Loveselfcare focuses heavily on self-care and personal development for women and primarily stressed out Moms. Since all of us are a work in progress, you may be looking for some self-help books to work on a particular area of your life.
Here is a great list of self-help books you can utilize to help you get started and on the right track.
Positive Mindset Self-Help Books
Most of us have been stuck in a negative thinking rut before. If you have, you know how easy it is to start to believe everything is one way and usually bad.
The concepts of positive psychology and positive thinking (which aren’t the same thing), can help you learn how to re-frame your negative thoughts into more balanced thinking.
Positive thinking has earned some negative press for taking things too far by only focusing on the positive in life and ignoring the negative things. As long as we don’t employ an all or nothing approach in our thinking, let the positive light in where we can, and also look for that light – we are establishing a good balance.
“The Magic of Thinking Big” by David J. Schwartz, PH.D.
This book was released in 1959, so it isn’t exactly new. It is a classic though in terms of helping you to “acquire the secrets of success and achieve everything you’ve always wanted” according to the tagline on the book.
Whether or not it will deliver all of that, I don’t know – but it can help you to believe in yourself and change your attitude about what is possible in your life. Those are two very powerful concepts to help you go where you want to in life. My favorite chapter is “Make Your Attitudes Your Allies”.
“The Power of Positive Thinking” by Norman Vincent Peale
This book was released in the 1950’s and has been accused of being too focused on a Pollyanna approach to life. However, in my life, the chapters on “Believe in Yourself” and “Stop Fuming and Fretting”, have been invaluable at helping me to build my own self-esteem and minimize anxiety.
This book does have a strong faith based component to it, as Norman Vincent Peale was a minister, so if that offends you this may not be the book for you.
“Big Magic” by Elizabeth Gilbert
Elizabeth Gilbert is the famed author of the mega successful “Eat Pray Love” which also has enormous life lessons for women. “Big Magic” focuses on our innate creativity. The tagline is “Creative Living Beyond Fear”.
While you may not think you need a book on creativity if you aren’t in a “creative” field, the truth is we are all creators. We create our lives everyday. This book can help you to create a life worth living and one you feel passionate about because it is authentically yours.
“You Can Heal Your Life” by Louise Hay
Yet another classic first released in 1984, “You Can Heal Your Life” was a landmark book and helped launch an entire movement in the self-help industry on healing your mind, body and spirit.
Whether or not you believe you can heal yourself of physical ailments you may have (which takes a large leap of faith for me), you can benefit greatly from this book in terms of learning about limiting beliefs and thought patterns. These beliefs and thought patterns can have a profound impact on many aspects of your life and being aware of them is life changing.
“Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff and it’s all small stuff” and “Shortcut Through Therapy” by Richard Carlson, PH.D.
“Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff” feels like a warm hug to me. This book consists of 100 two page lessons on a variety of subjects. Each lesson takes only a few moments to read but can make big changes in your level of daily peace when put into practice.
My Dad used this book as a guide to get through 3 different cancers in his lifetime. “Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff” became a mantra for our family and it really did help us through many difficult times. This book can truly help you to live a great life by understanding what is and is not a priority in life.
“Shortcut through Therapy” is another great book if you aren’t sure where you want to begin in terms of self-help. Carlson’s ten principles of happiness and personal growth can help you to achieve what most want – the ability to be happy with your life.
The bottom line with both of these books is working on yourself from the inside out. By paying attention to your thoughts and feelings you can impact your life in big and small ways.
“The Wisdom of Sundays: Life Changing Insights from Super Soul Conversations” by Oprah Winfrey
Any of Oprah’s books could make this list, however if you want general advice on how to be grateful, mindful and live your truth this book is a great place to start. The book includes insights and “aha moments” from experts, writers and celebrities for a broad range of perspectives on different areas of life.
As Oprah states in the Introduction – “All of us are seeking the same thing. We share the desire to fulfill the highest, truest expression of ourselves as human beings.” Honorable mention as well to “O”, the Oprah Magazine which is a monthly magazine dedicated to helping women with self-care and personal growth.
is your life in Need of Direction or Redirection?
Sometimes life doesn’t turn out like we planned, right? If you ever feel like you have lost your way, here are some great books to help you find your next best step in life.
“Life Makeovers” and “Stand Up for your life” by Cheryl Richardson
Cheryl Richardson’s books are fantastic. My favorite part about these two books are how action oriented they are. It is one thing to read in a book ideas to change your life, it is another to be given an action plan to do so.
“Life Makeovers” gives you a year long plan to work on different areas of your life. Each week has a different focus and resources at the end of the short lesson. The resources are very helpful because they contain more self-help books you can utilize for a deep dive in that section.
“Stand up for Your Life” is designed to help you work on yourself and discover what is holding you back from the life you want to live. Whether you have issues with doubting or not trusting yourself, a lack of confidence in your abilities or are afraid, this book has a way to address each of those areas. This book is part workbook as well with at least one take action section after each lesson.
Both of these books can spur real change in your life by getting you out of any ruts and your comfort zone.
“Finding Your Own North Star” by Martha Beck
Martha Beck is an author who has written many books in the self-help genre. She also has a column in “O” Magazine where she uses her life coach expertise to help people with real life problems.
“Finding Your Own North Star” has the tagline “claiming the life you were meant to live” and this book can help you figure out what you want in this life. There are many great exercises to help you unearth areas of yourself that need healed and how to recognize your inner critics.
“Your Heart’s Desire – Instructions for Creating the Life You Really Want” by Sonia Choquette
The title of this book says it all. This book will help you get in touch with your subconscious desires and use your intuition to guide you to the right path for you.
