The 100 Best Self Help Books of All Time

Do you have moments in your life when you say to yourself: ”If I could just […]”? If you have, you probably noticed that those moments are coming out of frustrations, envy, pain, and dissatisfaction, but also from deep desire, love, compassion, and willingness to make a difference.

If you think of yours “if I could just”, do you feel the warmth of your visceral motivation like a fire inside you that is calling for a change?

Self-help is all about that fire inside you that puts things in motion, that makes you gracious in front of adversity, that makes you open to the possibilities, which gives you power and drive to follow your passions and dreams.

Open your mind to change, to personal growth and self-improvement; not because you are not good enough, but because you are amazing enough to achieve even more.

Because any journey is easier when you don’t walk alone, here you have the list of 100 Best Self Help Books of All Time:

This book has no equal. It is inspiring and encouraging, written in a modest way but presenting big ideas, looking at people with compassion yet, waking the desire to find that something that, above all else, gives you a reason to be alive, your life purpose.

This book was first published in 1989 and is a business and self-help book written by Stephen R. Covey.

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People is an interesting approach to being effective in achieving your goals. The core principle of the book is aligning you to (what he calls) “true north”, a character ethic that he presents as universal and timeless.

In this book, you can find ways to understand different perspectives, accept the fact that, even when two people look at the same thing, they can have different opinions about it.

In each chapter, Covey, talks about one habit (seven in total) that can take you closer to your goals.

Ask someone who cares about you, wants the best for you and will be honest with you, two questions:

  1. “What would be the effect on my success, happiness and our relationship if I became a better listener?”
    a. Small; b. Moderate; c. Huge
  2. “What has already been the negative effect on my success, happiness and our relationship when I have been at my absolute worst as a listener?”
    a. Small; b. Moderate; c. Huge

I rest my case.

If by mistake or miracle, you travel in time, this is a book to take with you because when it comes to human behavior, people are reacting pretty much the same way no matter where/when they live. Mastering the art of persuasion gives added power to your words and makes you a winner.

We like order and things to make sense, and because of that, we give a meaning and search for the cause of each event in our life.

In this book, Taleb unfolds the fact that most things are random, can’t be or shouldn’t be explained because the cause is not what is seems. If a cloud is shaped in the form of a smiling face, for example, it has no meaning, it just happened.

This book is for you if you are one of those people worrying and struggling to let go of those things that keep you stuck.

The book is full of examples and practical advice how you overcome your need for certainty and desire to be in control of everything.

In this book, you can find ideas and concepts about:

  • how to turn your mind on positive thinking and dream big,
  • how to make things happen because you concentrate on what could be, what is possible and not on what is there,
  • how you can make a difference spreading a good news to those around you.

Most people give up on working toward what they want because get overwhelmed, lose their motivation midway, and feel like the journey has no ending. This book talks about how to overcome all those obstacles by staying focused on one thing only, the task in hand with great results.

After many years of searching for his life purpose, trying all sorts of jobs and traveling around the world, Greene got interested in what makes some people powerful when others barely exist.

The book gives you the 48 Laws of power and knowledge about how you can implement them in your life and thrive.

This book is challenging you to reconsider your assumptions about how you take decisions, what drives you, how do you evaluate things you like or dislike. Ariely presents you in this book scientific experiments, personal experiences, and anecdotes that reveal the fact that we tend to make the same mistakes and how to avoid doing it.

In this book, Koch explains how you can become successful in your personal and professional life by doing less. The idea is that you can achieve more if you are relaxed, give enough time to each area of your life and concentrate your attention on fewer things that really matter to you.

Thinking, Fast and Slow is a book that details the research Kahneman conducted over decades, sometimes in collaboration with Amos Tversky. It covers the three phases of his career: his early days working on cognitive biases, the work on prospect theory, and his later work on happiness.

The core idea of the book is that people shift their thinking between two modes of thought: “System 1” is fast, instinctive and emotional; “System 2” is slower, more deliberative, more logical.

This book is one of those great ones that inspires you to take action, reconsider your limitations, what could be possible to achieve, and how to choose your role models.

We get distracted by so many things and lose sight of enjoying the present moment. In the book “The Power of Now”, Tolle shows you ways, the importance, and the benefits of being present in each moment of your life.

I guess you know how hard it is to make your children eat their vegetables, or succeed in the cut-throat business world and keep your integrity at the same time.

How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie is a timeless book and teaches you through practical examples how to influence others in a way that you both win at the end.

