Must Read Self Help Books: 12 Books to Inspire and Motivate You This Year

PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT / Tuesday, March 12th, 2019

I have always enjoyed reading for as long as I remember. It relaxes me, and it is an activity that I consider a form of self-care. Now, while I love a good thriller or mystery novel, I also particularly enjoy a good inspirational or motivational “self help” style book. I think the self-help / self-improvement / wellness books are particularly great because they allow us to learn, grow, and simply be motivated to better ourselves.

Now, since I find reading such a great form of self-care, as well as a way to continuously learn and grow, I made a goal at the beginning of the year to read 25 books in 2019. Basically, one book every two weeks. I work in the HR department of a huge Library, so access to great books is definitely not an issue.

Now, I put this goal out there on my Instagram a few times, and every time I mentioned it, people asked me to share what I read or recommend. Sooooo, TA-DA! I created a post to do just that. The following list is what I plan to read, or have already read, this year!

There will be 12 in the list, because I plan to do some self-help style books and some casual fiction type books this year. And, because my blog is dedicated to self-improvement and personal growth, I thought it made the most sense to only include that genre of book in my list!

I will include more details around the books I have already read, and most likely add additional reviews and details as I read the rest throughout the year! So, let me jump right into them for you!

12 Must Read Self Help Books That Will Make You a Better Person


1 | Daring Greatly – Brene Brown

Literally a life changing book for me. I was actually disappointed that I had borrowed this book from the Library because I couldn’t highlight all the amazing parts that I wanted to be able to reference again later. I will probably buy my own copy and re-read just so I can do this.

So, why was it so great? Well, I think for me it was because I related to everything that she talks about in the book so deeply.

If you are not familiar with Brene Brown, she is a researcher specializing in topics of vulnerability, shame, and courage. I felt like this book was explaining why I was the way I was. She talks about how important vulnerability is and how while it can have negative emotions attached, such as shame, embarrassment, it can also have positive emotions attached such as love and joy. I won’t get into all the reasons this book resonated so much with me personally, maybe that is another post for another day, but I will quickly tell you the core lessons from Daring Greatly so that you can judge yourself whether or not this book is for you.

The first lesson was that vulnerability isn’t good or bad. It’s just a part of life and if you experience it, it means you’re able to really feel things. Sometimes those things are negative, which may not be so fun, but often times those feelings are positive and they are SO worth it.

The second lesson was that actually being vulnerable is a sign of strength and courage, not a sign of weakness. It’s a lot easier to avoid the things that might make you vulnerable, rather than to run at them head on. But when we avoid them in order to stay “comfortable”, that also means we’re missing out on possibility of some really great things.

Overall, I highly recommend this book.

Click here to read the full description of Daring Greatly.

2 | Better Than Before – Gretchin Rubin

I am really excited for this book as well as I have recently become a Gretchin Rubin fan after someone recommended her podcast, Happier, to me. I have also taken her Four Tendencies Quiz, and my results were spot on.

I am a big fan of anything that helps me learn more about myself and why I do what I do, etc., and Gretchin Rubin’s booked seem to have a big focus on just that! I will start with Better Than Before, and hopefully also get to The Happiness Project and The Four Tendencies.

Click Here to read the full description of Better Than Before.

3 | Mindset – Carol S. Dweck

I added this book to my “to read” list after another blogger recommended it to our Personal Development Bloggers Facebook Group. It sounded right up my alley! I love learning more about myself and why I do things, etc.. So, after reading the description of this book, I knew I would enjoy it.

Author Carol S. Dweck explores two different types of mindset, the fixed mindset and the growth mindset, which she believes all human fall into. The book walks you through both mindsets and allows you to understand where you fall within the two. It has really great reviews, so I am really looking forward to reading it and learning which mindset I fall into!

For the full description of Mindset, click here.

4 | The Ripple Effect -Greg Wells

This showed up in my “recommended” section on Amazon, and the description really drew me in. Now, I can’t wait to read it!

Author Dr. Greg Wells walks the reader through strategies on how to get better and stay better—not just for a few weeks or a few months, but for life. He believes that optimal well-being can be obtained through committing to 3 main things – eating better, moving better, sleeping better. The book contains small, very achievable, daily changes that you can make in your life now to see great results.

Click here for the full description of The Ripple Effect.



5 | The Miracle Morning – Hal Elrod

I have wanted to get a morning routine going for a long time now. I know If I were to get up a bit earlier everyday I would have some extra time to fit in some other things I just don’t have time for throughout my week. Yet, I fail at this Every. Single. Day.

But, basically, that is exactly what this book is all about. Taking advantage of your mornings fully by rising an hour before you normally do. So, here is hoping this book can give me the kick in the pants that I need to get my ass out of bed earlier!

For the full description of Miracle Morning, Click Here.

