Whether you’re in need of a heart-lifting confidence boost, a step-by-step plan for living your best life, or an inspiring guide filled with “aha!” moments, these are the bestselling self-help books of 2020 that will do the trick.
The genre of self-help might be all about using your own efforts and resources to better yourself and achieve your goals, but ironically, to get to that stage of self-sufficiency a little guidance is required.
Enter the multi-billion dollar self-help industry, which is packed to the brim with books by life coaches, media personalities, psychologists and just about anyone else who claims to have found the secrets to happiness, confidence, or even “The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck”. The books on offer vary in style: there are chatty memoirs in which successful people muse on their life lessons, moving and motivational guides to breaking bad habits, and practical how-to’s for living your best life.
Look, we’ll be honest – with such a huge range of self-help books continually being churned out, it’s easy to feel cynical and imagine that they’re nothing more than an occasionally fascinating commute read. But there are actually some gems within the genre that can cause that breakthrough moment you’ve been looking for – you just have to know which ones to pick up! We’ve found 10 of the bestselling self-help books from Booktopia to help you change your perspective and give your life the reset it needs.
The Space Between by Zara McDonald and Michelle Andrews, $24.75 (down from $32.99)
Looking for a self-help book that doesn’t really feel like a self-help book? Check out The Space Between, by Australia’s own Zara McDonald and Michelle Andrews of Shameless podcast fame. It’s mainly targeted at women in their twenties, but those in younger and older age groups can also benefit from the down-to-earth wisdom it contains.
A reviewer said “Zara and Michelle are the voices of this generation. During lockdown, it’s like I’m able to catch up and talk with my two best friends. Loved it!”
Buy The Space Between here
Women Don’t Owe You Pretty by Florence Given, $18.75 (down from $24.99)
In Women Don’t Owe You Pretty, artist and activist Florence Given promises to revolutionise the way you understand feminism. No matter your gender or age, there are lessons to be learned about self empowerment, intersectionality, empathy, protecting your energy and so much more more. Plus, with its vibrant illustrations and casual writing style, it’s the kind of self-help book you won’t get bored of.
Reviewers said “I want to buy all of my friends a copy of this, and send a copy back in time to 13 year old me”, “every chapter was a new self discovery. Every person should read this. I can’t recommend it enough” and that it’s “brain shattering in the best way”.
Buy Women Don’t Owe You Pretty here
Untamed by Glennon Doyle, $26.50 (down from $35)
If you want to know why you should buy this book, just read what Adele had to say about it: “This book will shake your brain and make your soul scream. I am so ready for myself after reading this book! It’s as if I just flew into my body for the very first time”. Yep, what more do we really have to say? Untamed is a wake-up call for those who need to shake off expectations and embrace their true selves – and mothers in particular will relate to author Glennon Doyle’s heartfelt story.
A reviewer said “This book has both validated and enlightened me in ways I never imagined. Glennon produced in me so many ‘ah-ha’ moments, shining a light on my relationships between myself, my children and my partner that I was trying so desperately to unsee!”
Buy Untamed here
The Boy, The Mole, The Fox and The Horse by Charlie Mackesy, $26.25 (down from $35)
At first glance, you might be fooled into thinking this beautifully illustrated book is for kids – but in the vein of Winnie the Pooh and The Little Prince, this heartwarming tale is a reminder for all ages to persist in the face of hardship. Filled with universal life lessons about friendship, love, loss, and courage, it’s an unexpected treasure that will surprise you with its humble wisdom.
Reviewers said “The book is a road map for life, read it and you will never be lost” and “Dip into this book as required – guaranteed to make your heart feel a little better, and your mind feel a little wiser”.
Buy The Boy, The Mole, The Fox and The Horse here
Think Like a Monk by Jay Shetty, $24.75 (down from $32.99)
Lovers of the classic self-help genre will find exactly what they’re looking for in this inspiring book by storyteller and former monk Jay Shetty. He reveals the practical everyday steps you need to take for a less anxious and more meaningful life, as well as the traditional Vedic monk techniques for clearing the roadblocks to your potential and power.
