The majority of self-help books are, for lack of a better word, cringey. I have a personal pet peeve with “influencers” and “life coaches” who have a one-size-fits-all mentality when it comes to self-help. Just because one thing worked for them by no means guarantees it will work for everyone. I like my self-help books to have a bit of grit. I find it way more valuable when the author is honest and open about their struggles and flaws, rather than posing themselves as an overlord of self-help. Because I’m so picky, I’m sure it comes as no surprise that my list of self-help books that I found valuable is small.
If you want to cut through the fluff and the BS, I highly recommend these eight self-help books. If you’re anything like me, they’re the perfect self-help reads for people who hate self-help.
Buy Yourself The F*cking Lilies by Tara Schuster
This was part of our Summer Reading challenge, and I think it’s exactly what modern self-help books should look like. Tara Schuster shares tons of relatable stories about all different aspects of life before diving into her tried and true action items. It’s relatable, easily digestible and funny as hell.
Year Of Yes by Shonda Rhimes
OK, hear me out. Because I too chided my mom a bit when I found this on her coffee table. Because what does the creator of “Grey’s Anatomy” know about self-help? Turns out, quite a lot. If you’re someone who struggles to get outside of your comfort zone, this is a must-read.
Daring Greatly by Brené Brown
Brené Brown is the queen of self-help for people who hate self-help. She has this magical combination of being incredibly relatable and approachable, while also being life-changing and inspiring. You can’t go wrong with any of her books, but Daring Greatly is a perfect one to start with.
After The Rain by Alexandra Elle
While this book doesn’t come out until October, I highly recommend pre-ordering your copy now. I was lucky enough to read an advanced copy, and it’s a must-read. Alex Elle has filled our feeds for the past few years with beautiful musings and inspirational posts, and we couldn’t be more excited for her latest book to be released into the world. It’s a soulful collection that is filled with illuminating reflections on loss, fear, bravery, healing, love, acceptance and more.
The Body Is Not An Apology by Sonya Renee Taylor
If you’re not familiar with Sonya Renee Taylor, you’re truly missing out on a vital source of inspiration. As a poet, author, humanitarian, spoken word artist and founder of The Body Is Not An Apology movement, Taylor has dedicated her career to fostering “global, radical, unapologetic self-love, which translates to radical human love and action in service toward a more just, equitable and compassionate world.” This book is an insightful and vibrant look into self-love that everyone should read.
Where To Begin by Cleo Wade
When the world is upside down, it’s hard not to feel hopeless. But in Cleo Wade’s latest book, she challenges her readers to use their power, however small it may be, to change the world. It’s hard to read Wade’s work and not feel inspired, and her latest book is no different.
Believe In Yourself and Do What You Love by Kate James
The title is pretty straightforward, and who doesn’t need a little push in both those areas of life? If you’re someone who values efficiency, you’ll enjoy this self-help book that is broken down into 50 bite-sized and practical tips that will gently guide you through everyday life.
All Along You Were Blooming by Morgan Harper Nichols
MHN is another author we’ve followed on social media forever and we’re constantly inspired by her words. Through her prose and poetry, Nichols shares how we can “stumble into the sunlight” and find purpose in every single season. Even if you avoid self-help books, this collection is so beautiful that any reader will be impacted.