The most recommended self-help books

Who picked these books? Meet our 1,344 experts.

1,344 authors created a book list connected to self-help, and here are their favorite self-help books.
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Book cover of The Verbally Abusive Relationship, How to Recognize It and How to Respond

Caroline Abbott Author Of A Journey Through Emotional Abuse: From Bondage to Freedom

From my list on being emotionally abused.

Why am I passionate about this?

I was in an emotionally abusive marriage for 20 years but didn’t realize what was happening to me. I tried to twist myself into a perfectly shaped pretzel to make my husband happy. It didn’t work. Reading some of these books gave me the courage to seek a restraining order and divorce my husband. Since then, I became a domestic violence advocate, author, blogger, and mental health counselor. 

Caroline's book list on being emotionally abused

Caroline Abbott Why did Caroline love this book?

When I was in my emotionally abusive marriage, I didn’t fully realize I was being abused. I finally called the National Domestic Violence Hotline, and they recommended this book. It does an excellent job of explaining what verbal/ emotional abuse is, and how to recognize it. Reading this book set me on the path to finally getting the help I needed and getting free from my abuser.

By Patricia Evans,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Verbally Abusive Relationship, How to Recognize It and How to Respond as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

You deserve respect.

In this fully expanded and updated third edition of the bestselling classic, you learn why verbal abuse is more widespread than ever, and how you can deal with it. You'll get more of the answers you need to recognize abuse when it happens, respond to abusers safely and appropriately, and most important, lead a happier, healthier life.

In two all-new chapters, Evans reveals the Outside Stresses driving the rise in verbal abuse - and shows you how you can mitigate the devastating effects on your relationships. She also outlines the Levels of Abuse that characterize this kind…


Book cover of A Pocketful of Happiness: A Memoir

Michelle Waitzman Author Of Be as Happy as Your Dog: 16 Dog-Tested Ways to Be Happier Using Pawsitive Psychology

From Michelle's 3 favorite reads in 2023.

Why am I passionate about this?

Author Dog lover Plain language writer Kitchen queen Happy wanderer Curious mind

Michelle's 3 favorite reads in 2023

Michelle Waitzman Why did Michelle love this book?

In 2021, actor and writer Richard E. Grant lost his wife to lung cancer.

A Pocketful of Happiness is his heartbreaking memoir of the journey from her diagnosis to her funeral. Like most people, my life has been touched by cancer and I’m all too aware of the emotional turmoil that both patients and their loved ones go through. Grant openly shares the highs and lows as his wife faces a diagnosis that can only end one way. His honest insights reflect his feelings of helplessness and disbelief, with flashbacks to happier times throughout their 38-year love story.

Her final wish, that he try to find “a pocketful of happiness in every day,” has become his mission, and I am following this new part of his journey on Instagram.

By Richard E. Grant,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

'A gorgeously candid account of acting and show business. And an intimate and heartfelt story of love, loss and a life spent together. It is an honour to be invited in on these diaries. I cannot remember being so moved by a book' Dolly Alderton

'Fascinating, funny and heart wrenching' Dame Julie Walters

'An emotional rollercoaster - profoundly moving and wonderfully entertaining. A brilliant memoir about living, loving and losing' Bernardine Evaristo

Richard E. Grant emigrated from Swaziland to London in 1982, with dreams of making it as an actor, when he unexpectedly met and fell in love with renowned…


Book cover of Unmasked: Women Write About Sex and Intimacy After Fifty

Carolyn Lee Arnold Author Of Fifty First Dates After Fifty: A Memoir

From my list on that model older women unabashedly enjoying sex.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve been a very sexual woman since my twenties, and provided sex education for women as a young feminist. When I embarked on a fun dating project in my late fifties to date 50 men in order to find the right partner for me, I knew that many of my dates would include sexual encounters. My upbeat memoir about that project, Fifty First Dates After Fifty, includes the sex scenes, because I wanted to provide healthy, satisfying images of older women enjoying sex so that our sexuality would be validated and visible to each other and the world. The sex-positive books I recommend celebrate the variety of women’s sexuality.

Carolyn's book list on that model older women unabashedly enjoying sex

Carolyn Lee Arnold Why did Carolyn love this book?

I love this anthology by women over fifty because it offers such a wide range of truths about our experiences with sex and intimate relationships.

More than fifty essays and poems cover a variety of honest reflections on the exquisite, the good, the not-so-good, and the challenging parts of older women relating sexually to men, to women, and to themselves.

Feelings expressed range from the ambivalence, disappointment, and ecstasy of dating, to the pleasures of being single, to the joy of long-term sex and commitment, to the acceptance of the sometimes sudden movement between these states. Can be read in one or two delicious gulps! 

