The best self-help memoir books that will help you make the most of your one precious life

Who am I?

I have read a ton of self-help books. A ton. I have a whole library of them – a bookcase of "shelf-help." And I have now written 7 of them as well! I love it when a little or a lot of the author’s story is woven into a self-help book as it demonstrates the author’s personal growth. I don’t need more self-help tools or trite suggestions. I want to feel emotionally connected and moved in a way that encourages me to reflect on and enhance my one precious life. For me, reading a well-written self-help memoir is one of life’s greatest joys. 

I wrote...

Rediscover Your Sparkle: Revive the Real You and Be Rebelliously Happy Every Day

By Julie Schooler,

Book cover of Rediscover Your Sparkle: Revive the Real You and Be Rebelliously Happy Every Day

What is my book about?

This short book has all the ingredients YOU need to create a delicious and simple recipe to rediscover your sparkle. It provides ‘sparkle strategies’ to take your daily life from tired, stressed, and overwhelmed to being full of fun, love, and energy.  

Read this book and you will immediately start to feel more light, energized, and cheerful. Find out just how meaningful and exciting life can be, right now and for the rest of your life.

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The books I picked & why

Book cover of The Choice: Embrace the Possible

Why did I love this book?

Part memoir, part self-help, part counselling session, this book is a must-read. It doesn't hide the truth, gets very dark in places, and is likely to be triggering for some, but it is written with such strength and love, it is ultimately healing. I couldn't of course relate to the author as a holocaust survivor but her story of overcoming a 'why me' guilt, letting go of perfectionism, and embracing the choice to be free spoke to me in a profound way. Every chapter has some amazing takeaways but I will leave you with this one: "to heal is to cherish the wound." 

By Edith Eva Eger,

Why should I read it?

6 authors picked The Choice as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?


Even in hell, hope can flower

'I'll be forever changed by her story' - Oprah Winfrey

'Extraordinary ... will stick with you long after you read it' - Bill Gates

'One of those rare and eternal stories you don't want to end' - Desmond Tutu

'A masterpiece of holocaust literature. Her memoir, like her life, is extraordinary, harrowing and inspiring in equal measure' - The Times Literary Supplement

'I can't imagine a more important message for modern times. Eger's book is a triumph' - The New York Times

In 1944, sixteen-year-old…

Book cover of On Being Human: A Memoir of Waking Up, Living Real, and Listening Hard

Why did I love this book?

The author's story is heart-wrenching yet uplifting, excruciating yet freeing, and extremely personal yet spoke to me in volumes. It is hard to pick out the wisdom I loved the most but from 'doing love' to busting out of 'just-a-box' to 'come back,' it is all that I needed to hear in these banana-pants crazy times. I have put on my bucket list to attend one of the author's retreats one day. Can't think of anything better than yoga, writing, and wine.

By Jennifer Pastiloff,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked On Being Human as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

An inspirational memoir about how Jennifer Pastiloff's years of waitressing taught her to seek out unexpected beauty, how hearing loss taught her to listen fiercely, how being vulnerable allowed her to find love, and how imperfections can lead to a life full of wild happiness.
Centered around the touchstone stories Jen tells in her popular workshops, On Being Human is the story of how a starved person grew into the exuberant woman she was meant to be all along by battling the demons within and winning.

Jen did not intend to become a yoga teacher, but when she was given…


By Glennon Doyle,

Book cover of Untamed

Why did I love this book?

This book perfectly combines self-help wisdom and memoir stories from the author's interesting life. There were so many takeaways – I underlined something in almost every chapter. Utter gems: “We forgot how to know when we learned how to please,” “Maybe in a different life… As if I had more than one” and “I am worthy of rest.” Shivers. Overall, this is a book I think every woman needs to read right now.

By Glennon Doyle,

Why should I read it?

13 authors picked Untamed as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • OVER TWO MILLION COPIES SOLD! “Packed with incredible insight about what it means to be a woman today.”—Reese Witherspoon (Reese’s Book Club Pick)

In her most revealing and powerful memoir yet, the activist, speaker, bestselling author, and “patron saint of female empowerment” (People) explores the joy and peace we discover when we stop striving to meet others’ expectations and start trusting the voice deep within us.

NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY O: The Oprah Magazine • The Washington Post • Cosmopolitan • Marie Claire • Bloomberg • Parade •…

Book cover of The Art of Asking: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Let People Help

Why did I love this book?

This book checked all the boxes for a rollicking read – a strong woman, a memoir, and a smattering of self-help and it did not disappoint. I didn't read it, I devoured it. Loved all the interesting stories and pearls of wisdom. Take the donut! If you like self-help and memoir, or like me, love a combo of both, then this is the book for you. It is the kind of book that stays with you for a long, long time. I can't recommend this book enough. Just read it. 

By Amanda Palmer,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The Art of Asking as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

"When we really see each other, we want to help each other." -Amanda Palmer Imagine standing on a box in the middle of a busy city, dressed as a white-faced bride, and silently using your eyes to ask people for money. Or touring Europe in a punk cabaret band, and finding a place to sleep each night by reaching out to strangers on Twitter. For Amanda Palmer, actions like these have gone beyond satisfying her basic needs for food and shelter--they've taught her how to turn strangers into friends, build communities, and discover her own giving impulses. And because she…

Book cover of You Are a Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life

Why did I love this book?

I don't want to read average self-help / the same old thing. This is not the same old thing. Well, it is, but it is written in such a refreshingly honest and amusing way that I was gripped by every word. If you want to dip your toe into self-help but are not sure where to start, you can't go too wrong with this gem of a book. From meditation to money, the author has covered all the basics for getting your life in order. 

By Jen Sincero,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked You Are a Badass as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

YOU ARE A BADASS IS THE self-help BOOK FOR PEOPLE WHO DESPERATELY WANT TO IMPROVE THEIR LIVES BUT DON'T WANT TO GET BUSTED DOING IT. In this refreshingly entertaining how-to guide, bestselling author and world-traveling success coach, Jen Sincero, serves up 27 bitesized chapters full of hilariously inspiring stories, sage advice, easy exercises, and the occasional swear word, helping you to: Identify and change the self-sabotaging beliefs and behaviours that stop you from getting what you want, Create a life you totally love. And create it NOW, Make some damn money already. The kind you've never made before. By the…

5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in self help, life satisfaction, and change?

9,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about self help, life satisfaction, and change.

Self Help Explore 1,391 books about self help
Life Satisfaction Explore 170 books about life satisfaction
Change Explore 33 books about change

And, 3 books we think you will enjoy!

We think you will like Unbroken, The Mists of Avalon, and Everything Is Figureoutable if you like this list.