The best self-care and self-help books to read right now

Our edit of the best self-care and self-help books to draw insight, comfort and inspiration from.

Self-care can mean many different things to different people. For some, it could be taking mindful moments in a stressful day. For others, it may mean investing time in yourself, exploring your creativity, or challenging your thought patterns. Here, we've curated our edit of the best self-help books to draw comfort and inspiration from, whatever your goals. 

The best self-care books about mental health & wellbeing

Unstressable

by Mo Gawdat

From the bestselling author of Solve For Happy comes Unstressable, a guide for how to stop stress from ruling your life. Written with stress management expert Alice Law, in Unstressable Mo Gawdat shares his own experiences with stress, how he learned to predict stressful times and his strategies for managing negative thought patterns. With practical, actionable exercises that will help you manage the pressures of everyday life, this book will help you break out of the cycle of chronic stress and take control of your mental wellbeing.

Ten Times Calmer

by Dr Kirren Schnack

Dr Kirren Schnack is here to tell you that your anxiety isn’t here to stay. As an Oxford trained and practicing NHS clinical psychologist with twenty years’ experience, she offers a first aid kit of tools to help you understand what you’re going through and change how you’re feeling – and it might just be easier than you think. The ten chapters cover everything from dealing with anxious thoughts and stress to managing uncertainty and safely tackling trauma, with each tip taking you one step closer to an anxiety-free life. 

Don't Miss

The 9 best books to help with anxiety

Read more

Solve for Happy

by Mo Gawdat

Written by a top Google executive, Solve For Happy is about creating and maintaining happiness. In 2001 Mo Gawdat realised he was incredibly successful, but desperately unhappy. He committed to solving the problem like the engineer he was, examining the facts and following logic. Ten years later his research saved him when his son Ali died during routine surgery, and he realised his mission was to share his Happiness Equation with the world.

Mo Gawdat is my life guru. His writing, his ideas and his generosity in sharing them has changed my life for the better in so many ways. Everything he writes is an enlightening education in how to be human.
Elizabeth Day on Mo Gawdat

The Greatest Self-Help Book (is the one written by you)

by Vex King

From Sunday Times bestselling author of Good Vibes, Good Life and Healing is the New High, Vex King and social media star Kaushal, this is a journal like no other. Filled with exercises, activities and visual prompts, it will help you to understand and regulate your emotions, maintain habits that work for you, shift negative mindsets and cultivate positive thought patterns, build self-awareness and carve out time to practise self-love and gratitude. Think of this as your companion to help you build a healthier relationship with yourself and others; The Greatest Self-Help Book is the one written by you.

The Greatest Manifestation Book (is the one written by you)

by Vex King

Unlock your inner power, create positive change and bring about the life you truly desire with The Greatest Manifestation Book. This journal will help you to understand what manifestation is, how to set intentions and goals, overcome limiting beliefs, practise daily gratitude, and ultimately lead the life you’ve always dreamed of. Each day, you will have the opportunity to speak aloud a powerful affirmation, dig deep with a gratitude prompt, rewrite your ‘manifesto’, work on negative thought patterns, develop self-awareness and engage with some interactive activities to aid your journey.

The Anxiety Journal

by Corinne Sweet

Many of us are probably feeling a little more anxious than usual right now. The Anxiety Journal encourages you to use CBT techniques and mindfulness exercises to better understand your anxiety and achieve peace and calm. Practical, supportive and uplifting, this is a self-help journal for anyone who struggles with anxiety, whether in the form of phobias, social anxiety, generalized anxiety (GAD) or day-to-day worrying.

That Little Voice In Your Head

by Mo Gawdat

Retrain your brain with this practical guide by former Google engineer and executive Mo Gawdat, author of international bestseller Solve for Happy. Gawdat teaches how we can conquer negative thoughts, change our thinking processes, turn avarice into generosity, transform lethargy into empathy and invest in our own wellbeing and happiness. With exercises and personal insights, That Little Voice in Your Head can move us away from the misconceptions of modern life.

Stronger

by Poorna Bell

Have you ever worried that you're not enough, or that, if you were stronger or more confident you would achieve more? In Stronger, award-winning journalist and competitive amateur powerlifter Poorna Bell investigates and unveils the potential that women can unlock when they realise their strength – both physical, and mental. Through examining her own experiences, as well as those of dozens of women, Bell shows how finding strength can work for you, regardless of your age, ability or background, and offers actionable ways for your to harness it in your life. 