By Marcia Meier (editor), Kathleen A Barry (editor),

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Women over fifty are "the invisible woman" in American culture. In a society that reveres youth - and particularly young, sexy women - women over fifty fade into the shadows. Yet, for many women at mid-life, this is a time of flowering and coming into one's own, sexually and otherwise. Many older women love sex and crave the intimacy it provides. For every story of a harried mother who turns her husband away at night, or the older woman who long ago lost her libido, there are legions of others whose sex drives match those of men.

A recent study…


Act Like an Author, Think Like a Business: Ways to Achieve Financial Literary Success

By Joylynn M Ross, Falessia Booker (editor),

Book cover of Act Like an Author, Think Like a Business: Ways to Achieve Financial Literary Success

Joylynn M Ross

New book alert!

What is my book about?

Act Like an Author, Think Like a Business is for anyone who wants to learn how to make money with their book and make a living as an author. Many authors dive into the literary industry without taking time to learn the business side of being an author, which can hinder book sales and the money that can be made as an author.

This resource serves as a guide to mastering the art of financial literary success and to help avoid the mistakes that many authors make while learning the ropes on their own. This book helps authors “think outside the book” in order to make money in ways other than book sales and create multiple streams of literary income.

Act Like an Author, Think Like a Business: Ways to Achieve Financial Literary Success

By Joylynn M Ross, Falessia Booker (editor),

What is this book about?

Do you want to make money with your book? Do you want to make a living as an author? There’s more to doing so than simply writing and publishing your book. Many authors dive into the literary industry without taking time to learn the business side of being an author. This could dramatically hinder your book sales and the money you can make as an author. Without a guide such as this, mastering the art of financial literary success can take you years, and you’ll be sure to make mistakes during the learning phase. Some mistakes could cost you money;…


Book cover of The Art of Resilience: Strategies for an Unbreakable Mind and Body

Martin Meadows Author Of 365 Days With Self-Discipline

From my list on self-discipline, willpower, and mental toughness.

Why am I passionate about this?

Embracing self-discipline has changed my life. I find deep pleasure in challenging myself and pushing my limits when practicing sports, learning, and experiencing adventures. I’ve learned that anything that’s worthwhile in life is the result of consistent, dedicated work, whether it’s building a business, developing a relationship, mastering a new skill, or any other personal growth pursuit. In my books I share my own personal experience of expanding my comfort zone and improving self-discipline.

Martin's book list on self-discipline, willpower, and mental toughness

Martin Meadows Why did Martin love this book?

Ross is a superhuman athlete embarking on some of the world’s craziest adventures. In this book he talks about his journey swimming 1,780 miles around the island of Great Britain. The hardships he had to suffer to achieve his goal show how tough and disciplined Ross is (I know I wouldn’t be able to bear them). Chapters telling his story of the journey are interspersed with advice on how to build mental toughness and grow your self-discipline. I couldn’t stop reading this book. The story is utterly fascinating and the lessons memorable and practical.

By Ross Edgley,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

'Incredible individual, incredible book, incredible story.' CHRIS HEMSWORTH

'A hero who is as humble as he is resilient... testament to a "never give up" spirit!' BEAR GRYLLS

'From reading this book, the message that comes shining through is this: you can achieve anything.' ANT MIDDLETON

Bestselling author and award-winning adventurer Ross Edgley has been studying the art of resilience for years, applying all he has learned to become the first person in history to swim around Great Britain, breaking multiple world records. Now Ross focuses on mental strength, stoicism and the training needed to create an unbreakable body.

Ross Edgley…


Book cover of From the Ashes: My Story of Being Metis, Homeless, and Finding My Way

N.L. Blandford Author Of The Great Bloody North

From N.L.'s 3 favorite reads in 2023.

Why am I passionate about this?

Author Crime fighter Entrepreneur Strong female lead Coach

N.L.'s 3 favorite reads in 2023

N.L. Blandford Why did N.L. love this book?

The beautiful prose kept me wanting to find out how Jesse went from an abandoned child to a homeless addict and then persevered to become an academic as an adult.

It was a difficult read at times, and I needed to process what I was reading. At one point, I thought I would cry from the heartbreak of what Jesse, as both a young child and an adult, endured. Jesse shines a light on Canada’s systemic racism and the treatment of the homeless population.

I was left wondering how he survived all his tribulations and happy that he did. We need to hear more stories like this on our way to reconciliation.

This is a must-read for anyone who enjoys memoirs!

By Jesse Thistle,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

*#1 NATIONAL BESTSELLER
*Winner, Kobo Emerging Writer Prize Nonfiction
*Winner, Indigenous Voices Awards
*Winner, High Plains Book Awards
*Finalist, CBC Canada Reads
*A Globe and Mail Book of the Year
*An Indigo Book of the Year
*A CBC Best Canadian Nonfiction Book of the Year

In this extraordinary and inspiring debut memoir, Jesse Thistle, once a high school dropout and now a rising Indigenous scholar, chronicles his life on the streets and how he overcame trauma and addiction to discover the truth about who he is.

