Help Me! One Woman's Quest to Find Out if Self-Help Really Can Change Her Life
by Marianne Power
This has been my comfort read of the month, and I’ve forced all of my friends to read it, too. Journalist, Marianne Power, decided to test out one self-help book a month for a year, including Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway, 7 Habits of Highly Effective People and The Secret, by actually acting on the authors’ advice.
But what begins as a fun experiment soon becomes an often testing investigation into self-awareness and what it ultimately means to be happy in oneself. The result is an hilariously self-deprecating and poignant memoir, in which you can’t help but identify with, and feel reassured by the wonderful Marianne.
The Kindness Method: Changing Habits for Good
by Shahroo Izadi
With a background in Behavioural Change and Addiction, Shahroo’s book is a game-changer for anyone wanting to put an end to unwanted habits, be it drinking, binge-eating, or anxious thinking. She refutes the idea that things have to hit rock-bottom before they can get better, and instead argues that change will be effective and long-lasting if we spend time developing our self-esteem in the first instance.
The basis of the book is practical, encouraging you to create an assortment of mind maps relating to different themes, (such as ‘things I’m proud of’). I incorporated this into my daily routine for the two weeks it took me to read the book, making the mind maps the first thing I would do each morning.
The Happiness Trap: Stop Struggling, Start Living
by Dr Russ Harris
ACT, an acronym for Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, is the newest form of popular therapy and coaching which aims to cultivate well-being through mindful, values-based living. The idea is that you need to accept what you cannot personally control, and commit to action that enriches your life by clarifying what is truly important to you.
Dr Russ Harris is an internationally-acclaimed ACT trainer, having trained over 30,000 health practitioners. He believes that our current ideas about happiness are misleading and directly contribute to our stress and anxiety epidemic. His approach to happiness is instead based on mindfulness as a means of reducing stress, enhancing performance, and managing emotions. You can read the first chapter here.