The most recommended self-actualization books

Who picked these books? Meet our 247 experts.

247 authors created a book list connected to self-actualization, and here are their favorite self-actualization books.
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Book cover of Astrology, Karma & Transformation

Noel Eastwood Author Of Psychological Astrology And The Twelve Houses

From my list on for learning psychological astrology.

Who am I?

I've had a deep passion for the esoteric world since childhood. I read books on everything to do with ghosts, magic, and astral travel, and began drawing up astrology charts from books I had borrowed from the library as a teenager. I studied astrology back in the mid-1980s when the new age was in full swing. Ten years later I went back to university and studied to become a psychologist. I am a firm believer that an understanding of personality through depth psychotherapy, and the hidden wisdom found in alternative schools of knowledge, can enhance one’s personal and spiritual growth in the difficult times we face today.

Noel's book list on for learning psychological astrology

Noel Eastwood Why did Noel love this book?

When I read his expose of the Saturn Return I knew that I had hit upon a hidden gem. His description of how to read and use the conflicts of planets, signs, and houses within the chart changed the way I approached my readings, and to Stephen, I am eternally grateful.

By Stephen Arroyo,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Astrology, Karma & Transformation as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This insightful and original book focuses on the understanding and use of astrology as a tool for spiritual and psychological growth. In contrast to traditional prediction-oriented astrology, this new approach to the most ancient of all sciences is based upon the law of karma and the urge toward self-transformation. Especially emphasizing the transformative and karmic significance of Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto, this book places all astrological techniques in a growth-oriented perspective. It is especially pertinent for those whose interest in astrology is based on a recognition of its spiritual significance and its value for enhancing self-knowledge. Included are chapters…

Book cover of The Chimp Paradox: The Mind Management Program to Help You Achieve Success, Confidence, and Happiness

Alana Stott Author Of She Who Dares

From my list on helping you escape victimhood and keep you winning.

Who am I?

In life my motto has always been “The buck stops with me.” There is no room in life for excuses, blame, and victimhood. You need to build your own strength and resilience and not rely on others when it comes to your own successes. I have spent my life putting this mindset into practice and have surrounded myself with people, and books that keep me winning. 

Alana's book list on helping you escape victimhood and keep you winning

Alana Stott Why did Alana love this book?

Dr. Steve will blow your mind but introducing you to your chimp.

A being we all have within us that plays with our minds and is a wrecking ball! The chimp can work for you or against you! It's how you handle your chimp that counts and this book teaches you how to deal with him. Understanding your chimp will help you live a happier and healthier life!  

By Steve Peters,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Chimp Paradox as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Do you sometimes behave irrationally or impulsively? Do you face some situations with fear and trepidation? Do feelings of self-doubt consume everyday activities?

Leading Consultant Psychiatrist, Prof Steve Peters, knows more than anyone how impulsive behaviour or nagging self-doubt can impact negatively on our professional and personal lives.

In this, his first book, Steve shares his phenomenally successful mind management programme that has been used to help elite athletes and senior managers alike to conquer their fears and operate with greater control, focus and confidence.

Seemingly complex concepts are made simple with the use of memorable analogies -- such as…

Book cover of The Art of Noticing: 131 Ways to Spark Creativity, Find Inspiration, and Discover Joy in the Everyday

Mary Potter Kenyon Author Of Called to Be Creative: A Guide to Reigniting Your Creativity

From my list on to jumpstart your creativity.

Who am I?

I began exploring the topic of creativity after my mother’s death in 2010. Mom was an extremely creative woman. The mother of ten children, living in poverty, she was a self-taught artist who managed to beautify her simple home with her art, building a home business selling paintings, woodcarvings, wall hangings, and quilts she created. When I began speaking to groups of women about creativity, I was shocked to discover just how few of them saw themselves as creative. Thus began my odyssey into creativity research and therapeutic art, and the resulting book and workshops that inspire and encourage others to discover their creative self.

Mary's book list on to jumpstart your creativity

Mary Potter Kenyon Why did Mary love this book?