If I can just make it to the next minute...then I might have a…


Book cover of Personality Isn't Permanent: Break Free from Self-Limiting Beliefs and Rewrite Your Story

Christian Jarrett Author Of Be Who You Want: Unlocking the Science of Personality Change

From my list on achieving lasting personal change.

Why am I passionate about this?

I'm a psychologist and neuroscientist and I've been writing for the public about all things mind and behaviour for more than two decades. Something I've noticed in that time is that the question people want to know the answer to, perhaps more than any other, is how much we can ever truly change, deep down. After all, self-help advice is seemingly endless, but does any of it really work, or are we ultimately destined to always revert to type? That's what motivated me to begin delving into the latest science of personality – defined by psychology as the habits of emotion, behaviour, and thought that make us who we are.

Christian's book list on achieving lasting personal change

Christian Jarrett Why did Christian love this book?

There's a theory in psychology that alongside our basic traits, our personalities are also defined in part by the stories we tell about our lives – what's known as your narrative identity. In this inspirational book, Hardy shows how you can change who you are by reinterpreting your own past and, in effect, retelling your own story. As part of this process, you can think of past events as happening 'for you' instead of 'to you'. What's especially compelling about this book is that Hardy has made these changes in his own life and personality. You get to hear how he left behind his difficult youth, transformed into a dramatically more conscientious person, built a successful career as a psychologist, and became a loving husband and father.

By Benjamin Hardy,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Personality Isn't Permanent as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Psychologist and bestselling author Benjamin Hardy, PhD, debunks the pervasive myths about personality that prevent us from learning—and provides bold strategies for personal transformation
 
In Personality Isn’t Permanent, Dr. Benjamin Hardy draws on psychological research to demolish the popular misconception that personality—a person’s consistent attitudes and behaviors—is innate and unchanging. Hardy liberates us from the limiting belief that our “true selves” are to be discovered, and shows how we can intentionally create our desired selves and achieve amazing goals instead. He offers practical, science-based advice to for personal-reinvention, including:
     

   • Why personality tests such as Myers-Briggs and Enneagram are not…


Book cover of Deviate: The Creative Power of Transforming Your Perception

Dr. Caroline Brookfield Author Of The Reluctant Creative: 5 Effortless Habits to Expand Your Comfort Zone

From my list on trying new things even if you are scared.

Why am I passionate about this?

I was driven to become a veterinarian for as long as I could remember. Then, in high school, I developed a love of performance. I felt stuck. Should I choose art or science? I chose science, and despite a great career, I felt like something was missing. When I reconnected with my creativity through stand-up comedy, entrepreneurship and other non-artistic creative outlets, I found out what I had been missing. Why do we drop creativity for science? It was a common story. I dove into the research on creativity, and was blown away by how a bit of creativity can make us happier, more resilient, and make workplaces more effective.

Dr.'s book list on trying new things even if you are scared

Dr. Caroline Brookfield Why did Dr. love this book?

What if reality was an illusion? This book messed with my mind and challenged my perceptions of what I thought was real. It made me think carefully about how I react to and think about my life and helped me understand how we develop biases.

This was one of the first books I read that helped me understand the impact and effects of ambiguity and uncertainty on my decisions, my happiness, and how I approach the world. It was instrumental in developing the Ambiguity habit in my DANCE framework for developing a creative mindset.

By Beau Lotto,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

World-renowned neuroscientist Beau Lotto reveals the truths of human perception and devises a cognitive toolkit for how to succeed in a world of uncertainty.

Perception is the foundation of human experience, but few of us understand how our own perception works. By revealing the startling truths about the brain and perception, Beau Lotto shows that the next big innovation is not a new technology: it is a new way of seeing.

In his first major book, Beau Lotto draws on over a decade of pioneering research to show how our brains play tricks on us. With an innovative combination of…


Book cover of Rumi: The Book of Love: Poems of Ecstasy and Longing

Christina Strigas Author Of Love & Vodka

From my list on poetry that speak to the soul.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve written five poetry books and I am presently working on my sixth. My poems are also confessional and narrative styles. I have also written two novels and enjoy writing fiction and poetry. I hope you enjoy the books on this list as much as I have. They have saved my life on many occasions. 

Christina's book list on poetry that speak to the soul

Christina Strigas Why did Christina love this book?

