9 Inspirational Self-Help Books To Read Now

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On our quest to live a life we love, we sometimes need a little bit of help. You know those times when you need a bit of direction, inspiration, or a gentle nudge to live your best life. When you need a bit more than 25 inspirational quotes but not a therapy session, self-improvement and self-help books are great for those moments.

Hey before you say, “No, thank you,” just hear me out. A few years ago if you would have suggested a self-help, self-improvement, or inspirational book I would have said the same thing. Even today, I’ll be the first to tell you a lot of self-help books are full of bologna. However, there are a few gems that  I think are worth the read.

PS This post contains affiliate links. Should you decide to purchase one of these books, I will make a small commission. Don’t worry, there is no additional cost to you.

The Happiness Project

The Happiness Project describes one person’s year-long attempt to discover what leads to true contentment. Drawing at once on cutting-edge science, classical philosophy, and real-world applicability, Rubin has written an engaging, eminently relatable chronicle of transformation.

This was one of the first inspirational type books that I read. It is a pretty good read. You may find that the author is a bit boring. Her personality comes across as very reserved. For this book, it is a good thing because it shows that the book is realistic. Even a boring person can be on a quest for happiness.

The Little Book of Hygge

Why are Danes the happiest people in the world? The answer is Hygge. “Hygge is about an atmosphere and an experience,” Wiking explains. “It is about being with the people we love. A feeling of home. A feeling that we are safe.”

Unless you were living under a rock last year, you have probably heard of hygge. While The Little Book of Hygge might not be as trendy as it was last year, it is still a must-read.

Year of Yes

In Year of Yes, Shonda Rhimes chronicles the powerful impact saying yes had on every aspect of her life―and how we can all change our lives with one little word. Yes.

My favorite word is no. No, I don’t. No, I won’t. No,no,no,no,no. See, I told you I love the word no. If you like to say no as much as I do, you should check out this book and read about what can happen when you say yes.

Start Where You Are

Start Where You Are is an interactive journal designed to help readers nurture their creativity, mindfulness, and self-motivation. It helps readers navigate the confusion and chaos of daily life with a simple reminder: that by taking the time to know ourselves and what those dreams are, we can appreciate the world around us and achieve our dreams.

This is actually new to me. I don’t have a ton of time to work through this journal but so far, I like it. If you like art or want to express yourself creatively then this is the journal for you.

Present Over Perfect

In Present Over Perfect Shauna Niequist invites you to consider the landscape of your own life, and what it might look like to leave behind the pressure to be perfect and begin the life-changing practice of simply being present, in the middle of the mess and the ordinariness of life.

My life is constantly in a shift between hustle, exhaustion, and burn-out. As a mom and entrepreneur, I have a ton on my plate. When I read this book, it really helped me take a bit of a break and allowed me to give myself some grace.

The Art of Work

The path to your life’s work is difficult and risky, even scary, which is why few finish the journey. This is a book about discovering your life’s work, that treasure of immeasurable worth we all long for. It’s about the task you were born to do.

After having my first child and feeling forced out of the workplace, I needed to find myself professionally. The Art of Work helped me with that. It helped me understand that I really wanted to work for myself. It also helped me start thinking about how it would be possible to make a living with a portfolio life.

Better Than Before

Better Than Before presents a practical, concrete framework to allow readers to understand their habits—and to change them for good. Infused with Rubin’s compelling voice, rigorous research, and easy humor, and packed with vivid stories of lives transformed, Better than Before explains the (sometimes counter-intuitive) core principles of habit formation.

This book is all about habits. It is interesting to read why some people are better at habits than others and what motivation works for them to keep a habit. The first half of the book goes super fast and it does drag a bit at the end. Overall, still a good read.

So the next two self-help books are ones that I have not read yet. They are in the pile of “to read” so I will update this post once, I have finished them.


In Grit, Angela Duckworth shows anyone striving to succeed that the secret to outstanding achievement is not talent, but a special blend of passion and persistence she calls “grit.” “Inspiration for non-geniuses everywhere” (People).

While I haven’t read it, I am very drawn to it. My main talent/gift is resourcefulness; which is good I suppose. It would be a bit more convenient if it weren’t the only talent I have. So the thought of being able to achieve due to passion and persistence is right up my alley.

In this book, Bill Burnett and Dave Evans show us how design thinking can help us create a life that is both meaningful and fulfilling, regardless of who or where we are, what we do or have done for a living, or how young or old we are.

As a person that is very resourceful, I am great at problem-solving and designing solutions. So it would be nice to learn how to apply that skill to my own life.

What are your favorite self-help books? Share your recommendations in a comment below!


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