13 Life-Changing Self-Help Books We Can’t Put Down

The self-help industry is booming, and that’s something we love to hear. In fact, it was worth an astounding $9.9 billion in 2016 and is expected to grow to $13 billion by 2020.

People are placing greater importance on self-care, improving their lives, and, therefore, the lives of those around them. If you want to make a change in the world, in your community, you must first start with yourself. As people become a witness to your self-care, they too, realize the significant power of physical and mental wellness.

Self-care encompasses a wide range of mediums, but we’re covering life-changing self-help books in this article. Why?

Because they’re classic and mostly timeless—and you can dog-ear relevant passages as you go, highlight stand-out quotes, and revisit the book time and time again.

So without further ado, here are 13 self-help books to consider the next time you’re perusing the bookshelves at your local bookstore. Happy reading!

1. The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying up by Marie Kondo

You knew this one had to be on the list, as this book by Marie Kondo made significant waves in 2019.

One fantastic way to declutter your mind? Declutter the space around you. Her book discusses The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing — it’s a perfect companion for those who find they have too much “stuff” lying around, impacting their creativity and productivity.

This book is literally a life-changer, as evidenced by all the glowing testimonials.

One major tip from this book: tidy by category, not location.

2. Tools of Titans by Tim Ferriss 

This book’s tagline reads The Tactics, Routines, and Habits of Billionaires, Icons, and World-Class Performers. 

Sure, they accomplished the amazing, but how? Tim Ferriss interviews them all and offers impressive insight into how to set yourself up for the same successes.

You can find tips from over 200 world-class performers, like Jamie Foxx, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and even Special Operations commanders.

3. Declutter Your Mind by S.J. Scott and Barrie Davenport 

The subtitle of this book reads as follows: How to Stop Worrying, Relieve Anxiety, and Eliminate Negative Thinking. Now, with anxiety being an all-too-common emotion, this is something we can all get behind.

Anxiety leads to sleepless nights, days that drag, and feelings of isolation or frustration. It’s simply not a productive emotion and one that this book works to abolish through excellent tips and insight.

This book provides fantastic advice on how to Marie Kondo your mind.

4. Lightly by Francine Jay

Do you want to know How to Live a Simple, Serene, and Stress-Free Life? Of course, you do!

Sometimes, life becomes about attaining more — more commitments, possessions, stress, worries. We start accumulating all these things we don’t need, and that makes us feel, well, heavy.

In Lightly by Francine Jay, we learn that living simply is genuinely the way to take back control of our lives.

5. Girl, Wash Your Face by Rachel Hollis 

This modern-day self-help guide by Rachel Hollis is a breath of fresh air.

Hollis analyzes the lies we tell ourselves, earning the book the subtitle of, Stop Believing the Lies About Who You Are so You Can Become Who You Were Meant to Be.

Those lies cover the whole spectrum of our beings. Each chapter is named after a common, self-deprecating myth we tend to tell ourselves — followed by insights on how to live with more passion and hustle. It’s time to banish those lies and live from a place of self-confidence and humility!

6. You Are a Badass by Jen Sincero

Do you want to know How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life, as this book’s tagline reads? Can we get a resounding, “Yes!”

This book offers

  • Inspiring, hilarious, real-life stories
  • Sage self-help advice
  • Easy-to-implement exercises
  • Oh yeah—the occasional swear word, because we all do it sometimes! 

This book is all about loving who you are (especially the stuff we can’t change), why you are who you are, and how to change what you can. 

7. Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear by Elizabeth Gilbert

This beautiful book by Elizabeth Gilbert is a “must-read for anyone hoping to live a creative life.”

It encourages curiosity, creativity, freedom, and bravery — something we could all use more of in our lives.

What is the nature of inspiration? Gilbert shows us, through generous words, how she cultivates this in her own life. Let go of needless suffering and embark on the journey towards self-love and self-power. 