Anxiety for Beginners

by Eleanor Morgan

Eleanor Morgan offers an insight into the often crippling effects of anxiety disorders, her book serving as a guide for those living with anxiety and for people who have friends or family who suffer. Eleanor combines her own experience with expert research to investigate what contributes to so many of us suffering around the world. Anxiety for Beginners is, at its heart, a book about acceptance, as Morgan discovers the ways in which people can live a life that is not just manageable but enjoyable, learning to accept anxiety as part of who we are rather than spending a life fighting and being ashamed of it.

Don't Miss

Eleanor Morgan's tips on helping people with anxiety

Read more

Cracking the Menopause

by Mariella Frostrup

It's time to start talking about the menopause. In Cracking the Menopause, journalist and broadcaster Mariella Frostrup and health writer Alice Smellie are determined to bring the subject to light. Writing with humour and honesty, they share their own stories, the latest scientific discoveries and case studies from a variety of women. A rich source of advice and information, with light-hearted illustrations and heartfelt testimonies.

What Happened To You?

by Oprah Winfrey

In this new self-help book Oprah Winfrey and world-renowned brain development and trauma expert Dr. Bruce Perry examine the impact that our early childhood experiences – both good and bad - have on who we are as people. Shifting the question from 'what's wrong with you?' to 'what happened to you?' this self-help book examines people and their behaviour through the context of their personal experiences. Grounded in the latest brain science and brought to life through compelling narratives, What Happened To You? offers a beacon of hope for those looking to recover and transform after adversity. 

The Colour of Madness

by Samara Linton

The Colour of Madness brings together memoirs, essays, poetry, short fiction and artworks by people of colour who have experienced difficulties with mental health. From experiencing micro-aggressions to bias, and stigma to religious and cultural issues, people of colour have to fight harder than others to be heard and helped. Statistics show that people from Black and minority ethnic backgrounds in the UK experience poor mental health treatment in comparison to their white counterparts, and are more likely to be held under the Mental Health Act. 

The Stranger on the Bridge

by Jonny Benjamin

In 2008, Jonny Benjamin stood on Waterloo Bridge, planning to jump, until a stranger stopped to talk to him. That stranger saved Jonny’s life. In his candid memoir, Jonny tells the story of how he got to the bridge in the first place, how he continues to manage his diagnosis of schizoaffective disorder, as well as what happened when he tried to find the stranger who helped him, six years later. The Stranger on the Bridge is a book about second chances and the power of connection.

Don't Miss

19 of the best books about mental health

Discover more

Self-care books about relationships

The Power of Words

by Mariano Sigman

Learn how you can make your conversations more present, productive and powerful in The Power of Words, the new book from neuroscientist Mariano Sigman. By focussing not on our conversations, but upon the meanings of the words we use, Sigman explains how choosing the words we use to describe ourselves and those around us can help us improve our relationships, our decisions and our actions. With exercises to help you examine your relationship with language, this book is packed with practical ideas to help you become a more effective communicator with everyone in your life.  


Things No One Taught Us About Love

by Vex King

The hope and expectation that romantic love can and will be the solution to all our problems can put real strain on our relationships. Learn how to strengthen them, and uncover the true nature of love – a force within us, rather than an external power – with Vex King. By deconstructing the myths and misconceptions surrounding love and relationships, this book will help you to understand yourself, create and maintain healthy habits, set boundaries and heal.

I have always believed in the idea that people inspire people. I know what's what inspired me... and Vex really is the ultimate example of that.
Deliciously Ella on Vex King

The Shift

by Tinx

Lifestyle creator, advice expert and podcast host, Tinx, collects all her revolutionary theories and hilarious personal anecdotes in one place to create a guide to dating, self-worth and becoming the main character of your life. She shows us how simple mindset shifts can completely change the way you approach decision making and relationships, turning dating into a process of self-discovery rather than just a means to an end. Packed with the signature wit and honesty that Tinx's TikTok followers know so well, The Shift helps us to step into our confidence, and enjoy the journey along the way. 

To My Sisters

by Courtney Daniella Boateng

From the hosts of the hit podcast, To My Sisters, comes this essential guide to sisterhood. Old friends Renee Kapuku and Courtney Daniella Boateng are united in one mission - reinvigorate and redefine sisterhood to inspire a global community of women to uplift each other and reclaim their power. They argue that unconditional love is too often limited to parents or spouses, when actually embracing the power of friendship and community in an authentic pay is just as powerful. Packed with practical advice, reflective activities and wise words,To My Sisters will teach you how to find, build and nourish lifelong friendships. 

