The best self help books

10 authors have picked their favorite books about self help and why they recommend each book.

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As a Man Thinketh

By James Allen,

Book cover of As a Man Thinketh

The power of thought distilled in 37 pages, this book offers fundamental principles on how thoughts shape our inner and outer world. A reader emerges from the book with a renewed focus on manifesting calmness of mind and inspired to reinvent their self and their thinking. One of the quotes from the book, “Men do not attract that which they want, but that which they are.”


Who am I?

Kamlesh Patel (Daaji) is the Heartfulness Guide. He offers a practical, experiential approach to personal growth and transformation that is simple, easy to follow, and available to people of all ages and walks of life. Daaji is a prolific speaker and writer, and his two books, The Heartfulness Way and Designing Destiny, are both #1 bestsellers.


I wrote...

The Heartfulness Way: Heart-Based Meditations for Spiritual Transformation

By Kamlesh D. Patel,

Book cover of The Heartfulness Way: Heart-Based Meditations for Spiritual Transformation

What is my book about?

Our modern, fast-paced world can be an overwhelming place. Every day, we’re bombarded with messages telling us that in order to be happy, fulfilled, and worthy, we must be better, do more, and accumulate as much material wealth as possible. Most of us move through our busy lives with our minds full of these ideas, multitasking as we strive to navigate the responsibilities and expectations we must meet just to make it through the day. But what if there is another way? What if, rather than letting the busyness of life overtake our minds, we learn to be heartful instead?

Loving What Is

By Byron Katie, Stephen Mitchell,

Book cover of Loving What Is: Four Questions That Can Change Your Life

This book, and a couple of seminars with Byron Katie, really did change my life! I was stuck in negative thinking and couldn’t seem to get out of it. She offers a straightforward method to challenge your thoughts and turn them around to other possibilities. It‘s almost magical how your hurtful beliefs can be changed into accepting “the way it is” without the hurt.

Get this book and get some relief from whatever is bothering you. Truly.


Who am I?

I’ve been on a quest of healing my childhood trauma for decades. Now I’m living with gratitude and a zest for life. Let my research help you on your own unique journey. Since you’re reading this, it may be the exact time for you to move forward on your self-actualization trip! Here’s a tip: You don’t need “improvement.” You’re already good – you just need help to find it inside and believe it. Here are 5 books that helped me accept myself, made me think differently about others, and opened new possibilities for happiness and peace. 

I wrote...

Parenting Well After Childhood Abuse: Be a Great Parent Even if Yours Were Crap

By Geanne Meta,

Book cover of Parenting Well After Childhood Abuse: Be a Great Parent Even if Yours Were Crap

What is my book about?

When I had kids, I needed to learn everything about how to be a better parent. This is a parenting book based on that knowledge and a lot of thought into what children need. Most of the challenges are universal to any parents who want to do a good job for their kids: understanding your child’s perspective, building self-esteem, teaching values, keeping them safe, dealing with teenagers, and much more.

There’s also practical information on how to recognize and heal your childhood wounds once and for all. I want to help other survivors to thrive. It begins by believing that it was never your fault.

Someday is Not a Day in the Week

By Sam Horn,

Book cover of Someday is Not a Day in the Week: 10 Hacks to Make the Rest of Your Life the Best of Your Life

Moving from burnout to breakthrough is about becoming clear on what really matters. Sam Horn, the most prolific and powerful wordsmith I have ever known, comes up with subtle and not-so-subtle ways of hitting you between the eyes and asking “what are you waiting for?” 

Becoming clear on what really matters is not about goal setting. But rather, it’s about what makes you excited, more playful, purposeful, and passionate about your life. As with the other books, I have highlighted so much. Now, my task is not just to read but to do. Sam not only crafts a process but her method of questioning will stop you in your tracks. She has a wealth of pertinent quotes that jump out on almost every page: from Buddha to Hugh Jackman, from Anais Nin to Eleanor Roosevelt.


Who am I?

For as long as I can remember, I have always wanted to make a difference—by helping others become wiser and/or happier. But how? Colleagues, clients, and friends tell me that I have a capacity for energy that is boundless. I resisted that statement. It sounded “fluffy”. How could I make a difference if I saw “energy” as being some flighty firefly? Then, when I went through 2 bouts of burnout, I realized that energy was the secret—the secret to resilience, the secret to growth and service. Reading, writing, and speaking fill me with the energy to grow, learn, laugh, and serve. I trust these books and my writing will bring the same to you.


I wrote...