8. How Not to Die by Michael Greger

This book offers groundbreaking, science-backed evidence behind our diets — and how our diet alone can prevent and reverse the many causes of disease and premature death.

Simple changes in diet and lifestyle can promote our longevity, and this book aims to teach us how to incorporate those changes. The simple truth, according to Greger? Doctors are all-too-good at treating acute illnesses but don’t take preemptive measures to prevent chronic disease. 

This book covers

  • What to eat to prevent the top 15 causes of death
  • A checklist of foods we should try to consume every day
  • Cutting-edge nutritional science

And much more.

An unhealthy diet rarely leads to a healthy mind, and this book proves that what we put into our bodies has a direct effect on not only the length of our lives but the quality of them, too. 

9. The Book of Now by Eckhart Tolle 

This fantastic, timeless book by Tolle is A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment, providing day-by-day guidance and wisdom.

What’s the surest way to achieve happiness and enlightenment? According to Tolle, it’s living in the now. He takes this somewhat ‘common’ idea and gives it an interesting approach with enthusiasm and supportive language. 

This book discusses big ideas in manageable ways, such as 

  • How thoughts and emotions get in our way
  • The source of Chi
  • Creative uses of the mind
  • How to have enlightened relationships
  • The cycle of life, including impermanence

As a world-class teacher, Tolle can make even complicated subject matter seem approachable. 

10. Outliers: The Story of Success by Malcolm Gladwell

Who are the outliers?

Much like Tim Ferriss’ book Tools of Titans, Gladwell’s book examines the most successful, the most famous, the best and brightest individuals walking our planet today. 

What makes these people so different? Have you ever wondered how uber-successful people got to be who and where they are?

This book touches on culture, family, and upbringing, among other things. It explains how where we come from can have a massive impact on who we become.

11. The Little Book of Hygge by Meik Wiking

The little book with some enormous ideas, encompassing The Danish Way to Live Well.

Hygge — what is it? Well, that depends on you. It’s been called ‘the art of creating intimacy,’ ‘coziness of the soul,’ and ‘taking pleasure from the presence of soothing things.’

Doesn’t that sound, well, cozy? Comfy? Pleasurable?

This self-help book by Meik Wiking (CEO of the Happiness Research Institute in Copenhagen) covers all things hygge, an ingredient we could all use more of in our lives.

Hygge can be something as simple as the lighting in your home to something as significant as the feeling of safety. 

12. The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck by Mark Manson

Are you looking for A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life?

This is what you’ll get with Mark Manson’s generation-defining self-help book.

Sometimes, positive thinking is hard — really hard. We’re told to approach life in a happy-go-lucky way, but that’s not always possible, is it? Manson knows this all too well and wrote a book that reflects that thought, which is honestly refreshing. 

What are your limitations, and how can you accept them? What are our fears, faults, and uncertainties, and how can we constructively navigate them? All these topics (and more) are discussed in this not-so-subtle self-care guide.

13. Rising Strong by Brené Brown

The subtitle of this fantastic book by Ph.D. author Brené Brown reads The Reckoning. The Rumble. The Revolution.

It’s logic: the more we are vulnerable, the more we try, the more we open ourselves up to potential failure. But if this book tells us anything, it’s that failure is okay — it means you tried! This book is all about what it takes to get back up again when we fall.

We must own our heartbreak, own our challenges and disappointments, just as we’d honor our successes. This book allows us to see them all as beneficial to our self-growth.

Read These Life-Changing Self-Help Books Today!

As you can see, there’s no lack of fantastic self-care books on the shelves. People are placing a high priority on their wellness, and that’s a trend we can all get behind.

As you improve yourself, you improve the world around you — cultivating a space we can all love and enjoy.

In addition to these life-changing self-help books, there are several other ways to bring wellness into your life. Yoga is one fantastic practice that benefits us all in our day-to-day.

Don’t believe us? Check out this article on the incredible benefits of adding yoga to your everyday routine. Happy practicing!