I remember when I was recommended to read my first self-help book – I was a teenager crying to my GP about feeling depressed and he suggested The 5 Love Languages to try and help me understand myself and my relationships with others better. At the time I didn’t really get it and I felt really ashamed about being depressed and taking tablets. Fast forward 10+ years and my relationship with self-help books has totally changed.
After The 5 Love Languages, I moved onto Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus whilst going through a difficult relationship at university. Parts helped, but I didn’t really know what to do with them. Then I didn’t really touch them for a while.
I can’t pinpoint the exact time I reconnected with self-help books, but now I’m 30, I love them! I literally can’t get enough of them. I wrote a post about Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway and I really enjoyed it. Since then, I’ve ploughed through a couple and wanted to share the love.
You Are a Badass: How to Start Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life (Jen Sincero)
I had really high hopes for this one. I saw it in a few shops and really related to the title. Self-confidence is something I really struggle with and I wanted this book to give me some practical tips about how to overcome that. Actually, that isn’t really what this book is.
It is motivational, but it connects to some slightly more *out-there* stuff than some might be comfortable with. I’m not going to get into a debate about faith or religion, but it centres heavily around making a positive connection with the universe, sending out positive energy and getting rewarded.
I did feel more fired up after reading it and can imagine reading it again if I need a bit of a boost, but it’s not really a practical guide for feeling more confident.
It costs £6.99 on Amazon and you can get it here.
Reasons to Stay Alive (Matt Haig)
I found this book really intense. Matt Haig has had a hellish ride with his depression and anxiety and this book is a painfully honest recollection of his extensive struggle. Absolutely nothing against Matt as a person – I admire his ability to write so clearly and coherently about his experience – but personally, I couldn’t relate to what he was writing about.
My anxiety and depression has never been on that level. I have never come close to committing suicide. And because Matt has been through all of those extreme feelings of emptiness, misery and pain, I felt a little bit out of my depth. Even worse, I felt as though my feelings of sadness paled into insignificance compared to his. I don’t for one second presume that he meant it to come across that way – it probably says more about me than it does him.
But, as I got towards the end, I did love the section that listed out forty reasons to stay alive and the book made me feel more aware of living in the moment and being grateful for the happy moments in every day.
The book costs £5.59 on Amazon and you can get it here.
What do you think about self-help books? Do you like reading them? Do you have any you would recommend? Let me know in the comments!
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