Top five qualities to look out for when choosing a self-help book

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Are you wanting to become the best version of yourself? The start of spring is one of the most significant times to make lifestyle changes, and with thousands of books to help kick-start the improved you, it can be tricky to know what to look for. Likewise, with April being Stress Awareness Month, many people will focus their efforts on their stress levels and look for ways to relieve this through various methods, including motivational books.

Following the search term for ‘self-help books’ generating approximately 5,400 searches per month¹, and the term ‘stress awareness month’ seeing a +469% spike compared to 2018², self-development and help books are popular choices for people looking to improve areas within their lives.  

With this in mind, I have shared the top five factors to consider when deciding on your next or first self-help book this month:

Can the book easily be used as a lifestyle tool?

As much as the content within the book should guide, support and help solve personal obstacles, it’s incredibly beneficial to look out for books which encourage a plan of action, allow you to think deeper into individual areas of improvement, root causes of personal obstacles, and help you to follow through with future goals. 

Self-help books which provide a safe space for you to write down thoughts and treat the book as a journal, will help you break down personal goals, daily stresses, and create a clear game plan, which can then be implemented into your daily life.

Offers actionable lifestyle suggestions  

Essentially, it’s important to look out for a book which balances a compelling story but also takes you aside every so often to bring you back to why you are here reading the book in the first place. 

Offering a clear space for readers to continuously come back to their own thoughts and think about how they can implement changes will be very beneficial. Finding a book which breaks the actions into bite-sized sections will help you digest the separate elements and help you to retain a clear focus throughout the book.

Will the book motivate your individual needs?

Before reading a self-help book, the question you should ask yourself is what you want to gain from reading the book. Although most people wouldn’t go for a book which screams the complete opposite of what they are looking for, it’s nonetheless important to feel somewhat invested in the overarching story and direction of the book before spending your time reading it.

Many self-help books are based on real-life journeys, overcoming challenges, and, in some cases, beating a life-changing health diagnosis. Therefore, it’s worth picking a story which resonates with you and will provide an all-encompassing read. 

 The author

When searching for a self-help book, ideally, the book should be written by a health professional. In this case, it’s worth researching who the author is. Within such a crowded market, it’s important to check if the author has a credible background, has acquired specialised academic qualifications in the relevant areas, and maintains a career in the health and wellbeing industry.

Similarly, although the author may offer credible advice, it’s sometimes hard to understand if they truly live by the practices they promote. Therefore, it’s beneficial to do a little research into the author’s reputation, other business ventures alongside said book, their website, business service or book reviews and social media.

Does the book offer a compelling story?

Finding a self-help book that tells a gripping and inspiring story will be beneficial. Although self-help books are to encourage self-reflection, it’s equally important to find a story which grips and absorbs you as any other genre would.

Likewise, discovering a book that demonstrates a unique journey, finished with a successful and positive way out, will help drive you to take a similar approach to your own obstacles. 

If a story displays vulnerability and honesty throughout, as well as a heartening turn of events, you can connect much more authentically, thus, implementing more authentic lifestyle changes. 

Finding the right self-help book

Finding the right self-help book for the individual is a matter of subjectivity. It’s about connecting with a story and letting that motivation feed the improvements you want to implement in daily life. 

My book, I Am Not My Diagnosis, is my story. It’s real life. It’s what I have done to get to where I am now, and It’s everything I did, step by step. The book truly represents how I continue to live my life. This book is unique because I don’t just sell this life; I use myself as my own science experiment, constantly learning and finding new techniques to help people become better versions of themselves.

There are parts throughout the book which include self-reflective tasks. This essentially allows the reader to use this book as a self-reflective tool and a helping hand to implement tangible changes into their daily lives.

If you’d like to know more about the holistic approach, sign up for one of our courses, pre-order our book or book in a clarity call today. Alternatively, check out our social media channels, including Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn, for expert insight into holistic health.


  1. SERanking monthly keyword data for the term ‘self-help books’ correct as of April 2023
  2. Google trends data for the term ‘stress awareness month’’ correct as of April 2023

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