The Best Self-help Books of All Time


Most people think that self-help or motivational books are for people with serious issues, but this is not the case!

Apart from the fact that we need to read more in this time and age, we all should read self-help books to simply have a different view of the world and ourselves in general in a positive way. Self-help books also channel ways we can be set free from our personal limitations and expand our mental capabilities. Think of them as motivational life hacks, or the lemonade recipe book for when life throws you lemons.

What are some of the best self help books?

To kick-start your motivational journey for the newbies, and to continue on this journey for existing book lovers, we have culled out some of the best self-help books to read in a lifetime. Check them out!

12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos by Jordan B. Peterson

Canadian psychologist Jordan B. Peterson’s blockbuster book is a compilation of essays that advises on psychology, theoretical, ethical principles, religion, mythology, and personal anecdotes in a humorous and informative manner and is filled with snippets of the author’s autobiography. His method of delivery also makes it one of the best self-help books available today.

The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck by Mark Manson

The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck is Mark Manson’s second book and is full of support and advice for people who want to embrace conflict and find comfort in uncomfortable situations. The author is also an entrepreneur, a professional blogger and a former dating coach.

Feeling Good: The New Mood Therapy by David D Burns

David D. Burns shows us some remarkable, scientifically proven techniques to help us develop a positive outlook on life and lift our spirits, and ascertains that anxiety, pessimism, low self-esteem, guilt, procrastination, and other kinds of depression can be cured without drugs. This is one of the best selling self-help books that is a must read.

Girl, Wash Your Face by Rachel Hollis

Founder of and well known online personality, Rachel Hollis helps the readers of Girl, Wash Your Face break free the lies that constrain them to a joyless and meaningless life with her wisdom and witty cynicism. She also throws in a bonus chapter in her book to challenge women to rise against people’s expectations and follow their dreams with tips on how to.

A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose by Eckhart Tolle

Eckhart Tolle’s book was first published in 2005 and is a follow-up to his other best selling inspirational book, “The Power of Now”. The author intends to change the way humans think and encourage readers to live their lives in the present and to create personal happiness without focusing on material things. Overall, A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose is one of the best self-help books for 2018.

Hardcore Self Help: F**k Anxiety by Robert Duff

If you see reading traditional self-help books boring or a chore, then Robert Duff’s Hardcore Self Help: F**k Anxiety is one of the top self-help books for you! This book is hilarious and teaches you about anxiety and how to slay the dragon.

The Up Side of Down: Why Failing Well Is the Key to Success by Megan McArdle

Megan McArdle is currently an opinion writer for The Washington Post, and her book is full of wit and surprising insights on the importance of failure and learning from failure, as she relates to the hurdles she had to jump to define her professional life.

Whatcha Gonna Do with That Duck?: And Other Provocations, 2006-2012 by Seth Godin

Seth Godin is the author of nineteen international bestsellers, and Whatcha Gonna Do with That Duck?: And Other Provocations is no exception as well as being one of the best self-help books for 2018. Highlights from his book include a marketing lesson from the apocalypse; No, everything is not going to be okay; Choose your customers; Organized bravery, amongst others.

7 habits of highly effective people by Stephen R. Covey

If you are looking for best-selling self-help books, Stephen R. Covey presents a holistic, combined, and principle-based approach for solving personal and professional problems. The audio version of this book is also the first non-fiction audiobook in U.S. publishing history to sell more than one million copies.

Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a world that can't stop talking by Susan Cain

Susan Cain’s book is the ultimate introvert guidebook and distinguishes between being shy and being an introvert, being a successful introvert, excelling as an introvert, and so on. It is definitely one of the best self-help books until date, and in 2018, The Guardian listed it among the ten “best brainy books of the decade”

How To Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie

Dale Carnegie’s classic self –help book was first published in 1936 and is one of the best selling books of all time with over 15 million copies sold. If you haven’t read it yet, it is one of the best self-help books you should read this year! It covers a lot of topics from winning people over with the way you think, to arousing enthusiasm among your associates, and to being a better speaker – amongst many others.

Rejection Proof book cover

Rejection proof: how to beat fear and become invincible

The book on self-esteem Rejection proof: how to beat fear and become invincible by Jia Jiang, published by Thorpe, is the testament of a man who made it starting from scratch. Born in China and arrived in the United States with a scholarship, Jia Jiang before becoming a successful person received many rejections that caused him discouragment and disappointment. What struck him most was not the “no” in itself, but the fear of rejection that came after and from there he started to re-build himself step by step, practicing an unusual experiment that led him to great awareness: you can turn an initial “no” into a “yes”, realizing what you want.

Self-made millionaires book cover

The 21 Success Secrets of Self-Made Millionaires

For the author of the book published by Berrett-Koehler Publishers, The 21 Success Secrets of Self-Made MillionairesBrian Tracy, the secret of some people’s success and the failure of others is simply enclosed in self-esteem. In this book, Tracy, number one in self-improvement and personal growth in the United States, explains how to effectively develop self-esteem starting from the study of successful people, analyzing their behaviors and their way of thinking. His advice is clear and straightforward and is based on focusing on our goals in order to find our resources and potential and learn to believe in ourselves.

the six pillars of self esteem book cover

The Six Pillars of Self-Esteem

The six pillars of self-esteem by Nathaniel Branden published by Bantam is a book that demonstrates the importance of self-esteem to maintain a good level of psychological health, achieve personal and professional success, find happiness, and develop positive interpersonal relationships. The author illustrates what he believes are the six pillars of self-esteem: live consciously, practice acceptance, manage self-responsibility and self-confidence, establish goals and maintain personal integrity. By analyzing the theme in the field of work, family, education, society, and psychology, the author provides the reader with guidelines to promote self-esteem and presents some exercises to increase awareness of one’s own abilities.

