Best Self Help Books of All Time that Everyone Should Read

Best Self Help Books 2019

Life can be a bumpy ride! And, reading good self help books is arguably the best way to get yourself back on track.

In this article, I am sharing the list of the best self help books that are actually worth your time (because they’ve worked for me!)

I know it is a long debate about whether self help books work or not. So, I am adding only those books that I have read myself (and learned at least one good thing from them!)

So, without further ado, here are my recommendations for the best self improvement books you should read in 2020.

List of Best Self Help Books of All Time

  1. 7 Habits of Highly Effective People
  2. The Alchemist
  3. How to Win Friends and Influence People
  4. The Last Lecture
  5. The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari
  6. Tuesdays With Morrie
  7. Rich Dad and Poor Dad
  8. Think and Grow Rich
  9. Dream With Your Eyes Open
  10. You Can Win
  11. 5 AM Club
  12. Mindset: The New Psychology of Success
  13. Becoming by Michelle Obama
  14. Touch the Sky
  15. Eat Pray Love
  16. Genius in Making
  17. Lean In
  18. Wings of Fire
  19. How to Develop a Never Give Up Attitude
  20. The Power of Habit

No, the list does not end here (yep, I’ve read more than 20 self help books :P).

The list above features the 20 top self help books but further in the article, I have shared a total of 27 books!

Now, let’s talk about each of these books in brief and how they are going to help you too.

1. 7 Habits of Highly Effective People

7 habits of highly effective people

To open this list, there cannot be a better self-help book than 7 Habits of Highly Effective People written by Stephen R. Covey.

So, I read this book on the recommendation of one of my entrepreneur friends and I really got clarity on some of my habits that I needed to change.

In my words, it is a handbook of personal and professional habits for character development.

The first three habits in the book denote the initial development of the character from the dependence to independence. The next three are about interdependence and the last and the final habit deals with the renewal of the personality.

2. The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho (Best of All Time)

The Alchemist

With more than 65 million copies sold, The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho is without a doubt the best self help book of all time.

One of the best classics, The Alchemist was first published in the year 1988 and is still helping people (including me 🙂 ) to change their life for the better.

Although this is a fictional story of a shepherd boy, his journey gives the important lesson of life. The thing I could deduce from this book is that the treasure you seek is inside you but you must follow the journey of life to discover it.

I recommend everyone should read this book at least once in their lifetime. If you want to know more about it, read the complete book review of The Alchemist.

3. How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie

How to Win Friends and Influence People

The third recommendation on this list of top self improvement books is How to Win Friends & Influence People.

When I read this book, I did not know that it was published way back in 1936. And, that was one of the things which inspired me to read it.

And, I found out that it is a timeless book that is completely relevant to the people of modern times.

After reading this self development book, I learned that effective communication is a key skill you cannot ignore and how you can use it influence opinions for the good.

I have recommended this book to many of my friends. If you also want to develop better communication skills, this one is for you!

4. The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch

The Last Lecture

Another best selling self help book that I read recently is Randy Pausch’s The Last Lecture. He wrote this book after he was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.

I personally like reading biography books as they inspire me. The Last Lecture also did it the same.

The author talks about how every stage of his life constitutes his present personality. His dreams, childhood, and his journey of being a loving professor.

I was almost in tears after reading it and the lesson of achieving a purpose in life is imbibed in my heart forever.

5. The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari by Robin Sharma

The Monk Who Sold his Ferrari

The Monk who Sold his Ferrari was the very first self help book that I read in my college days. And, believe me, it changed my perspective toward materialism and true happiness!

To give you the idea of true happiness, Robin Sharma brilliantly uses the story of a man who abandons his wealth to live a monk’s lifestyle.

The book explains that happiness from materialistic things cannot last forever. What matters the most is how you treated yourself and others while achieving your happiness.

You must go read this transformative self help book on happiness and set your life on the right track, before its too late.

6. Tuesdays With Morrie by Mitch Albom

Tuesdays With Morrie

Don’t hate me but I read Tuesdays with Morrie only after the movie was released. And, if you read it close enough, this book gives you all the answers about friends, family, love, marriage and happiness.

The book is a memoir where Mitch shared about those 14 visits to his coach Morrie who tells him about his valuable life experiences before dies due to ALS.

Mitch Albom has done a great job at writing an inspiring self help book that is so relatable and easy to comprehend.

In my opinion, if you are going through a rough patch in life, Tuesdays with Morrie is a self help book that would actually help you.

You can read our book review of Tuesdays with Morrie to find out more about this book!

7. Rich Dad and Poor Dad (Best for Men)

Rich Dad and Poor Dad

Here’s another classic self help read on my list. Because of the ultimate popularity of Rich Dad and Poor Dad, I gave it a read.