Rumi is one of those writers that transcends time and space. He is more of a spiritual writer and when he writes about love and longing, you can feel the words plant a seed inside your soul. If someone asked me which poetry book they should begin reading without any knowledge of poetry, Rumi would be a start. The simplicity of his words taught me that you don’t need to use a thesaurus to express yourself. His simple words and poems about soul mates carry his work over centuries. This poetry book tells you how lovers don’t finally meet somewhere, they’re in each other all along. These famous quotes of Rumi’s will be instilled in you again and again. Easy book to read and carry with you anywhere. It taught me to find my spirituality and soul and let it flow like a river with words as waves. It taught…

By Coleman Barks,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Now in paperback, this is the definitive collection of America's bestselling poet Rumi's finest poems of love and lovers. In Coleman Barks' delightful and wise renderings, these poems will open your heart and soul to the lover inside and out. 'There are lovers content with longing. I'm not one of them.' Rumi is best known for his poems expressing the ecstasies and mysteries of love of all kinds - erotic, divine, friendship -and Coleman Barks collects here the best of those poems, ranging from the 'wholeness' one experiences with a true lover, to the grief of a lover's loss, and…


Book cover of Workparent: The Complete Guide to Succeeding on the Job, Staying True to Yourself, and Raising Happy Kids

Abby Davisson Author Of Money and Love: An Intelligent Roadmap for Life's Biggest Decisions

From my list on making big life decisions that involve money and love.

Why am I passionate about this?

My obsession with decision-making books began in elementary school, when I read tons of Choose Your Own Adventure books. When I realized they wouldn’t prepare me for life (turns out, dragons are rare), I began reading others. I got an MBA at Stanford, where I took a class taught by labor economist Myra Strober that changed my life by helping me navigate the money and love decisions I encountered while climbing the corporate ladder at Gap Inc. and raising two young kids with my husband. My former professor and I wrote Money and Love to empower more people to live more intentional lives and feel more confident about their big life decisions.

Abby's book list on making big life decisions that involve money and love

Abby Davisson Why did Abby love this book?

This is the handbook to working parenthood that I wish someone had handed me when I accepted a new job at 38 weeks pregnant with my first child. Dowling offers plenty of wisdom in this book – from how to manage the transitions that come with working parenthood (going on and returning from parental leave, changing jobs, welcoming a second child) to how to set up your daily routine for success. But what I really appreciate is how tactical this book is. Working parenthood – especially the early years – is a full-contact sport. You want someone to cut to the chase and just give you the user manual. This is it.

By Daisy Dowling,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

An all-in-one resource for every working mother and father.

Sure, there are plenty of parenting books out there. But as working moms and dads, we've never had a trusted, go-to guide all our own-one that coaches us on how to do well at work, be the loving and engaged parents we want to be, and remain true to ourselves in the process.

Enter Workparent. Whether you're planning a family, pushing for promotion during your kids' teenage years, or at any phase in between, Workparent provides all the advice and assurance you'll need to combine children and career in your own,…


Book cover of The Art of Negotiation: How to Improvise Agreement in a Chaotic World

Lawrence E. Susskind Author Of Good for You, Great for Me: Finding the Trading Zone and Winning at Win-Win Negotiation

From my list on negotiating for mutual advantage.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a Professor at MIT and co-founder of both the inter-university Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School and the not-for-profit Consensus Building Institute that provides help in resolving some of the most complex resource management disputes around the world. I have been teaching negotiation and dispute resolution, doing research about the circumstances under which various negotiation strategies do and don’t work, and offering online training for more than four decades. Given the many negotiations I've observed, I’m convinced that negotiating for mutual advantage is the way to go -- avoid unnecessary conflict, get what you want in all kinds of negotiating situations, and walk away with good working relationships and a solid reputation.

Lawrence's book list on negotiating for mutual advantage

Lawrence E. Susskind Why did Lawrence love this book?

Mike shows how to cope with chaos and uncertainty by avoiding rigid plans and entrenched positions. He sees negotiation as a process of joint exploration that requires continual learning and adaptation. For him, the keys are agility and creativity. I’ve had lots of opportunities to hear Mike describe the ways that improvisation in jazz, sports, theatre, and even military action can teach us about improvisation in everyday negotiation. Mike has elevated improvisation to a key aspect of negotiation, and he has done so in a most convincing way. 

By Michael Wheeler,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A member of the world renowned Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School introduces the powerful next-generation approach to negotiation.

A member of the world-renowned Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School introduces the powerful next-generation approach to negotiation.

For many years, two approaches to negotiation have prevailed: the “win-win” method exemplified in Getting to Yes by Roger Fisher, William Ury, and Bruce Patton; and the hard-bargaining style of Herb Cohen’s You Can Negotiate Anything. Now award-winning Harvard Business School professor Michael Wheeler provides a dynamic alternative to one-size-fits-all strategies that don’t match real world realities.

The Art of Negotiation…