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Image / Self / Advice

5 inspiring self-help books that will change your life


by Jennifer McShane
17th Jun 2021

GETTY

The pandemic has the majority of us re-evaluating what we want in life. Done right, self-help can be a motivational tool that helps you see the wood for the trees. We've tracked down five self-help books that teach us how to embrace each day as it comes; find joy in the little things, while remaining calm throughout it all.

Conscious: the power of awareness in business and life, by Bob Rosen

Written by New York Times bestselling author Bob Rosen, this book delves into the fact our world is changing faster than our ability to adapt. Through witty and clever commentary, it acts as a guide to personal development; sharing ideas and insights to help us become more conscious in everyday life. There is advice for strengthening our attention skills, as well as tips to disengage from unnecessary distractions. What’s more, it doesn’t need to be read in one sitting; rather picked up for tidbits of advice whenever it’s needed.

Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff – and it’s all Small Stuff, by Richard Carlson

It’s exhausting worrying about things that don’t really matter in the long run. This book will show you how to stop obsessing over things – every tiny thing, in fact. It offers practical, simple observations about how we unnecessarily blow things out of proportion and overreact to things around us. It also gives advice on how we can give ourselves peace of mind over the things we can’t change. If you’re a worrier, you need to read this.

WE, by Gillian Anderson and Jennifer Nadel

Part self-help book, part feminist manifesto, this book guides women to be happier as individuals and work with our fellow women to improve the world around us. So, instead of the ‘me’ culture that currently exists, it develops into a ‘we’ culture, where we support one another. Overall, the book intends to teach you nine life principals; including honesty, acceptance, courage, trust, humility, peace, love, joy and kindness. As you move through each exercise, you should begin to feel more in tune with the best version of yourself and what makes you feel better like a person.

How To Be A Person In The World, by Heather Havrilesky

Havrilesky is the writer behind the brilliant Dear Polly columns from New York Magazine. She takes the idea of a mere advice column to a new level, by turning what could be no-nonsense quippy responses into emotionally-nuanced essays on what it means to be a person in the world today. These essays are deeply self-aware and reflective with the right combination of sass and snark – particularly when the one seeking advice knows they are in the wrong. She isn’t judgmental, and never pretends to know it all. She’ll tell you what the right thing is, even if it’s not what you want to hear; and above all, reminds you that nothing in life is black and white. Problems aren’t solved in question and answer formats – there is always a grey area. Wise and funny, it will make you stop and think –  and feel better for it.

Tiny Beautiful Things, by Cheryl Strayed

Tiny Beautiful Things: Advice on Love and Life from Someone Who’s Been There is a collection of advice columns that were published from 2010 to 2012 on the literary website Rumpus. Dear Sugar was the pseudonym for Cheryl Strayed (author of Wild in case you didn’t know). To this day, it remains in our top 10 favourite books of all time. The advice is so real, so non-judgemental and so full of empathy. Strayed’s words aren’t sugar-coated, but they are kind and full of compassion. They will make you think, make you laugh and cry and make you want to get out and live your life.

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