The Oprah Winfrey Show (the highest-rated program of its kind in history), launched her own television network, became America’s only Black billionaire, was awarded both an honorary degree from Harvard University and the Presidential Medal of Freedom, watched friends and colleagues come and go, lost beloved pets and adopted new ones, and celebrated milestone birthdays.
Now, for the first time, these thoughtful gems have been revised, updated, and collected in What I Know For Sure, a beautiful audiobook packed with insights and revelations from Oprah. Organized by theme—joy, resilience, connection, gratitude, possibility, awe, clarity, and power—these essays offer a rare and powerful glimpse into the mind of one of the world’s most extraordinary women.
All the Gold Stars: Reimagining Ambition and the Ways We Strive
Written by Rainesford Stauffer
Narrated by Jess Nahikian
All the Gold Stars looks at how cultural, personal, and societal expectations around ambition are driving the burnout epidemic by funneling our worth into productivity, limiting our imaginations, and pushing us further apart. Through her own devastating personal narrative, Rainesford Stauffer reveals the common factors driving us all, peeling back layers of family expectations, capitalism, and self-esteem that she believes dangerously tie up our worth in our output.
Interviews with students, workers, psychologists, and more provide a new definition of ambition and the tools Stauffer believes we can use to reframe our lives. All the Gold Stars offers possible ways to reject current reality and reconceive ambition as more collective, imaginative, and rooted in caring for ourselves and one another.
The 5AM Club: Own Your Morning. Elevate Your Life.
Written by Robin Sharma
Narrated by Adam Verner
Legendary leadership and elite performance expert Robin Sharma introduced The 5AM Club concept over 20 years ago. It’s based on a morning routine that has helped his clients with their productivity, health, and serenity in what he calls “this age of overwhelming complexity.”
Now, in this captivating audiobook to boost your morning, you can discover the early-rising habit that has helped so many people accomplish epic results while upgrading their happiness, helpfulness, and feelings of being alive. Part manifesto for mastery, part playbook for genius-grade productivity and part companion for a life lived beautifully.
Written by Questlove
Narrated by Questlove, Fred Armisen, Dion Flynn, Norm MacDonald, Robin Thede, and Tariq Trotter
In Creative Quest, Questlove—musician, bandleader, designer, producer, culinary entrepreneur, professor, and all-around cultural omnivore—synthesizes all the creative philosophies, lessons, and stories he’s heard from the many creators and collaborators in his life. He then reflects on his own experience to advise listeners and fans on how to consider creativity and where to find it. He addresses many topics—like what it means to be creative, how to find a mentor and serve as an apprentice, the wisdom of maintaining a creative network, coping with critics and the foibles of success, and the specific pitfalls of contemporary culture—all in the service of guiding admirers who have followed his career and newcomers not yet acquainted with his story.
Whether discussing his own life or channeling the lessons he’s learned from forefathers such as George Clinton, collaborators like D’Angelo, or like-minded artists including Ava DuVernay, David Byrne, and Björk, Questlove speaks with his resident candor and enthusiasm. Creative Quest is many things, but above all, it’s a wide-ranging conversation around the eternal mystery of creativity.
Written and narrated by Dr Sophie Mort
Do you feel stuck in a rut and that you keep getting in your own way? Or maybe you have an idea of the version of yourself you want to be—self-assured, happy, and thriving—but getting there seems impossible?
Drawing on her expertise as a clinical psychologist with a master’s in neuroscience, in (Un)Stuck, Dr Sophie Mort shares the science of habit formation to help you understand your patterns of behavior and start living the life you want.
Packed with practical tips, exercises, real-life examples, and “unsticking points,” Dr Sophie breaks down five reasons you’re stuck and offers you tools to do something about it.
The Power Code: More Joy. Less Ego. Maximum Impact for Women (and Everyone)
Written by Katty Kay, Claire Shipman
Narrated by Katty Kay, Claire Shipman, and Sandy Rustin
Power is not working—for women, for men, or for the world. We don’t need to remake women. We need to remake power.
In The Power Code, journalists and New York Times bestselling authors Katty Kay and Claire Shipman are on a mission to reclaim power for women. In the wake of sweeping changes in the way we work, these veteran journalists challenge preconceived notions of what power is and what it’s good for, along with the insidious, mostly hidden structures of the status quo that hold women back.
What started as a straightforward examination of best practices becomes a manifesto offering a new form of power, a distinctly female version that they believe is already emerging in workplaces, in politics, and on the home front. It’s a version that is more appealing to women (and most men as well). It offers women a blueprint for shaping their own professional futures, maximizing their impact for the benefit of others, and experiencing the real joy that comes from taking the reins and influencing outcomes.
Soul Boom: Why We Need a Spiritual Revolution
Written and narrated by Rainn Wilson
Rainn Wilson, comedic actor and author of Soul Boom, explores the problem-solving benefits of spirituality in an increasingly challenging world.
The trauma that our world has experienced in recent years—as a result of both the pandemic and societal tensions that threaten to overwhelm us—has been unprecedented. To Wilson, it is clear that existing political and economic systems are not enough to bring the change that the world needs. He explores the possibility and hope for a spiritual revolution, a “Soul Boom,” in order to address today’s greatest issues: mental health, racism, sexism, climate change, and economic injustice.
The Seven Decisions: Understanding the Keys to Personal Success
Written and narrated by Andy Andrews
In this revised and repackaged version of Mastering the Seven Decisions, master storyteller and life coach Andy Andrews has fast-forwarded the concept of success and what it takes to make it stick. Seeking out what separates the ordinary life from the extraordinary, Andrews has spent much of his life dissecting countless biographies and spending time with some of the most successful people on the planet in an effort to understand the principles that propel them toward greatness.
The result? Seven simple principles that, when applied consistently, render extraordinary lives. Through his entertaining, down-to-earth style, Andrews introduces these principles and offers all the tools he believes are necessary to make lasting changes in your life.
You Were Born for This: Astrology for Radical Self-Acceptance
Written and narrated by Chani Nicholas
From beloved astrologer and Spotify Cosmic Playlist curator Chani Nicholas comes an essential guide for radical self-acceptance.
Your weekly horoscope is merely one crumb from astrology’s cake. In her first book, You Were Born for This, Nicholas shows how your birth chart—a snapshot of the sky at the moment you took your first breath—can reveal your unique talents, challenges, and opportunities. Marrying the historic traditions of astrology with a modern approach, You Were Born for This explains the key components of your birth chart in an easy-to-use, choose-your-own-adventure style with journal prompts, reflective questions, and affirmations personal to your astrological makeup.
Eligible Spotify Premium users in the U.K. and Australia can now look forward to 15 hours of audiobook listening per month on any audiobook marked “Included in Premium.” Learn all about it.