Self-help that actually helps
Hi, my name’s Nick and I’m a self-help junkie. I’m also a psychologist, writer, and English major. Mash all that up you get… Well, I’m not sure.
But I read a lot, especially books about psychology and self-improvement. And this is where I collect and share the best books I’ve found for personal growth and self-improvement across a variety of topics.
3 Books that Changed My Life
- How to Read a Book
Most people are mediocre readers. A handful are good. This book will teach you to be a great reader.
- On the Shortness of Life
I read this book every year at New Years. And every year it hits me like a thunderbolt: Life is long if you know how to use it
- Deep Work
The secret to producing great work is the cultivation of focus—deep, profound focus.
Best Books by Topic
My favorite books across a range of topics and areas. They’re all books that I’ve personally benefited from and regularly recommend to friends, family, and clients.
- How Emotions Are Made
This is probably the best book written for a lay audience about what emotions are, how they work, and how to work with them.
- Don’t Shoot the Dog
Don’t let the admittedly eccentric title fool you: This is the best book I’ve ever read about changing behavior—either your own or someone else’s.
- F*ck Feelings
Why values, not emotion, are the best guide to behavior and action.
- The War of Art
A genuinely inspiring, if slightly quirky, book about finding the courage to do the work you were meant to do.
- The Inner Game of Tennis
A guide to mastering the mental side of high performance.
How the disciplined pursuit of “less but better” is the key to achieving our full potential.
- The Mindful Way Through Depression
This is the first book I recommend to people struggling with depression.
- Anxiety and Avoidance
The best book for understanding and reducing anxiety in any form.
- Sex, Drugs, Gambling, & Chocolate
An evidence-based alternative approach to overcoming addiction of any kind without drugs or 12-step programs.
- The Assertiveness Workbook
Assertiveness is the foundation for healthy relationships of any kind but especially primary romantic relationships.
- Will Our Love Last?
No one should be allowed to get married before reading this book.
- Becoming Attached
How our attachment and early relationships affect what we look for and how we operate in relationships.
- Sit Like a Buddha
The best introduction + guide to meditation and mindfulness for most people. Friendly and practical.
- Wherever You Go, There You Are
A collection of brief essays on the true meaning of mindfulness and how to live it in your life.
- Why Buddhism Is True
The best explanation of the science behind why mindfulness and meditation are so beneficial.
- Atomic Habits
The best book for anyone looking to build new habits or break bad ones.
- The Power of Habit
A guide to the mechanics of how habits work in everything from sports to marketing.
- The Compound Effect
How to achieve massive transformation and success using the power of small habits compounded over time.
Business and Career
- So Good They Can’t Ignore You
The best book—by far—about choosing a career and finding your passion in life.
- Mastering the Art of Quitting
Why we should embrace intelligent quitting to really advance our career and goals.
- The Dip
When persistence is (and isn’t) a good idea.
- The Gardener and the Carpenter
What the science of child psychology and development tells us about raising children effectively.
- How to Talk So Kids Will Listen and Listen So Kids Will Talk
A practical guide to effective communication with children (and adults!).
- The Montessori Toddler
Whether you’re into Montessori or not, this book is a wonderful guide to raising a curious, independent, and thoughtful child.
Get my newest book reviews.
I usually read and review a new book every week or two. And I share all my newest reviews with members of my weekly newsletter, which you can join here.