12 Life-Changing Reads & Self-Help Books For 2019

With attempts to renew hope and motivation for the New Year, I thought I’d share a few life-changing reads and self-help books to reignite your spark. These are reads to inspire, encourage, empower and enlighten, with a particular focus on chronic illness and mental health. Happy reading!


You Can Heal Your Life – Louise L. Hay

This is an international bestseller by a lady who’s top of the field when it comes to self-help. She covers practical ways to enrich your life and heal with illness, exploring the mind-body link to harness its power.

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The Art of Happiness : A Handbook For Living – The Dalai Lama

I own this book myself and found it to be a humbling, eye-opening and heartwarming read that’s as grounding as is it inspiring.

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The Book Depository


The Subtle Art of Not Giving A F*ck : A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life – Mark Manson

I bought this one after reading F*ck It (also on this list). It’s an approach that has a lot of potential, especially for those who perhaps care too much about the things that, in the grand scheme of life, aren’t that important.

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The Book Depository


You Are A Badass : How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life – Jen Sincero

This is on my to-read list. It’s received a lot of positive feedback and should prove to be a motivating, engaging and entertaining read if you need a breath of fresh air to your life.

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The Book Depository


Living Well With Pain And Illness: Using mindfulness to free yourself from suffering – Vidyamala Burch

Mindfulness can be a powerful tool for mental health, and it is increasingly being used in the management of physical health, chronic illness and chronic pain, too.

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The Book Depository


Be Your Own Thyroid Advocate – Rachel Hill

Following on from my interview with Rachel, I wanted to include her amazing book in this list. It’s a thorough resource and vital tool when it comes to the challenges faced with diagnosis, treatment, management and living with thyroid problems.

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The Power of Now : A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment  – Eckhart Tolle

I read this a couple of years ago but I’d like to give myself a refresh and pick up a copy again soon. This also had a positive reception by readers, and it offers a new perspective on life that can be applied by anyone, unlocking, as the title suggests, the power found within the here and now.

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The Book Depository


F**k It : The Ultimate Spiritual Way – John C. Parkin

This was the first book I read that opened my eyes to the power of saying “f*ck it”. I care too much about too many things and about too many things that are not worth caring so much about. If you’re anything like me – a chronic over-thinker with high anxiety – you may also find that implementing the approach of saying “f*ck it” (which is very different to being apathetic) to certain things can be immensely freeing.

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The Book Depository


You Don’t Look Sick! : Living Well With Chronic Invisible Illness – Joy H. Selak

This is a bit of a classic within the chronic illness niche but I must admit I’ve not read it myself yet. It’s on my to-read list. It’s a handbook for life with chronic, invisible illness and it gets a lot of positive reviews from those who have found it comforting, inspiring and insightful.

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The Book Depository


How to Be Human: The Manual – Ruby Wax

This is one I’ve just started the first few pages of & I can’t wait to read more. I wanted to include something a little different, so here it is. Ruby Wax, bringing you a comical yet clever book on what it means to be human and how to be human. Most of it is set as a conversation between Ruby, a neuroscientist, and a monk, so it’s certainly an original one! A guide with intellect and giggles.

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The Book Depository


Ikigai: The Japanese secret to a long and happy life – Héctor García 

You may have heard of hygge, but here comes Ikigai. This Japanese term, relating to “a reason for being”, looks at the overlapping aspects of life and wellbeing and how the vibrant elements of your life add up and combine to bring value and meaning to who you are and your overall happiness.

Amazon UK

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The Book Depository


Happy: Finding joy in every day and letting go of perfect – Fearne Cotton

A surprise entry to the list here comes from Fearne Cotton. It’s a bestseller and it’s a comforting, enjoyable, fresh read for taking a new perspective on life and finding simple pleasures, adjusting your need for perfection and seeking out happiness in everyday life.

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Do any of these pique your interest? Have you read any already? Or maybe there’s a book you’d like to add to the list that you think is a life-changing read for this year?



  1. January 10, 2019 / 4:16 pm

    It’s amazing how these books can help those that think they are doing something alone. We are not alone.

    Have a fabulous day, my friend. ♥

    • January 14, 2019 / 4:41 pm

      Reading such books can bring great comfort and a sense of togetherness, reminding us we’re not alone and that a lot of what we struggle with are things others do too. Thanks for the comment, Sandee. I hope you have a lovely week 🙂

  2. January 10, 2019 / 4:33 pm

    A great collection of self-help reading for the new year

    • January 14, 2019 / 4:42 pm

      There’s so much choice out there but these seemed fitting for starting the New Year. Thanks John! Have a great week =]

  3. January 10, 2019 / 4:47 pm

    This is a wonderful list you’ve put together! I would like to add two more titles, especially for anyone suffering from depression:

    Lets Pretend This Never Happened, and Furiously Happy, both by Jenny Lawson. She’s an amazing writer who weaves great humour amongst her true life stories to the point you’ll be wiping tears from your eyes. You’ll sympathize with her husband Victor, and marvel at Giant Chickens but you won’t forget Jenny by the time you’re done reading her books.

