Books have been our greatest resource for centuries. Self-help books offer knowledge, guidance, and insights to help people. In the times of COVID-19, we need more help and guidance than ever. These books can provide direction and guide people. They help readers connect with their surroundings, learn to listen to their inner voice, apply their knowledge, and make small incremental changes. Self-help books can help guide people and teach them to make a real difference in their lives and the lives of those around them.
We have compiled a list of the best self-help books that are making a significant difference in the lives of readers and are highly recommended. Some are classics that have topped the bestseller list for years while others have just made their debut but already generating a lot of interest. The topic of each book differs and despite the diversity of subject matter, they all have the power to change the readers’ lives and influence them.
In the course of our research, we have visited several social media and influencer sites to see what books are topping the charts. We have combed through sites like Amazon, Goodreads, Google, Good Housekeeping, Elle, and Today.com. The books are not ranked but listed for easy reading.
#50 The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing
Marie Kondo’s book started a global revolution of decluttering. It is the foundation of the Konmari Method that has been a life-changing experience for most people. Listed as one of Time Magazine’s 100 most influential people, Marie Kondo’s wise words have taught us decluttering can lead to a positive life. It is life-altering and exciting at the same time.
#49 Girl, Stop Apologizing: A Shame-free Plan for Embracing and Achieving Your Goals
Rachel Hollis’ bestseller gives us some life-changing tips on confidence and applying it in every aspect of what we do. It lists the six practical skills and behaviors that are time-tested for success. The book teaches us how to look at ourselves as an asset and feel worthy. It also advises us to stop second-guessing and be authentic. Hollis’ tips have helped her break through barriers and succeed in life.
#48 No Excuses The Power of Self Discipline
Considered one of the best books for young adults, this book is a spinoff version of the famous Stephen Covey book that has changed many lives. The book is filled with stories from real teens, brainstorming ideas, quotes as well as text with cartoons that make it downright fun to read. Some of the topics covered are body image, relationships, friendships, goal-setting, bullying, peer pressure, and internet safety among others.
In this book, Angela Duckworth shares real-life stories to demonstrate how grit forms sustainable success. A series of interviews with people from different walks of life forms the basis of the book. Readers get insights into the minds of people whose grit helped them succeed. They learn to develop courage and tenacity; which Duckworth says is a combination of passion and perseverance.
#46 Radically Happy: A User’s Guide to the Mind
Radically Happy is a journey in mindful meditation. In this book, East (Tibetan Rinpoche) meets with West (a meditating Silicon Valley entrepreneur). Together, they embark on the search for contentment and meaning in life. They teach mindfulness techniques and accessible meditations to find the path to radical happiness. A slight shift in perspective can create a permanent sense of well-being.
#45 The Alchemist
The Alchemist is a delightful and inspirational book by Paolo Coelho. It is has been a life-changing experience for all its readers. The simple and inspirational story offers profound insights and makes us look inwards. It tells the story of the shepherd boy, Santiago, who travels far and wide for a treasure. In the end, he finds it right at home. His is a journey of spiritual enlightenment and self-awareness.
#44 The Little Book of Big Lies
Tina Lifford’s book is an inspiring and illuminating guide to nurture the inner self. She combines her hard-won insights along with fourteen raw, personal stories for her readers. The helpful and transformative guide provides meaningful, practical, and actionable advice. It teaches how to change self-perception and move beyond the past. It also provides the foundation to start building inner health and well-being.
#43 You Are A Badass
Jen Sincero’s book is a refreshing and feisty self-help guide. The bestselling author and badass coach teach us to identify and overcome self-sabotaging behaviors. She uses her semi-abrasive and funny tone to challenge readers out of their comfort zone. They learn how to cut through the unnecessary, focus on the critical things, and kick some serious ass.
#42 Year of Yes
Shonda Rhimes’ book has topped the charts for years now. The poignant and hilarious memoir gives us a glimpse of the woman behind the success. It is a deep reflection on the power of saying yes, positive affirmations, and determination. The book shows how an introvert can emerge to shine and motivate so many others.
