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Mental Health

Four Self-Help Books You Should Read

Reading has always been something I tell myself to do more of, but still, never take the initiative to add it to my daily routine. After scanning textbook after textbook for all of my classes, the last thing I think to do is pick up a book. Luckily, in March amidst quarantine, I finally felt the time was right to do some self-reflecting as the world felt at a standstill. Many people are hesitant to pick up self-help books because they think the content is common sense, however, they tend to prompt you to change your behaviors by offering a new perspective. If I could tell you to start reading any books, these are the four I would recommend regardless of your age, religious views, or interests:

1. The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle

Out of all of these books, The Power of Now has the most spiritual approach as it describes effective strategies to live an enlightened life. Just as the title states, it focuses on why living in the present moment, as opposed to the past or future is essential for creating a purposeful life. Tolle guides you toward breaking away from your ego.

2. The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*** by Mark Manson

You’ve probably seen the bold font and bright orange cover sitting front and center on the stands of every bookstore you’ve walked into. Just as Mark Manson’s title states, this book doesn’t sugarcoat the realities of life. The powerful thing about this book is that Manson makes every concept so simple. As humans, we tend to self-sabotage and put energy into things that are a waste of time. This book explains why it’s so crucial to live each day more carefree. Manson’s sense of sarcasm also makes this a quick read.

3. The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz

At a young age, both of my parents encouraged me to pick up The Four Agreements, telling me that if there was only one book I should read it should be this. One of the most important aspects of the human condition is developing morals. Ruiz shares his wisdom concisely on how to do so by following four easy beliefs. No matter what point you are at in your life, the content in this book is applicable. Each time you read this, you gain a better understanding of yourself and your values.

4. Atomic Habits by James Clear

Lastly, Atomic Habits is the least metaphorical, but it provides frameworks for changing your routines. There are many flaws in the ways we set personal goals, and Clear describes why creating systems behind them is the more important step. The idea and desire for change is there, the thing we tend to lack is the execution. One of the biggest takeaways I received while reading through this book is that the smallest changes add up over time and that’s why being consistent is key. 

*Edited 9/20 by Emma Hudziak


Hi, I'm Isabelle! Currently, I'm a senior studying Public Communication at the University of Vermont in Burlington, VT. I have a concentration in Communication Design as I am passionate about aesthetics. Some of my interests include graphic design and journalism.
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