The 10 Best Self Help Books

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This wiki has been updated 19 times since it was first published in March of 2018. If you're going to be reading while in the bathroom or waiting on hold with the bank, why not make it something beneficial? These self-help books offer advice in a variety of areas, from spirituality to productivity to overcoming negativity and grief. There's sure to be a selection here that fits your life philosophy and provides fresh insights into age-old problems. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki.

1. A New Earth

2. Make Your Bed

3. Why Do I Do That?

Editor's Notes

October 30, 2019:

When looking for self-help books, it's always smart to use a critical eye, as the industry is flooded with offerings that can sometimes do more harm than good. For this list, we considered thoughtful volumes that speak to age-old problems using a variety of approaches, so there is hopefully something for everybody. Having said that, remember that as an individual, you have a very specific set of circumstances and some books just might not speak to you. You may find you need to try a few out before you come across the one that hits home. When paired with other inspirational books and tomes that focus on nutrition and mental health, your library will be stacked with actionable guidance.

We updated this list by adding A New Earth and Grit: The Power of Passion. Eckhart Tolle's A New Earth is helpful for those who are looking for a shift in consciousness and doesn't try to push new belief systems on the reader. It's an excellent choice for new perspectives and divesting oneself from material wealth and possessions, but know that it is not a breezy read.

Angela Duckworth's Grit: The Power of Passion takes a look at the power of determination and uses in-depth research and evidence to back up her prose. You'll read about how grit can be learned, and that you don't have to be born with an obvious talent to come out on top. Helpful interviews with high achievers, military cadets, and tenacious students help drive the point home.

We scrapped The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck and The Self-Love Experiment to make way for the aforementioned two selections. While the former represents a nice break from positive platitudes that can seem bland or repetitive, the author refers to studies and research throughout the novel but provides no citations, which we felt was reason enough to remove it from this list.

If you're focusing on financial and professional success, then selections like Grit: The Power of Passion and Tools of Titans should be instrumental. For personal growth, look to Love Yourself Like Your Life Depends On It, You Are A Badass, Why Do I Do That? and Not Nice. If you prefer a dose of spiritual or religious assistance, consider The Untethered Soul: The Journey Beyond Yourself and A New Earth.

4. Grit: The Power of Passion

5. Unfu*k Yourself

6. The Untethered Soul: The Journey Beyond Yourself

7. Not Nice

8. You Are A Badass

9. Tools of Titans

10. Love Yourself Like Your Life Depends On It

Gia Vescovi-Chiordi
Last updated by Gia Vescovi-Chiordi

Born in Arizona, Gia is a writer and autodidact who fled the heat of the desert for California, where she enjoys drinking beer, overanalyzing the minutiae of life, and channeling Rick Steves. After arriving in Los Angeles a decade ago, she quickly nabbed a copywriting job at a major clothing company and derived years of editing and proofreading experience from her tenure there, all while sharpening her skills further with myriad freelance projects. In her spare time, she teaches herself French and Italian, has earned an ESL teaching certificate, traveled extensively throughout Europe and the United States, and unashamedly devours television shows and books. The result of these pursuits is expertise in fashion, travel, beauty, literature, textbooks, and pop culture, in addition to whatever obsession consumes her next.

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