#41 The Moment of Lift
Melinda Gates’ inspiring book narrates the many stories of the people she met all over the world. The compelling narrative talks about women’s emancipation and empowerment. It shows how empowered communities can become when their women are lifted. The stories of remarkable women and the powerful illustration of issues touch upon urgent global problems.
#40 The Alter Ego Effect
Todd Herman’s book tells that the secret to success lies in our alter egos. Creating a heroic alter ego can be the answer to uncovering our hidden potentials. It can help us deal with adversities, overcome negativity, and diffidence. In fact, the book talks about achieving the seemingly impossible if we can use our alter egos.
#39 Daring Greatly
Brené Brown’s book is a transformative new vision that shows vulnerability is not a weakness. She explains how it forms the core of our problems and weaknesses, as well as our strengths. It is a book about courage that shows us how to step out of our comfort zones and be seen. Once we can do that, we will open ourselves to experiences that bring purpose and meaning to our lives.
#38 The Third Door
The Third Door is about looking for opportunities without giving up. Alex Banayan started his remarkable journey to meet iconic figures like Lady Gaga, Bill Gates, and Larry King to decode their success. He tells us that there are three doors for us to go in. The first is the general door; the second is the VIP entrance. The Third Door is the one few take – it’s the door for the persistent.
#37 Best for the Soul: The Wisdom of Sundays
Oprah’s book offers snippets of her conversations with her guests. These life-changing insights provide an uplifting read. Deep and meaningful conversations have affected so many lives, and we can read about them. They help the reader find their purpose through mindfulness, awareness, and intention. It teaches us the healing powers of love, relationships, and forgiveness.
#36 I Am Malala
Malala Yousafzai and Patricia McCormick
Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai’s story is an inspiration for everyone. It reflects upon the untold stories of so many girls who need a voice like hers to fight injustice. She takes us through a horrible Taliban-ruled life, fighting for her right to education and then fighting for justice. It is a harrowing tale, but her trials do lead to justice. It gives us all hope that evil cannot win forever.
#35 The Body Keeps the Score
Bessel van der Kolk
Dr. Bessel van der Kolk is one of the foremost experts on trauma. The pioneering research helps us understand and treat traumatic stress. He uses recent scientific advances to show the impact of trauma on our physical and emotional selves, and society. The book offers a bold new paradigm for healing. It explores innovative treatments and shows the power of positive relationships to heal.
#34 The Obstacle Is the Way
Ryan Holiday’s inspirational book is a collection of true stories. It shows us how to apply stoicism to overcome obstacles. With stories of successful people doing the same, he inspires readers to look beyond failure and frustration. He also draws upon the Greek philosophers who tell us perseverance and stoicism can help us overcome adversity and pain.
#33 Raise Your Hand
Alice Paul Tapper
11-year-old Alice Paul Tapper is breaking the glass ceiling right from the classroom. Her book is a challenge for all girls to speak up, take part, and ask questions. She introduced the concept of a patch that girls could earn if they promised to be more confident in school. With help from her parents and Girl Scout troop, she encourages girls to raise their hands. She is unwilling to accept the status quo and urges all girls to do so as well.
#32 When: The Scientific Secrets of Perfect Timing
Daniel H. Pink
Daniel Pink’s book unlocks the scientific secrets to good timing. The cutting-edge research draws from biology, psychology, and economics to offer insight and practical advice. Most of our decisions are based on intuition and guesswork. By treating timing as a science, we can live richer, more engaged lives.
#31 Excuse Me, Your Life Is Waiting
Lynn Grabhorn’s book tells us not to ignore or suppress our feelings because they profoundly impact our lives. Instead, we should focus on the power of feelings to make positive changes in our lives. She teaches us to deal with them, embrace, and learn from them. She has inspired millions of readers with her simple philosophy for happiness. She makes cry and laugh, and teaches us to use our emotions to begin the process to heal.