A reviewer said “If you only read one book in your lifetime, READ THIS, absolutely soul touching, inspiring, motivating, life changing, easy to read, so many eye opening observations, do yourself a favour get it now.”
Buy Think Like a Monk here
Me and White Supremacy by Layla F Saad, $24.25 (down from $29.99)
Racism isn’t a comfortable topic, and nor should it be. But that shouldn’t stop us from confronting it head-on to create a better, more inclusive world – and that’s exactly what writer and speaker Layla F Saad equips you to do in this unflinching book. It may not seem like the most traditional self-help book, but acknowledging and working on your own white privilege and internalised prejudices is a vital part of self-betterment that will transform the way you exist in this world.
A reviewer said it’s a “really enlightening read and the prompts make you question, reflect on, and alter your own behaviours”.
Buy Me and White Supremacy here
Atomic Habits by James Clear, $26.25 (down from $35)
Changing your life might seem like an enormous and impossible task, but in this book, habits expert James Clear breaks it down into manageable, achievable decisions you can take on the daily. He explains how these “miniscule changes” can have “life-altering outcomes”, using the latest learnings of psychology and neuroscience to back up his claims – there’s nothing airy-fairy here.
Reviewers said “this book so interesting, so well written, easy to read and has so many ideas that’ll literally change your life. I’ve gifted it to so many people and they love it too. GET IT!” and that it’s “a great read with lots of practical advice about generating new good habits and removing old and bad habits”.
Buy Atomic Habits here
Can’t Hurt Me by David Goggins, $39.90 (down from $41.53)
David Goggins’ life story is one that is equal parts confronting and inspiring: he overcame the poverty, prejudice, and abuse faced in his childhood to become an elite athlete and U.S. Armed Forces icon. In Can’t Hurt Me, Goggins shares the lessons that helped him push through his depression and life struggles and reveals how to break out of “the 40 percent rule” that has too many of us using only a fraction of our capabilities to reach our potential.
Reviewers said “I related on every lever and implement many of the same strategies as David. A must read for those looking to level up emotionally!” and “I have read many self-help books and this is beyond self-help, this is a (true) story woven into success. I challenge anyone to read this and not be inspired”.
Buy Can’t Hurt Me here
The Barefoot Investor 2019 Update by Scott Pape, $22.50 (down from $29.95)
There’s no doubt that someone in your office or friend group has talked your ear off about this book, to the point where you might be scarred by the very mention of it – but the hype is real and the love for this book is well-founded. Those who struggle with savings will benefit from the latest edition of Pape’s straightforward, practical and flexible guide to finances – and won’t have to struggle through complex jargon or boring writing to get there.
Reviewers said “This isn’t a get-rich-quick book, it’s foolproof (and very basic) advice on how to build wealth gradually over time” and that it’s “easy to read and understand with snapshots, cartoons, diagrams and funny articles to help lighten the topic of finance”.
Buy The Barefoot Investor 2019 Update here
Limitless by Jim Kwik, $22.50 (down from $26.99)
Feeling stuck in life? Learning expert Jim Kwik will be your guide to unlocking your potential and becoming truly free from your perceived limitations. He’ll teach you to conquer the four supervillains – distraction, digital dementia, digital deluge and depression – to harness your brain power and achieve your biggest dreams.
Reviewers said “I feel like this book also improves my life overall. It really digs deep into my desire and motivation to achieve more in life” and “this book has so many valuable insights into how we operate and has changed my way of thinking and striving for my goals!”
Buy Limitless here
Looking for more great reading material? Check out our round-up of the best books to inspire your health journey in 2020. Or if fiction is more your style, check out the books we read (and re-read) in iso.
All products featured in this article are selected by our editors, who don’t play favourites. If you buy something, we may get a cut of the sale.