The Self-Help Books (And IG Accounts) That Have Actually Helped Me

Ones I return to again and again.

I am a total sucker for any book claiming to ‘change my life’ – but as with everything, it’s taken working through a few self help book duds to uncover the real gems that truly did what they said on the tin (or cover, as it were). 

These recent favourites have basically been the cheapest therapy i’ve ever paid for (but also, obviously can’t replace therapy) and have helped guide different areas of my life.

You’ll notice that most of these books are work-books which, surprise surprise, as it turns out the most helpful self-help books are ones that actually require you to do some self-help – not just read about inspirational ways other people helped themselves.

This is a long one so bear with me, or just skip down to the header that feels most ‘you’ right now.

How to Start a Side Hustle by Kaylene Langford

side hustle

Before I actually left my 9-5, my side hustles were predominantly where I found my satisfaction (and sanity). Side hustles were where I got to step out from behind the scenes and feel that *main character* energy that I truly believe everyone deserves and needs to experience.

This debut book from my business coach and friend is a concise, clear formula for how to refine your idea and bring it to life in a way that both makes you money and satiates your soul. With remote working the norm and flexible hours on rise, there has really never been a better time to get your CEO on. 

Diary of a Freelancer by Amanda Jones

diary freelancer

Whether you’re a freelancer or not, this book filled with mini-excerpts from Amanda’s diary is the best desk side-kick – especially in lonely WFH times.

Within these pages lives the colleague that soothes your email anxiety, justifies and encourages your mid-day bath and fiercely protects and supports your big dreams. The best between-tasks procrastination read for a quick boost of moral support. It’s the “ You’re doing great, sweetie!” of work related books.

Overcoming Underearning by Barbara Stanny

self help

Ok, hear me out on this one, the cover doesn’t look sexy and it was published over almost two decades ago but this book has been fundamental in shifting my ‘money story’.

It also isn’t what it sounds like, as Barbara explains, Underearners aren’t necessarily making a pittance – they could be bringing in six-figures but still have a seriously self-sabotaging money mindset. This book will help you redefine your worth, stabilise your fears about money and feel empowered to go get (and keep!) that bread. 

The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron

self help

A classic! Julia Cameron is like your favourite Art/English teacher from school – warm, understanding and nurturing. This book helped me to reconnect with my innate creativity which had been being squashed under never-ending Excel Spreadsheets and Zoom meetings that could have been emails.

For anyone else riddled with self-doubt and self-criticism, this is a regimented but gentle way to bring play back into your life and create something to be proud of – whether it’s a painting, a culinary masterpiece (please, no more banana bread) or a well choreographed TikTok. 

Breaking the Habit of Being Yourself by Joe Dispenza

self help books

Full disclaimer, this is not for the faint-hearted. It’s a dense, quantum-physics filled read which even I have not quite finished but if you feeling are over the inspirational, ‘woo-woo’ style self-help books and want some concrete, neuro-scientific, cold hard facts about how to rewire your brain – this is for you.

When I used to have panic attacks, understanding them at a chemical level was the only way I learned how to control them and so I fully believe that education vs inspiration is sometimes the necessary antidote.

Vibrate Higher Daily by Lalah Delia

self help

This is essentially a ‘vibe-check’ in book formation to help you weed out the things that are draining your energy and elevate your mood to help you evolve into your favourite version of yourself. At a time when the vibes of the world as a whole feel pretty low, this is a must-read to help you stay afloat.

101 Essays That Will Change The Way You Think by Biannca Wiest

self help books

I read one of these every few mornings as most essays are maximum 5 pages long. From titles like “Things We Expect From Others (But Rarely Consider Changing Ourselves)” and “18 Little Reminders For Anyone Who Feels Like They Don’t Know What They’re Doing In Life” – this book is an easy addition to my morning routine and always has something to suit my mood.

One Wild and Precious Life by Sarah Wilson

sarah wilson

This book made me never want to use a takeaway cup again. Seriously. Sarah Wilson coins the term ‘Connection-Lite, as in the diet version of connection, as she gives us a long look in the mirror at the damage our constant distractedness and screen time is doing to both our relationships with each other and our world.

If you’re also constantly replying to messages with a ‘Like’ or an emoticon? This ones for you – but perhaps save it for a less emotionally-draining, non-lockdown time in life.

Attached by Dr Amire Levine and Rachel S.F. Heller

self help books

Attachment theory has been a hot topic in the dating realm over the last few years. Understanding your own and your love interests’ attachment style is the closest you’ll get to mind-reading. Be prepared to feel an avalanche of compassion after reading this one.

Instagram: Anxious Love Coach

This account validated and helped me understand why I constantly question and pull apart my relationships with people. I’d literally never even imagined how my anxiety could have been affecting my romantic relationships before this account – mind blown.

Instagram: Dr. Julie

She’s the therapist for people who just don’t get therapy. She will explain the most complex of emotions and coping mechanisms to you like you’re three without making you feel patronised with therapist-approved hacks that fit inside the time limits of a Reel.

Instagram: Holistic Psychologist

Dr Nicole LePera’s account is like a mini therapy session that interrupts your scroll. Informative bursts of knowledge intertwined with easy therapeutic actions.

Daisy Clementine is a freelance creative. Find her on Instagram here.

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