10 Self-Help Books That Changed My Life |InspirationIndulgence.com

I used to spend my childhood reading all day, every day. However, once I started college, things changed. This past summer, I recently got back on the reading train (finally!) and wanted to share with you 10 self-help books that have changed my life. As most of you know, I am one year away from being a licensed counselor. Because of my love of self-improvement related topics, the counselor in me has been dying to share these great reads with you!

1.) On Becoming Fearless…in Love, Work, and Life

I personally love Arianna Huffington, and this is by far my favorite book of hers. She examines how fear affects our lives and limits us from daring to achieve greatness. Written with her daughters in mind, Ms. Huffington talks about her own experiences, as well as drawing experiences from others, that will transform your idea of fear. Ultimately, she will inspire you to be fearless in love, work, and life in general.

2.) The Happiness Project

Gretchen Rubin woke up one morning and decided that she wasn’t as happy as she knew she was capable of being. Thus, she started a 12 month long self titled “Happiness Project,” in which she shows you how it’s possible to take action steps toward being more happy. I loved this book because it was more of a personal narrative than a psychology textbook, which are less common among the traditional research-filled self-help books. Rubin will inspire you to dive into what makes you personally happy, and may even go as far as helping you to create your own Happiness Project!

3.) The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You’re Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are

This might be my favorite book on the list. I LOVE Brené Brown; she speaks right to the heart. In this life-changing book, Ms. Brown talks about how imperfection shapes us; how the more vulnerable and self-aware we are, the more likely we are to live a wholehearted life. I kid you not, I dang near highlighted the entire book.

4.) The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change

An oldie, but goodie. When I was in middle school, I was required to read The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens, and I fell in love with it. Recently, I read 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, and it was world-shifting. I use the action-based principles taught in this book daily, and the habits have stayed with me throughout the years.

5.) You Are a Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life

Okay, so right off the bat, the title of this book attracted me, and it did not disappoint. This book is for the person who just can’t seem to get their shiz together. You Are a Badass will help you change self-sabotaging behaviors, inspire you to love yourself more, and help you to finally reach those goals. Essentially, the book reminds you of how freakin’ awesome you are, in case you need the reminder. (Don’t we all!)

6.) The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love that Lasts

Okay, so I’m not sure if this book would exactly qualify as “self-help,” but I’m going to throw it in this list anyways because this book has been a miracle worker for our relationship. In case you aren’t aware of what the 5 Love Languages are, Chapman breaks down how we all essentially love five different ways: Through words of affirmation (compliments or words of encouragement); quality time (your partner’s undivided attention); receiving gifts (symbols of love, like flowers); acts of service (setting the table); physical touch (intimacy.) You can read all about what YOUR love language is, what your PARTNER’S love language is, and how you can please one another according to that love language.

7.) I Thought It Was Just Me (BUT IT ISN’T): Telling the Truth About Perfectionism, Inadequacy and Power

Oh, Brené. This book reminds us that our imperfections are what makes us human, and our vulnerabilities remind us that we are alive and in this together. This book will ultimately help you let go of the idea of perfectionism and encourage you to love yourself exactly how you are.

8.) Thrive: The Third Metric to Redefining Success and Creating a Life of Well-Being, Wisdom, and Wonder

I’ve talked about this before, but I LOVE Thrive. Huffington writes how she had a wakeup call when she collapsed and landed herself in the hospital because of exhaustion and sleep-deprivation. This inspired her to think about what we are doing with out lives; we are so connected, sleep-deprivied, and obsessed with power & money. But does this really bring us happiness?

9.) The Confidence Code: The Science and Art of Self-Assurance—What Women Should Know

One of my readers actually recommended this book to me after she read my post 5 Ways to be More Confident, and I’m so happy that she did! This book discusses how even though working women are more educated and qualified, they still let men walk all over them in the corporate world. Why? Kay & Shipman argue that women lack confidence. Ladies, this book was written for you. It’s so filled with gender facts, practical advice women and more to inspire you to dominate in the workforce.

10.) The Six Pillars of Self-Esteem: The Definitive Work on Self-Esteem by the Leading Pioneer in the Field

Let’s face it: Self-esteem is something that almost all of us struggle with at one point. This is a MUST-READ especially for any parents with young kids. Brandon provides clear guidelines for teachers, parents, managers, and therapists who are responsible for developing the self-esteem of others, and shows you how important self-esteem is throughout our journey in life.

10 Self-Help Books That Changed My Life |InspirationIndulgence.com

What are some of your favorite self-help books? Leave me a comment below!

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  • I always enjoy reading self-employment books. I really enjoyed You are a Badass and The Happiness Project.

    • Those are two of my favorites, after the Gifts of Imperfection!!

  • The 5 Love Languages book literally saved my relationship with my husband when we were dating. We were going though a rough time and I read that book and then handed it off to him. We reconciled when he finally read it and it changed our relationship in countless ways. I recommend it to all of my friends who are dating and getting near the idea of marriage!

    • That is SO awesome to hear, Emily!!!! Thank you for sharing that with me!!! I’m glad you think of it as a self-help book, too.

  • I’ve only read the 5 love languages from your list, but a lot of these are titles I’ve been dying to read!