I only got a few pages into this book before I had to grab a pen to take notes. A mindful attitude is crucial to increasing your creativity, and Rob Walker’s exercises not only jumpstarted my creativity, but increased my mindfulness. I’ve always said I would make a terrible eyewitness because I’m living inside my head most of the time. The Art of Noticing made a difference in that after I read it, I began noticing little things around me that I wouldn’t have paid attention to before. Not only did I try some of the mindfulness exercises, I incorporated at least one into a creativity workshop I do. I also find Rob’s weekly e-mail newsletter inspirational.

By Rob Walker,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Art of Noticing as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A thought-provoking, gorgeously illustrated gift book that will spark your creativity and help you rediscover your passion with “simple, low-stakes activities [that] can open up the world.”—The New York Times

Welcome to the era of white noise. Our lives are in constant tether to phones, to email, and to social media. In this age of distraction, the ability to experience and be present is often lost: to think and to see and to listen.

Enter Rob Walker's The Art of Noticing—an inspiring volume that will help you see the world anew. Through a series of simple and playful exercises—131 of…

Book cover of Women's Ways of Knowing: The Development of Self, Voice, and Mind

Brenda Ricotta Author Of The Midwife's Heart: Hebrew Midwives Trilogy Book 2

From my list on changing my way of viewing the world.

Who am I?

I love to read. A life-changing event in 1997, started my journey into writing and eventually into my conversion to Judaism. Many years later, I’ve come to realize that there are grains of truth in every faith tradition and I search for those truths in my own life. Currently, I have four books in print, writing under the pen names of Brenda Ray (The Hebrew Midwives Trilogy) and B. K. Ricotta (Two of a Kind and A Love So Sweet). Two other novels (Book 1 and 2 of the Econfina Creek Series) are in the works.

Brenda's book list on changing my way of viewing the world

Brenda Ricotta Why did Brenda love this book?

This book was part of my women’s studies in nurse-midwifery school at the University of Florida. It affirmed what I already knew on a soul level about how women’s senses hold unique sub-strata. We “know” but have been unable to define the “why” over the centuries.  As an empath, this book resonated with me and helped me understand how my gift brought to the bedside when caring for women at the most primal moments of their lives, was innate. It taught me how to trust my instincts.

By Mary Field Belenky, Blythe McVicker Clinchy, Nancy Rule Goldberger , Jill Mattuck Tarule

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Women's Ways of Knowing as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Despite the progress of the women's movement, many women still feel silenced in their families and schools. This moving and insightful bestseller, based on in-depth interviews with 135 women, explains why they feel this way. Updated with a new preface exploring how the authors' collaboration and research developed, this tenth anniversary edition addresses many of the questions that the authors have been asked repeatedly in the years since Women's Ways of Knowing was originally published.

Book cover of The Secret Lives of Dresses

Tam Francis Author Of The Flapper Affair: A 1920s Time Travel Murder Mystery Paranormal Romance

From my list on vintage fashion, passion and dance reads.

Who am I?

I write cross-genre fiction with a pen in one hand and a vintage cocktail in the other, filling the romantic void, writing novels when my husband deployed. When in port, we taught swing dancing and have been avid collectors of vintage sewing patterns, retro clothing, and antiques. All of which make appearances in my stories. I’ve always been fascinated with the paranormal and have had some unexplained experiences, some of those made their way into my stories as well. I live in a 1908 home in Texas that may or may not be haunted. I have book reviews, vintage lifestyle tips, recipes, interviews, giveaways, and games on my site!

Tam's book list on vintage fashion, passion and dance reads

Tam Francis Why did Tam love this book?

The vintage fashion descriptions are killer diller with little mini-stories about each dress featured that evoke nostalgia and often melancholy. The mini-stories were sweet, delightful vignettes that reminded me of the way I think of my vintage clothing. They were beautifully written and I loved them all but most noticeably, I loved the story about the wartime mother splashing in puddles with her children. Dora’s character was likable and believable and I rooted for her. The supporting characters were perfectly quirky and delightfully despicable. Plus there is a nice romantic element with a fun love-triangle with wonderful supporting characters.

By Erin McKean,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Secret Lives of Dresses as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

'Every dress has a story.
Let me tell you mine...'

Dora is in love with a man who barely notices her, has a job she doesn't care about, and dresses entirely for comfort, not style. All a far cry from her vivid, eccentric childhood, growing up with her beloved grandmother Mimi.