#30 Change Your Schedule, Change Your Life
Dr. Suhas Kshirsagar
Dr. Suhas Kshirsagar is an Ayurvedic physician who teaches us how to ditch bad habits. His research blends cutting-edge scientific research with ancient Ayurvedic wisdom. We learn to make changes in our daily routines to lead better lives. The eye-opening handbook details a step-by-step 30-day plan. It offers practical tools readers need to transform their lives.
#29 Best Self: Be You, Only Better
Mike Bayer’ is an impactful coach who has helped many people find a direction and succeed in life. His book has the power to change the lives of readers. It makes us reflect on where we are in our lives are right now. We learn to question what we want if we are truly living each day as our best selves and what we can change. Readers can use his practical advice and action plans to get more clarity and perspective.
#28 The Greatest Salesman in The World
Og Mandino’s book has been ruling the charts for decades. The book contains ten scrolls that have impacted many lives and led them towards positive change. It is like a how-to-manual that outlines the laws of success and tells us that failure is not an option. We learn that persistence is the key to success. The deep insights that he shares teaches us how to become the greatest salesman.
#27 The Art of War
Sun Tzu’s The Art of War has impacted minds for centuries. The book is an ancient Chinese text on military strategy. Military academies around the world include it as part of the course. But it has had a profound effect on not just the military, but in many other aspects. It is especially useful for leaders, and those to aspire to be leaders. Business and political leaders can apply his military strategies to the corporate battlefield to win.
#26 The War of Art
The War of Art teaches us to look inwards, do self-reflection, and confront our internal enemies. The book has inspired people for years to overcome all forms of resistance and barriers. Things like fear and self-doubt, laziness, and procrastination stop us from growing. The book teaches us to ignore these evils from ruling us. Only then can we get creative and reach our fullest potential.
#25 The Friendship Formula
Caroline Millington’s book reflects on the importance and impact of friendship and how it works. She blends mindfulness with the concept of kindfulness for the self so that no one can hurt us. It is important to treat ourselves with kindness in all instances and set boundaries for every relationship. This is the best way to navigate through life and relationships, including the best of friendships. In the end, we will end up with real friends who truly matter.
#24 The Magic of Thinking Big
David J. Schwartz
The Magic of Thinking Big teaches us how our failures can be the foundation of our success. Schwartz and his book have been inspiring readers for years. He teaches us to think big and set high goals to accomplish great things. The book offers practical tools to plan, apply, and measure outcomes. We cannot be afraid to fail, so we must keep trying. It is the best the way to overcome that fear of failure. This is what sets the doers and winners apart.
#23 100 Days To Brave
Annie Downs’ book encourages readers to experience personal growth by embracing God’s plan. It tells us that we are meant to be brave even if we have self-doubts. With honesty and humor, she teaches us to deal with difficult transitions, make major decisions, and above all, face fear. The book gives readers the courage and confidence to move forward. Over 100 days, readers no longer let fear hold them back; they become the best version of themselves.
#22 Lifescale: How to Live a More Creative, Productive, and Happy Life
Solis’ book teaches us how to overcome the many distractions and succeed in life. It is a fact that life gets in the way, and we have to deal with it. Due to these distractions, we suffer from depression, insomnia, shortened attention spans, and lack of creativity. Solis lists the techniques and practical tools to take control and reclaim our lives. He shares how he dealt with his distractions and overcame his barriers to success. The book is a journey of self-discovery and growth.
#21 The Universe Has Your Back
Gabrielle Bernstein’s book teaches readers to transform their fear into faith in order to thrive. By doing so, one can go from feeling utterly powerless to live a divinely guided life. It will give them a sense of power and purpose, stop existing, and truly live. Each chapter teaches how to release the blocks and overcome barriers. We also learn to give up the need to control, deal with overwhelming sadness, and face uncertainty. They help people find strength, certainty, happiness, security, clear direction, and freedom.