Burnout to Breakthrough: Building Resilience to Refuel, Recharge, and Reclaim What Matters

By Eileen McDargh,

Book cover of Burnout to Breakthrough: Building Resilience to Refuel, Recharge, and Reclaim What Matters

What is my book about?

The World Health Organization had already listed Burnout as a global occupational hazard before the pandemic. From employees stressed to the breaking point to organizations battered by resignations and shrinking markets, this book offers solid advice and insight that is timely, relevant, and actionable. Because all leadership starts with self-leadership, you’ll find a clear road map to breaking free of personal and professional demands while being given a clear formula for building a life of your design.

At the same time, you’ll find a nuanced, broader perspective about a workplace that is “preheated” for overachievers. Leaders will be equipped with valuable questions and practices to help employees turn burnout into fired up. But make no mistake. You’ll find this a big-hearted book, written in a lively style with lots of relatable examples and immediately applicable advice.

Trust in the Goodness of God

By Mary L. Kupferle,

Book cover of Trust in the Goodness of God

This book is a series of short essays, each of which can be a prayer or affirmation itself. They read like perfect affirmations: “Let the Goodness of God Take Over,” “God’s Abundance Is Yours Now!” “Choose to Believe the Best,” “There Is Nothing to Fear!” Several months ago, I was feeling extremely lonely. At random, I opened to Kupferle’s essay “God’s Abundance is Yours Now!” and read, “God is the infinite source of your supply.” I kept repeating this affirmation. Two weeks later in the gym, another woman greeted me, reminding me that we’d met in the gym many months earlier. We quickly discovered much in common, as well as a wonderful mutual admiration. Since then, we’ve gotten together many times and continue to enjoy and help each other. Kuperfle works!


Who am I?

Raised in a New Thought denomination, I veered from it and eventually returned to others less restrictive. Using the principles and meditating daily, I find they help me overcome fears and meet my goals. In both creative writing and client work, I use the principles of affirming Divine Order, recognizing the allness of the Creator, and asking my Inner Mentor—who always responds infallibly. The recommended books (and many others) have guided me immeasurably in growing my understanding, faith, and trust to carry out what I feel I was put here for—helping others and sharing my writing. For you too, these books can help you fashion the life of your dreams. 


I wrote...

Trust Your Life: Forgive Yourself and Go After Your Dreams

By Noelle Sterne,

Book cover of Trust Your Life: Forgive Yourself and Go After Your Dreams

What is my book about?

If only you were younger, smarter or thinner, or if your situation had been different, you tell yourself, then you'd fulfill that deep desire that nags. But it's not too late, whatever your age or circumstances. Any "wrong turns" you judge yourself as having taken have been nothing less than perfect. Every experience has prepared you for where you are now.

In Trust Your Life, you will learn to forgive yourself for your "mistakes" and see them as the inevitable steps toward the future you want to create. Through spiritual guidance, life-affirming thoughts, references to many spiritual works, and powerful examples, Trust Your Life helps you recognize your inherent creative power as a child of God and uncover, pursue, and joyfully realize your long-cherished dreams.

The Power of Intention

By Wayne W. Dr Dyer,

Book cover of The Power of Intention: Learning to Co-Create Your World Your Way

Dr. Dyer takes a different approach to achieving your goals and desires. His years as a Psychologist and spiritual seeker led him around the globe. The infusion of the best of Eastern and Western approaches to wellness and fulfillment are masterfully woven in stories, poems, and examples. When he gets to the personal power of the energy that comes to life in our intentions, I was left smiling and speechless at its wisdom. 


Who am I?

I'm a Greek mom and entrepreneur at heart. Growing up, we cherished spirited conversations, ideas, and researching topics we loved. The whole goal was to really push each other to higher states of intellectual rigor that would improve the quality of life. Ideas and communication rival great food and Greek dancing fun. I share my passion for Philotimo (Greek imperative of love of honor and working for the greater good) through my books, brands, and marketing agency. I'm a fierce advocate for women and small businesses and have been featured in USA Today, Small Business Journal, Amazon Entrepreneurs, and enjoy being a weekly guest on national radio shows. 

I wrote...

The Balance Between Hustle & Flow: Knowing When to Make Things Happen and When to Let Them Happen

By Theo Prodromitis,

Book cover of The Balance Between Hustle & Flow: Knowing When to Make Things Happen and When to Let Them Happen

What is my book about?

Entrepreneurs, intrapreneurs, and all those on a personal growth journey face two key questions: Should I hustle more to get greater results? Should I go with the flow and let serendipity unfold? Theo offers a powerful, intuitive roadmap for tapping into the sweet spot between hustle and flow - one that will change your business and your life. What do I really want? How can I serve?