The Life Changing Magic of Not Giving a F**k book cover

The Life-Changing Magic of Not Giving a F**k

How to get rid of unwanted obligations, shame or, even worse, guilt? How to stop dedicating valuable time to situations and people we don’t like? Starting with its title, Sarah Knight’s book shows all its grit. This manual helps readers not only to take their lives and their own time back, but also to feel happier, more realized and therefore self-confident. Because when devoting your time and your energies to the right things, raising self-esteem is undoubtedly easier!

Abide guide Living like Lebowski book cover

The Abide Guide: living like Lebowski

This self-esteem book is a bit different from the usual ones. Founder of the “Church of the Dude” and of Dudeism, American journalist Oliver Benjamin shares with the world a real manual to face the conflicts that life proposes serenely and keep peace in a world that seems crazy. It is a clever and intelligent book that teaches us to take life more lightly, to love ourselves more and hence to feel more self-confident and happier.

Originals, by Adam Grant and Sheryl Sandberg

Amongst motivational books, Originals suggests a different kind of approach to achieve your goals in life: rather than following your gut instinct blindly, you should purse balance. Co-written by Facebook’s COO Sheryl Sandberg, this is an inspirational book for women.

Lean In: Women, Work and the Will to Lead by Sheryl Sandberg

One of the most powerful women of current society, Sheryl Sandberg has coined the expression Lean in to encourage all women out there to dive into business, without being afraid: she talks about mothering and pursuing the urge to lead at work and the obstacle women face in trying to climb the career ladder. A true inspirational book for all those women who don’t think they have got it in them.

Be Obsessed or Be Average, Grant Cardone

Mediocrity, doing as you are told and believing that a balanced life means a 9 to 5 job followed by some TV watching, are just few of the things self-made multimillionaire Grant Cardone stayed away from to become the person he is now: how did it do it? Sheer hunger for success accompanied by an obsession, an interest a passion: a book on self-improvement that will help you channel your inner nerd in a profitable way.

Zero To One: Notes on Startups, or How to Build the Future by Peter Thiel

Recommended by Tesla’s Elon Musk, this can be considered a self-love book as it is based on a simple yet charismatic principle: learning to think for yourself. This means that to be successful you have to come up with something unique, instead of battling it out with the completion of an already saturated market.

You Are a Badas* by Jen Sincero

Amongst self-improvements books, Sincero’s has to be the funniest one: her cunning stories on how to you could try improve your life whilst self-sabotaging it, are utterly entertaining. A very efficient tool to understand who you are and where you can push yourself to. There are things you can improve, others you can’t, and you must come to terms with being able to accept that.

Titan: The Life Of John D Rockefeller Sr by Ron Chernow

Success is one of the triggers that can give us that get up and go kind of motivation, and learning from one of the highest achievers in history is one way to channel our forces. One of first billionaires in America, John D Rockefeller’s making is the story of a man who went from humble beginnings to conquering the world by setting up one of the biggest monopoly in the US: from a ruthless ambitious man to a giving tycoon, who donated millions to charity, his is one of the most inpirstioanal stories of all time.

way of the peaceful warrior book cover

Way of the Peaceful Warrior

Way of the peaceful warrior. A book that changes lives, by Dan Millman, published by HJ Kramer, is an enlightening book, perfect for those who are looking for inspiration. Based on the personal story of the author, former athlete and world champion, this text shows how, following a fortuitous encounter with a great character, the author witnesses a complete transformation of his life, realizing that human destiny is much bigger and more powerful than what our mind can conceive and that life can be lived with wisdom and serenity.

warrior of the light book cover

Manual of the Warrior of the Light

Paulo Coelho’s Manual of the warrior of the light for Harper Collins is a book that inspires, comforts and helps people live and not only survive, designed for those who want to try to leave behind fears and self-imposed limits so as to overcome obstacles that everyday life inevitably presents. The light warrior of the title is nothing but our most inner part, with its doubts and contradictions, fears and uncertainties, that part that needs to be understood, comforted, encouraged and improved by ourselves.

Wherever you go there you are book cover

Wherever You Go, There You Are

Wherever you go, there you areby Jon Kabat-Zinn, published by Hachette Books, is a path towards consciousness written by who is undoubtedly considered to be the forerunner of the mindfulness movement, the school of thought that gives importance to conscious attention, understood as a subjective perception of well-being through deep knowledge of mental states. This text allows you to achieve self-awareness and life through meditation, enjoying every moment in order to grow up and live the present at one’s best.

The Unbearable Lightness of Being book cover

The Unbearable Lightness of Being

The unbearable lightness of being by Milan Kundera, published by Harper, is a classic of literature that has the power to make us reflect on the weight of our choices. A perfect book for those who feel the need to meditate on their conception of love and human relationships, questioning the importance of the choices and situations that are to be faced in life, in a twisted dualistic relationship between soul-body and heaviness-lightness.