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5 Self Help Books That Might Just Change Your Life

Self-Help: the act of helping or improving yourself without relying on anyone else.

Luckily for us, there is a large selection of self-help literature written by truly remarkable authors. These authors share personal experiences from their own successful careers or interview others who have unlocked secrets of happiness and achievement. Stopping by your local bookstore or Amazon for a self-help title can be a bit intimidating! So we’ve handpicked five great reads to jump start your journey to the richer life:

The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success: A Practical Guide to the Fulfillment of Your Dreams – Deepak Chopra (1994)

Having sold over 3 million copies worldwide, you can safely assume that Deepak Chopra, an Indian medical doctor, speaker and writer, pretty much has the topic of self-help nailed. Pitched as a book to be cherished for a lifetime, Chopra offers proven ideas on how to achieve spiritual awakening and practical activities that will help you get there faster. Although primarily based on Buddhist ideas, this book offers even the most skeptical of individuals an enchanting read with exciting prospects for success in areas including potential, karma and giving.

The Secret – Rhonda Byrnes (2006)

Rhonda Byrnes was in the depth of despair when she discovered Wallace Wattle’s ‘The Science of Getting Rich.’ Convinced she had stumbled upon a little known secret to success in all areas of life, Byrne set out to prove her theory. Translated into 44 languages and selling over 21 million copies, it’s safe to say she proved it. Through collaboration with the likes of Jack Canfield (Chicken Soup for the Soul), Mike Dooley (TUTs Adventurers Club) and Bob Proctor (Personal Development Coach), Byrne introduces a powerful process you can use to change any aspect of your life.

The Happiness Project: Or, Why I Spent a Year Trying to Sing in the Morning, Clean My Closets, Fight Right, Read Aristotle, and Generally Have More Fun – Gretchen Rubin (2010)

Gretchen Rubin’s #1 New York Times Best Seller about happiness may not be pitched as a self-help book, but anyone who follows the guidance in this little gem is bound to feel somewhat improved. In her consistently fresh and compelling narrative, Rubin relates the story of her 12-month journey to happiness. While offering guidance on everything from relationships to parenthood and spirituality to passions, without ever coming across as someone in the tight grip of a personal crisis, Rubin delivers one of the most astute and relevant works on the theme of happiness. Read it or risk being miserable for the rest of your life.

The Four Hour Work Week: Escape the 9-5, Live Anywhere and Join the New Rich – Timothy Ferriss (2008, Expanded 2011)

Another self-improvement offering that reached #1 on the New York Times Best Seller list, Timothy Ferris shows you how to eliminate non-essential work and outsource the remaining in this gripping read. Anyone who has ever wanted to escape the rat race needs to read this book. Readers can’t help but be inspired by his detailed blue-print for successful online businesses. If you’re stuck for ideas as to what to do with all the free time you’re going to have, you needn’t worry since Ferriss covers all that too. The Four Hour Work Week asks that all important, but often overlooked, question: what do you actually want from life?

The Road Less Traveled – M. Scott Peck (1978)

This one has been around for an age, but the musings of psychologist M. Scott Peck have stood the test of time. First launched in the times of I’m OK, You’re OK, Peck took a stand and dared to suggest that life may actually be difficult at times. By sharing intimate case studies of anonymous therapy clients, and offering an insightful look into his own life stories, Peck gives us the courage to deal with our own problems. Considered a spiritual refuge, this book stands out as one of the most honest and revealing approaches to human fulfillment.

Heidi Marks is a freelance writer from Seattle and contributor to Degree Jungle. A keen traveler, she enjoys open mic nights, fine wine and chocolate cake (in moderation).

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29 Responses to 5 Self Help Books That Might Just Change Your Life

  1. Cathybennett66 says:

    Can’t go passed The Happiness Trap by Dr Russ Harris. Brilliant, positive ways to undertake all issues and help overcome them or learn how to live and combat them in your daily life.  This book can be picked up and put down whenever you need that little positive affirmation or encouragement, something I feel most people need in life. 

  2. Emily Hunter says:

    It’s crazy.  I don’t read very much and yet I’ve read two out of the list here (The Happiness Project and 4 Hour WW) and, well… 4HWW did change my life, and THP put a smile on my face while reading it.   One of the books that really changed my world was The 50th Law by Robert Greene — it’s about overcoming your fear and finding opportunities where there usually aren’t any.  Thank you for the books! 