#20 Ripple Effects
Pam Tebow’s book tells us that every woman has the power to influence for good. It reveals the inner strength and wisdom that lie deep down in women and how they quietly affect the people around them. The book reflects on her life, where she details her life as a mother and wife, and a missionary. Her trials and tribulations, and what she learned are an inspiration for others. Her sage advice is a blend of her faith and the lessons she learned in the course of her journey.
#19 The Happiness Advantage
Shawn Anchor’s book shows how mindset and habit shifts can increase positivity and productivity. He shows us how rewiring our brain for happiness is the key to thrive. It will help us achieve more in our careers and relationships and flourish in a world of increasing stress and negativity. Research shows that happiness and positivity lead to creativity, productivity. Happy employees are better problem solvers than their unhappy peers. They are also less stressed and always look for potential.
#18 The Time Is Now: A Call to Uncommon Courage
Sister Joan Chittister’s book teaches us how to combat complacency. She is a fervent proponent of personal faith and spiritual fulfillment. Her narrative blends her experience as a nun and social activist to show us the power of being an active participant. Her compelling book uses scriptural insights and outlines practical and powerful steps. It energizes readers to take part in the greater good. It also urges all to create a world of justice, freedom, peace, and empowerment.
#17 Finding Your Own North Star
Martha Beck’s book is based on her work and experiences as a Harvard-trained sociologist. It details a step-by-step program to find one’s true potential and create a joyful life. We learn to read the internal compasses built into the brain and become reacquainted with our deepest desires. We should not ignore their signals but identify and repair unhealed emotional wounds. Readers learn to navigate every stage and create an ideal life.
#16 Think Big, Act Small
Jennings’ book tells us that great work culture is the key to a company’s success. Those who implemented this desirable environment are the greatest in corporate America. He researched hundreds of companies to shortlist the nine that are mentioned in the book. These companies practice the philosophy of thinking big but acting small. They focus on a positive, thriving work environment. It not only encourages creativity but also motivates employees to stay on.
Switch is based on the scientific fact that our rational and emotional minds compete for control. People who have been able to balance these have achieved dramatic results. The conflict between these two minds can lead to tension and complacency at the same time. It is the primary obstacle to success and making lasting changes in our lives. But those who can control and manage this conflict can experience transformative change.
#14 Conquering Toxic Emotions – Workbook and Self-discovery Journal
Rhonda Favano’s book tells us how to step away from toxic work culture and start afresh. It is a journaling workbook that guides us through a journey of self-awareness and emotional wellness. Readers document their experiences, their sufferings, influences, negative issues, feelings, and thoughts. They reflect on them objectively, conquer these emotions, and achieve emotional stability.
#13 The Science of Getting Rich
Wallace D Wattles
Wattles’ book teaches us to embrace a new way of thought that will boost our self-confidence. It reflects upon the works of great philosophers and equips us to face the obstacles in our paths. By following their example, we learn to live a better life. Not just achieve wealth but love what we do and inspire others. The book shows the science of getting rich lies in self-help, spirituality, philosophy, and a new way to look at prosperity.
#12 Everything Is Figureoutable
Marie Forleo has given us an indispensable handbook that teaches us to face our fears and become our own creative force. The underlying truth is that everything is figureoutable, and we have to believe it to succeed in life. It retrains our brains to stay positive in the face of setbacks and think more creatively. Once we do so, we are 42% more likely to achieve our goals. It’s a philosophy of relentless optimism that can help us fulfill our dreams and move forward.
#11 It’s Great to Suck at Something
Karen Rinaldi’s book helps to rewire our brains and cultivate grit. She tells us that we shouldn’t fear failure, and it’s ok to fail. We should learn from our mistakes and try new things. Unless we take risks and step out of our comfort zones, we can never grow. Productivity does not mean ticking off things of our daily to-do lists and chasing perfection through the mundane. It means trying and failing at something new, finding positive ways to experiment, and learning from it.
