Self-help books are becoming highly popular and have been growing over the last ten years. They have always been around, for over a century they have been building up the genre — but it’s only been since entering the 21st century have people started to truly show an interest in them.
There are different ranges within the genre and a good variety of different ways authors have decided to tackle this genre. There are also lots of different topics, but this list below focuses more on one self with the mind and how to try and come to terms with how to feel good in your own skin.
- Everything I know about Love by Dolly Alderton
This book was recommended to me by a friend who resonated with it highly. Dolly Alderton literally lays down her life and journey with understanding what love means to her. It is a good tackle on the format and if you are new to self-help and not sure if you want to transition from fiction to non-fiction, this is a good book to start with because it is in a format of Alderton telling her story as if she was a character.
It doesn’t feel overwhelming like the tale is being shoved down your throat with lots of science and examples that some novels can fall into. It is simply one woman’s story and she is sharing it with her reader.
It proves that even the deepest depths someone can go through that they can make it out the other side and once again proves that no one is alone when feeling depressed or run down. It’s a good book to reach if you are feeling slightly beaten up and want to have a gentle reminder that the world is not here to take you down.
What I especially love about this book is that it proves on all levels that loving relationships can help shape a person. It doesn’t focus on just romantic love, but those of a friendship or a family member. It proves that one does not need a romantic partner to settle down with, but in fact can feel whole with those people around them even before they meet that one person.
A good, quick easy read to help transition into the genre.
- Calming the emotional storm by Sheri Van Dijk
Now, here is a book that I do not believe gets enough credit. It is very different from other examples on this list simply because it does venture more into the mind itself.
Dijk clearly and helpfully explains the different levels of one’s psyche and in fact helped me learn what kind of emotional person I am. Everyone is different, everyone interprets things differently and emotionally react differently. This book helps explain these ways and helps address how you could try and master your own emotional storm.
If your someone who likes to work alongside your books, then this is perfect as every chapter has exercises that you can do in such a little amount of time. But do not feel threatened — in my first read I didn’t do any of the exercises and still felt I got everything out of the book.
This book is perfect to openly admit that it is natural and normal for someone to be emotional and it should be nothing to be ashamed of. It simply highlights what it means and how someone can understand their own reactions on a deeper level.
- Reasons to stay Alive by Matt Haig
This was the first ever self-help book I picked up. I had decided I wanted to adventure out to the genre and understand what the hype was all about. After doing some research, I found this book was constantly promoted and after picking it up I can see why.
Now, I’ll admit that I was in quite a stable mind when I picked this book up, and so I am not sure that if you are someone who is struggling on a deep level if this book would be the perfect one to pick up. Haig does not hold back on his explanations of his low points, and there is a possibility that it could be triggering for some people. But I would still recommend this book. It beautifully illustrates that even when someone feels at their lowest, that they can conquer the fear and depression and climb back up to the top.
What I love most about this book is that Haig does not explain it as ‘this was when I was at my lowest and now I am cured’. Instead he proves that he still has days where he feels run down even years later, and that it is alright to not always be okay.
Similar to Alderton’s book, this is more a story form and so it does feel like you are reading a character if you feel you are not set for a non-fiction book just yet.
I think this should be on everyone’s list, whether you feel like you are at battles with your own mind or not. It is a lovely revelation that someone can rise from their darkest hours.
- The Subtle Art of not giving a f*ck by Mark Manson
This book I picked up on a whim on my 21st birthday in the airport waiting to fly off to Edinburgh. I realised I hadn’t brought a book for a long weekend with my friends and this was the first one to catch my eye in the shop — most likely from the use of a bright orange cover and the word f*ck written across it. But I have to say, I am so glad I did.
This book is not as harsh as it might appear from the title. Manson does not spend over two hundred pages screaming at you to not take any sh*t from anyone, but in fact just proves with amazing detail and examples why you should be more focused on yourself and not those around you and their opinions.
Each chapter goes into detail about why it is important to reflect on your own choices and opinions and gives both famous people and non-famous people as examples for when they have done exactly that. It even opens your mind to realise how much you do take other people’s opinions. I used to be guilty of revealing everything that was going on in my life and then taking in what others thought of it. After reading Manson’s work, I realised that I don’t need everyone to know my business and in fact chose more to focus on my own choices than what others recommended me.
This is another book that has a few exercises that can help you out, but once again don’t feel you have to do them — you still get a good result from just reading the book.
- You are a Badass by Jen Sincero
To me, You are a Badass and The Subtle Art of not giving a F*ck go beautifully hand in hand mainly because they both prove that it is your choices and opinions that matter most. It’s almost like Sincero and Manson both wanted to scream at the world to prove that it would not beat them down and decided to share it with us readers.
Sincero does take a different approach as she more focuses on the idea of wanting to achieve your goals and not letting anything stand in your way. She does often recommend life coaching and other forms of people aiding with you on your journey, but she does not run it down your throat.
She briefly explains her story and then also uses many examples to help prove that even those that started with nothing can achieve high dreams.
Sometimes you just want proof that other before you achieved their dreams and goals, and this is a book that does exactly that — and at the same time, proving that you should not be afraid to go for it either.
- The Effortless Mind by Will Williams
I was going to have this as a top five list, but I could not miss this book out. Williams is notoriously known as the founder of beeja meditation and this book does not fall short on what would be expected from him. So, naturally, this book would be perfect for anyone who swears by meditation, but do not fall short if you are not.
Williams explains in simple and affective language about the goodness of meditation and what it did for his own life. He proves that it isn’t as scary as one might think and it is simple for anyone to do. That anyone can find five minutes to sit with their thoughts.
He gives many examples of different types of people where meditation has worked for them and does not fall short on letting them have the limelight even in his own book.
It opens the readers eye to understand the goodness of meditation and that it is so simple to do. Whilst he is promoting his own form, he does not sing it out and instead just proves what meditation in general can do for one’s mind. There are different forms, and whilst I did not take hold of the simple sitting down and run through your thoughts type, it proved to me that just being in quietness and relaxing is what can help calm your mind.
It’s perfect for someone with a busy schedule and hectic life who constantly feels run down as it simply puts that you do not need to do hours long meditation in order to achieve the goodness from it.