This book was first published in the Great Depression period, and the primary goal was to help people increase their income. However, the book is not limited to hard economic times, nor to growing your wealth, but it is also a window into growing as a person through desire, faith, and persistence; propel yourself to great heights suppressing negative thoughts and focus on long-term goals.

Helmstetter argues in this book that you become what you think and that most things that people tell themselves are negative. Nevertheless, this book is not meant to make you feel guilty for the sabotages from the past, but to show you different ways about how you can shift your thinking, bust your self-esteem and increase your power to accomplish great goals and dreams.

In this book, Tony Robbins gives you practical tools to become the success you want to be with integrity and ethically. Every person has talents, and it is unique in a way that makes it possible to get to live the life of your dreams.

The neurological pattern that governs any habit is a loop and consists of three elements: a cue, a routine, and a reward; understanding these factors can help you discover how to change bad habits and form good ones.

If you are a workaholic or close to being one, this book can help you to sort that out through practical techniques and advice. Life is more than just a job, a status, money or power.

This book is about how to get successful in everything that you do by making small changes long-term. Eating healthy for a week will have almost no effect, but doing it for a year does make a huge difference.

The Art of Happiness is a book by the Dalai Lama and Howard Cutler, a psychiatrist who posed questions to the Dalai Lama.

Cutler quotes the Dalai Lama putting things in context and providing details about the settings in which the interviews took place, but also adding his own perspective on issues discussed.

We are taught that allowing yourself to show any vulnerabilities can make as weak and people will take advantage of it. However, this book shows you a different side of vulnerability; that side that, actually makes you more in control, more liked and appreciated, more open minded.

You can transform and shape your environment in a way that makes you indispensable. You can create new things and develop skills and traits that set you apart from everybody else and give you the edge needed to succeed in life.

Not every person wants to be a leader because with power also comes responsibility not only for yourself but others as well. However, almost every person can be a leader if he/she has the right tools.

In this book, Maxwell unveils for you those tools and what it takes to become a great leader, an efficient and appreciated one.

When you feel stuck and need a helping hand to achieve your goals and accomplish your dreams, this is the book for you. This book is intended to help you get better organized, stay focused on the important things, and take advantage of what you know how to do best.

The Richest Man in Babylon is a collection of stories and parables set in ancient Babylon. The aim of this book is to give examples to inspire you in business and day to day life, lessons in financial wisdom and household well-being.

A wise person once said: “people that say money doesn’t bring happiness don’t know what to do with it.”

In this book, Tony Robbins talks extensively about how to gain financial freedom, how to use your wealth to grow even more and lead a happy and fulfilled life. Doesn’t money bring happiness? Maybe, but is surely maintaining it!

The central concept of this book is to organize your day in a way that doesn’t allow you to procrastinate: do first what you don’t like but is important and move forward with tasks that are easier and easier.

If you want to know how to think, work, organize and succeed like highly achieving people do, this book shows you exactly that.

Tools of Titans is a book containing tools and tactics that can be applied in any field, from baseball to business.

Randomness has a role in everyday events. However, our need to give a meaning and interpret things makes us put a stamp and categorize everything. Don’t you feel compelled to find the “why” for the events in your life, even though there are things that you can’t (rationally or emotionally) explain?

Your success in life starts with the “why”. Why do you do what you do? What drives you? What can make your offer (in business and day to day life) desirable to others?

This book helps you find and define your message and mission because no matter how amazing things you create, the rest of the world doesn’t want until you makes them want it.

Have you noticed how you think you want something today but once you get it, you want it no more? Is your fridge full of healthy foods that end up in the bin? There is a big difference making decisions based on your wants compared to your should; most likely you choose based on what you should rather that want because, (you see?) what “you should” makes you feel that you are who you say you are.

You love when people say “yes” to you. Right? And why shouldn’t they say yes when you have the best intentions and great ideas? Yes, you have the best intentions and great ideas. However, the next person believes the same about his/hers intentions and ideas. Therefore, somehow you need to make people abandon what they believe and adopt yours.

This book is a tool based on science about how to make that step, how to convince people that your message is the “right” one.

This book is based on the idea that you don’t see things that you are not looking for; drivers, for example sometimes don’t see a motorcycle because they are searching for cars and pedestrians and the motorcycle become invisible.

The world is a bit different compared to what you see. Therefore, read this book and expand your horizon, comprehension, and awareness.