The book has Robert Kiyosaki‘s personal experiences and learnings from the days he has spent in Hawaii. The book throws some light on how a rich family and a poor family/middle-class family possess a very distinguished attitude towards money.

I liked this book for its simple principles that urge you to learn from other business leaders.

8. Think and Grow Rich by Napolean Hill

Think and Grow Rich

No self-help book list can be complete without mentioning Think and Grow Rich by Napolean Hill.

When I started reading it, to my surprise, I realized it was first published in 1937 making Think and Grow Rich one of the oldest self help book (and the most read too!)

It has inspired many people to change their lives and helped in their personal growth. I liked this book not only because it focuses on the concepts but also on the methods of being successful.

If you read and imply at least one principle from this book in your life, believe you’ll see a surprising difference in yourself.

9. Dream With Your Eyes Open by Ronnie Screwvala

Dream With Your Eyes Open

Dream with Eyes Open is the perfect self help book for entrepreneurs – no matter if you are successful or aspiring one.

Digging into every aspect of entrepreneurship, Ronnie Screwvala’s own experiences of being the young generation entrepreneur are an eye-opener to read.

It was really insightful to read the journey of the founder of UTV Software Communications Ltd as he explains the working of the new age industry.

If you are looking for inspiration and yearn to be an entrepreneur, then this book can really help you in achieving your goal.

10. You Can Win by Shiv Khera

You Can Win

A must-read self-help book for Entrepreneurs, You Can Win by Shiv Khera, is easy to understand and read. It is a guide for the ones who aspire to inspire others. It presents an approach that helps you conquer modern times problems with ancient wisdom.

Set your goals and achieve them with one of the most powerful self-help books for men who are aspiring entrepreneurs.

11. 5 AM Club by Robin Sharma

5 am club

I was so impressed by Robin Sharma’s previous book, I pre-ordered The 5 AM Club without second thoughts.

Robin launched this self help book in 2018 after the break of four years and it became an instant bestseller.

This personal development book inspires its readers (including me) to adopt a habit performed by the most successful people in the world. It talks about being an early riser and reaching every desired goal of success.

The 5 AM Club is absolutely a life-changing book and I highly recommend it to those who procrastinate and often fail due to laziness.

If you want to know more about this book, read our book review of The 5 AM Club.

12. Mindset: The New Psychology of Success by Carol S. Dweck

Mindset by Carol S Dweck

Carol Dweck, the author of Mindset, unleashes the importance of “Mindset” in this book. And as I have an interest in psychology, I picked this up.

So, Carol categories the people in two categories – first ones who believe impossible is nothing and the second ones who possess a limited or fixed mindset.

After reading the book, I agree that Mindset does play a greater role in achieving our goals. It’s all a game of psychology! (if you know what I mean)

13. Becoming by Michelle Obama (Best for Women)

Becoming Michelle Obama

Now, this is one of my 2019 favorite reads. Becoming by Michelle Obama is not an ordinary self help book.

It is the story of an ordinary woman to the First lady of America. Each page of this book can fill you with amazement.

Becoming by Michelle Obama is clearly one of the best self help books for women.

I highly recommend this book for those ladies who are struggling in some phase of their lives. Michelle’s journey will definitely help you to bounce back stronger than ever.

14. Touch the Sky by Rashmi Bansal

Touch The Sky

There is a warrior in each one of us. We just need to pull up the constraints of our boundaries to triumph the battle. Women across India are inspiring millions of women through their stories of courage and power.

Rashmi Bansal gives a tribute, celebrating womanhood by compiling the inspiring stories of women across India through her book, Touch the Sky.

This inspirational book for women will motivate them to unleash the power within themselves.

15. Eat Pray Love by Elizabeth Gilbert

Eat, Pray, Love- best self-help books for women

Elizabeth Gilbert wrote her life story talking about the times when she was going through a midlife crisis.

She was happy with her perfect life, husband, career, and house but her life got topsy and turvy after which she was devastated. This is a story of finding oneself, prioritizing oneself and treating yourself in the best way.

All the women out there who think there life is limited to few people are depriving themselves of the real essence of life. Read this best self-improvement book and liberate yourself to live your life on your terms.

16. Genius in Making by Akankssha Arora

Genius in Making

Unlike other self-help books on the list, this book talks about empowering the young-moms-to-be. Genius in Making helps women to enrich the journey of pregnancy with positivity and give birth to genius.

You might experience a whole new perspective of the concepts of teaching your child in the womb.

17. Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg

Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg

Another entry in the list of best personal development book for women is Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg.

It is a must-read book for women who are running a successful workforce. Women are playing a major role in pushing forward the economy of a country. Still, there are many gaps that need to be filled to make them part of this men dominated the world.

This book will persuade its women readers to be educated, knowledgeable and independent.

