oung couple reading books

Has a self-help book ever helped you?

February 22, 2018
  • Yes
  • No

“To Self-Help or Not to Self-Help? That is the Poll Question!”

Okay, folks! If there’s one thing America loves more than a pumpkin-spiced latte, it’s a solid self-help book. With millions of copies flying off the shelves each year, it’s clear that the self-improvement bug has bitten us hard. But the big question is: Has a self-help book ever truly helped you? Some swear by them, while others give a side-eye. Let’s deep dive into both perspectives.

Team “Oh Heck, Yes!”:

Personal Anecdotes

How often have you heard, “That book totally changed my life!”? There’s a high probability you’ve come across someone who credits a self-help book for some form of personal metamorphosis. Oprah’s Book Club alone has endorsed numerous self-help books, turning them into best-sellers overnight. And if Queen O approves, you know it’s gotta be good!

Tools and Techniques

Many self-help books are packed with actionable tools and techniques. Think about Marie Kondo’s “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up.” Many people found joy by decluttering, both in their homes and minds, following her KonMari method.

Inspiration Factor

Sometimes, you just need that motivational kick in the butt. Self-help books can often act as catalysts, igniting the spark needed to embark on a change journey. As renowned author Karen Salmansohn once said, “What’s so wonderful about self-help books is that they can be so very self-helpful!”

Team “Nah, Fam!”

Overwhelming Choice

Step into any bookstore, and you’ll be bombarded with rows upon rows of self-help books. With so many choices, it’s like trying to pick a Netflix show on a Friday night. Indecision, anyone?

One-Size Doesn’t Fit All

What works for Jane might not work for John. Everyone’s on a unique journey, and a single author’s perspective might not resonate with everyone.

The Short-Term Boost

While some folks experience long-lasting benefits, others feel a brief surge of motivation that fizzles out faster than a New Year’s resolution. As motivational speaker Zig Ziglar said, “People often say that motivation doesn’t last. Well, neither does bathing – that’s why we recommend it daily.”

Been There, Read That

Then there are those who have dabbled in the self-help realm, found it repetitive, or just didn’t find anything groundbreaking. Maybe they think, “If I read one more metaphor about climbing a mountain, I’m going to scream.”

So, Why Do Some Dig It While Others Ditch It?

Brainy Bits

Neuroscience has something to say about this. When we read, our brains release dopamine, the ‘feel good’ neurotransmitter. A book that offers solutions? Extra dopamine hit. But just like with those Insta-worthy dishes, what satiates one might not satisfy another.

Cultural Perspective

Americans, in particular, are known for their ‘can-do’ spirit. Self-help books align perfectly with the mindset of self-reliance and the belief in the capacity for self-improvement. According to the American Psychological Association, the self-help industry in the U.S. is worth around $11 billion. That’s a lotta cheddar!


The Fear of Missing Out. When everyone and their dog is talking about the latest self-help sensation, nobody wants to be the last one on the bandwagon.

D-tour. Taking cues from FOMO, a variety of spin-off terms have popped up, giving us a hilarious yet insightful peek into our modern psyches:

  • FOBO (Fear of Better Options): Ever been paralyzed wondering if there’s a better choice out there? That’s FOBO, the anxiety of possibly overlooking superior alternatives.
  • MOMO (Mystery of Missing Out): Feeling like you’re on the outside of an inside joke? MOMO captures the unease of sensing you’re left out but having zero idea of what’s actually going on.
  • ROMO (Reality of Missing Out): This is the zen realization that you’re genuinely not missing out on a thing. A serene acceptance, if you will.
  • FOJI (Fear of Joining In): The digital age’s version of stage fright. It’s the anxiety of sharing content online and getting crickets in response. Ghosted by the online crowd, so to speak.
  • JOMO (Joy of Missing Out): Taking a digital detox and loving it? That’s JOMO, celebrating the delight of stepping away and finding joy in unplugging from the online world.

From anxieties to the peace of disconnection, these terms capture the rollercoaster of emotions we ride in today’s hyper-connected age.

Some Crunchy Numbers:

  • According to a report by MarketResearch.com, the self-improvement market grew 6.1% between 2015 and 2017, reflecting the growing popularity of this genre.
  • A Pew Research Center study found that 27% of Americans say they haven’t read a book in the past year. But among the ones who did, self-help was among the top three most popular genres.
  • YouTubers are cashing in on the trend, too! As of 2021, the top 5 self-help YouTube channels combined had a whopping 60 million subscribers.

The Power of Self-Help: A Dive into Five Transformative Reads

In today’s fast-paced world, self-improvement has found its place on many a bookshelf. Whether it’s about navigating the tumultuous seas of personal relationships or unlocking productivity secrets, there’s a guide for almost every journey. Ready to embark on a path of enlightenment? Here’s a list of five popular self-help books that have inspired countless readers:

  1. “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People” by Stephen R. Covey
    An iconic masterpiece, this book provides readers with seven habits that promise personal and inter-personal effectiveness. Covey presents a principle-centered approach for addressing both personal and professional problems. A must-read for anyone looking to create lasting change in their life.
  2. “How to Win Friends and Influence People” by Dale Carnegie
    Published in 1936 and still relevant! Carnegie’s timeless classic offers simple, yet effective principles for enhancing interpersonal relationships and mastering the art of communication. Packed with practical advice, this book is the go-to guide for anyone looking to improve their people skills.
  3. “The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment” by Eckhart Tolle
    Dive deep into the realm of mindfulness and present-moment awareness with Tolle’s groundbreaking work. This book explores the concept of living in the ‘now’ as a path to happiness and enlightenment, urging readers to step out of the constant chatter of their minds and experience life as it unfolds.
  4. “Atomic Habits: An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones” by James Clear
    If you’re looking to break away from bad habits or cultivate new ones, Clear’s “Atomic Habits” is a goldmine. With its science-driven insights, the book uncovers how habits work, providing readers with actionable strategies to transform their routines and, in turn, their lives.
  5. “Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead” by Brené Brown
    Vulnerability is strength, not weakness – that’s the transformative message at the heart of Brené Brown’s “Daring Greatly.” Through years of research, Brown showcases how embracing vulnerability can lead to richer experiences in all facets of life, from personal relationships to leadership.

Whether you’re a self-help aficionado or just starting your journey, these titles promise to offer fresh perspectives, actionable insights, and the nudge you might need to take that next big step in your life. Dive in!

In Conclusion:

The beauty of this whole debate? There’s no wrong answer. Whether you’re team “Self-help books are my jam!” or more on the “Not my cup of tea” squad, the choice is super personal. Some find pearls of wisdom in the pages, while others prefer to seek insights elsewhere.

Remember, the journey of self-improvement is as unique as your Netflix watch list. So, whether you’re binge-reading self-help books or giving them the cold shoulder, the ultimate aim is personal growth. In the wise words of Robert Frost, “I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference.”

Now, back to our poll question – Has a self-help book ever truly helped you? The floor, dear reader, is yours.

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