#10 The Art of Asking
Amanda Palmer’s book tells us that it is the fear of rejection and failure that holds us back. Readers are encouraged to step out of their comfort zones, conquer fear, and self-doubt. It also encourages us to ask for help. Asking for help opens up possibilities and collaborations instead of making us look weak. We learn to look inwards and identify the barriers that prevent us from success and connecting with others. By breaking away from these and asking for help, we can truly succeed.
#9 Radical Acceptance
Tara Brach’s book is based on her knowledge and experiences through her twenty years as a therapist. Through day-to-day practical guidance, it offers readers a path to freedom. There are crippling self-judgments and conflicts in us that we fight every day. They increase our sense of deficiencies and unworthiness. Step by step, she teaches us the concept of Radical Acceptance. We learn to develop clear-sightedness, compassion, and trust our innate goodness to live life fully.
#8 Take Control of Your Life
Mel Robbins’ book tells us that fear can be debilitating and teaches us to face and overcome our fears. She blends personal narrative with one-on-one life-coaching sessions to provide a 360-degree method. By tackling the fear of rejection, we can find our purpose and take control. We can manage and overcome pain and failure to affect positive change. There are powerful takeaways from this book that can be applied to real-life situations.
#7 The Quiet Journal
Susan Cain is a quiet influencer who has touched millions of lives around the world. Her book teaches up to overcome the natural introvert in us, introspect and change for the better. It is basically a companion journal with powerful prompts and an assessment quiz to better understand ourselves. The simple philosophy is about harnessing one’s strengths and use them to step out of our comfort zones. We learn to be better communicators and connect with the world around us.
#6 How to Be an Imperfectionist
Stephen Guise’s book tells us that perfection is a myth, and for a good reason. The imperfection is the reality that goes unseen. Imperfectionists are less stressed and more creative, so they do more. The book talks about highly-strategic actions and yet very simple steps to achieve productivity. Instead of obsessing over perfection, we can mess up and still win. The perfectionism mindset is limiting. Imperfection, on the other hand, frees us and allows us to explore infinite possibilities.
#5 Start with Why
Simon Sinek’s book is a unique take on success studies. We read about inspirational leaders and innovative organizations and learn the truth behind continual success. Why is an important question. When we ask why, we get the answers to questions like what do customers need, and how to make employees happy. The truth behind the why is the real reason for brand loyalty and success. Understanding the core reason helps us forge the path to the future.
#4 Get Your Sh*t Together
Sarah Knight’s book is a battle against procrastination and complacency. She talks about the science of mental decluttering. It can help organize the mind, cut through the cycle of self-sabotage, give up negative thinking, and diffidence. We have the power to overcome challenges by simply facing fear and being more proactive. The book details practical tools to avoid avoidance, manage anxiety, and conquer your fear of failure.
#3 You Can If You Think You Can
Norman Vincent Peale
Norman Vincent Peale’s book shows how to embrace positive thinking and change. It offers a timeless and practical approach to changing lives for the better. The secret to success lies in facing obstacles, positive thinking, and sheer persistence. The book recounts stories of diverse people to show how positive thinking has helped changed their lives. There are some practical tools and advice on applying the mind and do more. It is the key to living a fulfilling and nourishing life.
#2 Declutter Your Mind
S.J. Scott and Barrie Davenport
Declutter Your Mind tells us that we should not let negativity rule our lives despite the fact that negative thoughts are natural. It is important to help clear the brain of overwhelming negativity. We can do this by practicing specific mindfulness techniques. Inculcating habits like creating more “space” in mind will help us live better. The de-cluttering will allow us to enjoy inner peace and happiness. Only then will we can focus on what’s important and what’s not and live a life free of worry.
#1 How To Win Friends And Influence People
Dale Carnegie’s classic has inspired millions to be more confident, proactive, and be an achiever. More importantly, it teaches us to be an influencer and help others. We should continuously evolve and improve ourselves. His time-tested advice has helped so many achieve their maximum potential. It has helped them succeed in their business and personal lives. The book is as relevant today as it was the day it was first published.