18. His Secret Obsession by James Bauer

His Secret Obsession - James Bauer

If you are looking for a relationship guide then, His Secret Obsession by James Bauer is the book you should read. It will help you in reviving your relationship or initiating something lovely for your man.

This book based on relationships covers the concept of utilizing the hidden potential in your own instinctive intelligence about bonding and relations.

19. Wings of Fire by APJ Abdul Kalam (Best for Students)

Wings of Fire

Wings of Fire is the autobiography of the President of India, Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam. It is recommended for students so that they can witness the odyssey of a great leader and learn how he had conquered all the difficulties of life.

His story of being the First Citizen of the country through the determination and his loving nature can really help you not to settle for less in life.

It is a delight to read a story of perseverance and learn the life lesson from his real experiences.

20. How to Develop a Never Give Up Attitude by Dr. Hardik Joshi

How to Develop a Never Give Up Attitude

Legends are not made overnight, they are developed with years of efforts. This book by Dr. Hardik Joshi will transform you from a loser to a legend. It will help the readers to build a never give up attitude to pursue their goals.

The persistence, determination, and purpose will lead the students towards their goals and inspire them to be successful.

21. The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg

The Power of Habit

You don’t even notice that sometimes your habits can have effects on others’ life. Let’s take an example: If you have a habit of smoking, then you are somehow disturbing the people’s life who didn’t even smoke.

This is more of a personal growth book and also one of the best self-help books to read.

The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg is one big series of stories about how people changed habits to succeed in life and what the outcomes of it are.

22. Because Life is a Gift by Disha

Because Life is a Gift

If you are losing hope and think that you are in your worsts then just pick this self-help book. Because Life is a Gift is a compilation of 15 stories of hope, courage, and perseverance. It is about the people who chose life over everything.

After reading these amazing chronicles you will definitely find yourself in the high spirits.

23. When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi

When Breath Becomes Air

Paul Kalanithi who started his career as a doctor ended his life as a patient. When Breath Becomes Air is the best self-help book to understand the meaning of life from a man who had spent his life in the search of finding one.

You will find this book compelling and will motivate you to live your life fully.

24. Autoimmune Illness and Lyme disease Recovery Guide by Katina I. Makris 

Autoimmune Illness

You may have read every book on the shelves related to Autoimmune and Lyme disease recovery, but this one is by far the best you will ever read.

This inspiring cum self help book has everything you wanted to know in one accessible and incredibly engaging book. Katina turns the current medical system upside down and shows us the true, revolutionary path to healing ourselves through modicum that time forgot.

After reading this Autoimmune Illness and Lyme disease Recovery Guide you will feel empowered by the positive energy that flows around. This is the ultimate guide giving you the best outfit of your health.

25. Live the Best Story of Your Life by Bob Litwin

Live the best story of your Life

Starting off the list of best self-help books for motivation with a remarkable book from Bob Litwin, 18-times US National Champion, #1 world ranked senior player, and an inductee into the Tennis Eastern Hall of Fame.

Bob’s writing in this book will teach you how to win yourself over the insecurities of life.

He not only focusses on the taste of victory but the real harshness of defeat which helps you to bring out your best.

The book emphasis on living the life you want in such a simplified way so that you will reach new life successes.

26. Dying To Be Me by Anita Moorjani

Dying to be Me

In this inspirational book how magnificently Anita Moorjani defines the power of will against the loss of hope.

She was literally living the hell out of her disease when all doctors had already given up on her cancer disease. She never thought of it as her end and comes out as a survivor within the dead hopes.

A spectacular story of motivation and will power where the medical theory was challenged against the human will.

27. Boundaries by Dr. Henry Cloud and Dr.John Townsend


Boundaries are essential to living a healthy and happy life. You need to learn when to say ’No’ and when to say ‘Yes’. It will make your life easy.

The choices you have to make sometimes is the hard one or it could be soft, but if you know the boundaries, then you never have to rethink about your decision for the second time.

So often we commit to others without even knowing our limits and end up having the downfall of expectations. Learning to set boundaries can make you avoid burnouts.

Henry Cloud’s incredible self-help book will give you his words to master the control of your life by learning how to set the boundaries.

Check out our reviews of some most inspiring self-help books in this section.

Final Words

So, this was it for now! I will keep updating this list with the latest self help books that I will read in the coming months.

I personally believe the self-improvement books are like that one friend who never lets you deflect from your path. These books bestow the learnings of other experienced people on you so that you can soak in those lessons in your life.

Just keep calm and start reading any of these self-help books to better yourself in 2020!

Did I miss Your Favorite Self Help Book? Tell us about your life changing book below in the comment section

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Prerna Singh
A resident of the Book World. Mass Communication graduate. Avid reader. Aspiring writer.


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