100 Dates

by Dr Angela Ahola

Whether you're looking for something casual or searching for true love, sifting through endless dating profiles can be exhausting. Luckily, psychologist Dr Angela Ahola provides the ultimate dating handbook with 100 Dates. After finding herself single again , Angela embarked on an experiment with herself as the test subject: she went on one hundred different dates to learn as much as she could about what makes a successful encounter – and what doesn't. Combined with her professional experience as an expert in human behaviour, Angela is the perfect guide through the thorny wilderness of modern dating. 

Platonic

by Marisa G. Franco, PhD

When was the last time you put yourself out there to make a new friend? For many of us, the answer is too long ago. In the ultimate guide to learning how we make and keep friends for life, psychologist and friendship expert Dr Marisa G. Franco explains how the undervaluing of friendship in our culture has led to an epidemic of isolation, and what we can do about it. Using the groundbreaking framework behind attachment theory, Platonic teaches us to identify and understand our individual styles – and why exploring how we behave in relationships is the key to unlocking what we’re doing right (and what we could do better) in our friendships. 

Where's My Happy Ending?

by Anna Whitehouse

This Sunday Times bestseller by Anna Whitehouse and Matt Farquharson, co-founders of the Mother Pukka website, has some questions. What does happily ever after feel like? Can love last forever? Is there any such thing as 'the one'? Anna and Matt ask these questions of a one-time sex-worker and her former gigolo husband, celibate monks and free-loving hippies. They ask couples, singles, throuples, queer, straight, pansexual and gay. And, with honesty and humour, they ask questions of their own relationship after ten years of marriage.

Spiritual self-care books

Tao Te Ching

by Lao Tzu

Lao Tzu's Tao Te Ching is the source of Zen Buddhism, and is probably the most broadly influential spiritual text in human history. According to legend, Lao Tzu left China at the age of eighty, saddened that men would not follow the path to natural goodness. At the border with Tibet, a guard asked him to record his teachings and the Tao Te Ching is what he wrote down before leaving. Lao Tzu's spirituality describes the Cosmos as a harmonious and generative organism, and it shows how the human is an integral part of that cosmos.

In Love with the World

by Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche

The moving story of meditation master Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche’s journey into the wilderness and a near-death experience during his four-year wandering retreat is as inspirational as it is spiritual. Through Rinpoche’s intimate account of his search for the self during his suffering, he demonstrates how we can transform a fear of death into a life filled with joy.

The best mindfulness self-care books

Poems for Stillness

by Gaby Morgan

Arranged around themes of meditation, friendship, gratitude, prayers and wellbeing, stillness and consolation, this stunning poetry anthology is tailored to create calm and peacefulness. Including poems from Shakespeare, Yeats, Mansfield, Wordsworth and more, as well as uplifting prayers and blessings from around the world, this collection will transport you from moments of chaos to stillness. Part of the Macmillan Collector's Library with a beautiful cover and the signature ribbon marker, this is the perfect gift for any books lover – or for yourself. 

The Mindfulness Moments Colouring Book

by Emma Farrarons

This gorgeous colouring book is full of ideas for mindfulness activities and exercises which draw on your creativity and hone your focus. It’s perfectly pocket-sized, so you can colour your way to peace and calm wherever you are.

Inner Spark

by Kristin Vikjord

Kristin Vikjord’s self-help guide draws on her experiences as a clinical psychologist, yoga teacher and mindfulness facilitator to help readers to embrace the challenges of modern life. Offering a practical toolkit of exercises to help you find and nurture your inner spark, Kristin explains how the brain’s pathways work, and how and why it is so important for anyone having a difficult time to have a toolkit for reconnection. Kirsten guides the reader through three sections of the book: normalisation, clarification and agency with the mind of a clinical psychologist and the heart and soul of a yoga teacher. 

Art of Mindfulness

by Emma Farrarons

While away the hours at home with this creative art therapy book to soothe anxiety and stress. Full of beautiful colouring pages, drawings to imitate, patterns to create and lots of guided sketching, Art of Mindfulness is full of mindful activities to help you achieve a sense of calm.

The Little Book of Calm Colouring

by David Sinden

Soothe stresses away and lose yourself in some creative colouring with this beautifully hand-illustrated colouring book full of stunning anti-stress designs and inspiring quotations.

Stress Less, Accomplish More

by Emily Fletcher

Emily Fletcher is a leading expert in meditation for high performance, and in Stress Less, Accomplish More, she shares an ancient meditation technique to relieve stress, clear your mind and increase productivity. Designed for busy lives, all you need is somewhere to sit, a little training and some time to yourself. This book has a very simple message: do less – without the stress – and accomplish more.

