These Self-Help Books Will Fix Your Life

As great as self-help books can be, they sometimes have a reputation for being cheesy, overly earnest, or unrealistically optimistic.

While they may not contain the "key to happiness" or fulfill any particularly lofty promises, they can, at the very least, help to normalize what you're feeling or experiencing, says Marcia Norman, PsyD, a clinical psychologist in Winter Park, FL. In the same way that you might listen to a sad song or watch a tearjerker movie when you're feeling down, reading a self-help book that relates to what you're going through can help you feel less alone.

"It can be very validating to see that other people have experienced the same thoughts or emotions you have, and self-help books also help you see yourself more clearly," Dr. Norman says. "[They] provide a path that others have already gone down to make your experience less daunting or scary."

Whether you're trying to get over a breakup, working on being more confident, or simply trying to understand your emotions, there's something out there for you.

Ahead, you'll find a few of our favorite books to read when you need a little guidance or inspiration.

Heather Havrilesky's collection of essays will make you want to embrace who you are and what you have — because that really is enough.
Penguin What If This Were Enough?: Essays, $16.92 Buy
As the Karamo Brown once said in an episode of Queer Eye, "failure is not the opposite of success — it's part of it." Megan McArdle's book, The Up Side of Down shows you exactly why failure doesn't always have to be a setback.
Penguin The Up Side of Down: Why Failing Well Is the Key to Success, $13.49 Buy
Who says being awkward is a bad thing? Melissa Dahl's Cringeworthy puts a new spin on embarrassing situations and looks at them as opportunities to grow. By the end of it, you'll be embracing the next weird thing you do in public instead of cowering in shame.
Portfolio Cringeworthy: A Theory of Awkwardness, $17.94 Buy
Whether you've just gone through a break-up, lost a loved one, or you're feeling a little stuck in life, this is the book for you.
Vintage Books Tiny Beautiful Things, $10.28 Buy
Finding out what it means to be happy is a huge topic to tackle, and it's something that's different for everyone. That being said, Gretchen Rubin's book on her one-year journey to find true happiness is an enlightening and funny read that will motivate you to find your own sense of the often-elusive state of mind that is happiness.
HarperCollins The Happiness Project, $9.00 Buy
At one point or another, we've all been guilty of getting too in-our-heads about something. Gary John Bishop's book guides you through getting out of negative self-talk and into your best self.
HarperOne Unfu*k Yourself: Get Out of Your Head and into Your Life, $11.54 Buy
Because sometimes, you just need a reminder that you are definitely a badass — and you already have everything you need to live the awesome life you deserve.
Running Press Adult You Are a Badass, $9.59 Buy
This 10-chapter book breaks down Oprah's spiritual journey, and features selections from her conversations with inspiring people, like Shonda Rhimes, Thich Nhat Hahn, and Marianne Williamson. If it's good enough for Oprah, it's good enough for you.
Flatiron Books The Wisdom of Sundays, $16.79 Buy
While most self-help books are all about getting in tune with your emotions, F*ck Feelings adopts a more Frank Ocean attitude: feelings come, feelings go. And because of that, the authors argue, you shouldn't act only on your emotions. More than that, the book delves into how you can keep your feelings from making you act impulsively (to your detriment).
Simon & Schuster F*ck Feelings, $19.98 $13.85, Buy
A recommended read for introverts and extroverts alike, Quiet shuts down myths and biases about those of us who prefer to listen rather than talk, and who may come off as anti-social lone wolves. But beyond validating the introvert experience, author Susan Cain breaks down how extroverts can more easily understand and support the quieter people around them.
Crown Archetype Quiet: The Power of Introverts, $17.00 $11.71, Buy
Matt Haig's memoir is at once a painfully honest look at depression and anxiety, as well as a hopeful, evocative exploration of what it means to live with mental illness.
Penguin Reasons to Stay Alive, $15.00 $10.39, Buy
Take self-help into your own hands — literally. If sitting down and writing a whole diary entry every night is a little daunting, don't worry. Start Where You Are is a step outside of your typical journal, with exercises and questions designed to help you really get in touch with how you feel, where you are, and where you want to be.
Penguin Start Where You Are, $16.00 $10.11, Buy
hosted by Lucie Fink.
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