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15 Best Self Help Books for Every Occasion [UPDATED 2020]


There’s going to be situations where times get tough, but it’s difficult for tough to get going. However, you just might need a little nudge in the right direction. And that’s where self help books come into play.

A well-written book can give you some of the best advice you could ask for. And it’s a whole heck of a lot cheaper than seeking a counselor, coach, or therapist.

(However, if you are having serious troubles, a book isn’t enough. Please seek professional assistance and communicate with your loved ones.)

And there’s self help books on just about everything you can imagine! So, I’ve broken down these best self help books into individual topics and giving you my favorite three in each area. If you’d like to jump to a particular topic, click on the linked text below to go right where you want to be.

Best Books for Personal Growth

Do you ever feel like you just stagnated? Like you’re just stuck in the same old routine with nowhere to go? If so, you may want to consider a self help book for personal growth. These aren’t necessarily focused on a single topic, but instead directed to you growing from within. They help you realize your potential and push your own personal limits to new heights.

#1. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey

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This self help book is easily one of the most popular of its kind–ever. The New York Times has labeled it as the most influential business book of the 2oth century. With over 40 million copies sold, this book teaches you 7 different habits that can help you grow and develop your leadership skills and confidence. And although this book is somewhat dated, the principles still easily apply. In this version, Sean Covey–son of the original author and tremendous author in his own respect–offers modern insight into how the habits are effective.

#2. Whatcha Gonna Do With That Duck? by Seth Godin

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If you’ve been around the internet long enough, there’s a strong chance that you’ve at least heard of Seth Godin. He’s a prolific blogger and thirteen times International Bestselling Author. His blog– –is one of the most influential business blogs in the world, and it’s easy to see why. This book is a collective of some of his most poignant blog posts coupled with some never-before-seen content. And while you may have your ducks in a row, Seth explores just exactly what are you going to do with them.

#3.  The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle

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Sometimes it isn’t business advice or relationship advice you need to grow. Often it’s a spiritual paradigm shift that needed to help you grow. And there’s no better guru to read than Eckhart Tolle. This book has sold over 2 million copies worldwide and has been translated into over 30 different languages. In this book, he takes readers on a spiritual journey to the deepest, darkest parts of your inner self–only to guide you back and forward towards your personal truth and enlightenment.

Best Books for Interpersonal Relationships

Where do you fall on the Myers-Briggs spectrum? Are you an introvert or extroverted? Or how good are your “people skills”? Honestly, I’m pretty sure mine could use some work. And that’s why these interpersonal relationship books were created–to help us be more inclusive and open to the people around us. They’re not just here to help us make friends, but to utilize our capability for empathy and compassion to further achieve our goals.

#1. How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie

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This book is another timeless self help classic. Written by Dale Carnegie, it’s sold over 30 million copies and has been ranked by the Library of Congress as the 7th Most Influencial Book in American history. And over 80 years later, it still remains as one of Amazon’s top selling non-fiction books of all time. This book can teach you how to make friends quickly, improve your public speaking, bring people over to your way of thinking, and become a better leader. If you haven’t read this book yet, it’s high time you should.

#2. How to Talk to Anyone: 92 Little Tricks for Big Success in Relationships by Leil Lowndes

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Communication is the key to success. However, it’s too often that we find ourselves unable to find the right words or even initiate conversation. In Leil Lowndes book, she teaches you everything you need to know to get your point across–from the basics of simple conversation to advanced techniques used by professional speakers and big shots. And the book’s far from a bore too! It’s witty and quirky at just the right places and something you’ll be referencing for years to come.

#3. Talking to Strangers by Malcolm Gladwell

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Not gonna lie, I wasn’t a Malcolm Gladwell fan at first read. I never really saw the hype of Outliers or David and Goliath. But something changed after reading Talking to Strangers. Gladwell’s writing effectively made me doubt my own capabilities for sizing up strangers based on superficial values. And then it taught me how to look at things in new light. I personally first read this book through Audible, and after purchasing the text…I’d recommend the Audible version. It’s even more engaging and a great listen.

Best Personal Finance Books

If there’s one thing most of us need, it’s financial advice–or maybe it’s just me. Either way, learning how to properly save, spend, invest, and control your hard-earned cash is an extremely important part of life. The following books can give you the insight you need to start making proper decisions with your money. They’re not going to tell you exactly what to invest in though. However, you will receive practical best practice lessons that allow you to start making those calls on your own.

