Special Interest

The 10 Best Self-Help Books, According to GoodReads

  • Marilyn Walters
  • |
  • February 28, 2024
  • |
  • 13 minute read
  • |

Where can you get the inspiration to power past life’s many curveballs? Where do you start when everything seems to crumble? Or better yet, what can you use as fuel for your motivation?

Books! And not just any books, but self help books!

Almost all successful people will swear by books. In fact, some of the most successful people in the world have overcome enormous obstacles that threatened to derail their progress.

By cultivating a habit of reading inspirational books, you’ll get the chance to learn from other people’s mistakes, gain inspiration from other people’s testimonies, and, most importantly, apply the tips and lessons to your own life.

I won’t lie and say that I’ve read all inspirational books out there (Although I’ve read a couple, to be honest), but I scoured the internet for some of the best-selling inspirational books with thousands of positive reviews and reader ratings to come up with an expansive list.

So if you’re wondering what inspirational books are worth your time and effort, then you couldn’t be in a better place!

Buckle up as we take a look at 10 of the best inspirational books you should give a read in 2022, plus some extra categories if you’re looking for something more specific!

Top Self Help Books by Category

Top 10 Best Self Help Books

Table of Contents

1. Screw It Let’s Do It: Lessons in Life– Richard Branson

2. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective PeopleStephen Covey

3. Make Your BedWilliam H McRaven

4. You Are A Badass-How To Stop Doubting Your Greatness Jen Sincero

5. Think and Grow RichNapoleon Hill

6. The Four Agreements-Don Miguel

7. The 5 Second Rule– Mel Robbin

8. The Alchemist Paulo Coelho

9. Awaken The Giant Within- Tony Robbins

10. The Art of Happiness– Dalai Lama

1. Screw It Let’s Do It: Lessons in Life- Best Overall

Widely viewed as Sir Richard Branson’s best book, Screw It Let’s Do It targets people that doubt their capabilities to achieve their set goals or those who fear failure.

You’ll love the book if you’re stuck in a rut or doubt your capability to perform a certain task or achieve set goals.

In the Book, Branson reveals lessons that have helped him through his personal and business life. Despite dropping out of school at the tender age of 15, Branson believed in his abilities to create value and thus powered through all obstacles by never shying away from anything.

You’ll learn a lot about self-belief and persistence, especially when it comes to tackling life’s various challenges.

It’s also great that Branson advises his readers to ditch overly cautious attitudes and instead become more open-minded to make the most of opportunities!

Purchase the book here.

2. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People- Best for Self-Discipline

Stephen Covey is a well-known inspirational author that’s helped millions overcome procrastination, poor attitudes, and hopelessness.

As the title suggests, the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People focuses on the habits that everyone ,regardless of social status, needs to observe to achieve sustained success.

The 7 habits you’ll be reading about are as follows:

  • Be Proactive
  • Begin with the end in mind
  • Put first things first (prioritize things)
  • Think Win-Win
  • Seek first to understand, then to be understood
  • Synergize
  • Sharpen the Saw

By observing these 7 habits, you will be well placed to perform at a high level and overcome obstacles that might occur further along the way.

I’d recommend this book if you’re looking for ways to stay motivated despite having to deal with work or school-related challenges.

Purchase the book here.

3. Make Your Bed- Best for Getting Through Tough Times

Written by renowned author William McRaven, Make Your Bed is an inspirational book that aims to lift readers, especially those facing difficult circumstances.

McRaven doesn’t paint life as easy, instead he asserts that attitude towards difficulties plays a vital role in whether or not you come out strong and unscathed.

You’ll love McRaven’s tone and brutal honesty, especially as he discusses how we tend to make things harder for ourselves.

Some of the main lessons you’ll learn from this best-seller include:

  • Start your day with small wins (i.e., making your bed)
  • Seek support
  • Work hard and stay focused
  • Embrace failure as opposed to fearing outcomes
  • Take calculated risks
  • Step up instead of sitting back

Purchase the book here.

4. You Are a Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness- Best for Motivation

New York Times Best Selling Author and world-renowned success coach Jen Sincero leaves no stones unturned in his popular book You Are A Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness.

The book works as the perfect ‘pick me up’ for millions of readers across the globe and is relevant for all age groups.

The 27-chapter bestseller features inspiring stories that will leave you feeling highly motivated to change your mindset and believe in your potential.

