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7 Self-Help Books To Make You The Best Version Of Yourself

4th August 2020

4th August 2020

By Robyn Schaffer


Because being open to change can help us grow and develop.

We don’t know about you guys, but we’ve had a lot of time to think over the past few months. And with more time to spare, comes more opportunities to learn, grow, and better ourselves. Whether you want to run faster, lift heavier, eat better, or be more productive, there’s always room for self-improvement in our lives. However, there’s also been lots of noise online and on social media lately, pressuring people to hit certain targets and come out the other side of the pandemic with certain changes in place and targets reached. 

But here at Innermost, we know it’s all about doing you, assessing your individual needs and goals, and blocking out the unnecessary background noise. So with that in mind, we’ve compiled a list of seven of our favourite self-help books if you're looking for practical, helpful advice on self-improvement. Whether it’s for boosting cognitive performance, decluttering and organising your life, or finding a better approach to attaining happiness, there’s something for everyone. But remember - it's all about taking one small step at a time. Let’s get started.

Year of Yes: How to Dance It Out, Stand In the Sun and Be Your Own Person - Shonda Rhimes

From the award-winning creator of Grey’s Anatomy and Scandal, this book by Shonda Rhimes is all about the life-changing power of just saying yes. Too often we say no to things - big or small - out of fear, laziness or apprehension, without knowing that this very attitude itself can be the thing that holds us back and prevents us from growing. A self-confessed introvert, Rhimes uses anecdotes from her own life and experiences as a high-flying producer in Hollywood, being invited to parties, events and media appearances, to demonstrate how continually saying no to opportunities can only serve to stunt your growth, even if you feel safer in the short-term. We recommend this self-help book if you’ve got big ambitions, but want to make more moves outside of your comfort zone.

Outer Order, Inner Calm: Declutter & Organize to Make More Room for Happiness - Gretchen Rubin

In this much-loved self-help book, Gretchen Rubin, bestselling author of The Four Tendencies and The Happiness Project, provides an eye-opening insight into how our inner and outer environments are inextricably linked. When our surroundings and possessions are in order, we’re more likely to feel calm and in order on the inside, allowing us to lead happier, healthier, more productive lives. Rubin gives more than 100 practical ideas and tips for getting started with decluttering and organising your life, so whether it’s your desk, your wardrobe, or your kitchen that’s overflowing with unnecessary mess, you’ll be equipped with a range of tools to turn your life around one step at a time. Clear space, clear mind.

The Subtle Art Of Not Giving A F*ck - Mark Manson

You’ve probably seen this one plastered all over the internet or perched on every trendy bookstore bookshelf thanks to its eye-catching name and bold cover. But this self-help book’s about more than just the shock factor. As a former dating coach, Mark Manson has been helping people with their emotional and relationship problems for over 10 years, and this groundbreaking self-help guide is no exception, quickly becoming a cult classic across the globe. This book is all about refuting the idea of ‘just being positive’, something we’re all used to hearing, and instead learning to face up to and deal with all life’s cr*p. Manson argues that once we learn to embrace our faults, fears and anxieties, we can begin to lead a truly more fulfilled life. We love this one for its honest, amusing approach, while still providing practical, helpful tips.

The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing  - Marie Kondo

Like Gretchen Rubin, Marie Kondo is another huge advocate for the ‘clear space, clear mind’ philosophy. Despite gaining mainstream notoriety for her Netflix series Tidying Up With Marie Kondo, Kondo has written four self-help books about the importance of organizing which have sold millions of copies worldwide. This book in particular promises to simplify your approach to decluttering and organizing your home so that you never have to worry about it again, and instead you can focus on living your best life with a clear, calm mind in full tact. Kondo’s approach breaks things down category by category, and forces you to ask yourself which possessions in your life truly “spark joy” and which are just contributing to the meaningless, stress-inducing clutter.

Thinking, Fast and Slow - Daniel Kahneman

In this self-help classic, Daniel Kahneman helps us break down the way we think in order for us to better understand how the human brain makes decisions. Kahneman divides the process into two systems: System 1 and System 2. System 1 is fast, intuitive and emotion-driven, while System 2 is slower, more careful and more logical. By breaking things down in this way, Kahneman enables us to see how we can’t always trust our own intuition, and how we can benefit from slowing down our thinking. With both practical tips and insights, and advice on how to prevent ourselves from falling into common mental traps, this book can totally transform the way you think about thinking.

Happy: finding joy in every day and letting go of perfect - Fearne Cotton 

TV presenter and Radio 1 host turned podcaster and author Fearne Cotton wrote this self-help book as “a way to release what’s going on inside your head and to keep heading towards the good stuff. The simple stuff. The stuff that’s going to really hit up that happiness on a deep and nourishing level”. Drawing upon her own experiences with the ups and downs of mental health, Fearne presents readers with real, practical ways of finding joy and happiness in each and every day. The unique thing about this book is the workbook-like elements; with written exercises and visualisations, this one’s all about being interactive in order to help you start making those small changes straight away.

To learn more about Fearne’s Happy Place podcast, read about it in our round-up of top health and wellbeing podcasts here.

Change Your Life in Seven Days: The World’s Leading Hypnotist Shows You How - Paul McKenna 

Brought to you by the number one hypnotherapist in the world, Paul McKenna, this simple self-help book gives you a seven-day plan to help you change your life forever. McKenna explains how success and happiness are not merely things that happen to some people and not to others, but instead that they are products of specific ways of thinking and acting in our everyday lives. Whether it’s boosting your self-confidence, controlling your emotions, or just becoming a healthier and happier person, this book has key strategies and techniques that can be employed straight away, so you can begin to think in the same way as any super-achiever out there.

If you enjoyed reading these reviews of our favourite self-help books, be sure to check out our other book reviews here.  

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