My 5: Hannah Hart's Favorite Books to Get Into the Self-Care Groove (Exclusive)

Hannah Hart at Pitch Perfect 3 premiere
Emma McIntyre/Getty Images

The YouTube star opens up about the books that have helped her on her wellness journey, which she now discusses with her best friend, Hannah Gelb, on their new podcast, 'HANNAHlyze This.'

Hannah Hart is already known for combining two of her favorite things -- cooking and drinking -- thanks to her wildly popular YouTube series, My Drunk Kitchen. But there was a much bigger topic that she is passionate about and was finally ready to pursue: self-help and personal wellness.

After four years of talking with her best friend, Hannah Gelb, about starting a podcast, the two finally got around to recording one, launching HANNAHlyze This in February.

"I really wanted to make sure it was the right idea at the right time... and then things got incredibly busy for me, and I wasn't going to be able to dedicate as much time to it as I had hoped. But now I just can't resist doing it, and I love it and it makes me so happy," Hart tells ET. "Obviously, I love all the projects I'm working on, but with this one [it] held a very special place in my heart because it feels so intimate and so free, and it's just exercising a different part of my creative brain that I haven't gotten to exercise much."


Though wellness is a huge buzzword right now, Hart was quick to point out that self-care isn't a fad to her but rather a true passion, even a hobby, and the fact that she gets to make a podcast about such an important issue with her best friend of over a decade -- whom she met in college when the two were studying abroad in Japan -- is simply icing on the (probably organic, maybe even made of kale) cake.

"It's me and one of my best friends talking about mental health and talking about this tedious nature of maintaining self-care, and really just getting to spend that quality time diving in deeper than a three-to-six minute, or even a 12-minute video, can allow. I feel like the podcast really allows us to peel back another layer of the onion," the Dirty 30 star explains of the 40-minute episodes, even noting that the two Hannahs have each other "as our safe space."

Though the topic is quite different than My Drunk Kitchen, Hart believes that her fans will still be happy with this new series, and "like-minded people" will also find something they relate to in the podcast. 

"I definitely think people who have been here since the beginning will appreciate the podcast the most because My Drunk Kitchen only exists because I made that video for Hannah Geld," she reveals. "It wasn't starting a YouTube career back in March 2011 -- it was, I sent that video to my friend. I made it for her as a joke."

Hart will be discussing plenty of wellness fads on her podcast, but she's also sharing the top five books that have helped her on her own self-care journey over the years:

Letters to a Young Poet by Rainer Maria Rilke

"That one is so great -- love it, love it. It helped me accept I had a creative desire inside of me and not to reject that feeling. Even if that never amounted to anything to the outside world, accepting it as a desire inside myself was very helpful."

The Burden of Sympathy: How Families Cope With Mental Illness by David A. Karp

"It's a tough read, but a good one. It's about having a family member who is mentally ill, and it's just a really great resource. There's not a lot of great resources out there for people struggling with it in their families in a system that is filled with so many holes."

Buffering: Unshared Tales of a Life Fully Loaded by Hannah Hart

"That's my book -- that helped me a lot. Writing this book was an incredibly cathartic experience for me. In the aftermath of Buffering, so many people reached out with similar experiences, and it made me feel heard and seen and is a feeling I wish I could give to every person on the planet, because everybody has a chance, and I was lucky enough to have the chance to tell mine."

Devotions: The Selected Poems of Mary Oliver

"I just love the way that she talks about the world. It's very simple poetry, but it's very profound. It's very beautiful to me and I really travel with at least one book of poetry by Mary Oliver."

Driven to Distraction by Edward M. Hallowell M.D. and John J. Ratey M.D.

"The book for adults with ADHD. It's fantastic, and it's changed my life. Driven by Distraction all the way."