The ultimate list of self-help books that will change your life.

There’s nothing more exciting than reading a book and having your own little ‘aha moment’.

That moment when you read a passage from one of your favourite self-help authors and suddenly everything clicks into place, you finally feel like someone gets you and you now have the tools to change your life.

Of course, then you have to actually go out and change your ife, but at least you’ll have a handy little self-help book to refer to.

Here’s our round up of the ultimate self-help books:

Eat Pray Love, Elizabeth Gilbert

Any woman over the age of 30 will remember the first time they read Eat Pray Love. When Elizabeth Gilbert’s self-helpy memoir was published in 2006, it became a bible for women who felt a little bit lost and wanted more out of life.

Book clubs couldn’t get enough of it and Oprah was jumping on couches over it.

Gilbert taught a whole generation of women not to settle for anything less than what they deserved and to truly explore their own hopes and dreams.

The Life-Changing Magic of Not Giving A F**k, Sarah Knight

If you give way too many f**ks about everything, this is the book for you. Author Sarah Knight teaches readers how to get rid of guilt, shame and unwanted obligations, so they can stop giving a f**k about things that don’t matter – and start living the kind of life they actually want to live.

It pretty much teaches you how to say no to things without hurting people’s feelings and losing all your friends. Brill.


Big Magic, Elizabeth Gilbert

Good news for those of who loved Eat Pray Love, you’re going to lose your s**t over Big Magic. In it, Gilbert teaches her readers how to live a big, creative life – free from fear. How to get over their fears and insecurities and just start working on that creative project they’ve had kicking around in the back of their mind for years. Gilbert also has a podcast called Magic Lessons, where she mentors budding creatives – we highly recommend taking a listen.

Work Strife Balance, Mia Freedman

Sure, we may be a little biased here at Mamamia, but Mia Freedman’s Work Strife Balance is the ultimate book for “guilty friends, bad mums, crap wives, imperfect feminists, rebellious daughters and any girl with a big mouth and at least one foot in it”. Basically, all of us.

In the book, Freedman weaves together personal anecdotes from her 25 years of working in the media, 20 years of being a mum, and all the lessons she learned along the way.

It’s the perfect book for any woman who’s ever felt like she’s just not coping with all the demands of modern life (again, ALL of us).

The Barefoot Investor, Scott Pape

The Barefoot Investor is one of Australia’s biggest-selling finance books, having topped the charts for the last few months. It doesn’t matter where you go; everywhere from independent hipster bookstores to chain stores has it a the top of the pile. And for good reason: author Scott Pape cuts through all the jargon to give you some of the simplest financial advice you will ever read.

No spreadsheets. No complex budgets. No get-rich-quick tricks. Just step-by-step, follow my lead, and you can buy smashed avo AND save for a house deposit at the same time.


Listen: Mamamia Out Loud explains the cult following of The Barefoot Investor. Post continues…  

Man’s Search for Meaning, Viktor Frankel

Man’s Search for Meaning is part memoir, part analysis, documenting Frankel’s time in Auschwitz, but most of all, it is an exploration of the ultimate question, that today we seem to actively avoid; what is the meaning of life?

From start to finish, Man’s Search for Meaning was written in a total of nine days. It has sold more than 10 million copies, and has been translated into 24 different languages.

Weird in a World That’s Not: A Career Guide for Misfits, F*ck Ups and Failures, Jennifer Romolini

Weird in a World That’s Not is the perfect career guide for anyone who’s ever felt like they just don’t ‘get it’.

Romolini won’t tell you what to wear to an interview or how to ask for a pay rise, but she will reassure you that everything you’re thinking and everything you’re feeling is normal. Everyone doubts themselves, everyone thinks they’re an impostor, but it’s the people who manage to these feelings and get shit done, who get to where they want to be.

Weird in a World That’s Not isn’t the kind of book you have to read cover to cover. You can pick it up throughout your career, whenever you really need a little burst of creative career advice.

Have we missed any? Share your life-changing books in the comments below.