Books: Self-Help & Personal Development

Books I come back to time and time again (besides Austen + romance novels) are self-help and personal development books. A constant in my life has been the desire to improve, to transform. I have a strong desire to be better, more open-minded and live life with an open heart. While it can be difficult at times to embrace constant change, books have been the gateway to motivation and transformation for me. Staying stagnant for too long drives me bonkers. I crave change and transformation. Or maybe it’s my sense of curiosity wanting to see how far I can push myself to improve. After all, when you change and transform yourself, you’re not the same person you were yesterday. You can ultimately create new adventures in life simply by reading a book and committing to the actions and or changes within it.

Self-help and personal development books are like choose your own adventure novels for adults. Because when you change who you are, you embark on a whole new adventure.

This list is only the beginning in this category of books. I’m always searching for new insights into life, how to live better, and how to love others without judgment. The books that help transform the relationship with yourself and the world around you. All of these books deal with the inward journey.

The Law of Divine Compensation: On Work, Money, and Miracles – Marianne Williamson

This book is the one that started it all. After my divorce, I was searching for a way to connect with myself spiritually and understand myself as an individual. I was looking for spiritual growth and guidance. To be honest, I felt disconnected and lost. I wanted to learn forgiveness. I wanted to learn to love myself, and I was also lacking in self-confidence and had what Marianne calls “a negative sense of self”. I knew I needed a more positive thought pattern, and it was time to transform the mundane life I had been living. This book opened my heart and my mind in ways I cannot express. I cried, and I felt every word of this book at my core. See, told ya, hard to explain how I felt when reading this.

Buy it here.

A Return to Love: Reflections on the Principles of A Course In Miracles – Marianne Williamson

When one book by an author has a profound impact on me spiritually, I have a tendency to binge-read that author’s range of books. So it’s no surprise to find more of Marianne on this list. A Return to Love talks about connecting to your inner guide and spirit. For many of us, we become disconnected from love or our inner spirit, the universe, God, (insert what otherworldly being you believe in here) and because of that disconnection, we lead lives that are less than stellar. This book teaches love over fear.
‘Love is what we were born with. Fear is what we have learned here. The spiritual journey is the relinquishment — or unlearning — of fear and the acceptance of love back into our hearts. Love is an essential existential fact. It is our ultimate reality and our purpose on earth.”

Buy it here.

Wherever You Go There You Are: Mindfulness Meditation in Everyday Life – Jon Kabat-Zinn

Oh, this book! If you want to bring more mindfulness into your life and dip your toes into meditation, this one’s got your number. I read this book back in 2012 and devoured it. Well, sort of. It took me 2 months to complete, but I wanted to comprehend and fully experience each exercise within it. It also contained my introduction to Thoreau, as there are sprinklings of his text throughout. Meditation, mindfulness, and simplicity are all contained within – three of my favourite things in life.

Buy it here.

The Untethered Soul: The Journey Beyond Yourself  – Michael A. Singer

I purchased this book on a whim and purely based on the sticker on the front. I figured if Oprah featured it on Super Soul Sunday, it must be a worthwhile read. I mean, Oprah gets it ~ she understands the need for soul nurturing. As I continued my journey of looking inward, this book helped me with the painful thoughts and memories that kept me from being truly happy and self-aware. When I read this in 2014, I was struggling with debt, shopping excessively, and contemplating whether my career was the right one for me.

Buy it here.

Zen Habits: Mastering The Art of Change – Leo Babuta

The Zen Habits blog was one of my first reads on the journey to understanding myself and minimalism. This book is a practical look at habit change and offers simple actionable steps to creating true change in your life. Leo takes you on a journey of changing one habit at a time before adding another to your list. So, if you struggle with change or sticking to habits, this one’s a must.

Buy it here.

Self-help, personal growth, transformation ~ whatever you call it, it is a subject near and dear to my heart. It’s the path to self-awareness, to understanding what we want out of life and who we are. It helps us become better at not only loving ourselves but being able to love others.

Are you a fellow self-help + personal development spirit junkie? What’s your fave read? Share it below.

Interested in other books I’ve read? Check out my Goodreads profile.

Comments +

  1. Michelle says:

    If i’m ever looking for a person to curate my personal reading list-you’re it! I can’t wait to read all of these books.

  2. Annie says:

    Thanks for this post. I am noting these titles to add to my library reserve list.

    One of my favorite reads is Dr. Andrew Weil’s “Spontaneous Happiness.” It really helped me face the reality that life is not always going to be sunshine and puppies, and that’s okay. I love his idea that we all have an emotional setpoint for happiness and can do things that can move it towards the happier end of the spectrum for most of the time. His suggestions were very helpful as I struggled with anxiety and mild depression.

    I also enjoyed Tammy Strobels’ “You Can Buy Happiness, (and It’s Cheap!) She was one of the first simple living bloggers I connected with and I still enjoy her perspective on things.

    • Michelle says:

      You’re most welcome! I’m happy you found it helpful.
      Thanks for the book and blog recommends, I’ll check them out!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Throughout my life, I’ve been a curator. I curate all the beautiful things, books, people, places, and time spent in luxuriously intentional moments. 

category here

my nightly
skincare regime

You can either type this featured post content manually or use a post look-up function in SHOWIT directly. It can also rotate between several posts.



stay awhile + read


get inspired on


Based in Toronto, Canada and serving ambitious women worldwide.

Check out my