By challenging readers to dig deep into their own souls and inner wisdom, Theo unlocks the potential of each and every human she touches. She shares immediately actionable tips for doing the most with the precious time you have here on Earth. The balance between hustle and flow is available to all of us. Are you ready? You’re ready.

The Good Human

By Dawn K. Hammer,

Book cover of The Good Human: 9 Radical Practices to Smash Your Ego, Unleash Your Authentic Self, and Foster Connection in a Divided World

In a no-nonsense way, the author points out humans’ flawed thinking and ego-driven way of life proving that changes need to happen to find true happiness. She offers simple steps to recognize and deal with these flaws—acknowledging that it won't be easy. 

Because of this book, I’m interacting differently with other people! I’m trying to be grateful for everyday things, listen actively, be curious instead of reacting, and look inward when I feel triggered. This book will help you work toward empathy with people different from you, which is so important in this divisive world.


Who am I?

I’ve been on a quest of healing my childhood trauma for decades. Now I’m living with gratitude and a zest for life. Let my research help you on your own unique journey. Since you’re reading this, it may be the exact time for you to move forward on your self-actualization trip! Here’s a tip: You don’t need “improvement.” You’re already good – you just need help to find it inside and believe it. Here are 5 books that helped me accept myself, made me think differently about others, and opened new possibilities for happiness and peace. 

I wrote...

Parenting Well After Childhood Abuse: Be a Great Parent Even if Yours Were Crap

By Geanne Meta,

Book cover of Parenting Well After Childhood Abuse: Be a Great Parent Even if Yours Were Crap

What is my book about?

When I had kids, I needed to learn everything about how to be a better parent. This is a parenting book based on that knowledge and a lot of thought into what children need. Most of the challenges are universal to any parents who want to do a good job for their kids: understanding your child’s perspective, building self-esteem, teaching values, keeping them safe, dealing with teenagers, and much more.

There’s also practical information on how to recognize and heal your childhood wounds once and for all. I want to help other survivors to thrive. It begins by believing that it was never your fault.

Promises I Can Keep

By Kathryn J. Edin, Maria Kefalas,

Book cover of Promises I Can Keep: Why Poor Women Put Motherhood Before Marriage

Two researchers moved into a lower-income neighborhood and got to know over 100 young single mothers. They wanted to know: what were these women’s lives like in the years, months, and seconds leading up to pregnancy and parenthood? I love this book because it makes me feel like a fly on the wall for long, honest, intimate conversations between close friends, some of whom happen to be freakishly talented sociologists. The main lesson is not that surprising to economists but shocks everyone else: most teen mothers are not making “mistakes” in the heat of the moment. They’re doing their best to make hard choices in situations where they perceive no better options. Beautiful, heartbreaking, and galvanizing. 


Who am I?

I’m an economist fascinated by the ways that early opportunities shape lifelong success. My interests go way back to the big public schools I attended in Southern California, where I watched some kids benefit from tutoring, counseling, coaching, and other private resources that most kids couldn’t access. I went on to get a PhD in economics, then taught at Brown University and advised Pete Buttigieg’s presidential campaign on child development policy. After years of research and teaching – and becoming a dad myself – I wrote The Parent Trap to expose the monumental challenges facing so many parents and the solutions most likely to make a difference.

I wrote...

The Parent Trap: How to Stop Overloading Parents and Fix Our Inequality Crisis

By Nate G. Hilger,

Book cover of The Parent Trap: How to Stop Overloading Parents and Fix Our Inequality Crisis

What is my book about?

The Parent Trap is a mind-warping, research-driven tour of our nation’s largest and most important industry – parenting. By shining a light on the hidden complexity of everything parents do, it reveals the true origins of success and the monumental promise of public support systems designed to help families thrive. To build these systems, however, parents will have to join forces and tap into their dormant political power in new ways. The Parent Trap combines cutting-edge research, surprising case studies, and on-the-ground investigation to expose our society’s unrealistic expectations around parenting, and to lay out a profoundly hopeful blueprint for reform. 

How Children Succeed

By Paul Tough,

Book cover of How Children Succeed: Grit, Curiosity, and the Hidden Power of Character

As a writer, I admire this book as a great work of creative nonfiction. The book uses captivating stories and research to make a deep point with bipartisan appeal. Yes, “character” matters. That impulse to exert effort, that strength to persevere through challenges, that discipline and self-control, and patience – all the stuff that many people especially on the Right celebrate as “personal responsibility” can and does drive success. But where does “character” come from? Mostly it doesn’t come from individual choices or innate endowments determined at birth. It comes from environmental influences – opportunities and safeguards we provide for children’s development – and that many people especially on the Left try to provide through public policy. If entire demographic groups appear more likely to lack “character,” that reflects our shared collective refusal to make character-building opportunities more widely accessible. 


