10 self-help books that will actually help you - Men's Health Magazine Australia

10 self-help books that will actually help you

If you've grown weary of generic advice and superfluous information while on the hunt for self-help books, you've come to the right place. These are our picks of the best self-help books money can buy, the ones that could genuinely help you.

The 21st century has brought about a rebirth of philosophy. More than 2,000 years after the likes of Marcus Aurelius, Socrates and Plato delved into the inner workings of the human mind, we are once again exploring our headspace and mental capacity, but this time with the goal of self-improvement and personal development. With that renewed focus on mindset as the key to unlocking our full potential, self-help books have become prime reading material.

Now, people are turning to self-help books as authorities on living, in lieu of having our own personal life coaches—those can get quite pricey. But despite widespread interest in self-help books, much of the genre remains—for lack of a better term—utter crap. In such a crowded market, plenty of self-help books make for excellent Christmas stocking stuffers and father’s day fodder, meaning that they’re usually best approached with caution. Hidden beneath a trove of mediocrity, however, is a select group of self-help books that can genuinely help you. With philosophies that, if internalised, can aid you while you’re climbing the career ladder, striving for a PB at the gym, hoping to master the complicated world of relationships, or simply trying to bolster your mental strength.

With so much on offer, scouring the self-help section at your local bookstore can be a laborious task. No matter, we’ve done the job for you and rounded up ten of the best self-help books that are available to purchase right now. Because, as many of these books will tell you, getting bogged down by an overwhelming amount of choices is one of the easiest mistakes to make, reading our whittled down list will save you time and energy. And there you go, you’re already making progress.


Mind Gym: Achieve More by Thinking Differently – Sebastian Bailey and Octavius Black

Consider this book a mental treadmill, a piece of equipment that will guide your brain through workouts designed to boost productivity and creativity. Bailey and Black show us the power of resetting your mind from automatic thinking and taking control of your actions with conscious choices. Mind Gym will help you rid yourself of mental flab and welcome a sleek, toned mind ready to tackle life’s challenges head-on.





Make Your Bed: Small things that can change your life…and maybe the world – William H. McRaven

The advice that ‘accomplishing the simple task of making your bed can make a huge difference in your life’ is nothing new. Written by a retired US Navy SEAL, this book offers a refreshing take on that near ubiquitous adage, breaking down ten small tasks that can have a big impact on your life, and as the title suggests, can even change the world.





Atomic Habits: An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones – James Clear

You’ve likely seen this book on shelves already. Perhaps it’s on your own shelf now after you received it as a gift and have since been putting off reading it. Atomic Habits has been one of the best-selling self-help books since it was released in 2018, and for good reason. It’s intense, effective, and leaves you wondering why you didn’t embark on a transformative habit changing journey sooner. If you’d never considered the power of habit forming before, now could be the time to start.




Can’t Hurt Me: Master Your Mind and Defy the Odds – David Goggins

‘Dude! Have you read Goggins?’ That’s the question frequently being asked in gyms, running groups and training classes right now, as the hype surrounding the self-help book of the moment continues to build. Can’t Hurt Me has been out for a few years, but Goggins’ high-octane, assertive and seemingly targeted motivational speeches have recently gone viral on social media, inspiring people everywhere to push that little bit harder. A former Navy SEAL (those guys are great writers apparently), ultra-marathon runner, and endurance icon, Goggins shows us how we can use the mind to discipline the body.



The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck – Mark Manson

Since its release, The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck has made for a fantastic space-filler in the aesthetically pleasing Instagram posts of influencers attempting to convince their followers that they read. This book can do much more than take up space though. Especially relevant given the 24/7 onslaught of information we are now accustomed to in the 21st century, Manson’s no-nonsense approach teaches us how to shed unnecessary mental weight, give less f*cks (as the title promises), and focus on what truly matters.





You Are a Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life – Jen Sincero

Sincero’s book is the motivational boot camp you’ve been waiting for. Everyone goes through periods of self-doubt, with imposter syndrome especially prevalent nowadays, but this book shows us how to kick those feelings to the curb. As much of a lesson in positive affirmations as it is a self-help book, give You Are a Badass a read to feel like the certified badass you are.





The Man in the Mirror: Solving the 24 Problems Men Face – Patrick M. Morley

A classic option here. First published in 1989, The Man in the Mirror is an award-winning bestseller that specifically caters to the issues that men face every day. And it’s just as effective now as it was 25 years ago. Tackling everything from relationship issues to financial stress, The Man in the Mirror is ideally suited to the modern man.






The 5 Second Rule: Transform your Life, Work, and Confidence with Everyday Courage – Mel Robbins

True to its name, Robbins’ book is the high-intensity interval training of self-help. It’s quick, effective, and pushes you to make decisions that can revolutionise your life in just five seconds flat. If you’re someone who struggles with indecision and procrastination, The 5 Second Rule will change that.





Eat That Frog!: 21 Great Ways to Stop Procrastinating and Get More Done in Less Time – Brian Tracy

No, you shouldn’t actually eat frogs, but Tracy’s book will teach you the value in getting things done without delay. With a simple mindset change, you can bid farewell to procrastination and usher in a more efficient, focused you. Devour that metaphorical frog, reclaim your time, and feel the difference instantly.





Man Enough: Undefining My Masculinity – Justin Baldoni

Dealing with incendiary subject matter that is becoming increasingly topical in a world that’s now taking a more nuanced approach to masculinity, actor and social activist Justin Baldoni takes a look at how toxic masculinity has impacted our society in Man Enough. Toxic masculinity isn’t only harmful to women, Bardoni’s work reveals its damaging impact on the mental health of men too, the result of a culture that teaches us to repress feminine qualities. This book will have you questioning what it means to be a man, and you’ll be better for it.






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By Cayle Reid

Cayle Reid is a fan of everything sports and fitness. He spends his free time at the gym, on his surfboard or staying up late watching sports in incompatible time zones.

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