    • January 14, 2019 / 4:47 pm

      I’m glad you liked the list, and thank you so much for sharing your added recommendations, Pamela! I hadn’t come across either of those so I’ll be sure to check them out. The next time I do a book suggestion post I’ll have to remember to include Jenny, too. Thanks again lovely 🙂

  4. January 10, 2019 / 4:51 pm

    A part of my 2019 blogging goals include self investimemt. 2018 had too many blogging ups and downs that were emotional. I plan to focus on harnessing positive influence so I’m going to check out some of these. Thanks for the list.

    • January 14, 2019 / 4:48 pm

      Self-investment is an excellent goal for the year, Alice. These sorts of books are great for generating positive vibes, so I hope you enjoy any that you check out! 🙂

  5. January 10, 2019 / 5:35 pm

    This is an excellent list! Thanks for sharing!❤

    • January 14, 2019 / 5:16 pm

      Glad you thought so, thanks Richa! 🙂

  6. January 10, 2019 / 6:05 pm

    Several of these I’ve read and several others I’ll be adding to my list of books to read!

    • January 14, 2019 / 5:28 pm

      Of the ones you’ve read, which was your favourite/would you recommend? Glad I could add a few newbies there you’ve not checked out yet! 🙂

  7. January 10, 2019 / 7:16 pm

    Good list of books here. Some of them are very positive and helpful (at lease they appear to be when reading the title).

    • January 14, 2019 / 5:34 pm

      I’ve tried to go for ones that are in some way inspiring, supportive or help with getting a different perspective on things. I’ve read several, and the rest are ones that get good reviews, so hopefully they all have a positivity to them that will rub off when reading. Thanks for the comment! =]

  8. January 10, 2019 / 10:12 pm

    Great selection!. I’ve read a few of them, and interested in the ones I haven’t. Thanks Caz.x

    • January 14, 2019 / 5:35 pm

      Some are quite popular/well known ones, others not so much. Of the ones you’ve read, what’s your favourite or one you’d recommend?
      Thanks for the comment, Toni. I hope this week treats you kindly 🙂

  9. January 10, 2019 / 10:43 pm

    I had to have a look at your list! I have read only two of the above plus the ‘Happy’ journal. I must admit I have a stack of books to get through yet… but these look FAB! Thanks Caz!

    • January 14, 2019 / 5:39 pm

      Did you like the journal? I love having books to read, you can never have too many! Happy reading, Kim  ♥

  10. January 10, 2019 / 10:59 pm

    And there’s always the healing power of fine literary fiction. It reaches our hearts on a whole different level – case in point is “The Humans” (about an alien who’s out to kill humankind!) by Matt Haig, which leaves one feeling more human and worthy of living than ever. He writes often about mental illness.

    • January 14, 2019 / 5:42 pm

      You’re absolutely right, literary fiction can be incredibly powerful. Thanks for the recommendation with Matt Haig and The Humans, I’ve made a note to check it out! I hope you have a lovely week ahead 🙂

  11. January 10, 2019 / 11:58 pm

    I’ve read the second book in your list and can totally recommend.

    • January 11, 2019 / 5:25 am

      Me too!!

    • January 15, 2019 / 4:54 pm

      So that’s 3 votes with me, you & Wendy on that book, it’s excellent! 🙂

  12. jc allgood
    January 11, 2019 / 3:56 am

    thank you so very much for this awesome booklist! there are a few that I have not heard of and look forward to checking them out. bless you!

    • January 15, 2019 / 4:53 pm

      You’re welcome, I’m glad you liked it. I hope you can find a few you like – Happy reading, and thanks for the comment! 🙂

  13. January 11, 2019 / 5:25 am

    I was pleased to see that I actually have a few of these.
    I know it’s an older book, but I wholly recommend, “How to be sick” by Toni Bernard
    or her follow up books.
    It was life changing for me, honestly.
    Thanks for the list!

    • January 15, 2019 / 4:50 pm

      I’ll investigate what else she’s written, but I’ll certainly check out the older ‘How To Be Sick’ too so thanks for the recommendation! I’m glad you’ve found her work life-changing, that’s the mark of an excellent book right there 🙂

  14. January 11, 2019 / 6:42 am

    Best collection and thanks for sharing this.

    • January 15, 2019 / 4:38 pm

      And thank you for the comment! Have a lovely rest of your week =]

  15. January 11, 2019 / 9:52 am

    I have this little book about writing a thought a day, and its really nice to have this little reminder to get you through the day, even if its bad its somewhere to vent!

    • January 15, 2019 / 4:37 pm

      Aw that sounds lovely. Does it guide you through writing down the thoughts each day, or is it like a blank notebook inside? I think the reminder to have something positive and/or to vent when you need to is something a lot of us could benefit from! 🙂

  16. January 11, 2019 / 3:07 pm

    Love the idea of Ruby Wax’s book, I think she is fab. I also have the Fearne Cotto one that I have on my coffee table and I dip in and out of it 🙂 .Thanks so much, definitely going to check some of these out! xx

    • January 15, 2019 / 4:28 pm

      I’ve just picked up a copy of Fearne’s book today so I’ll look forward to that. Have you been enjoying it? Ruby Wax is great, and the book is certainly different, especially given the three different perspectives given. I wouldn’t expect light reading from it (I’m only part way through) but definitely humorous and eye-opening. Thanks for the comment, Jen – I hope you’re doing ok and being taken care of well during your treatment xxxx

  17. January 11, 2019 / 4:09 pm

    Great compilation and I was looking for something like this .Thanks for this list Caz!

