As a reader and a serial worrier, I often find some comfort in a good self help book. I can spend forever trawling around the self-help and wellbeing stand in Waterstones, but I thought I’d share some of my favourites with you here.
The Life-changing magic of not giving a f**k - Sarah knight
‘The surprising art of caring less and getting more’. Sarah Knight’s title parodies the cult favourite ‘The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up’, by Marie Kondo. I read that book a couple of years ago (more on that another time), so I couldn’t resist the edgy concept of this one. As hilarious as it is, it’s a truly compelling book that is as honest as it is funny, making for a relatable read. Learn how to apply the ‘NotSorry Method’ and rid your mental barn off it’s clutter with a very frank ‘F**k Budget’. If you need a pick-me-up as well as some rather unorthodox mindfulness exercises to get yourself sorted out, you should definitely give this one a go.
And does it work? Sarah stopped giving a f**k, quit her corporate job in the Big Apple and left for the Dominican Republic to go freelance. Take from that what you will.
You can have what you want - MICHAEL NEILL
Your more traditional self-help book, this is the first one I ever bought five years ago. For a while I sat on it, wondering why on earth I’d been compelled to try reading a book that surely couldn’t change the way my life worked. I was surprised once I started reading and loved the real life examples and practical tips in ‘You Can Have What Your Want’. It puts a lot of small things into perspective and shows you effective ways to start enjoying every moment.
Michael Neill is a favourite life coach among the faces of Hollywood, working with everybody from business moguls to movie stars. He also coached and works with fellow self-help and wellbeing writer Paul McKenna. If you loiter in the self-help section yourself, you’ll definitely recognise Paul McKenna and the chances are you’ve read one of his many publications?
Happy - Fearne Cotton
I grew up watching Fearne Cotton on a Saturday morning on CBBC. Later, I watched her on Top of The Pops (who misses that show?!) and then, later still, I listened to her on Radio 1. Now, I turn the pages of her books, reading about how her battle with depression and how she copes with it to make sure she’s always getting the best she can out of life.
In ‘Happy’ you’ll find examples of Fearne doing what she does best, holding honest interviews with some of her notable friends and the leading lady of the breast cancer charity, CoppaFeel!, Kris Hallenga, on the meaning of happiness and finding determination in our darkest hour. There are also some yoga positions and meditations to try yourself, and a couple of anti-oxidant-rich recipes to help fuel your happiness. And while you’re at it, check out ‘Calm’ and Fearne’s newest release, ‘Quiet’, too!
Get your sh*T together - Sarah Knight
You can’t read one and not read the other! In The Life-Changing Magic, you learned how to ‘stop spending time you don’t have doing things you don’t want to do with people you don’t like’. In ‘Get Your Sh*t Together’ you’ll learn how to ‘stop worrying about what you should do so you can finish what you need to do and start doing what you want to do’.
Sarah is still in the Caribbean, and this time she’s got ways to tackle negative thinking and manage anxiety in the wake of a purpose crisis. Equally as entertaining to read as its predecessor, GYST gets real when it comes to facing your personal challenges and actually doing something about them. I keep both the aforementioned books on my desk, ‘cause they look beautiful and they give me a spurt of willpower. The next one I want to check out is the third instalment ‘You Do You- how to be who you are and use what you've got to get what you want’.
Forest therapy - Sarah Ivens
My current read - I’ll let you know how it goes once I’m done, but for the time being I wanted to include this for its seasonal focus on living well. Sarah was the top editor for OK! magazine before moving to the HBO television network and finally becoming a certified life coach.
In ‘Forest Therapy’, Sarah opens up about her beginnings in England and life’s change of pace as she left London and moved to New York, as editor-in-chief for OK! USA. She’s ended up in Texas, and is taking more time to focus on getting outside and reaping the health benefits of connecting to nature. Backed up by numerous pieces of research, ‘Forest Therapy’ talks everything nature, from the Scandinavian philosophy of friluftsliv (open air life), to ways of bringing the outdoors into your home. Best of all, you don’t need to be the typical ‘outdoorsy type’ to enjoy this one. Sarah looks at how nature can be incorporated into everyone’s way of life, whatever the circumstances.
Have you read some of these self-help books already? If you haven’t, I hope you give them a try. I’m always on the look out for new self-help and wellbeing reads, so I’d love to hear some of your favourites!