“If you’re serious about changing your life, you’ll find a way. If you’re not, you’ll find an excuse.”
Author Jen Sincero makes this blunt, eye-opening statement in her bestselling book You Are A Badass: How To Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living An Awesome Life. And though I had yet to read Sincero’s popular book, it was in 2018 that I began feeling exactly this way, and so I decided to delve into the “self-help and personal development” genre of books.
You see, at this time in my life, I found myself on a debilitating downward spiral, circling the drain nearing a complete mental breakdown of sorts. Depression and anxiety were controlling my life in some very negative ways, and the responsibilities of life (fulfilling the roles of wife, mother, daughter, and registered nurse, just to name a few) were drowning me.
Reading has always been a passion of mine, even as a young child, but I was feeling unable to find the time to enjoy reading at this point in my life. However, I strongly desired change, I needed a change if I was going to dig myself out of the incredible funk that I found myself wallowing in.
And so, after seeing a friend at work reading Rachel Hollis’ book Girl, Wash your Face and being incredibly intrigued by the title, I downloaded the Audible app, as well as Hollis’ book, and I began listening to books instead of physically turning their pages and reading them. In the car to and from work, on the bus ride from the employee parking lot to the hospital, and for a few minutes in bed at night before falling asleep, I fell in love with books again, and with the self-help genre that was extremely new to me.
I read not only Hollis’ book, but other books regarding personal development and growth, and I was able to pull myself up a bit out of the depressed and melancholy rut I was living in. Of course, a great psychiatrist and fabulous meds also helped, but the words in these pages gave me new insight into life, and purpose, and all that I wanted to accomplish in my short time here on Earth.
Now, after three years of what I call my “self-help genre obsession,” I can say I have read many books on the subject. Some great, some not so great, some I finished and want to read again, and some I couldn’t even get through the first chapter. Finding myself at the beginning of another year and thinking about resolutions and all that I want to accomplish in 2022, I thought that I would share some of my favorites with you moms out there who might also be struggling like I was so that you too may find that this literary genre may help you. Read on for my top recommended self-help books, in no particular order, as of the publishing of this article.
My favorite self-help books
1. Girl, Wash Your Face by Rachel Hollis
This was my first self-help book and I wasn’t really sure what to expect. But Hollis really delivered in this one. No wonder it is a #1 New York Times Bestseller and has sold over three million copies! Each chapter is entitled with a “lie” that Hollis has encountered in her life and believed, and the chapter disproves this lie and tells you how she stopped living with the lie and came out on top. She courageously tells you stories and experiences from her own life, and these stories are personable, relatable, and conversational. If you’re like me, you will feel like you found your new favorite author in Hollis, as well as a brand new gal pal who is going through the same stuff you are in life, but who is motivating you and cheering you on to overcome adversity and be a better you!
2. You Are A Badass: How To Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living An Awesome Life by Jen Sincero
Without even reading the back cover, this book appealed to me because 1) the bright yellow cover stuck out like a sore thumb, and 2) it has the word badass in the title, duh! In the book, Sincero spends a lot of her time reminding you that what others think of you does not matter and that you are loved, and important, and most definitely special. She is constantly providing “words of affirmation” to your soul as you read, so if that is your “love language,” then get this book! You will feel so incredible while you read it, and even after you finish it. She tells you, “You are a badass. You were one when you came screaming onto this planet and you are one now.” And as you read her book, and especially if you listen to her read the book to you on Audible, you are definitely going to feel the “badassery.”
3. The High 5 Habit by Mel Robbins
Spoiler alert: (Though you get this info early on), the “high five habit” is that you face yourself in the mirror every morning and literally high five yourself in this mirror. Literally. And I don’t exactly know how, but Robbins really makes you feel how such a silly and trivial thing can make such a difference in your life. And speaking from personal experience, yes, I’ve done it a few times, and it really does make you feel empowered and a little bit better than when you first saw your reflection that morning.
4. Girl, Stop Apologizing by Rachel Hollis
Hollis follows up Girl, Wash Your Face with another fabulous book that is blunt and straightforward, but just what you need to hear, or read. This book is geared a little more towards those who want to accomplish big things, and those who have some huge goals in life, but wait, that’s pretty much all of us, right? Hollis reminds you that “You are allowed to want more for yourself for no other reason than because it makes your heart happy. You don’t need anyone’s permission, and you certainly shouldn’t have to rely on anyone’s support as the catalyst to get you there.” This one is a great read, and a swift kick in the pants for us ladies who want to be known as more than just a wife and mother.