Most employers believed that financial incentives would make more efficient employees until they’ve done it and discovered that money make almost no difference. This book tells why that is and how to motivate yourself and others.

From buying something to dividing chores in the family, from getting along with your neighbors to signing a business contract, all need you to know how to negotiate.

This book is a tool to use to improve your negotiation skills and get to a “yes”.

After being a high-achieving CEO, Welch is sharing in this book his knowledge, experience, and expertise.

This is a pragmatic book on how to manage your business and your life, how to become the leader you want and those around you deserve. For you to win, no one has to lose.

This is a workbook that explores the role, the ups and down of personal accountability in your work and life. Go from being a victim of others behaviors, to be a solver, the person that takes charge of your life.

This book provides you knowledge and wisdom, inspiring you to go from where you are to where you want to be using and taking advantage of the things you already have.

This book is based on the brain science, explaining how we act, how we make decisions, and what are the things that drive and motivate you. However, because just knowing the facts doesn’t take you forward, the book is filled with examples, tools, techniques, and practical advice on how to use your brain for maximum efficiency consuming less energy and mental strength.

Optimism has a positive side and a negative one as well. In this book, you can find explained the both sides, how to use them to your advantage, the benefits of a positive thinking mind, and looking on the bright side of things.

Personal freedom comes not from the external world, but from inside you. The four agreements talk about:

  • the benefits and how to achieve living with integrity,
  • why you shouldn’t take things personally,
  • when to step away from making assumptions, and
  • the value of doing your best.

This book is an educational guide to critical thinking and psychology and debates some of the most spread misconceptions and myths concerning human behavior.

Explore this book with curiosity and an open mind; allow yourself to be surprised by how many things you might have borrowed from others as true.

This book is a simple, practical, and useful advice on how to take charge of your life. Some things in this book, probably, you don’t want to hear. However, Kimberley’s casual and humoristic approach will make you pay attention and open your mind.

This book is a window into understanding better the world around you. It contains examples and exercises from many different perspective, cultures, and beliefs.

Most people believe about themselves that they are not creative, lacking imagination and dreaming too small. This book helps you rediscover your creativity, curiosity and capacity to dream big.

This book explains the science of happiness elegantly:

  • why lottery winners are not happier for the rest of their lives,
  • why blind people don’t have the same drive to find a cure as sighted people avoid losing their sight,
  • why we are so willing to forgive the ones we love, and why we are more inclined to compromise rather than argue.

If you are an introvert, this book makes you justice and puts you in the desirable category. Introverts are a special breed of people that silently and diligently make the world a better place.

Find ways to make a difference, improve your life with the help of this book and discover the importance of those who talk less and think more.

Your life seems stressful enough without adding unnecessary worries and overthinking. Right?

Discover in this book ways to let go of things that stop you living the life of your dreams, caring less about unimportant issues, and clean up the way you think about yourself  and others.

Truly successful persuaders are separated from effective communicators by rigorous scientific research and knowledge into the art of influence and persuasion.

This book is giving you access to that knowledge and helps you to capitalize on the best windows of opportunities that you have in delivering your message.

What makes you the best in your field? Perhaps is hard work and dedication, or maybe a lot of practice and persistence.

In this book, you will find how a few known figures became the best in their field and made a difference in our lives.

Ted talks are in our times the best platform to spread your innovative ideas and knowledge. However, no matter how good you are at what you do, in order to communicate your ideas efficiently and make your message count, you need to be, not just a professional, but an entertainer as well.

In this book, you can find dissected many interesting Ted talks that can teach you how to be captivating, entertaining and liked on any stage.

Your success starts with a dream and then, a plan of action. In this book, you can discover the steps to take in accomplishing your goals and get to live the life of your dreams.

In this book, Malcolm Gladwell explains the factors that contribute to your success giving many examples like Bill Gates, The Beatles, Joseph Flom, Christopher Langan and Robert Oppenheimer.

Throughout the book, Gladwell often mentions the “10,000-Hour Rule”, which is (in his view) the key to achieving world-class expertise in any skill. The “10,000-Hour Rule” means to practice the correct way for about 10,000 hours what you want to master.

This book was a number one on the bestseller lists for The New York Times and The Globe and Mail, holding that position for eleven consecutive weeks.

This book presents a simple way towards a good life in tune with those things that make you human: your spirituality, your desires, and needs, your duties and commitments.

Did you notice that the minute you discover some imperfections you might have, you get curious? Imperfections make you human, help you relate to others: need them – help them, understand them – receiving compassion.