It’s a great read if you’re doubting yourself or are facing identity issues, as it will help challenge your beliefs and promote self-acceptance.

Granted, Jen Sincero’s brilliance will leave you fired up to face your fears and challenges, but as you’ll learn from the book, motivation isn’t enough to get you over the line!

You’ll need to implement all the tips provided in the masterfully authored book and plan for your future by learning from past mistakes.

Purchase the book here.

5. Think and Grow Rich- Best for Improving Personal Finance

It’s impossible to create a best inspirational books list without mentioning Think and Grow Rich, one of the critically acclaimed personal development masterpieces of the 20th century.

Napoleon Hill put his best foot forward when creating this bestseller by describing the concept of success and the power of thoughts in achieving set goals and targets.

Should you pick this book up for a thorough read, you’ll learn everything about mindset and how you can alter your thoughts to transform your future.

It’s a great read if you want to level up not only in your career but also in your relationships.

You’ll learn that thoughts and desire to achieve a goal are what distinguish  failures from achievers.

Purchase the book here.

6. The Four Agreements- Ideal for Self Improvement

If you feel like your personal beliefs are limiting your growth and that you need to break mental shackles, then The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz will make an exquisite read.

In his bestseller, Don Miguel reveals how to cope with stressful situations and shares great insight on ways to improve your life’s overall quality.

It’s superb how Don Miguel sticks to his usual simple style, which helps make his book highly relatable to readers.

As you read the book, you’ll understand the importance of living a focused, self-aware life and how to remain consistent in your beliefs despite facing tough challenges.

You’ll enjoy The Four Agreements if you’re in search of a ‘pick me up’ book.

Here’s a quick breakdown of Miguel Ruiz’s Four Agreements that you’ll learn over the course of the read:

  • Be impeccable with your words
  • Avoid taking things seriously
  • Avoid making assumptions
  • Always do your best

Purchase the book here.

7. The 5 Second Rule- Best for Behavior Change

Tired of trying (without any success) to change bad behavior? Frustrated about how you end up repeating the same mistakes? If your answer to these questions is a big yes, then Mel Robbins’ best seller, The 5 Second Rule, can come to your rescue.

Boasting over 100,000 5-star reviews, The 5 Second Rule is a must-read if you want to break a bad habit.

Mel’s 5 second rule is simple, when you have an instinct to act or perform a certain goal, you must make a physical move in less than five seconds, or your brain will kill the instinct!

Put simply, do whatever you know is right by your goals immediately the thought pops up. Delaying the decision to act on a goal means you’ll probably talk yourself out of it.

The book will teach you a lot about setting goals, sticking to them, and of course, how to break bad habits.

The 5 Second Rule will also impart invaluable wisdom on how to put an end to negative thought processes and gain personal freedom.

Purchase the book here.

8. The Alchemist- Best for Purposeful Living

Widely viewed as one of the best publications of the 20th century, the Alchemist talks about destiny and how much the human mind is in control of it.

It’s the type of book you read when you feel stagnated or unfortunate about life’s circumstances.

In the masterpiece, Paulo Coelho narrates the story of Santiago, a shepherd boy that yearns to travel in pursuit of worldly treasure.

Through Santiago’s mystical experiences, readers learn a lot about life and self-improvement.

I’ve read this title repeatedly as it always has a way to lift my moods and offer a much-needed reassurance about my life goals and choices.

You’ll come through many inspiring quotes as you journey with Santiago until the last page.

You should definitely pick this book up if you want something to keep you motivated and assure you that everything will be okay regardless of your current situation!

Purchase the book here.

9. Awaken the Giant Within- Best for Self-Awareness

Tony Robbins rarely misses the mark in his inspirational books. Although not everyone’s a fan of his approach to life coaching, his undeniable success speaks for itself.

Awaken The Giant Within is an inspirational book that touches on the importance of self-belief and self-awareness, especially when it comes to setting and achieving goals.

As usual, Tony doesn’t shy away from delivering some stinging truths about failure, laziness, and poor attitude.

And as you keep turning the pages, you’ll learn that everything starts with the mind. What you do after waking up and your attitude towards your activities determine the outcomes of your day.

But by taking control of your thoughts and mind, Tony insists that things will start falling in place.

The positive energy will flow not only in your personal relationships but also in your finances, work, and all aspects of life until you become the giant you were always destined to be.