“Your Heart’s Desire” includes workbook exercises as well as meditations. The meditations on the various exercises allow you to go deeper into what is your heart’s desire, especially for those who aren’t sure what that might be.
“Living Your Best Life” by Laura Berman Fortgang
“Living Your Best Life” wants to help you “discover your life’s blueprint for success”. This book will use your internal compass to discover what will be most fulfilling for you in life.
Fortgang is a life coach who believes you already have all of the answers you seek. You just need to unearth them.
Another book by Fortgang, “90 Days to a New Life Direction” is great if you need a concrete plan to make big changes in your life. Both books will help you uncover what you really want in your life, what you want to let go of, and ideas on how to move forward.
Do You Want to Be Happier?
Who doesn’t want to be happier? It certainly sounds good to me! All of the books in this section focus on being happy and finding joy in your life. After all, isn’t that we really want for ourselves and the ones we love?
“The Happiness Project” by Gretchen Rubin
“The Happiness Project” is a book by Gretchen Rubin. She wanted to see if she could make herself happier by focusing on a different theme every month for a year.
Each month’s theme is geared towards an aspect of happiness to work on (for example, January is “Boost Energy”). If you want to work on your own happiness project, you can use her themes for each month or you can create your own.
The best part of the project is there is no right way to do it. You just have to begin.
“The Joy Diet – 10 Steps to a Happier Life” by Martha Beck
This is the second book I’ve included by Martha Beck (see above – “Finding Your Own North Star”.) Her books are absolutely worth reading for all of the things you will discover about yourself in the process.
“The Joy Diet” puts you on a diet of a different kind. She says this diet is “one not for the body, but for the soul”. There are ten “menu” items and many exercises to help you evolve into a happier you.
“How Much Joy Can You Stand” and “Living Your Joy – A practical guide to happiness” by Suzanne Falter
“How Much Joy Can You Stand” is tagged as a “a creative guide to facing your fears and making your dreams come true”. There are 22 motivational essays followed by an exercise to take action on the ideas presented in your own life. It is a fun and inspirational book to help you find your joy.
“Living Your Joy” also by Falter, takes the ideas in the book above and shows you how to actually start living your joy in your daily life – NOW. For those of us who think the time to be happy is sometime in the future, this book proves the fallacy of that statement. The time to be happy is now.
What are your favorites?
There you have it! A not-so-short list of self-help and personal development books to make your home library complete.
Any or all of these books will be invaluable to help you get out of your own way and start living a life you were meant to have – one of joy, positivity, and meaning. You deserve it.
What are your favorite self-help books? Please share in the comments below.
Personal Development and Self-Help Book List
- “Living Your Joy”
- “How Much Joy Can You Stand”
- “The Joy Diet”
- “The Happiness Project”
- “Your Heart’s Desire”
- “You Can Heal Your Life”
- “Big Magic”
- “Life Makeovers”
- “The Magic of Thinking Big”
- “Stand Up for Your Life”
- “The Wisdom of Sundays”
- “Finding Your Own North Star”
- “Shortcut Through Therapy”
- “Living Your Best Life”
- “The Power of Positive Thinking”
- “Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff”
How to Start Your Own Self-Help Project for Personal Development
Are you interested in starting you own self-help project or begin your collection of these books? If so, here are some ideas for how you can begin.
- Think about a subject area you want to cover (like “Positive Mindset”)
Spend some time thinking about what the subject means to you. Do you want books on Gratitude, Affirmations, or Motivational Works? Or all of the above? Draft your thoughts in a notebook.
- Begin to research the titles available in your subject
You can google “positive mindset books” and you will receive images of books that fit that description as well as lists of the Best of the Year. Jot down the top 10 books that you are interested in learning more about.
- Read an overview of each book on a bookseller like Amazon or Barnes and Noble
See if you can narrow down your selections based on things like overall ratings and reviews by actual purchasers.
- Choose three books to review
Determine your three books, either purchase them, loan them from your local library or download them for Kindle.
- Skim each book and choose one to read and actually complete the action steps required.
The place where actual life change happens is in the implementation of what you are reading.
- Once you feel you have mastered that book and are happy with the results, choose another either in that subject or a different one.
There is no finish line in personal development. You can continue to build upon what you have learned indefinitely. You can also decide when you want to be done too. The ball is 100 percent in your court. You get to decide.
Frequently asked questions
Read over the titles and see if one of them feels more right to you. Or, is there a particular area of your life you want to work on more than another? For instance, do you want to be happier? Then, pick one of the books under that section. There really is no wrong answer, progress counts.
That depends. Some books will only take a short time to read and implement. Some are year-long projects or programs (like “Life Makeovers” and “The Happiness Project”.) However, even if you only spend 30 minutes reading one of them, you will have some lesson you can start applying to your life today.
A little of both. You can read Oprah’s “The Wisdom of Sunday’s” and get some powerful ideas to think about in an afternoon. All of the books build on each other and you will find common themes among them as well.
Any of them would be good, but the one most suited to a reading club would be “The Happiness Project”. Gretchen Rubin even has a group guide and discussion questions for the group.
Looking for more good self-help books? Check out these related pages:
|“Books That Can Change Your Life” – Career focused books on what to do with your life|
|“Meditation in 5 Easy Steps” – Books on meditating|
|“Retreats 101” – Books on how to have a retreat for yourself|
Did you like this post? If so, please share on Pinterest with the image below!
While you are here, make sure you grab your copy of the "Self-Care Mini-Guide" to help you figure out how to add self-care to your daily life. Just click the link Loveselfcare Self-Care Mini-Guide to download your guide!