However, when disaster strikes, Dora knows she has no choice but to return to her childhood home and take over running Mimi's vintage clothing shop. And there she makes a surprising discovery - Mimi's been writing stories to accompany every dress she sells. Romantic, heartbreaking tales about each one's…

Book cover of Mastery

Matt Jardine Author Of How to be a Buddhist Millionaire: 9 practical steps to being happy in a materialist world

From my list on making an abundant living doing work you love.

Who am I?

I have been fascinated by human potential for as long as I can remember. As a youth, my passion manifested in physical skills, pursuing a career in professional tennis, then in martial arts, for example. In my twenties, my interest included the mental and ‘spiritual’ side of life, too. Later, a young family needing to be fed forced me to consider yet another area of life to ‘master’: work and business. With so much of our lives spent in the workplace (a third), it seemed the perfect environment to test all that I had learnt about pushing the boundaries of human potential; mind, body, emotions, and spirit.

Matt's book list on making an abundant living doing work you love

Matt Jardine Why did Matt love this book?

Although I write within the genre of ‘Self-help’ and ‘Personal Growth’, as a reader, I am put off by titles that are too wishy-washy, saccharine, or worse, untested. 

Remember the saying, ‘Don’t walk in the footsteps of the masters, seek what they sought’? This is an important reminder for us to find and test our own truths rather than blindly follow others.  

For this reason, I recommend any work by Robert Greene, but particularly Mastery

Greene is a master at cutting through the hyperbole and getting to the core of what drives human behaviour and improved productivity without the weird bells and whistles.

His well thought-out ideas are based on evidence, road tested, backed-up by interesting case studies and applicable to our lives. 

By Robert Greene,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

From the bestselling author of The 48 Laws of Power and The Laws of Human Nature, a vital work revealing that the secret to mastery is already within you.

Each one of us has within us the potential to be a Master. Learn the secrets of the field you have chosen, submit to a rigorous apprenticeship, absorb the hidden knowledge possessed by those with years of experience, surge past competitors to surpass them in brilliance, and explode established patterns from within. Study the behaviors of Albert Einstein, Charles Darwin, Leonardo da Vinci and the nine contemporary Masters interviewed for this…

Book cover of Emergence: Seven Steps for Radical Life Change

Richard W. Kelly Author Of Times... They Are a Changin'

From Richard's 3 favorite reads in 2023.

Who am I?

Author All Genres writer Pro-wrestling fanatic Disney Adult Analytic Dreamer

Richard's 3 favorite reads in 2023

Richard W. Kelly Why did Richard love this book?

I love self help books, but most of the time they feel like just putting your faith into a mantra or chant. 

This book has step-by-step instructions on how to not only harness the strength of positive thinking and meditation. But, it also goes deep on how to create a plan and keep moving so that you are actively creating the life you want.

By Derek Rydall,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Personal development has been an enormously popular topic, from Dale Carnegie's How to Win Friends and Influence Peopleto Gretchen Rubin's The Happiness Project, from Tony Robbins to Deepak Chopra. But it's not working anymore. Many of us struggle with the same, on-going battles day in and day out. We attract a new mate but have the same old fights. We increase our pay check but end up broke. We fight for our health only to slip back into the same, old habits. And the harder we try to change, the more difficult it becomes.

Emergence is not the end of…

Book cover of Conscious Calm: Keys to Freedom from Stress and Worry

Alan Pearce Author Of Coma and Near-Death Experience: The Beautiful, Disturbing, and Dangerous World of the Unconscious

From my list on consciousness that demonstrates there is more to life than we know.

Who am I?

As a journalist, I'm driven to find stories that have not been covered before and to make clear the incomprehensible. I like people, and I like asking questions. I've covered wars and disasters, and on any given day, I could expect to see people at their very worst and at their very best. With my book about comas, I've met some of the finest people of my career, doctors, nurses, and other clinicians who are fighting the system, and coma survivors who are simply fighting to get through each and every day. This is the story I am now driven to tell.

Alan's book list on consciousness that demonstrates there is more to life than we know

Alan Pearce Why did Alan love this book?

I am so glad I found this book. Now, when my mind won't ever seem to shut up, I know where to find the off-switch.