I’d recommend reading this book if you feel low, unlucky, hopeless, or extremely unmotivated. Tony’s hands-on approach will leave you feeling rejuvenated and highly excited about your future.

Purchase the book here.

10. The Art of Happiness- Ideal for a Calm Happy Life

The Dalai Lama dishes out his unbelievable wisdom in The Art of Happiness. Be prepared for a real awakening when you turn through the pages of this outstanding read.

If you feel like something is amiss in your life and you desperately need to ignite a spark to get your mojo back, then you’ll enjoy The Art of Happiness.

The book is brilliantly written in a profound yet simplistic style that welcomes readers to meditate on the words rather than just read for the sake of completion.

And as expected, the Dalai Lama challenges pre-existing stereotypes about worldly happiness and instead urges the reader to focus on personal intelligence and warmheartedness, as opposed to external sources of perceived joy.

The Dalai Lama brilliantly states that true happiness lies internally as long as an individual’s basic needs are met.

This timeless masterpiece is worth reading if you’re in pursuit of inner peace. Whether your work (or school) life or even personal relationships are overwhelming you, dedicating a few minutes to read this insightful book will show you how to overcome your woes.

Purchase the book here.

Why You Should Read Self Help Books

It’s normal to feel unmotivated every now and then. However, if you don’t lift yourself sooner rather than later, you might end up sinking deeper into the pit of hopelessness, loss of focus, and even depression.

Below are some of the reasons why you should consider reading inspirational books.

Renewed Motivation

Inspirational books are great tools for reinvigorating oneself. In fact, most successful people attribute their success to reading inspiring books that reassured them when feeling low or unmotivated.

If you’re going through a challenge or you feel stagnated, interesting titles like The Alchemist, Awaken the Giant Within, The 5 Second Rule, and Make Your Bed can help reignite the lost spark.

The trick with inspirational books is to be truthful to yourself and commit to learning and not just completing the book.

New Insights

As it’s commonly said, you can learn from a book what you’d learn in 100 lifetimes!

Inspirational books are snippets of wisdom handed down by people who’ve either experienced the situation or learned from others in similar circumstances.

Therefore, reading an inspirational book can teach you ways to cope, strategize, and set (and execute) goals. It’s a great way to learn from the mistakes and experiences of others.

Improved Attitude

If you commit to an inspirational book, chances are you’ll alter your mindset as you get deeper and deeper into the read.

And as your attitude continues to change, so too do your life outcomes. You’ll start to take failures less personally and eventually develop a thick skin that can overcome all the curveballs life throws your way.

Increased Focus

Inspirational books play a massive role in helping people increase their focus and dedication toward personal goals.

For instance, a book about savings and finances will teach you ways to improve your financial discipline and get closer to your goals. Similarly, a book on self-improvement will reveal the tips and tricks of setting and executing goals and targets.

Appreciating Milestones

Sometimes, all you need is to listen to others to appreciate your steps and minute blessings. Most inspirational books share stories about how people overcame massive obstacles, which can help make you feel better about your circumstances.

Cultivating a habit of reading inspirational books will make you more appreciative of your achievements, no matter how small.

Solid Foundation

Inspirational books allow you to learn from successful people you otherwise wouldn’t have access to.

These books give you the much-coveted access to the failures and achievements of some of the most successful people in the world.

You can then use the life lessons from your favorite authors to build a solid foundation for your life.

You’ll likely develop positive skills as you continue reading and learning from your mentors’ failures and successes.

Wrapping Up

Now that we’ve taken a closer look at some of the best inspirational books around, you should be well-placed to choose a title (or several) that resonates best with your interests.

Richard Branson’s Screw It Let’s Do It is an amazing read if you’re in search of life hacks and want to take every opportunity by the horns.

You’ll also enjoy Sean Covey’s The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, a proper blueprint for living a fulfilled life regardless of age and status.

If you’re feeling low and need some insights into happy leaving, then the Dalai Lama’s famed title– The Art of Happiness, can make an exquisite read.

Whichever book you choose, it is crucial to commit to completing the book in order to pick up all the important lessons.

And if you can, why not go through all these self help books? They’re totally worth the time and effort.


Marilyn Walters

Marilyn Walters

Marilyn Walters is a seasoned news journalist with over two years of experience in the field. Known for her investigative reporting and insightful analysis, Marilyn has covered significant global events with an objective lens. Her relentless pursuit of truth and dedication to journalistic integrity have established her as a respected voice in today's dynamic news landscape.

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