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5 Self-help books for the New Year

5 Self-help books for the New Year

Don't do New Year resolutions? These five books will help you shift your perspective to create change in your life that lasts

Not everyone is a fan of New Year’s resolutions; they can feel like (another) to-do list. Yet many of us want to make small, tangible changes throughout the year, as well as in our day-to-day lives. The right book, self-help or otherwise, can open your mind in ways you might not have imagined. Below are the reads that will help you think differently in 2023. 

Tiny Beautiful Things (10th Anniversary Edition) by Cheryl Strayed 

Tiny Beautiful Things by Cheryl Strayed

Tiny Beautiful Things: Advice on Love and Life from Someone Who’s Been There is a collection of advice columns that were published from 2010 to 2012 on the literary website Rumpus. Dear Sugar was the pseudonym for Cheryl Strayed (author of Wild). The 10th anniversary edition includes a new preface from the author and six new columns. 

"She never sugar-coats her words, but they are kind, compassionate and hit you right in the heart"

From feeling stuck to trying to find love with a disability, there’s no problem too big or too small for Strayed. She never sugar-coats her words, but they are kind, compassionate and hit you right in the heart. These stories will make you re-think the big and small things, and stay with you long after reading. 

Help Me! How Self Help has Not Changed my Life by Marianne Power

Help Me! Marianne Power

Self help books can be life-changing, but many get a bad rep. Having been an avid reader of them for years, writer Marianne Power decided to put them to the test and literally try the advice in one book a month over the course of a year to try to change her life for the better. What happened was 365 days of self-reflection, both inwards and outwards, and resulted in her book Help Me! How Self Help has Not Changed my Life.

From posing nude for an art class to naked yoga and rejection therapy, the author stretched and tested her limits, often to breaking point. It’s not all nudity and walking on hot coals(!) mind, she delves into finances and dating, and is relatable all the way through. It may be her journey to self re-discovery, but you’ll think about your own life differently— and how you want to change it—as you walk it with her. 

Dear Dolly… by Dolly Alderton 

Dear Dolly… Dolly Alderton

Writer Dolly Alderton has always shined when penning life advice via her agony aunt column in The Sunday Times Style. Now her columns, which she has been writing since 2020, are all together in one place. You can really see the labyrinths of lenses she looks at life through in order to share her wisdom with readers in this collection. 

"Overall, she says to the reader: You are not alone"

In Dear Dolly: On Love, Life and Friendship, from breakups and body issues, families, friendships, divorce, social media, sex, love and everything in between, it’s all covered. Overall, she says to the reader: You are not alone

Working towards a life milestone or trying to change your path is no easy task. She knows this and advises with empathy and without judgment. You can’t have it all, she says, you must often choose to fully appreciate the life you carve for yourself. You just might need some guidance along the way. Dolly happily obliges.

The Comfort Book by Matt Haig

The Comfort Book Matt Haig

Reflections on hope, survival and the messy miracle of being alive—not easy topics by any means, but if anyone knows how to talk about life’s big moments in an accessible way, it’s author Matt Haig. He knows many of the clearest, most comforting life lessons are learned while we are at our lowest. The Comfort Book is a collection of consolations learned in hard times and suggestions for making the bad days better

Drawing on maxims, memoir and the inspirational lives of others, his words aim to lift when you haven’t the strength to do it alone. Often, when we speak of change, we don’t mention that in order for us to do that, we must take care of ourselves first. The life-changing reads that move us are ones we carry for comfort, and this is, quite literally, one of those books.

Manifest: 7 Steps to Living Your Best Life by Roxie Nafousi

Manifest

To manifest is to be guided down a path you might not have considered before—essentially the act of bringing a tangible desire or goal into reality by putting intentional energy into bringing these goals to life. If it sounds like a loaded concept, it’s because it is, but self-development coach and “Queen of Manifesting” Roxie Nafousi, breaks it down in seven easy steps in Manifest: 7 Steps to Living Your Best Life. 

"It's designed to encourage you to assess what is it you really want out of your life"

Peppered with some of Roxie’s own experiences, with exercise and various prompts, it's designed to encourage you to assess what is it you really want out of your life—and help you on the path to reaching them mentally and practically. This one is a different way to think about the goals we want to achieve over a new year, and how we might get them. 

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