Our editors independently research, test, and recommend the best products; you can learn more about our review process here. We may receive commissions on purchases made from our chosen links.
Rediscovering happiness and meaning when we’re bogged down by stressors like work, relationships, friendships, and everything in-between, can be difficult. It’s so easy to get stuck in the day-to-day routine, losing focus of not only what’s in front of you, but losing sight of yourself as well.
While our favorite hobbies—whether that’s exercising, knitting, or painting—can help cultivate a sense of self, it’s really important to take a moment amidst the chaos and get inspired. One of the best ways to do that is to find a great book that not only promotes creativity but helps you put things into perspective.
Below, the best self-help books that motivate and inspire.
Girl, Stop Apologizing by Rachel Hollis
Ready to own who you are? In this book, Rachel Hollis outlines every challenge she’s ever faced and how she’s overcome it. Like a life coach on the page, Hollis’ goal is to help you take your life into your own hands. Reviewers felt like Hollis was talking directly to them, allowing them to feel inspired and supported.
Spark Joy by Marie Kondo
If you’re more a visual person, this illustrated guide is your new bible to decluttering your home and your life. Marie Kondo, Japanese decluttering queen, explains the importance of finding joy with the objects in your home, but also the art of letting objects go. You’ll find yourself becoming a minimalist after discovering her method.
Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance by Angela Duckworth
Psychologist Angela Duckworth’s bestseller speaks to everyone from all walks of life who are struggling to define themselves. Grit educates readers on the value of long-term effort and perseverance, despite not having the “perfect” I.Q. or circumstances. Utilizing both her expertise as well as upbringing, Duckworth teaches the reader that practice and passion outweigh talent and intelligence.
The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck by Mark Manson
Unfiltered and brutally honest, blogger Mark Manson tells it like it is. In his refreshingly candid book, he explains that humans are innately flawed and limited, and instead of hiding under the guise of positivity and strive for wealth, we need to accept ourselves as we are. Reviewers love his humorous tone and relatable content.
Year of Yes by Shonda Rhimes
Shonda Rhimes—yes, the Shonda Rhimes of Grey’s Anatomy and Scandal—explores saying “yes” to every situation, scary or not, in this inspiring book. While extremely talented and celebrated, Rhimes has always found herself saying “no” to things that seemed difficult or daunting. In her book, she stresses the importance of facing your fears, which in turn, brings out the person you’ve always wanted to be.
Braving the Wilderness by Brené Brown
This eye-opening book is all about connecting us with ourselves and with each other—without changing who we are, but rather, being as authentic as we can possibly be. Brené Brown uses research and storytelling to help the reader find a clear path to “true belonging”. She believes that facing the wilderness—an untamed, feral space—is your key to thriving in it.
Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert
For anyone who wishes to embrace their creativity, this empowering book is a must. Elizabeth Gilbert brings you on an inspiring journey, where she discusses pushing aside fear and frustration and opening yourself up to mindfulness and passion. We promise you’ll be itching to create something after reading.
The Spirit Almanac by Emma Loewe and Lindsay Kellner
Longing for a deeper, more spiritual life? Ground yourself with this handy, illustrated guidebook that provides easy-to-follow rituals that you can tailor to your own life. With techniques like aromatherapy and meditation, modern readers can satiate their souls and get in a clearer headspace.
Unfu*k Yourself by Gary John Bishop
Learn to love yourself—flaws and all—with this raw and honest book. Gary John Bishop helps you tackle almost every challenge—from loss to failure to divorce—by not only taking back your power but by taking responsibility for your actions. Reviewers love his straight-talking tone, which they find relatable and approachable.