Personal development, Productivity, Recommended Books, Spirituality

Top Self-Development Books – Updated (2016)

This list is a follow up to an earlier list I made of my top self-development books.  Update: a newer list is also available. 

Self-awareness

You Are Not So Smart: Why You Have Too Many Friends on Facebook, Why Your Memory Is Mostly Fiction, an d 46 Other Ways You’re Deluding Yourself

Read if: You feel like being humbled by your horrifying levels of self-deception. Read the anti self-deception guide I wrote after reading this here. 

 

The Desire Map: A Guide to Creating Goals with Soul

Read if: You want to understand why the goals you set for yourself fill you with dread and apathy. See also this free guide to desire-mapping.

 

The Breathing Book: Good Health and Vitality Through Essential Breath Work

Read if: You know you are a poor breather, and you want a thorough account of how this affects your health and what you can do to improve. Here is a free guide to breathing better I wrote after reading this book.

 

Relationships 


The Mastery of Love: A Practical Guide to the Art of Relationship: A Toltec Wisdom Book

Read if: You want some deeply profound wisdom on how to have a relationship (the sane way). 

 

Attached: Create Your Perfect Relationship with the Help of the Three Attachment Styles

Read if: You want to understand why you behave the way you do in relationships. See also this article on 14 things you need to know about Attachment Theory

 

The Course of Love: A Novel

Read if: You want a slightly depressing, but realistic take on modern relationships.

Creativity


Steal Like an Artist: 10 Things Nobody Told You About Being Creative

Read if: You feel like being seriously inspired. Good for when you are stuck in a creative project. 

 

The War of Art: Break Through the Blocks and Win Your Inner Creative Battles, Steven Pressfield

Read if: You want an idea on how to overcome resistance and procrastination. 

 

Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear, Elizabeth Gilbert

Read if: You are cynical about the place of creativity in your already over-burdened, corporate life.

 

Change/transformation


Switchwords: How to Use One Word to Get What You Want

Read if: You are curious about hacking your sub conscious mind with the power of words. Here is a free guide I wrote after reading this and experimenting with switchwords.  I also made a video about this. 

 

Creative Visualization: Use the Power of Your Imagination to Create What You Want in Your Life

Read if: You want to teach yourself the go-to tool of athletes, top performers and entrepreneurs. Here is a free guide I wrote to CV. 

 

The Art of Possibility: Transforming Professional and Personal Life

Read if: You want some practical exercises on how to shift your perspective on anything.

 

You Are the Placebo: Making Your Mind Matter

Read if: You want to learn how meditation can rewire the brain. See also my review of the author’s course

 

Motivation


Mastery

Read if: You want to understand what it really takes to become good at anything. Like, as good as Mozart. Also perfect if you are confused or in denial about your work and/or vocation. 

 

The Obstacle Is the Way: The Timeless Art of Turning Trials into Triumph

Read if: You want an uplifting take on your failures and screw ups. 

 

The Slight Edge: Turning Simple Disciplines into Massive Success and Happiness

Read if: You want to feel less overwhelmed by the prospect of making things happen. 

 

Spiritual practice 


Whatever Arises, Love That: A Love Revolution That Begins with You

Read if: You want a seriously bad ass spiritual paradigm to use in life. Also you must check out some of Matt’s videos (I insist). 

 

Dark Nights of the Soul: A Guide to Finding Your Way Through Life’s Ordeals

Read if: You have just been through or are going through a challenging life event, such as a breakup. This is very, very good. It might be my favorite on this list. 

 

The Places that Scare You: A Guide to Fearlessness in Difficult Times (Shambhala Classics)

Read if: You want to cultivate some courage. 

 

Radical Acceptance: Embracing Your Life With the Heart of a Buddha

Read if: You want to learn how to love and accept yourself more. See also this free guide I wrote to some of my favorite exercises from the book. 

 

Integral Life Practice: A 21st-Century Blueprint for Physical Health, Emotional Balance, Mental Clarity, and Spiritual Awakening

Read if: You are feeling very serious about taking charge of your personal development. And, you are into psychology.

 

Outrageous Openness: Letting the Divine Take the Lead

Read if: You want to be amused as you are enlightened. This really is delightful, by the way. 

 

Lovingkindness: The Revolutionary Art of Happiness (Shambhala Classics)

Read if: You feel like you have work to do on self-acceptance.

 

Creating on Purpose: The Spiritual Technology of Manifesting Through the Chakras

Read if: You want an authoritative guide to how our emotional experiences cause us to become stuck in life, and targeted exercises to free yourself.

 

Anatomy of the Spirit: The Seven Stages of Power and Healing

Read if: You want to understand how the various spiritual traditions overlap and what this tells us about us. 

 

Way of the Peaceful Warrior: A Book That Changes Lives

Read if: Traditional spiritual books irritate you a bit.

 

The Untethered Soul: The Journey Beyond Yourself

Read if: You’re alive. Read this if you can’t be bothered to read the book. 

 

Falling Upward: A Spirituality for the Two Halves of Life

Read if: You have already made some headway with a spiritual practice. 

 

Nutrition


The Anti-Anxiety Food Solution

Read if: You want to understand how to use food to improve mental wellbeing. I was inspired to write all about bone broth after reading this. 

 

The Good Gut: Taking Control of Your Weight, Your Mood, and Your Long-term Health

Read if: You want to understand why the world has become obsessed with microbiome, kombucha and kefir. Read also this free guide to gut health. 

 

Don’t forget to email me with your own book recommendations please!

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About Rezzan Hussey


Hi, I'm Rez, and this is my personal development blog! Brain training techniques, ancient teachings, personal transformation courses, self-development books - nothing's off the table here. I post twice per week. Stay and look around :)