Your mind works better in a clean environment. Is it not? In this book, Kondo gives you practical advice on how to organize your house, working space, and allow your mind to roam free.

Love language is simple and comes naturally. However, each person responds better to different acts of love: receiving gifts, spending quality time together, words of encouragement, acts of service and help, physical touch.

Find out in this book how to express your feelings on the language of your loved ones.

We are living now the era of “fitting in” as much as possible. In this book, you can find the reasons and how to fit less, the essentials in your day to day life and work time because life is not about doing many things, but doing a few things the best way with great results.

Self-love and appreciation are not a selfish act; they are a must! and are not only improving your life but also make you a better person, a more loving and understanding person for the benefit of your relationships and others.

In this book you can find what means to love yourself, why is important, and how to do it.

This book includes a bit of everything that you need to lift yourself up and improve your mood; from how to recognize the causes of your mood swings, to facing negative feelings; from dealing with guilt to handling hostility and criticism; from overcoming addiction for love and approval to building your self-esteem.

This book is fun and gentle, step by step guide to help you rediscover your creativity, dreams, and wishes at middle and old age. The truth is that we start feeling we are old beginning in our thirties.

Therefore, this book is suited for almost any age and encourages you to see yourself as you are: perpetually young in spirit and mind with the understanding that is never too late to begin again.

Where are your car keys? Glasses? Books? Tools? We all forget important things from time to time, and when that happens, we feel dreadful. Don’t you?

This book shows you ways to improve your memory and take advantage of it because most times forgetting things is not caused by a “faulty” memory but a lack of attention, repetition or connection. Your memory is just fine, learn how to use it.

This book is a collection of intimate stories told by the Archbishop Tutu and Dalai Lama, sharing their spiritual practices, the nature of true joy and how you can too be a joyful person no matter what happens in your life.

This is an amazing book for people that, as children, suffered abuse or neglect from selfish and self-absorbed, narcissistic mothers.

Do you have a mentor? A person that made a great positive impact in your life?

This book is a window into what means to have someone to hold your hand and guide you, the value of feeling understood and accepted as you are by someone that you consider wise and admire.

There are people with a big imagination, remembering their dreams as they happened in real life, needing time alone, feeling the emotions of others like their own.

If you are like that, it could mean that you are a highly sensitive person. No worries, though, this book come to your help: how to evaluate your sensitivity, how to manage it, how to take advantage of it for your benefit and others.

Anxiety is more prevalent in our modern times because the pressure to perform, compete and be the best that you can be are at their highest ever. Learn from this book ways to deal with your anxieties and panic attacks and take back control over your life and well-being.

If you suffered a trauma or work helping people to recover from one, this is a book for you. Between the cover of this book are gathered information and practical advice from many different perspectives such as neuroscience, psychology, and therapy.

This is a surprisingly pleasant book on how to create rapport with others, how to make yourself liked and get to a win-win type of outcome in your interactions with others. Life is more about how you connect with those around you rather than financial comfort. Is it not?

Awaken the creative side of you, move away from hating certain things and instead, make them suit you and fit into your goals.

Get in touch with your lost dreams and make them happen, create the things you always dreamed but never had the courage or madness to pursuit them.

You can overcome your condition and limitations. You can become the person who does things rather than waiting for things to happen. You can be extraordinary by accomplishing many ordinary things. Would you like that?

This book will challenge you to start moving, to rediscover your potential and put it to good use. Not everything needs aging to become a masterpiece; some things can be done fast with great results.

Most times you are stopped to become successful by the multitude of things you have on your mind and not by others or circumstance. This book can help you organize better your mind, worry less and think positive.

This book is an inspiration for anyone who wants to make an incursion in the minds and thinking of brilliant thinkers, follow their example in dealing with others or avoid falling into the traps of complacency, lack of courage to stand for your ideas and beliefs.

From tragedy to greatness, from despair to feeling good about who you are. Read this book and discover few of the most amazing traits of the human mind: adaptability, overcoming obstacles, recovery, finding joy and happiness in little things.

If sleep could talk would scream at you how much you need it and how vitally is to your health, well-being, happiness, productivity, and joy for life. In this book, you can find not only the benefits of a good night rest but also, how to achieve it.

Be wild and daring in your imagination. Dream big and make yourself the courage and willingness to give life to your ideas and creativity. Kleon, in this book, tells you ten things that you have probably never heard about creativity and how to use them to your advantage.

