Books

Six of My Favorite Self-Help Books

This is a little random, but it’s been on my mind a lot lately. The “self-help” genre can be kind of hit or miss. Generally speaking, I feel like if you’re looking for some kind of answer in your life, you can find meaning or “help” in any kind of book. Like a confirmation bias of sorts.

With that said, I have read some self-help books over the years that have really resonated with me. Obviously, take it with a grain of salt. What speaks to one person may not speak to another. Or someone could interpret a self-help book in a totally different way.

These are books that I have stayed with me, made me rethink how I approach things, and even reshaped my outlook on life.

Self Help Books

Zen & the Art of Happiness // If you only read one book from this list, I’d make it this one. It’s an easy and quick read, but one you can refer back to time and time again. I think about this book all the time. My sister first discovered this and then passed it on to my mom and ultimately on to me. We all loved it and mention it every now and then. I tell everyone who is going through a rough time to read it because it’s reassuring about being where you’re supposed to be. It’s a book that I’ll always keep on my bookshelf!

The Untethered Soul // A coworker of mine at my old job recommended that I read this book and it’s great. It can seem a little ~woo woo~ when you’re getting into it, but I swear it can be life-changing. When I first read it, I hadn’t gotten into meditation yet, BUT looking back I was able to bring so many of the points in the book into my practice. There’s a big connection between mindfulness and setting yourself “free.” (Even writing that makes it sound too fluffy, haha, but just take my word for it!)

You Are a Badass // Whereas the first two books are more about the spiritual connection between mind, body, and reality, this one takes that idea and mixes it with a little tough love. It reads like a pep talk from a big sister/mentor. (If you’re an audiobook fan, this is GREAT because the author Jen Sincero narrates it and it truly feels like she’s talking right to you!) I think that she takes a lot of the principles of tradition self-help books and brings them into an easy to digest modern narrative.

You’re Not Lost // I loved this book (and not just because Maxie wrote it). I confessed to her when I moderated a conversation during her book tour that I wasn’t sure if a workbook was a good idea. I figured I’d read the book and skip over the workbook pages…. but as I read it, I ended up borrowing a pen from the cafe I was in so I could fill out the pages. I was shocked because I’ve never done that for a book before.  It’s a little bit memoir and a little bit self-help, but most importantly, it’s a guide for an ACTION PLAN. Which I think is a very important element when you’re reading self-help. It’s one thing to read it and another to take actual steps to realize change.

10% Happier // I happened to listen to an audiobook of this right as I was starting out onmy meditation journey. When I downloaded it and realized it was about meditation, I felt like it was fate!! It actually really helped me understand meditation from a practical and “real life” perspective. I recommend this for anyone who is interested in meditation and especially for meditation skeptics. (And also no shame in that, because I was once a skeptic too!)

The Confidence Code // I’m actually not sure if this is considered a true-self help book, but, at least for me, it definitely read like one. Of all the books on my list, this is one that I feel like should be required reading. It’s all about the science behind confidence in girls and women. And how you can foster more confidence in school, work, and life.

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12 Comments

Biby S Chacon

I’m pretty sure you’ve mentioned this book before, but I LOVED reading “The Defining Decade”. I also am halfway through “Broke Millennial” and have really enjoyed it! I think both books are great reads or a great gift for a college grad entering the work world.

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Alexandra

Just what I needed!! Thanks so much, Carly. I’m starting my own meditation journey, and I also love audiobooks, so this is absolutely perfect. You’re an amazing role model!

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Katie

I will have to read that book Jen wrote! Sounds great! I bought Jen’s book “You Are A Badass at Making Money” and I LOVED it! She was funny the entire time, I a good story about her going after her dreams and the sacrifices she made (like finding a hold in the wall apt on the beach…just so she could say she was finally closer to living on the beach in her dream house). It was interesting and I loved all the mantras she had you write out or repeat to yourself. Who knew we all have such crazy perspectives on money until it’s all laid out on the table.

Katie | http://www.sunshinestyleblog.com

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Melanie

I loved Essentialism by Greg McKeown. It’s categorized as a business book, but the concepts translate into all aspects of life. The point that’s stuck with me and saved me from many a bad purchase or decision is “if it’s not a clear yes, it’s a no.”

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Lexi Conger

Do you have a good reads account we can follow? I feel like I’ve seen you suggest using good reads and I am just learning how it works!

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Angel

You should check out ANYTHING written by Dr. Brene Brown. She’s amazing and a researcher!! Check out her Insta.

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