Inspiring Stories for Healthy Living

Inspiring Stories for Healthy Living, Stories for Healthy Living

All of us are unique beings with strengths and challenges. That said, once you’ve moved past fear and into treatment, your recovery toolbox might benefit from other people’s inspiring stories as a compass to help maintain healthy life choices. Here are some of our favorites that may add to your motivation. 

Your Inspired Self 

What does it mean to be inspired? In an article for People Development Magazine, author Christine Lattimer defines it this way: “Inspiration is the process of being mentally or emotionally stimulated to feel, think, or act in a specific way. It can come from various sources such as personal experiences or interactions with others. Exposure to new ideas and environments can create the state of being inspired.” She adds that “it’s a powerful motivator that can propel us towards our goals, foster creativity, and enhance our ability to overcome challenges.”

When something or someone inspires us, we light up with the neurotransmitters dopamine and serotonin. Dopamine is key to learning, motivation, movement, and pleasure. Serotonin is involved in happiness and overall well-being, appetite regulation, and sleep. Naturally stimulating these “happy hormones” helps you maintain stability in recovery.   

Inspiring Stories for Healthy Living 

Whether it’s hearing about an amazing act of kindness or about someone overcoming diversity, inspiring narratives have a way of touching our souls and giving us hope that we can have a better, healthier life. With inspiration, you can reframe setbacks as opportunities for growth, develop better self-acceptance, and plan a future of possibilities. 

Dan “Buck” Brannaman 

Raised by an abusive father, forced as a child to support the family by trick roping in rodeos, and shuttled between foster homes, Brannaman eventually found solace with horses. His gentle spirit and innate ability to relate to their fear and abuse helped him train even the most difficult animals. “I’m not helping people with horse problems—I’m helping horses with people problems,” he once said. People all over the world seek out his knowledge and expertise as a trainer and motivational speaker, and his life was the focus of an award-winning documentary, “Buck”

Brené Brown 

It’s easy now to view researcher, professor, and celebrated author Brown as a notable influencer, but it wasn’t always this way. As she was completing her graduate studies program, she learned more about her family’s history with addiction and mental health issues, which prompted her to take a closer look at what she was battling in her life. Brown writes, “I wasn’t sure if I was an alcoholic, but during my teens and twenties my partying ranged from ‘she’s fun and wild’ to self-destructive. And, I was and still am a believer in the adage, ‘if you’re asking yourself if your drinking is problematic, then, at the very least, drinking is probably not serving you.’” She went to her first Alcoholics Anonymous meeting in May 1996 and has been sober ever since. 

Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen

The founders of the Chicken Soup for the Soul series had no idea at first just how hungry people are for inspirational stories, but as motivational speakers, they quickly learned. The pair developed the first book in 1993 to “soothe and provide comfort, just like their grandmothers’ cooking.” It sold 11 million copies. Now, more than 250 books later, this worldwide multimedia phenomenon continues to tell “positive, uplifting, and real” stories we can all appreciate through a podcast, TV, film, and video. 

Wilma Rudolph

As a child, Rudolph suffered from scarlet fever and polio. Doctors told her parents she would never walk and bound her leg in a brace. She first hopped around to move about, but later mastered walking with the brace. By the time she was 11, she was able to play basketball and continued to perform through high school—but running was in her spirit. She turned to track and field, competing against college athletes while still in high school. Rudolph became a world-renowned Olympian, winning bronze in 1956, and multiple gold in 1960. She retired from sports a year later to focus on education and activism. In 1990, she was the first woman to receive the National Collegiate Athletic Association’s Silver Anniversary Award, and at Tennessee State University, her alma mater, an indoor track and residence hall are named in her honor. 

Louis Zamperini

As a champion collegiate distance runner in the 1930s, Zamperini’s future looked bright, especially after he competed in the 1936 Olympics in Berlin. His next shot at gold would be in 1940 in Tokyo, but World War II thwarted those plans, and Zamperini enlisted in the Army Air Corps. He survived a harrowing airplane crash, only to be captured and forced into a Japanese POW camp for more two years, where he suffered extreme physical and psychological torture. Upon his return home, he developed PTSD and alcohol use disorder—both of which nearly destroyed his marriage and his life. But gradually, with the help of family and faith, Zamperini turned his life around. He founded a camp for troubled youth, became a respected inspirational speaker, and wrote two memoirs. Author Laura Hillenbrand also penned his biography Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption, later developed into two films.  

Find More Inspiration at Willingway

At our Georgia and Florida addiction rehabilitation locations, we customize evidence-based treatment plans to help people not only address addiction, behavioral, and mental disorders, but also recognize their many facets of being and improve upon each one. We also provide valuable connection and inspiration through our continuing care community groups, available all over the Southeast, so you can join other people on a healthy recovery journey filled with hope and purpose.