My Top 6 Self-Help Books

I first discovered self-help books more than twenty years ago when I was training to be a Kinesiologist and fellow students were eager to share their recommendations for books which had helped them through difficult times or which they had used to develop better self-awareness. Once thought of as weird or for those of a hippy persuasion, self-help books have now become mainstream, where celebrities are promoting their own versions and everyone has heard of the most popular titles.

Self-help book collection

My recommendations cover a range of topics and are books that I dip into time and time again. They have helped me through challenging times from illness to breakups and also have been useful for research when writing my books to understand the motivations of a certain character or how to resolve a particular situation. I have found that they can be a source of comfort, knowing that others have been through what you are experiencing and also uplifting as many provide case studies where people have benefitted hugely from the advice and support they give. They gave me hope, strategies for overcoming negative feelings, inspiration through affirmations and meditations and ultimately a wealth of knowledge and understanding about the human condition.


‘You Can Heal Your Life’ is my first choice

You Can Heal Your Life by Louise Hay

One of the most popular self-help books in recent years, Louise Hay writes from experience as a cancer survivor and her message is before you do anything else, you must learn to love yourself. This nearly put me off buying the book but as it came highly recommended, I persevered. So glad I did! Guided by the book, my self-esteem grew and my health improved. I finally began to accept myself, warts and all, and learn to love myself. I dip into this book regularly to find inspiration and affirmations to guide me through day to day life.

Light Up Your Life’ is my 2nd choice.

Light Up Your Life by Diana Cooper

This was one of the first self-help books I bought. I saw it in a book shop and feeling that I was in a rut, hoped it would give me some direction. It is an easy read and I immediately felt that I liked Diana Cooper. She comes across as a genuinely caring person and her words offer advice on a range of topics, including the power of our thoughts, life choices and releasing negative ties.

The Power of Positive Thinking’ is my 3rd choice

The Power of Positive Thinking by Norman Vincent Peale

Originally published in 1952, the message is still relevant today. This book has inspired millions with its simple guide to lead a more fulfilling life. It is a simple, practical guide on how to overcome the obstacles that life throws at you and not letting setbacks destroy your happiness. I was a little put off by the occasional references to God, but don’t let that stop you taking the advice even if you’re not a religious person.

Why Him? Why Her?’ is my 4th choice.

Why Him? Why Her? by Helen Fisher

I love this book! By doing a simple personality test, similar to one of those multiple choice questionnaires that we used to do in Cosmopolitan magazine, you discover which one of four personality types you are and what makes you tick. Do this for your partner too and then you learn astonishing insights into why your relationship is like it is. It will change your understanding of why you love him or her and help you to find and keep your life partner. I used this book to help me understand the motivation and behaviour of Vedat’s character in ‘Seeing It All.’

Chicken Soup for the Soul’ is my 5th choice.

Chicken Soup For the Soul by Jack Canfield, Mark Hansen & Amy Newmark

A collection of short stories with life affirming messages. Some of which will make you laugh, some will make you cry, some will shock you or give you a warm fuzzy feeling. But all will leave a lasting impression and make you think. Love, parenting, living your dream and overcoming obstacles are some of the topics covered. A highly recommended addition to your bookshelf.

‘The Power Of Now’ is my 6th choice.

The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle

Mindfulness is the buzz word of today and sounds like a cliche. Enough to make you roll your eyes, right? But, would you rather beat yourself up for past mistakes, worry yourself stupid about the future at the detriment of your current happiness? Many people do but those who have read this book, learn that the only really important thing is now. Live for the moment. Be present!

So, are you experiencing depression, heartbreak, bereavement, divorce or illness? Are stuck in an unsatisfactory job or relationship? Are you at a crossroads in your life and don’t know what to do? Are you happy?

If any of the above, ring true for you, then choose a book to help you through. Sometimes it’s hard to hear the truth from a friend or family member but reading something in a book that resonates with you may prompt you to write that letter, apply for that job, leave that relationship or make a decision that will change your life. The books above are a great starting point but there are thousands out there. Go on! Do it! Start living your best life.

Clicking on the title of the book will take you straight to Amazon where you can purchase it.

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