It seems we all do it all of the time, and yet the incessant chatter inside our heads that runs on a loop throughout the day and goes largely unnoticed is actually making us ill. Laura calls this seriously annoying habit 'motor minding,' the root of so much self-generated stress and anxiety, a pure hallmark of the modern world.

Reading this was like a full-on revelation. Once we learn to shut out the noise, we really can attain higher levels of consciousness. This is what the gurus and mystics have seen seeking all along. 

By Laura Maciuika,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Conscious Calm as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Ready to transform stress and worry for good? When you are stressed and worried, looking for lasting stress relief can be overwhelming. There is so much information it's hard to know where to start and what to do. Conscious Calm makes it simple. This book focuses on the internal patterns of stress that often go unnoticed, and shows you how to undo those patterns so that lasting calm becomes possible. Conscious Calm reveals 9 Stress Secrets that can keep you stuck in stress, and 9 Conscious Calm Keys to experiencing stress relief and peace of mind. Integrating science and wisdom…

Book cover of The Mind-Body Stress Reset: Somatic Practices to Reduce Overwhelm and Increase Well-Being

Laura E. Anderson Author Of When Religion Hurts You: Healing from Religious Trauma and the Impact of High-Control Religion

From my list on why religious trauma is trauma.

Who am I?

My professional work has always been inspired by the personal journey I've gone on–which means that my interest in religious trauma stems from my own healing as well as client work and research. Previous research and therapeutic interventions have suggested atheism as a cure for religious trauma which is often unhelpful and can create just as much rigidity as someone experienced in a high control religion. I approach religious trauma as trauma–which means that resolving religious trauma can occur in the same ways that we use to resolve other trauma. Understanding religious trauma this way opens the door for a decrease in shame, more compassion towards self, and ultimately living a whole life.

Laura's book list on why religious trauma is trauma

Laura E. Anderson Why did Laura love this book?

This is one of my go-to books and I always have a copy of it near by!

Rebekah is trained in Somatic Experiencing and her book reflects that both in helping the reader understand what is happening in their body as well as giving many tools to help people create internal safety and stability, which I, personally, believe is the foundation for trauma resolution.

LaDyne’s softer approach often leads readers toward greater ease which makes the healing process not so scary. 

By Rebekkah LaDyne,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Mind-Body Stress Reset as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Somatic or "body-based" skills are at the cutting edge of wellness and stress reduction. This book offers
do-it-yourself techniques designed to help you "reset" your nervous system, beat stress, and cultivate calm.
Stress-it's not just in your head. Whether you've experienced a racing heart, shortness of breath, a tense neck or
shoulders, or a knot in your stomach, you know that stress is something that you can feel in your body. And that's why
you need help relieving stress in the body before you can achieve a sense of calm and well-being in your mind. But where do you begin?…

Book cover of Peak: How Great Companies Get Their Mojo from Maslow

Joseph A. Michelli Author Of The New Gold Standard: 5 Leadership Principles for Creating a Legendary Customer Experience Courtesy of the Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company

From my list on customer service and customer experience.

Who am I?

I am a New York Times #1 bestselling author of more than 10 customer experience and leadership books. When I am not reading and writing, I help leaders and entrepreneurs drive employee engagement, customer loyalty, and referrals. 

Joseph's book list on customer service and customer experience

Joseph A. Michelli Why did Joseph love this book?

I wish I had written this book. Chip Conley takes Maslow’s hierarchy of needs and applies it to employees and customers. Sharing lessons from hotel leadership, Chip demonstrates how managers and frontline workers should prioritize primary needs of those they serve while stretching to address higher level belonging and self-expression needs. With precision and clarity, Chip Conley offers a template for assessing the wants, needs, and desires of others

By Chip Conley,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Proven principles for sustainable success, with new leadership insight

PEAK is the popular, transformative guide to doing business better, written by a seasoned entrepreneur/CEO who has disrupted his favorite industry not once, but twice. Author Chip Conley, founder and former CEO of one of the world's largest boutique hotel companies, turned to psychologist Abraham Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs at a time when his company was in dire need. And years later, when the young founders of Airbnb asked him to help turn their start-up home sharing company into a world-class hospitality giant, Conley once again used the principles he'd developed…