    • January 15, 2019 / 4:27 pm

      Really pleased you liked it, I hope you find something you’d like to read & that you enjoy! 🙂
      Have a lovely week Nisha xx

  18. January 11, 2019 / 5:33 pm

    I have heard of a couple of these. I have read lots of philosophy books but never read a book with the focus of self-help. Reading fiction helps me loose my mind into another dimension so that I can forget all about my conscious self. Books have helped me even when not specified as self-help. Thank you for this list! I think I will read a few in 2019!
    Erin | http://kittyjadeblog.com

    • January 15, 2019 / 4:20 pm

      Philosophy-related reads can be great for challenging thinking and perspectives, and self-help style books are great at helping you feel less alone, providing some support, showing new ways of looking at things. I do like fiction for losing myself too, just to distract and rest my brain a bit, so I’d totally agree they’ve helped me too despite not being ‘self-help’. Very good point! Thanks for sharing lovely xx

  19. January 11, 2019 / 7:21 pm

    You have some great suggestions here Caz – some I know but others are new to me. Off to buy some new reads now…..Claire xxx

    • January 15, 2019 / 4:14 pm

      Glad you liked them Claire, I tried to pick ones that would in some way either inspire, support or provide a fresh perspective. Some I’ve read and wanted to recommend, others are on my TBR list. I hope you enjoy any that you check out. Happy reading!! 🙂

  20. Lisa Keeble
    January 13, 2019 / 9:31 am

    These are great recommendations, especially the ‘fuck it’ books; like you I’m learning that’s a pretty good attitude to have ;O) x

    • January 15, 2019 / 4:13 pm

      It definitely is, even though it can be hard to put into practice! Thanks for the comment, Lisa – I hope your week is going well & that you’re not giving too many fucks about the small things! 🙂

  21. January 13, 2019 / 11:23 am

    I love The Subtle Art of not Giving a F*ck. The author’s take on certainty was pretty legit. The cover of How to Be Human is gorgeous. I love to read books with pretty covers.

    • January 15, 2019 / 4:12 pm

      Glad you liked it too, it’s definitely a fresh perspective on things that makes a lot of sense! I thought the same with the Ruby Wax book cover, always get tempted by a book when the cover is pretty 🙂
      Thanks for the comment – I hope your week’s going well xx

  22. January 13, 2019 / 10:52 pm

    Great choice of books Caz. I listen to Louise Hay for her postitve affirmations on YouTube and I’m all about the Power of Now.
    T xx

    • January 15, 2019 / 4:08 pm

      I hadn’t thought of checking out YouTube, but I’m glad you like her too, I think she’s fab! Thanks for the comment =]

  23. January 14, 2019 / 2:53 am

    Thanks for compiling this interesting list! I’d really like to read The subtle art of not giving. a f***
    I worry way too much. Also curious now about Ruby Wax’s offering! I’ve found Buddhism plain and simple by Steve Hagen comforting (though I’ve not finished yet)

    • January 15, 2019 / 3:33 pm

      I loved that book, The Subtle Art of Not Giving A F*ck. It’s like a breath of fresh air! A new perspective on things for sure, especially for those like us who worry or stress too much. Thanks for the tip on Steve Hagen’s book, I’ll have to add that to my list to check out! Thanks for the comment – Happy Reading 🙂

  24. January 14, 2019 / 5:55 pm

    There is a great selection here! I will add some of themto my Audible wish list! Thank you so much for the post! I just found your site and I love it!

    • January 15, 2019 / 3:31 pm

      I’m so glad you like the post, & the site. Thank you for the comment, it’s wonderful to have you here! I hope you find some good reads from the list to enjoy this year =]

  25. January 14, 2019 / 6:00 pm

    Thank you for featuring Be Your Own Thyroid Advocate – also, I have Fearne Cotton’s in my ‘to read’ list too, along with all her others! They look promising. Also added a bunch more from this article. <3

    • January 15, 2019 / 3:30 pm

      It’s my pleasure! I’ve just picked up a copy of Happy today so I’m looking forward to seeing what it’s like too. Enjoy – happy reading! 🙂

  26. January 15, 2019 / 3:17 pm

    I love self-help books. Several good ones on your list. Thanks, Caz!

    • January 15, 2019 / 3:29 pm

      I tried to go for ones that offer something a little different & are truly good reads. Thanks lovely, glad you liked the list! 🙂

  27. January 28, 2019 / 4:09 am

    I have read about half of these and really enjoyed them, so I look forward to checking out the other half!

    • January 28, 2019 / 8:59 am

      That’s great, Lindsay – did you have a favourite from the ones you’ve read? I hope you enjoy some of the others if you do check them out =]

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