    • Isn’t that such a powerful book!

  • Great list! I’ve already read a couple and am adding the rest to my reading list the next few months!

    Keep smiling!
    Molly | http://www.stylemissmolly.com

    • Hope you like them, Molly dear!

  • I read the Confidence Code this summer, too! I took myself to my local Chapters and sat in the store and read all day. Excited to see the book on your list because it is SO worth the read!

    • Aw good!!!! It really is. :)

  • I am proud to say I own two of these books! I own the Happiness Project one-sentence journal and I LOVE IT!

    • I really would like to try the One-Sentence journal!!

      • I think you would love it!! :)

  • Great books here! 5 love languages is so great for marriage! I just finished “For the Love” by Jen Hatmaker and it was great!

    • I’ve never heard of that book! Thanks so much for sharing another great title with me.

  • I am obsessed with Self-help books and I also LOVED you are a bad ass! (Happiness project too) I also really loved The Secret, I read it in my early 20’s and it was definitely life changing for me. I will have to check out the rest of these! :) (pinned!)

    • I’ve never head of The Secret, will definitely have to look into it! Thank you for sharing, and thank you for pinning!

  • Lauren Norton

    I have heard of several of these books but have not had a chance to read them. I am pinning this so when I complete my current list, I can take these on! I’m all about self-help books – anything inspirational, really. Thanks for sharing!

    • Of course, Lauren! I think you will fall in love with all of these!

  • Lilies + Lambs

    Great suggestions! Will have to check a few of these out!


    • Thanks so much for reading! :) Hope you find a book you love!

  • I love to read self-help and inspirational books! I am going to have to look into these!

    • I hope you find some that you enjoy! :)

  • There are a few fantastic options here that I’ve read, and also some new ones that I’m really interested in checking out. Thank you for sharing! 1 & 4 get two thumbs up from me.
    xoxo, erin | sandsunandmessybuns.com

    • Oh yay! It’s so awesome to hear that you’ve read and enjoy these books! 😀

  • Adaleta Avdic

    I absolutely have to read ALL of these because I love self-help books, whether they’re cliche or silly I don’t know or care. Every one I’ve ever read has helped me with SOMETHING! xx adaatude.com

    • Right! I can’t wait to RE-READ these!!

  • kp

    It’s such a shame that there’s still somewhat of a stigma behind reading self help books (at least I’ve noticed one anyways). I’ve read a few and they’ve helped me SO MUCH. They really have amazing action steps you can take to improve your every day life and sometimes when you are taught to correct one frame of mind it effects everything else in your life too!
    I have 7 Habits of Highly Effective People on my wishlist to read :)

    • Exactly. It’s not a bad thing to want to improve yourself! I know the Happiness Project has really great action steps to improvement (:

  • I love self help books! I haven’t read the Happiness Project but I enjoyed her most recent book. And 7 habits is such a classic!

    • You would LOVE the Happiness Project. It’s so thought provoking.

  • I want to read a lot of these books! I’m adding a few of the ones I hadn’t heard of to my list.

    xoxo, Jenny

    • Hope you enjoyed the post!

  • Patricia Conte

    Thanks for the list! I jotted down a few I want to check out! Had picked up “Happiness Project” but my niece took off with it 😉

    • You have to read it for yourself. You won’t regret it!

  • Great recommendations, I was looking for new books but with a great message, and this are perfect xo


    • I think you will enjoy all of these!!

  • Carrie Chady Rundhaug

    This is a great list! I have been wanting to read You are a badass! But now I have a few more to add to my TBR list.

    • Good, Carrie! I know you will just adore it.

  • Suzanna Davies

    I loved You Are A Badass, and several of these others are on my to-read list. Thanks for sharing!

    • Thanks for much for stopping by!

  • OnceUponADollhouse

    These look like great options. You’ve inspired us to get a few or them. #7 in particular.

    • Oh my goodness, you’ll love #7. Let me know what you think of it!

  • I love a good self-help book. Thanks!

  • So many of these are on my list! I love empowering books like these.

    • Thanks so much for stopping by. :)

  • You are a Badass was such a great book! I highly recommend it as well :)

    • Isn’t it!! I probably will read it again soon!

  • This is such a great list! I have a couple of these and will definitely be checking out the others. Thanks for the tips :)

    • Thanks for reading, Suzanne!

  • Sky Fisher

    Well my wishlist just expanded significantly. Brene Brown is, by far, my favorite. I loved “Daring Greatly”

    • Brene is my spirit animal.

  • Adriana

    Okay I NEEDED this list in my life! I’m so going to read um, all of these! Thank you for this!!

    • Yay! Thanks so much for supporting my list. You’ll love them all!

  • I loved Thrive! I love Arianna, Brene Brown, and I am on the library waitlist for You Are A Badass. Excited to check some of these out!

    • So excited to hear what you think!!

  • Sue

    The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz, The Untethered Soul by Michael Singer and The New Earth by Eckhart Tolle. These will really put you in a state of presence and get you thinking! I hope they help! I love this list! Have only read #4 but have a couple others on the bookshelf to dust off and read! Thank you!

    • Thank you SO MUCH for your recommendations! Can’t wait to read!