Skip to Content

The Best Self Help Books to Read in the New Year

Looking for the next good self help book? You’re in luck! I have put together a long list of the best self-improvement books to read or listen to this year. I am a big reader and love peppering in self-improvement books throughout the year.

While I enjoy the act of reading a physical book, this year I relied heavily on Audible to listen to all of my books. I have found that by downloading the audio version, I actually listen to the books more than once!

8 self help book recommendations for 2020

My Top Self Help Books to Add to Your Reading List

Quit Like a Woman | The Radical Choice to Not Drink in a Culture Obsessed wth Alcohol by Holly Whitaker

A few of my friends shared this book and I reluctantly decided to read (listen) to it. I wanted a reset after the overconsumption of quarantine days in 2020 so this book seemed like a good fit. At the end of the introduction to this book, Holly Whitaker says that you won’t be able to unlearn what you read in this book and it is absolutely true. I have always been a casual drinker, but after reading this book I looked at my alcohol consumption in a completely different way. I immediately cut back on how much I drank by probably 80% and in the last few months have completely eliminated alcohol from my diet.

“We live in a world obsessed with drinking. We drink at baby showers and work events, brunch and book club, graduations, and funerals. Yet no one ever questions alcohol’s ubiquity—in fact, the only thing ever questioned is why someone doesn’t drink. It is a qualifier for belonging and if you don’t imbibe, you are considered an anomaly. As a society, we are obsessed with health and wellness, yet we uphold alcohol as some kind of magic elixir, though it is anything but.” – Holly Whitaker

The Miracle Morning: The Not-So-Obvious Secret Guaranteed to Transform Your Life – Before 8AM by Hal Elrod

These last few years I have struggled to wake up at the time that I really want. This book lays out the benefits of waking up early and tips for avoiding the snooze button. I would listen to this book on the way to my 6 am workout class and it helped!

The Secret by Rhonda Byrne

I finally decided to check out The Secret. While it can get a little cheesy, and to be clear, I do not believe everything I read/hear in these books, but overall I took away some useful tips.

Ninja Selling: Subtle Skills, Big Results by Larry Kendall

As a real estate agent, this book was extremely helpful! This year I also attended the Ninja Certification course and I highly recommend it to all real estate agents. Larry Kendal shares selling methods and systems to become have an effective sales career and reach your goals.

The Road Back to You: An Enneagram Journey to Self-Discovery by Ian Morgan Cron

If you love referencing your Enneagram personality, this is a fun book to read. The Road Back to you describes each personality type in-depth and helps to better understand family, friends, and peers.

“The Enneagram is an ancient personality type system with an uncanny accuracy in describing how human beings are wired, both positively and negatively. In The Road Back to You, Ian Morgan Cron and Suzanne Stabile forge a unique approach – a practical, comprehensive way of accessing Enneagram wisdom and exploring its connections with Christian spirituality for a deeper knowledge of God and of ourselves.”

When: The Scientific Secrets of Perfect Timing by Daniel H. Pink

This is a fascinating book about the right timing. Daniel Pink dives deep into why we behave the way we do and how timing affects how we react to life events. He answers questions around the best time to get married, when you are most likely to run a marathon and when you may be most productive.

Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance by Angela Duckworth

This is a great book about why some people succeed while others fail. Angela Duckworth lays out her case for why she believes “grit” is the common denominator with high achievers and not talent. If you are starting out on a new career path, this is an encouraging book.

Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less by Greg McKeown

In an age where everyone is always so “busy”, this is a fantastic book that teaches you how to cut out all of the nonessential tasks in your life. This book helps you to figure out what is most essential to reach your goals and without getting overwhelmed. If you are looking for guidance on time management, I would recommend this book. I am currently listening to it for a second time to continue to improve my time management skills!

Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Action by Simon Sinek

If you are the leader of a team or starting your own business, this is the perfect book to read. This takes a look at the most influential leaders in recent times and breaks down how they think, act and communicate the same way. If you are in a position where you want to influence others in a positive way (shout out to all of my influencer friends!) check this book out.

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

If all of these positive thinking, self-help book recommendations don’t sit well with you, then this may be your book! Personally, I think it is sharing the same message but in a blunt way that isn’t sugar-coated. Yes, never giving up and keeping a positive attitude is great as you are trying to create a wonderful life, but not everything comes easy. Many steps on your journey are going to suck and you are going to be scared. Once you learn to accept these emotions, you will be able to achieve your goals faster.

Joyful: The Surprising Power of Ordinary Things to Create Extraordinary Happiness by Ingrid Fetell Lee

I have talked about this book A LOT this past year because it really had a big impact on me! This book is great for anyone interested in adding more joy into their life. After reading this book I had a new perspective on everything around me. Why do fireworks universally make people happy? What is it about a cluster of bright balloons that captures our attention?

Check out a full blog post I wrote about using the 10 aesthetics of joy for interior design!

Talking to Strangers: What we Should Know About the People We Don’t Know by Malcolm Gladwell

Malcolm Gladwell revisits well-known stories/events where most people made immediate judgments. He takes a deep dive into each situation and gives a new perspective on them. The book includes fascinating research on everything from facial expressions to media bias and how we often misjudge others.

Building a StoryBrand by Donald Miller

This book helps business owners identify what makes them unique to their customers. I started my business a few years ago and have constantly struggled with clarifying our message. I frequently replay this audible book to remind myself how to stay on message.


More Memoirs & Historical Books You Will Love

Looking for an interactive experience in addition to reading self help books? Check out my recap of my three-day mediation retreat at Tao Mago in Sedona. It was an eye-opening experience and a great way to start a new year!


Pin the Image Below!

Pin the image below to easily reference this list of self help books for the new year!

8 Self Improvement Books to Add to Your 2020 Reading List #newyearsresolutions #selfimprovement #bookrecommendations #selfhelpbooks #readingrecommendations