6 | Atomic Habits – James Clear

Something I struggle with is breaking bad habits, and also getting new habits to stick. After reading the reviews for this book on Amazon, I feel like it may be exactly what I need. People are literally calling it “life changing”. So, it has been added to my list of books to read this year!

I was torn between The Power of Habits and this one. I’ve heard the Power of Habits is a great read as well, but for some reason when I compare the two, I was just getting better vibes from Atomic Habits. I think it fits me more personally, but I am sure both are beneficial in building and breaking habits. I can also easily read both, but I think I will tackle Atomic Habits first!

Click here to read the full description of Atomic Habits.

7 | You Are a Badass at Making Money – Jen Sincero

So this is one of the books I have already read in 2019, and I did enjoy it. Jen Sincero’s first book “You Are a Badass” was literally one of my favorite books of all time, and actually a big part of what pushed me to start my blog! One of my goals in 2019 is to be better with my money. Basically I want to focus on getting rid of some debt, budgeting better, and saving more. So, when I realized Jen Sincero has a book dedicated to money, I was like hell yes!

Now, I will be clear, this book does not really lay out the steps you need to be better with money, and you don’t really have actionable steps to create a better budget or pay of debt, etc.. BUT, it is motivational and did provide me with some inspiration and realizations about my feelings around money and digging a bit deeper into certain money habits. There are some good exercises in each chapter, but the whole book is more around money mindset and manifesting than it is about actual financial advice.

Either way, I love Jen Sincero’s writing style and overall vibe, so it was an easy read and overall I did enjoy it!

Read the full description HERE.

8 | Help Me – Marianne Power

This book sounds like a super easy and light read, and in the world of self-help books, sometimes a nice light read is exactly what we need! Basically, author Marianne Power was a Self Help book junkie prior to writing her own book. The premise for her own book was basically to read one self-help book per month and put the advice into play to see what would happen.

It sounds like it will have some humor but also have good advice and inspiration as well.

For the full description of Help Me, Click Here



9 | Light is the New Black – Rebecca Campbell

This book (or at least what I gather from the description and reviews) is a bit out of my comfort zone. What I mean by that is that it is a little more spiritual based than I am used to. But, I have heard really great things about it, and judging by the reviews, it is a fairly light and easy read. The format is apparently broken into super short chapters that are easy to get through, which I love. I am definitely willing to give it a shot and always open to something a little different from what I usually gravitate towards.

To read the full description of Light is the New Black, click here.

10 | May Cause Miracles – Gabrielle Bernstein

The things that intrigues me about this book is that it is a 40 day actionable guidebook. The book revolves around the idea that simple, consistent shifts in our thinking and actions can lead to the miraculous in all aspects of our daily lives. I love that the book is actionable and has a set 40 day type of challenge that is aimed at releasing fear and allowing gratitude, forgiveness, and love to follow.

Again, this book may be a little bit more spiritual than I am usually drawn to, but I am still really intrigued by it and excited to read it and try the 40 day plan.

For the full description of May Cause Miracles, click here.

11 | Rising Strong – Brene Brown

The first Brene Brown book I read, Daring Greatly, resonated with me so much that I needed to add a second Brene Brown book to my list. I have already started this book, and just as with Daring Greatly, Brene has me hooked right away.

While Daring Greatly was about being vulnerable and having courage, Rising Strong is more about recovering when you fall flat on your face, and taking the risk to try again. The process of “rising strong” is divided into three phases. Once we understand the underlying principles of the three phases, we  can then recognize and move through them over and over to get stronger with every failure.

The 3 phases are:

  1. Reckon with your emotions by recognizing and investigating them.
  2. Rumble with the stories you tell yourself to discover your false beliefs.
  3. Revolutionize your attitude with the results that you find.

Click here to read the full description of Rising Strong

12 | Girl Stop Apologizing – Rachel Hollis

Last year, I read Girl, Wash Your Face by Rachel Hollis, and I really liked it. I like Rachel Hollis’ writing style and personality, and I found it to be overall motivational, humorous, and just an easy and fun read.

Rachel Hollis now has a new book out, and I figured I would probably like that one too! Girl, Stop Apologizing, is all about learning to be who YOU want to be and owning what you want out of life. Hollis addresses how many women define themselves in light of other people’s expectations, and often lose who they truly are or what they really want in life. This book is all about following your dreams and having the courage to believe in yourself.

To read the full description of Girl, Stop Apologizing, Click Here.




So, there you have it! Those are the books I plan on reading in 2019. Have you read any on the list? What were your thoughts? Do you have any Must Read books? Let me know in the comments below! 


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One Reply to “Must Read Self Help Books: 12 Books to Inspire and Motivate You This Year”

  1. Mindset from Carol S. Dweck sounds interesting! I’m a big fan of her approach she’s taught me to harness the power of “not yet”. Now whenever I think “I can’t do this” or “I’m not good at this” I re-frame it to “I can’t do this YET” or “I’m not good at this YET”. Sounds so simple but that mindset change totally transforms how I feel about myself.

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