Leave behind some of your unwanted behaviors and beliefs that stopped you in the past to become even more successful with the help of this book. Yes, it will challenge you, but it will inspire you as well. The road of a great leader does start with a challenge: being open minded.

Helping someone means to know when to speak, when to listen, what to ask and how. If you are a leader or an ordinary person eager to help, this book is for you. Change your mind and the lives of others by changing your rhetoric and questions.

Maxwell Maltz, an American cosmetic surgeon and is the author of Psycho-Cybernetics. In this book, he presents a system of ideas that could improve your self-image. Therefore you can lead a more successful and fulfilling life.

Many concepts and techniques designed to help boost your self-esteem are based and derive from this book. Even though this book was first published in 1960, it is still one of the most influential and used books in self-improvement.

Someone said that children don’t have problems, adults do if they don’t listen.

Do you wonder how come you get bored easily and want more excitement every day? You, like children in school, got accustomed being entertained all the time and work become so uninspiring.

Rediscover the passion for what you want to accomplish and how to stay focused on your goals and dreams because, at the end of your life, the most precious thing you have, it will be your legacy.

Limitations or windows into what you would like to achieve in life but seem impossible right now. However, nothing is really impossible when you look from the right angle.

The Peter principle is very simple: you can improve something until one day there can’t be improved anymore and things go wrong. Read this book and find out more about this principle and how it applies to your life.

Your mind is always hungry for knowledge and information. We love to discover new things more than we love having fun, for example. Every brain is wired differently and, yet, we have so many things in common. Right?

This book is food for your brain, not just to satisfy a curiosity about how the brain works, but also to find ways to boost your mental strength and grow as a person.

This book is a collection of over 350 techniques used in NLP and aims to help you with all sorts of issues, from overeating to making peace with your past, from dreaming your future to learning self-love and acceptance.

This book helps you see the true value in every event in your life, good or bad, from different points of view and cultural wisdom, psychology, and spirituality with the aim of achieving happiness and well-being.

No matter what is your job, you will encounter many situations when you need to know how to transform your anger or hurt (for example) into a powerful conversation.​

Not to mention those sensitive subjects like religion, politics, and sport, where almost all of us tend to stumble and feel uncertain if we should or shouldn’t speak our mind.

For some reason, these days people complain the most about the meaningless conversations they have. It seems like we get too busy with life and have no time left to go into subjects that really matter and we are deeply interested in, paying less attention to who we are talking to, and more to our own thoughts.

Read this book and find ways to have great conversations, meaningful, and entertaining.

If you feel like crying, no matter your gender, that is not an issue as long as you don’t cry too often and for too long. Is it not?

Find in this book tips and techniques to deal with your emotions and feelings.

If every leader did the same thing, probably, every organization would have the same results. However, most leaders don’t have the proper tools to be more than a boss.

This book dissected for you what and how are doing things the most powerful leaders, containing examples and practical advice about how you can implement their tools in your life.

Your habits are automatic; it feels like someone else did it not you because you don’t remember how you came to do it, what was your thought process, you just have to suffer the consequences.

Change your unwanted habits into desirable ones, change your mind from working like a robot to working like a well-oiled machine.

Questions are a powerful way to build relationships, get out of tricky situations and help others. Find in this book how to ask the right questions at the right time.

Setting and achieving your goals need more than anything a good strategy and patience. Find in this book how to make a plan for your success and develop your inner strength and perseverance.

Do you remember, as a child how skillful you were to ask for what you want in a way that adults couldn’t resist you? Yes, I know, you were cute and cheeky. Find in this book ways to pitch your ideas, be irresistible and cute again.

Willpower is one of those things that people who don’t have your issues advice you to get. However, haven’t you notice how elusive and fast willpower disappears?

Discover in this book the mechanisms behind it and end your struggle to stay in control of your life and what you want to accomplish in life.

Do you know how you make decisions? How come you buy a car and why not another one? You might be surprised to find in this book reasons, unknown to you until now, about the way you decide what’s best for you.

If you switch on the TV, you could believe you are in a war zone, even though, your neighborhood could be the most peaceful place on Earth. How are you supposed to filter all the information you get every day? This is a book that can help do just that.

Discounts are not meant for your benefit; they are made to lure you in and spend all your hard earned money on things you don’t need and only to impress people that you probably, don’t like.

Find out in this book the real cost of cheap products and services and start treating yourself like a king/ queen.