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The 7 Best Self-Help Books to Buy in 2018

Find yourself in one of these versatile and mind-changing reads

By Erinne Magee

If you love the scent of a freshly bought book, the crack of its spine as you open the cover for the first time, or the simple act of turning brand new pages, you know there is something special about reading.

All kinds of books have a power over us, but some can help us in more actionable and service-oriented ways, namely books of the self-help genre. These books can help you find your passions in life, teach you how to strengthen your friendships, or explain how you can reconnect with your spirituality, among other life-changing topics.

These personal development books range from quick, easy reads to longer manuals and coffee table books. One look at the self-help section ​in the bookstore, though, and sorting through the chaos can feel nearly impossible. That's where we come in: we've curated the best self-help books on the market right now to help you find the one (or two or three) you should add to your bookshelf next

Best Overall: A New Earth By Eckhart Tolle

Many consider Eckhart Tolle one of the great thought leaders our our time. Prior to A New Earth, Tolle wrote The Power of Now, a best-seller and must-read. The reason A New Earth makes this list is quite simple: it goes beyond teaching how to live in the moment and helps readers learn how to turn their suffering into peace. All types of suffering are addressed in the book, from anger and grief to jealousy and anxiety.

Tolle talks a lot about the ego and how to separate ourselves from it. His examples and recommended exercises are not just hocus pocus; they really work and are something anyone can do. Whether your suffering is rooted in jealousy, anger, grief, sadness, anxiety, or depression, Tolle will help you see life from varied perspectives, awakening you to your life’s purpose. This book is great as a reference point, too. Those who pick up a copy will read it front to back then revisit Tolle's words over and over again. Others will keep it by their nightstands and flip to a chapter when they’re feeling some excess baggage creep in and could use some words of wisdom.

Best for Confidence: You Are a Badass By Jen Sincero

Far too often, fear gets the best of us. Sincero helps readers go beyond that fear in her New York Times Bestseller You Are a Badass. What sets this self-help book apart from the others are the engaging end-of-chapter exercises.

Instead of casting the book aside and letting it collect dust after you read the last page, you'll be inspired to go back and reflect on the previous exercises you responded to. The exercises also drive home the points Sincero makes through her writing. When you feel a dip in your confidence, going back to your entries will put a positive spin on your day and remind you why you should show yourself more self-love. Also make sure to check out Sincero's follow-up book: You Are a Badass at Making Money.

Best for Young Adult: The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens By Sean Covey

Many have read, or at least have heard about, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey. Covey's son Sean followed in his footsteps, making a spinoff version for teenagers that uses the same principles to help young adults master formative areas of their lives.

To make this self-help book age appropriate and downright fun to read, Covey breaks up the text with cartoons, quotes, brainstorming ideas and stories from real teens to bring the book together. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens covers topics like body image, friendships, relationships, goal-setting, peer pressure, bullying, internet safety and so much more. Gift this book to your teenage son, daughter, niece, nephew or grandchild. It's the perfect keepsake to pass down to future generations of teens, too.

 Best for Health: What Are You Hungry For? By Deepak Chopra

Deepak Chopra is the self-help guru of our time and any one of his books could be recommended for various reasons. What Are You Hungry For? will help you see your relationship with food in an entirely new light.

While this self-help book could be considered a guide to help with weight loss, it’s really so much more. Chopra does talk about losing weight and also gives a pretty regimented recommendation on what to eat. But he also digs deeper into the reasoning behind our desire to seek this transformation, and fulfillment is at the center of this argument. Since change isn’t easy for most, the book offers a lot of intention-setting tips to help readers determine the motives behind their goals. Attaching an emotion to the things you want in life, health-related or otherwise, makes it easier to stay the course when the going gets tough.

Best for Anxiety: Declutter Your Mind By Steve Scott and Barry Davenport

The subtitle of this book provides great insight into the heart of the book: How to stop worrying, relieve anxiety and eliminate negative thinking. Declutter Your Mind is a book that is very hands-on with its reader and full of various exercises to engage your mindset. You will learn the causes of mental clutter, how to change negative thoughts to positive ones, strategies to help with rocky relationships, how to identify what’s important to you, the importance of meditation, how to goal set and much more.

If you’re feeling overwhelmed with stress, worry, or anxiety, this powerful book will do its part in offering various techniques, tips and tricks to cope with an overactive mind. Reviewers consistently note how much they enjoy the actionable exercises in the book and that the co-authors offer more than a sermon on the importance of living mindfully and in the moment.

 

Best for Creativity: Big Magic By Elizabeth Gilbert

For one reason or another, some were turned off by Gilbert’s Bestselling Eat Pray Love. But don’t let that turn you away from reading her other material, in particular, Big Magic. If you’re an artist or creator of any type and have struggled with a blockage that prevents you from pursuing your calling to its fullest, you’ll want to give this a read.

From creating habits (and ridding old ones) to overcoming fear and surrounding yourself with like-minded individuals, Gilbert hits the nail on the head as she dissects the obstacles a creative person may face in pursuing her dreams. Her honest, conversational, no-BS tone will light a fire in your soul and in turn, help you be upfront with yourself about what you want from life. A highlight of this book is the usage of real-life examples from regular men and women across the country who have endured their creative feats.

Best for the Soul: The Wisdom of Sundays By Oprah Winfrey (and Guests)

Oprah is the queen of interviewing spiritual gurus, world leaders, therapists, doctors, and other thought leaders. The Wisdom of Sundays takes the best-of-the-best from these conversations and combines them into one uplifting read.

The book is 240 pages full of snippets from what Oprah refers to as life-changing insights. Authors in The Wisdom of Sundays include Shonda Rimes, Cheryl Strayed, Tony Robbins, Thich Nhat Hahn, Wayne Dyer, and so many more. Reviewers of this book recommend taking your time with each individual page to make sure you don't skim over any of the wonderful and thought-provoking insights inside.