  3. Tim Gardner says:

    The Road Less Traveled did, in fact, change my life. I constantly recommend this book to those who are trying to figure out any of life’s problems.

  4. “The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success” is one of my favorite books. I truly love all of Deepak Chopra’s books. I’ve been wanting to read “The Four Hour Workweek.”

  5. It is a nice post.thank you. 

  6. Anonymous says:

    Don’ t forget to check out my recommended reading list for February in the tab above! 

  7. Anonymous says:

    Don’ t forget to check out my recommended reading list for February in the tab above! 

  8. Jaycee says:

    Like this blog.  Read some of these and they did change my life in some way, but unsure about The Secret as a book but the concept is shared in others I liked more.   Will read the ones here that I havent yet tried!  Thanks

  9. Galen Pearl says:

    An excellent selection!  I’m familiar with most of these, and I am intrigued with the title “The Four Hour Work Week.”  Love it already!

  10. Ann Macleod says:

     Oh people please let me tell you about a wonderful place to take yourself to. Its reinvigorates and motivates ,I love it and look forward to my time there for me just one hour a day. I’m a member of the iam gr8ful club.
     There is an upcoming webinar I’ll get myself and my words” good words “but unnecessary in the face of what you will discover if you watch this free webinar.

  11. JasonFonceca says:

    I love this Heidi! I agree with all but one on this list (and that’s just me being nit-picky :P).

    My faves are Chopra + Peck, and for Byrne I substitute Her Inspiration (Abraham-Hicks.)

    Tim Ferriss, who is a brilliant and legendary person, feels off for this list.

    The “4-hour” was mainly a ‘gimmick’ headline, not in a bad way, and he certainly helps tremendously, it just didn’t feel so “general happiness focused” to me. But meh, like I said, just bein’ nit-picky.

    I really do love this list. Thanks for sharing!

  12. Judy Belmont says:

    The Swiss Cheese theory of Life is a newly released book – my co author and I have each over 30 years of experience and I wrote it with my clients in mind to have the ten key self help messages in a “user-friendly” way !  People have told me it is life changing – as you can see from the reviews on amazon!

  13. Heidi Marks says:

    Thanks I’m glad you enjoy the list!

  14. Hansamalhotra says:

    ‘The Power Of Now’ by Eckhart Tolle should be a part of this list. 

  15. says:

    what a great post! i really like it and wanted to say thanks for sharing!

  16. says:

    what a great post! i really like it and wanted to say thanks for sharing!

  17. Lovely Smith says:

    I like this book The Road Less Traveled – M. Scott Peck (1978), this books help us to deal in our problems . The guide that was given there are helpful. It seems that in time of hardships you just need to read his books and you will find yourself encouragement. It is a good way that there are books that can help people.

  18. Raaj_monica says:

    we can develop ourselves

  19. Great list of books!  I like the mix of older books and recent books together

  20. Mailermannlich says:

    Rhonda byrne and her books, the secret and its part II, and law of attraction is a piece of shit… Did it with so much belief so many times. Never worked. If you want something to work. use ur freaking brain people, not expectations..

  21. Reading books just keeps me sane throughout the week!

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  23. Sam Davies says:

    This is a terrible list. How could you not include any Tony Robbins or Jack Cannfield. There books are all you need to live a happy life.

  24. Rohit Nibariya says:

    Hi Emily. Nice to hear that these books worked for you. 4HWW is it really practical ? I want to be more effective in life , I want to be more confident. Despite all my hardwork , I have faced many let downs.I want the motivation to keep going.I would like to read 1-2 books and stick to it. maybe 50 th Law is the right book for me..Any suggestions are welcome

  25. Drek Fisherr says:

    The road less travelled. I think I should try that out. But for me psychocybernetiics is always the best, It’s my inspiration in writing my blogs including this one

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  27. sarah says:

    “The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success” an amazing piece of modern Ayurveda written by Deepak Chopra is my favorite. I am currently doing my bachelors in this field from and have plans to pursue it further,

  28. ss says:

    Thanks for these books, i want to share books that really change my life too ^_^

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