I find it really difficult to concentrate on super-serious self-help books. I know there are millions of people out there that enjoy them and I totally respect that, they’re just not for me! When I pick up a self-help book, I want something that is going to keep me engaged – and usually, that means making me laugh. However, they still have to provide some kind of value and lesson by the end of it all. I’m not asking for too much, am I?
If you like your self-help books with a dash of wit and a sprinkling of sarcasm, then these are some of my favourites that I’ve read. I have to say, however, I’m always on the lookout for more. If you have any recommendations for funny self-help books, throw them my way!
Warning: Now, if you listen to my podcast you may get the (wrong) idea that I’m a very softly spoken individual. However, if you’ve ever been to the pub with me, then you’ll know I’m a bit of a sailor in the language department. I like being a bit of both, it’s all about balance. So, it probably comes as no surprise to learn I like a little bit of sweary self-help from time to time. There are quite a few vaguely censored sweary titles in this list, so if that kind of language offends you then this may not be the post for you!
Stumbling on Happiness – Daniel Gilbert
I recommend this to pretty much anyone who asks me about books on happiness or wellbeing. It was the first book I read for my Economics of Wellbeing course at university and I’ve read it twice since. I’m not entirely sure Daniel Gilbert would love me calling it a self-help book, but I learnt some valuable lessons from it nonetheless. If you’re stuck trying to figure out what happiness means to you (and everyone else in the world), then read this.
The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*** – Mark Manson
If you don’t mind a bit of swearing and feeling like someone is proverbially grabbing you by the shoulders to shake some self-esteem into you, then this is the book for you. This book feels a bit like your best friend is giving you a much-needed pep talk to stop caring what other people think about you. It’s done wonders for my self-esteem and my overall mindset. It’s called a counterintuitive approach for a reason; it’s pretty much the exact opposite of what other self-help gurus will tell you.
It’s All In Your Head – Russ
You know what the world needs more of? Self-help books by rappers. This is an absolutely excellent (if a little short) read from Russ, a multi-platinum rapper from Atlanta. It’s definitely an unconventional self-help book, but there are some points you’ll probably have seen from this genre before, such as mindset and manifesting. However, this book is part-memoir, part-motivtional speech and it’s well worth a read.
Buy Yourself the F*cking Lilies – Tara Schuster
Or to give it it’s full title (ahem): Buy the F*cking Lilies: And Other Tools to Fix Your Life, from Someone Who’s Been There: And Other Rituals to Fix Your Life, from Someone Who’s Been There. Tara Schuster is one of those people that just seems to be able to do anything. She was the VP of Talent and Development at Comedy Central where she worked on multiple award-winning projects, before churning out one of my favourite self-help books ever. These little bits of advice and everyday rituals are ones that you’ll keep coming back to long after you’ve finished the book.
Atomic Habits – James Clear
Okay, so this one is definitely a bit more self-help style, but I couldn’t not include it on the list. It’s a book that changed my life in a big way and definitely made me think more about how I actually go after my goals. James Clear has a fascinating story which he explains at the beginning of the book (I won’t spoil it). He then uses his own learnings combined with others to change how you think about habits. I listened to this as an audiobook twice, before buying the paperback to refer back to over and over again.
I realised as I got down to number five that I could probably include a few more on this list, but I’ll leave it to you now. Which unique or funny self-help books are your favourite? Bonus points if there’s some blue language in there 😉