Ten to Zen

by Owen O'Kane

This simple but effective self-help book helps to get you in the right headspace for challenging times in just ten minutes a day. Using four therapeutic models – mindfulness, cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), psychotherapy and eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) therapy – you will learn how to settle your mind quickly, retrain your brain to deal with stress and restructure unhelpful patterns of thinking.

Creative self-care books

The Joy Journal for Grown-ups

by Laura Brand

The Joy Journal for Grown-ups invites you to experiment, play and unlock your creative potential with a range of simple crafts that can bring a little more calm into your everyday life. Using store-cupboard ingredients and easily foraged supplies, this beautifully illustrated handbook includes new and inspiring ideas for adding a personal touch to celebrations, creating unique gifts, and making stunning keepsakes. Imaginative, engaging and easy to follow, this gorgeous, step-by-step guide features all the encouragement you need to find inspiration, awaken your creativity and brighten your mood.

This book is a chance to slow down and find stillness. Self-care in the most beautiful, creative ways.
Fearne Cotton on The Joy Journal for Grown Ups

Start Painting Now

by Emily Powell

This playful and practical handbook will connect you to the artist within, and foster your creativity. Instagram star artist Emily Powell and her sister, doctor Sarah Moore, are your guides to ignoring the inner critic and finding relaxation and meaning through painting. Start Painting Now comes with examples of Emily and Sarah’s work, as well as inspiration from a range of women artists.

Self-care books to help you connect with nature

The Wild Journal

by Willow Crossley

Willow Crossley’s beautifully illustrated guide celebrates the potential of nature to mend, heal and transform our mood. Full of creative, practical projects, simple habits, small seasonal changes and therapeutic reflections, the book can help counteract the unpredictability and chaos of everyday life.

The Green Sketching Handbook

by Ali Foxon

Inspired by her own journey from climate scientist who hadn't tried drawing since childhood to artist and nature lover, Dr Ali Foxon will show you how to embrace your wobbly lines, unhook from a fear of criticism and create a habit that makes you feel good, not inadequate. You will learn more about yourself and your unique relationship with nature, finding out what brings you comfort and joy. Best of all, you'll create vivid and evocative memories of all your outdoor adventures, big and small, even if you’re convinced you can’t draw.

Self-care books to help you cultivate a new habit

Kaizen

by Sarah Harvey

If you’ve been wanting to cultivate a new habit but life keeps getting in the way, more time spent at home could offer the opportunity you’ve been looking for. Kaizen means ‘change’ ‘good’ – this Japanese philosophy offers a step-by-step method to help you build positive new habits and break bad ones by making small, incremental changes to slowly improve your life. The kaizen method has been adopted by businesses and sports teams all over the world and can be applied to any area of your life, from work and money to exercise and relationships. 

The Kindness Method

by Shahroo Izadi

In these difficult times, we could all benefit from showing ourselves a little kindness. If you want to use this time to make a change, Behavioural Change Specialist Shahroo Izadi believes there’s only one way to make change last, and that’s to be kind to yourself. The Kindness Method was developed through a combination of professional training and personal experience and will leave you feeling empowered, positive and ready to make a change, whether it’s weight loss, cutting down on alcohol or improving your relationships.

Kurashi at Home

by Marie Kondo

Over a decade on from the launch of her bestselling book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, Marie Kondo returns with new wisdom on how to transform your life and home into spaces of calm. This guide introduces the concept of kurashi – meaning way of life – and encourages readers to spend every day in the pursuit of joy, as Marie Kondo shifts her focus from the physical act of tidying towards an even more holistic and personal approach to curating our environments.

The best self-care books to help you reset your relationship with food

You're Not Fat, You're on Fire

by Stephen Perrine

What if there was a scientifically researched way to combat inflammation, improve your gut microbiome and lose weight? If you’re looking for a sustainable way to manage your weight, You’re Not Fat, You’re on Fire is for you. In this revolutionary new book, Stephen Perrine explains how changing your diet can help you combat chronic inflammation, one of the causes of weight gain. Showing how easy it can be to eat thirty different plants each week, the book features delicious, healthy recipes and strategies that will help you lose weight, heal your gut and increase your energy levels. 

