15 Self-Help Books That Changed My Life
In case it wasn’t already super obvious, I’m a self-help book junkie. I’ve been voraciously reading them for years and love them, which is why I’ve been dying to put together this juicy list of books that changed my life.
I promise there is a book here that will rock your world and impact your life in a major way, whether you’re a self-help newbie or borderline obsessed with personal growth like me. From goal-setting and creativity to money and spirituality, these books cover all different areas of life.
Before we dive into the list, I want to remind you that the most important thing about reading any type of personal growth content is to put what you learn into action asap because the tools, insights, and strategies don’t work unless you work them.
Are you ready to get your reading on? Let’s dive in.
OMG is this book good. Marianne Williamson is gold. A Return to Love is basically a cliff notes of the metaphysical text A Course in Miracles. I read it while I was just beginning my spiritual journey and it totally rocked my world. This is the type of book that will have you highlighting every other sentence. (Seriously, you should see my copy. It’s bathed in hot pink highlighter.) The book is full of nuggets of wisdom. The kind that make you pause and really savor the words. If you’re feeling lost and called to connect to your spiritual side, A Return to Love will help you find your way back to your truth and become an overall more miracle-minded person. It’s deeply moving and I can’t recommend it enough.
Danielle LaPorte completely revolutionized my goal-setting process with this book. Often times we set a goal that we think will make us feel a certain way and then we hit said goal and don’t feel that way at all. In The Desire Map, LaPorte teaches you how to create goals with soul by first guiding you to get crystal clear on how you really want to feel or as she calls it, your core desired feelings. Then you can set goals that will make you feel that way. It’s genius.
After reading this cult-favorite book and decluttering like a mad woman, I can pretty confidently say that tidying up is pretty damn life changing. This book inspired me to purge like I never had before and it felt glorious. I realized that I was hoarding so many things for no freaking reason and they were just taking up space and energy in my life. Once I got rid of a bunch of things, I suddenly felt lighter, calmer, and more connected to the life I really want to live. I didn’t follow Marie Kondo’s tidying-up method to a T, but I did hold her mantra close to my heart as I was decluttering: Does this spark joy? So simple. So freaking brilliant.
If you haven’t already heard of David Allen, allow me to introduce you. Allen is a productivity guru. His system for getting things done is pretty awesome. The main takeaway is to put all of your ideas, thoughts, tasks, notes, etc. down on paper or save them somewhere digitally so that you can free up your mental space to actually get things done. I love using Evernote for this. It literally keeps my whole life organized.
Like everyone else on the planet, I read Eat Pray Love and loved it so I knew that anything else Gilbert wrote would be just as magical and I was right. Bad news: Big Magic doesn’t involve copious amounts of pasta and Bali. Good news: It does offer lots of insights about what it means to live a bold, creative life and how to bust through the fear that is holding you back. She inspires us to embrace our curiosity and reminds us that we are all creative souls that have “strange jewels” hidden within us.
The Fifth Agreement covers five principles for living your best life. The two agreements that I find myself always turning to are one, “be impeccable with your word,” which simply means that you are creating your reality with your words so use them wisely. And two, “don’t take anything personally,” which means that everyone is living in their own little world and what they do and say is never really about you. It’s merely a projection of their own internal story.
Louise Hay is the affirmations queen and this book is a best-seller for a reason. I read You Can Heal Your Life during a really dark time in my life when I struggling with severe anxiety and panic attacks. It gave me so much hope and power knowing that my healing was in my own hands and that by doing the inner work I would get better, which I did. She goes in depth into how our negative mental patterns are what create disease in our bodies. She even shares affirmations to help you heal the specific health issues you’re struggling with. I must have recited her anxiety affirmations a million times during my healing process and it really helped. It’s just another reminder of how powerful our thoughts are. If you’re in need of healing, grab this book asap. You’ll thank yourself later.
This quick and easy read will completely change your perspective on waking up early. Elrod covers six rituals all successful people practice and packages them up into one super empowering morning routine that will take your life to the next level. It takes a bit of commitment to make it a habit, but it’s oh so worth it because a kickass morning routine is the key to a better life.
I read this book so long ago I don’t remember much of it. But there is one little juicy nugget that has really stuck with me all of these years. Whenever something annoys you, frustrates you, or pisses you off, ask yourself: Is this going to matter a year from now? The answer will almost always be hell no. That simple question really helps put things in perspective. It makes you realize that you’re getting all worked up over something that is so insignificant in the grand scheme of things. A year from now, it’s not going to matter that a salesperson was rude to you or that someone left you a mean comment on social media. So why let it ruin your day? Just let the little things go. They are not worth giving up your joy.
I know Marianne Williamson is on this list twice but she’s just that good. In The Law of Divine Compensation, she beautifully brings spirituality and money together to share principles for easing financial stress and tapping into the unlimited abundance that is within you. It reminds us that our lives are unfolding with divine perfection and the universe is always supporting us–financially and otherwise–so that we can be who we are here to be and do the great work that we are here to do.
If you’ve never heard of EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique) or tapping, get your hands on this book asap. In short, tapping is kind of like acupuncture minus the needles. It involves tapping on certain pressure points on your body in order to heal a myriad of things from physical pain to fears and phobias to limiting beliefs. It’s helped me tremendously with my anxiety and all the fears that come with it. The book covers all the science behind EFT as well as all the basics you need to know to start using the powerful technique to better your life. Even if you think it’s a little too woo woo, I encourage you to try it out and experience it for yourself.
In A New Earth, Eckhart Tolle writes about shifting our destructive ego-based consciousness in order to create a more beautiful, loving world for humanity. He goes deep into how exactly the ego operates not just in our own lives but as a collective consciousness. It is an awakening of sorts. Depending on where you are in your spiritual journey, it might seem a little heady. But if you’re ready and willing to receive the message, then definitely give it a read.
If you want to be rich, add this to your reading list–stat. Think and Grow Rich is the OG of all money books. Originally published in 1937, the book shares the secrets behind the wild wealth of some of the richest minds in history including Henry Ford, Andrew Carnegie, and Thomas Edison. The principles are pretty simple and easy to understand but massively powerful. As Hill explains, building wealth really lies in the power of our minds. It’s about having a burning desire, faith, and imagination. And backing it with action and persistence.
Even though I’ve been a fan of manifesting for years now, I only recently read this book. I have no idea why it took me so long. If you really want to understand how to manifest anything your heart desires, this book is definitely for you. Fair warning: It can get a little (okay very) woo woo but don’t let that deter you. The book is filled with manifesting techniques that will change your life.
Related: How to Manifest Anything You Want
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