Top 5 Recommended Self Help Books

            As a psychologist, with only 45 minutes weekly with a client, insights may begin to develop near the end of a session.  This always seemed to be the case, with the final moments being so fruitful.  There was so much more dialogue and growth to occur throughout the week.  Often, I would recommend books for clients to read to continue their work before our next session.  These were the top five recommended self help books for building insight on their inner journey.  


Best Non-Fiction Self Help Books

  1. The Artist Way by Julia Cameron

Although this is a book to help boost one with their creativity, it’s a great supplement to go deeper into one’s world.  All of us are creatives, and this book has built in homework, journaling prompts, and art exercises to uncover who you once were and who you authentically are.  I’ve also taught this as a group, so you can do this course solo or with friends as a way to be accountable on the journey. For more information about this book explore

  • The Obstacle is the Way by Ryan Holiday

This is short book but highly fruitful with stoic principles.  It helps individuals reframe their situation and note the resilience that exists within.  Obstacles are no longer a burden but a motivating source of transformation.  This book was particularly popular with the men I worked with. After reading it, many of them chose to read other Stoic texts. 

  • In the Meantime by Iyanla Vanzantz

I read this book in the midst of a breakup, and have recommended this to friends, family members, and clients.  Oftentimes when we are in a relationship we focus our energy thinking this person is “the one.” The truth is they may be who we are meant to be with right now.  We are to heed to the lessons learned in this relationship. If this does not occur, it will be the same lesson in different clothing.

  • 7 Principles for Making Marriage Work by Dr. John Gottman

I have led many marriage retreats based on the principles from this book.  This is the number one book I would recommend in marital counseling sessions.  It focuses on how a couple can reflect on where they came from and how to grow together.  Pilgrimages can be done in pairs.

  • Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo

This book is more than a decluttering lifestyle book.  You may have seen the Netflix special on this movement, or heard about the concept from friends. Kondo instructs us to sort through all of our belongings. As we do this, we are to note if they spark joy.  If yes, we keep the items, and if not as we discard it.  But first we must thank the items for the purpose they served.  A client was the first person who recommended this book to me. What I appreciated about this book and conceptwas how applicable it is to much of life.  We have to be able to let go of our excess stuff, whether this is tangible, physical, emotional, or energetic.  We must let go, create space, before we can let in more. 

Additional Top Rated Self Growth Books to Explore

Tools of the Titans by Tim Ferriss

Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck by Mark Manson

The Secret by Rhonda Byrne

Big Magic by Liz Gilbert 

When Things Fall Apart by Pema Chodron

Why Reading Nonfiction Self Help Books is Important

“You will be the same person in five years as you are today except for the people you meet and the books you read.”-Charlie Tremendous Jones

My father would always share this quote above, or a variation of it. I agree with it wholeheartedly. Books have the potential to transform us. There are times we may need therapy, but theses only one hour a week. How will you spend the remaining hours contemplating where you are and where you want to go? Self-help books take us on our journeys. Yes, I am biased because I am a psychologist and an advocate for this non-fiction genre. But this may be the medicine you need for your next inner adventure towards growth.

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