Who am I?

I’m an economist fascinated by the ways that early opportunities shape lifelong success. My interests go way back to the big public schools I attended in Southern California, where I watched some kids benefit from tutoring, counseling, coaching, and other private resources that most kids couldn’t access. I went on to get a PhD in economics, then taught at Brown University and advised Pete Buttigieg’s presidential campaign on child development policy. After years of research and teaching – and becoming a dad myself – I wrote The Parent Trap to expose the monumental challenges facing so many parents and the solutions most likely to make a difference.

I wrote...

The Parent Trap: How to Stop Overloading Parents and Fix Our Inequality Crisis

By Nate G. Hilger,

Book cover of The Parent Trap: How to Stop Overloading Parents and Fix Our Inequality Crisis

What is my book about?

The Parent Trap is a mind-warping, research-driven tour of our nation’s largest and most important industry – parenting. By shining a light on the hidden complexity of everything parents do, it reveals the true origins of success and the monumental promise of public support systems designed to help families thrive. To build these systems, however, parents will have to join forces and tap into their dormant political power in new ways. The Parent Trap combines cutting-edge research, surprising case studies, and on-the-ground investigation to expose our society’s unrealistic expectations around parenting, and to lay out a profoundly hopeful blueprint for reform. 

The Four Agreements

By Don Miguel Ruiz,

Book cover of The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom

You may have heard of this one or even read it before. I recommend a refresh! These seemingly simple agreements with yourself are not always easy to put into practice. If we all pursue the work of these lessons, our worlds will be more peaceful, stress-free, compassionate to self and others, and lived with childlike wonder.


Who am I?

I’ve been on a quest of healing my childhood trauma for decades. Now I’m living with gratitude and a zest for life. Let my research help you on your own unique journey. Since you’re reading this, it may be the exact time for you to move forward on your self-actualization trip! Here’s a tip: You don’t need “improvement.” You’re already good – you just need help to find it inside and believe it. Here are 5 books that helped me accept myself, made me think differently about others, and opened new possibilities for happiness and peace. 

I wrote...

Parenting Well After Childhood Abuse: Be a Great Parent Even if Yours Were Crap

By Geanne Meta,

Book cover of Parenting Well After Childhood Abuse: Be a Great Parent Even if Yours Were Crap

What is my book about?

When I had kids, I needed to learn everything about how to be a better parent. This is a parenting book based on that knowledge and a lot of thought into what children need. Most of the challenges are universal to any parents who want to do a good job for their kids: understanding your child’s perspective, building self-esteem, teaching values, keeping them safe, dealing with teenagers, and much more.

There’s also practical information on how to recognize and heal your childhood wounds once and for all. I want to help other survivors to thrive. It begins by believing that it was never your fault.

Thanks a Thousand

By A.J. Jacobs,

Book cover of Thanks a Thousand: A Gratitude Journey

Gratitude is a fundamental part of my life as an entrepreneur and leader. Of the many books I love on gratitude, this is my favorite. It’s funny and poignant and successfully makes the case that gratitude is a game-changer when it comes to building the business and life of one’s dreams. I am grateful I found this book and this fantastic author!


Who am I?

I love building businesses. I’ve built several businesses, ranging from a one person consultancy to a venture-backed tech company to an 8-figure marketing agency to a managed HR marketplace to a virtual memorial services company. The only thing I love more than building businesses is building and helping create new entrepreneurs. These books have helped me tremendously in my journey and I hope they help you as well!


I wrote...

The Art of People: 11 Simple People Skills That Will Get You Everything You Want

By Dave Kerpen,

Book cover of The Art of People: 11 Simple People Skills That Will Get You Everything You Want

What is my book about?

Some people think that in today’s hyper-competitive world, it’s the tough, take-no-prisoners type who comes out on top. But in reality, argues New York Times bestselling author Dave Kerpen, it’s actually those with the best people skills who win the day. Those who build the right relationships. Those who truly understand and connect with their colleagues, their customers, their partners. Those who can teach, lead and inspire.

“This book is like How to Win Friends and Influence People—only better suited for today’s world.” —Adam Grant, Wharton professor and New York Times bestselling author of Give and Take and Originals

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