How to Just Eat It

by Laura Thomas

Nutritionist and bestselling author of Just Eat It Laura Thomas PhD is back with this practical self-help book to help you reframe your approach to food. She uses the principles of intuitive eating in order to develop a judgement-free attitude to food. Laura also helps us to understand and spot diet culture in the media and society. Her wonderful practice called ‘Diet Culture Bullsh*t Bingo’ involves spotting phrases such as ‘burning off food,’ ‘cleanse’ and ‘80/20 rule’ to help understand and learn to identify diet culture (and how it affects us) in everyday life, social media, TV and even our own language.

The Last Diet

by Shahroo Izadi

This self-help book will help you transform your relationship with food and your body, using the same tools Shahroo Izadi used with her clients in addiction treatment, and which helped her lose eight stone in weight. Focusing on the importance of positive self-perception and self-kindness, Shahroo will help you find the motivation to change habits and lose weight for good.

Don't Miss

Books to help you reset your relationship with food

Discover more

Healthier Planet, Healthier You

by Annie Bell

Inspired by the principles of the Planetary Health Diet, a greener way of eating informed by scientific targets aimed at tackling climate change, nutritionist Annie Bell provides a flexible way of improving your diet, both for the environment and for yourself. Packed with over one hundred recipes, as well as practical tips to reduce food waste, Healthier Planet, Healthier You sheds light on how to eat both sustainably and affordably, without cutting out your favourite treats.

How Not to Die

by Michael Greger MD

The international bestseller, Dr Michael Greger's How Not To Die gives effective, scientifically-proven nutritional advice to prevent our biggest killers – including heart disease, breast cancer, prostate cancer, high blood pressure and diabetes – and reveals the astounding health benefits that simple dietary choices can provide. With emphasis on individual family health history and acknowledging that everyone needs something different, Dr Michael Greger offers practical dietary advice to help you live longer, healthier lives.

How Not to Diet

by Michael Greger MD

Dr Michael Greger, author of the bestselling How Not to Die, offers an easy approach to a healthy, plant-based lifestyle which will help you put an end to dieting and weight-loss struggles. Dr Greger explores the many causes of obesity, and breaks down a variety of approaches to weight loss using cutting-edge dietary research.

Don't Miss

The best cookbooks for every occasion

Discover more

Self-care books to read if you want to feel uplifted 

How to Feel Better

by Cathy Rentzenbrink

While we can't control all the ups and downs of life, we can choose how we respond to them. But rather than instructing us on how to live, Cathy Rentzenbrink approaches this book with warm, gentle guidance and offers comfort for those times we need it most. She covers topics such as her etiquette for bad news and the words of wisdom she would like to pass onto her son in a characteristically compassionate tone. How to Feel Better is essential reading for anyone looking to make sense of a big upheaval, or those simply navigating the daily ebbs and flows of life. 

Choose Possibility

by Sukhinder Singh Cassidy

Sukhinder Singh Cassidy is a high-flying Silicon Valley tech executive but, as she admits, her route to success hasn't been a conventional one. She started three companies, including one designed to place women board members into more companies, but she also encountered failed opportunities and many unexpected obstacles. Her belief is that when people are compelled by fear of missing out – FOMO – rather than FOF – fear of failure – then they become active and open to success, building risk-taking muscle and choosing to act continually rather than making one single choice. If you dream of new opportunities in your work or personal life, this could be the book for you. 

Notes From Your Therapist

by Allyson Dinneen

For anyone in need of a daily dose of affirmation and empathy, therapist and mental health counselor Allyson Dinneen shares this collection of artful and beautifully photographed hand-written insights, based on her popular Instagram account @notesfromyourtherapist

The Book of Hope

by Jonny Benjamin

In this uplifting self-help book, award-winning mental health advocate and author Jonny Benjamin and co-editor Britt Pflüger bring together 101 key voices in the field of mental health, who each shares their story, and offers advice for how they find hope even in the darkest days. From the powerful to the funny, these essays will provide a supportive hand to anyone looking for light on a dark day and remind you that you are not alone, no matter what you may be going through. 

In my world, the word inspirational gets bandied around a lot, but Jonny Benjamin is truly deserving of that adjective.
HRH King Charles III

What I Know for Sure

by Oprah Winfrey

A collection of the best of Oprah’s columns for O, The Oprah Magazine have been revised and updated in What I Know For Sure, a beautiful book packed with insight and revelation from Oprah Winfrey. Organized by theme – joy, resilience, connection, gratitude, possibility, awe, clarity and power – these essays offer a rare, powerful and intimate glimpse into the heart and mind of one of the world’s most extraordinary women, while providing readers with a guide to becoming their best selves.

Don't Miss

The best uplifting books & feel-good reads

Discover more