The 5 Best Self Help Books That Can Save Your Life
Self help books can be incredibly divisive… some people love them and other people absolutely hate them. It’s true that there are bad self help books out there that are only in it to make money.
However, there are also some great ones that have the potential to really change or save your life. PYM has compiled a list of five of our favorites, and why we think that they could make a difference in anyone’s life.
#1) When Things Fall Apart By Pema Chodron
Although the first entry on our list of best self help books was written in 1996, the context is still just as applicable today as it was when originally published.
Pema Chodron isn’t like any other author on our list, because she is an American Tibetan Buddhist and ordained nun. That gives her a unique perspective on approaching life, and the temporary suffering that it is often full of.
With When Things Fall Apart, Chodron speaks about finding the beauty in the discomfort. While many people tend to do anything that they can to avoid discomfort and emotional pain, Chodron suggests that you lean into and embrace it as an opportunity to learn and grow. It’s a way of practicing mindfulness, even in the difficult times in our lives.
Life doesn’t always go as planned, and accepting and learning from both the good and the bad can help you lead a peaceful, emotionally happy life.
#2) The Mood Cure By Julia Ross
The focus of the book is learning how to find happiness and a more positive mood without turning to things like alcohol, caffeine, antidepressants, or tobacco. The book starts out with a quick, four question survey so that you can identify your specific mood type, which indicates which neurotransmitter you may be lacking. From there, Ross teaches everyone to learn how to improve their mood and reduce anxiety and depression by focusing on diet.
When you read and embrace Ross’s methods, you’ll be able to “blast the blahs,” work on letting go of emotional eating, and help “lift the dark cloud of depression.” It’s the perfect complement to using PYM Mood Chews, which use many of the same concepts to help reduce those temporary feelings of anxiety and overwhelm. Food, and what we choose to put in our bodies, has more power than we often give it credit for. This book helps you learn how to make it work for you, instead of against you.
#3) The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up By Marie Kondo
The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, by Marie Kondo, is probably the most recognizable book on the list. This book is about so much more than just cleaning the house, though.
Kondo approaches the house the same way that most people approach the brain. She asks that everyone go through their home and get rid of anything that doesn’t immediately “spark joy.” Decluttering the home, and keeping only the things that truly make you happy, can do wonders for your mental health as well.
The idea is a well-researched one. Clutter around the home, especially the disorganized type, can also lead to a disorganized, anxious mind. It can also stop you from being able to process information as easily. Spending just a few minutes a day, or a total home renovation like Kondo suggests, can really help you to overall your mental health and feel more calm and at ease in both your head and your space. You’ll be amazed at how much it really can help.
#4) Braving The Wilderness: The Quest For True Belonging and the Courage to Stand Alone By Brene Brown
No list of self help books would be complete without Brene Brown. Brown really is one of the most popular authors out there, and she earns respect by not only approaching people with compassion but also with the social science background to back it up.
In Braving The Wildness: The Quest For True Belonging and the Courage to Stand Alone, Brown talks about the importance of finding an accepting, supportive community. However, this community should never be something that you have to change to find.
It’s better to be alone, and build your self worth while finding out who you really are, than to have to fight to fit in. She also talks about why being alone isn’t a bad thing; it’s essential to learning to stand on your own two feet.
Through her unique blend of science, storytelling, and blunt honesty, Brown helps anyone who is ready to find true belonging have a clear path to get there.
#5) Atomic Habits By James Clear
If you struggle with being able to develop and stick to healthy habits, especially if it's been negatively affecting your mental health, Atomic Habits by James Clear could be right for you.
The last entry on our list of the best self help books takes a look at how habits are really developed, not in big, overarching changes but in small, incremental ones. With the easy, proven plan that Clear sets out, the goal is to be just 1% better every day. 1%! Instead of changing everything all at once, making small changes can help you stick to your habits instead of burning out.
In fact, the National Institutes of Health has shown that making healthy habits and sticking to them is one of the best things that you can do for yourself. It has actually been scientifically proven to lengthen the lifespan! While the changes may be tough, at first, it's worth it to truly enjoy your life.
Self help books can be cheesy, but there are a few that really defy the stereotypes and help you approach and appreciate life from a different perspective.
PYM was founded on the idea of helping people enjoy their lives, both through the ups and the downs, as the real human experience that it is.
Whether you read one of what we believe are the best self help books, or all of them, we hope they help you see that you have the power to get through anything. You’re more powerful than you think.