Self-help books have come a long way in the last ten years, and so has the stigma around them. Remember the episode of Sex and the City where Charlotte buys her self-help books from Amazon because she’s too ashamed to buy them from the store? That scene would no longer fly today, largely because the self-help aisle has gone from no-mans-land to the place to be.
And, really, that makes so much sense. Because if you’re not trying to better yourself, what’s really the point?
Today’s self-help books are incredible and relevant and written by people you already respect and admire. Whether you’re looking to improve your communication, your relationship, your parenting, need a kick in the pants or want to know yourself on a deeper, more intricate level, there’s a book (or five!) out there for you.
The work of self-improvement is not easy by any means, but it’s certainly a journey and undertaking well worth it. Our one life can be incredibly impactful to those around us – only if we take the time to reflect, grow, improve, and remain intentional.
Girl, Wash Your Face: Stop Believing the Lies About Who You Are so You Can Become Who You Were Meant to Be
Business and community guru Rachel Hollis uses her wildly-relatable humor and honesty to remind us who we we really are and teach us to pursue our truest selves with passion and grace. A must-read for Brene Brown fans, and literally anyone who has thought that they aren't worth the dreams they have (spoiler alert: you so, so are).
By now you know all about hygge, the cozy, Danish lifestyle that grows from wellness and contentment – but have you heard of lykke? The Danes are some of the happiest people alive, and this book is exploring six reasons as to why, with super applicable steps to lykke up your hygge-d life.
None of us are immune to suffering – the world will collapse around us more than once in our lives, and how we respond to tragedy, grief, and suffering is revelatory about our priorities and own strength. This book is a compassionate companion to those who are no stranger to suffering. This is ideal for the person who finds herself craving meaning and growth in the midst of suffering – this book will give you language to understand your grief and feel the depths of your pain, with purpose.
A classic at this point, but Marie Kondo seriously knows what's up when it comes to organization. If you're looking to keep a clean and organized life this new year, this is the book for you. Even if you're not, it's one of the best books for remembering that your physical space impacts your emotional and mental space – so it's great to be aware of how you're being affected in that way. Kondo will show you how to take back control of that part of your life.
Mom, you already have first-hand experience at never giving up, no matter how little sleep, energy, or hope you have. You're already a warrior, but Angela Duckworth's book is still worth a read, pen in hand to underline those phrases that will make you go "oh my gosh, yes." Success – in career, in motherhood, in relationship – is earned by those with grit, and grit can be learned. If you find yourself heading into the new year frustrated by tiring circumstances and fading energy, this is the book for you.
While not really a self-help book per se, Mari Andrews will speak to your soul in a way you never thought possible this drawn memoir, featuring sketches made famous on her Instagram page and brand-new content. Delightfully honest about the meandering course of her life, complete with joys and heartbreak, Mari's book will remind you on every page that you, mama, are not alone, and your life is exactly how it's supposed to be and will turn out just fine. We promise.
So, you might have realized by now that parenting is...hard. The small human living in your house is not under your complete control, and that can be wildly jarring and also awe-inspiring. Forging paths of communication that are meaningful for both you and your kids is no easy feat, and if you're hoping to improve that in the new year, this book is a phenomenal resource on understanding yourself and where your kids are at.
Let's face it – when you became a parent, boundaries probably just fell apart completely. It's difficult to maintain a sense of self while giving all of yourself to this child (or children), your partner, your career, your friends, you parents – you might not even be on the list. But hear me, mom: you cannot pour from an empty cup. You gotta take care of yourself, girl, and setting reasonable boundaries is the only place to start. This book is an excellent place to learn what you're needing in your life and how to ask for it in a way that makes sure you get it. Make this new year the year of no, if that's what you need.
I know I'm always craving more creativity in my life, and especially if you've got a newborn on your hands, the days can quickly fall into a routine or worse, a rut. Name 2019 as your creative year, where you relearn how to think broadly, dream often, and embrace curiosity. If you loved Eat, Pray, Love (ie: a human woman) this book also by Elizabeth Gilbert is right up your alley.
This decades-old concept is making a resurgence as of late, and you better be on board if you want your relationship with yourself and others to flourish in this upcoming year. It all relies on this one simple-to-say, difficult-to-live concept: we all give and receive love differently. This book outlines the 5 love languages (acts of service, gifts, physical touch, quality time, words of affirmation), teaches you how to love those who receive love in certain ways, and even includes quizzes to learn how you receive love so you can better ask for what you need in the future – and understand that your kids might need to you verbalize your love for them, where you need them to love you by unloading the dishwasher without being asked. Trust us – this one will change your life forever.
Yes or no – your life moves at 12,000 miles a minute. We think yes. We know that some of that is necessity – the kids have to be places, the laundry needs to get done – but we also know that lots of that pressure to go-go-go is just part of a race to nowhere. And you know what, mama? You don't deserve that in 2019. This book reminds of a shocking truth that we forget every minute of the day: We only have this present moment. Erin shares her experience learning to live for the right now, and while it's not easy, she's confident that it's the only way to be the happiest you can be.
"When you love yourself, life is limitless." That's the thesis of this amazing book which focus on just that – you and your infinite potential to change your world and the world at large (and love every minute of it). If you've found yourself fading into the identity of "SAHM" or "working mom" or "will I ever be a regular person again" this is the read for you.
Fact: the world is scary. There are so many things to fear. But, often right beyond that anxiety lies everything you've ever wanted – funny how that works. Gabrielle Bernstein has mastered the art of turning fear into faith – faith in yourself, in the power of love, and that it will all work out in the end.