#1. Rich Dad, Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki

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Rich Dad, Poor Dad is a memoir-esque self help book from Robert Kiyosaki. And it’s also the number one personal finance book of all time. It compares two fathers in his life. His own–the poor dad–and the father of his best friend–the rich dad. Throughout the book, Kiyosaki redefines what it means to be rich and clearly describes the difference of working for your money vs. having your money working for you. It’s like a modern day Aesop’s fable for your finances.

#2. Broke Millennial by Erin Lowery

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Being a millennial definitely has its perks. But… it also has some definite pitfalls. One area where many millennials fall short is with their finances. From overbearing student loans, poor credit scores, and other hardships experienced, it can be difficult to pull yourself up and get your life together. This book acknowledges the Millennial situation and helps young people cope with their financial realities. If you’re a broke millennial, this may be a great investment for you.

#3. The Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsay

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This is by and far one of the best all-around finance books you’ll ever read. Dave Ramsay doles out solid advice on topics such as crushing your crippling debt, establishing a well-rounded budget, building up your nest egg, and saving for retirement. I honestly wish somebody had shown me this book earlier in my life. This would make a great gift for any college grad or young person starting out on their own.

Best Career Books

One of the biggest reasons people look for self help books is to find great career advice. Whether it’s how to ask for a raise or turning lateral corporate movement into upward mobility, the internal workings of your job can be pretty complicated. And while there’s a bunch of different books out there giving you advice, not all of it is good. But don’t worry because I’ve found three of the best career self help books available.

#1. What Color is Your Parachute? by Richard N. Bolles

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This is the world’s most popular job hunting guide in the world, and it’s easy to see why. The book is an easy read and chock full of real practical advice for succeeding in today’s world. Bolles also points out job myths and advice that doesn’t actually work. And some of it will surely surprise you. The entire premise of this book is built around Bolles’s unique self-inventory system that helps you to categorize what career is best for you.


#2. The Happiness Advantage: The Seven Principles of Positive Psychology That Fuel Success and Performance at Work by Shawn Achor

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In order to be happy, we must first be successful. Right? Well, this book breaks down the science of that belief and turns it upside down on its head. Shawn Achor makes a remarkable point: You must be happy in order to achieve success. He does this through a legitimate study into the power of positive thinkingincluding one of the largest studies of happiness ever conducted. This is a very enlightening read that every job seeker should get their hands on.

#3. Eat That Frog!: 21 Great Ways to Stop Procrastinating and Get More Done in Less Time by Brian Tracy

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If you’re a writer like me, then you definitely understand procrastination. I don’t know why we do it either. Maybe it’s just hardwired into us. Whatever the case, it’s not a tremendous habit to have. It definitely adds undue stress to what can be an already strict deadline and schedule. Brian Tracy’s book zeroes in on some of the key causes behind procrastination and how to avoid them. It also helps you to outline and develop a proper time management system. That way, you can spend less time worrying about deadlines and more time enjoying your life.

Best Dating Books

Well, this wouldn’t be any best self help books list at all if I didn’t mention some of the best dating books around. And yes, I’m far from the best to give you dating advice–just ask my cat. However, these folks actually know what’s going on. And after reading these books, none of them make you feel inadequate as a potential partner or embarrassed. I think that alone makes these books well worth digging into.

#1. Relationship Goals: How to Win at Dating, Marriage, and Sex by Mike Todd

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This #1 New York Times Bestseller is written by Pastor Michael Todd–an expert in healthy Christian relationships. Now, I’m not one for religion. However, this book still left a profound mark on me with his clever insights and motivation. And for those out there whose Christian faith is a very big factor for concern within your relationships, this is an absolute must-read. Keep in mind that this book doesn’t apply to just dating either. You can learn so much from this book in any stage of your relationship.

#2. Love Rules: How to Find a Real Relationship in a Digital World by Joanna Coles

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Today’s dating scene just isn’t what it used to be. Long gone are the days of extended courting and strict tradition. Apps such as Tinder and Bumble have taken the dating world by storm! But despite their intentions, it can be difficult to find a real meaningful relationship on these apps. That doesn’t mean it’s impossible though. Joanna Coles breaks down how to effectively utilize dating apps to find real love instead of temporary satisfaction.

#3. Deeper Dating: How to Drop the Games of Seduction and Discover the Power of Intimacy by Ken Page

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The art of seduction is exciting, bold, and trickily manipulative. And it can also leave you with a sense of worthlessness and self-loathing. Often seduction practices lead you to changing or altering your own persona in order to work your way closer to another. But what happens when the curtain lifts and the true you is exposed? In this best dating book, Ken Page teaches how to look beyond seduction. He shows us how to stop playing the short game and prepare for the long haul of intimacy.

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