Raise your hand if you have at least ten books on your “to-read” list. Same, friend (except we have 20). To save you some time, we pored over the most popular self-help books of 2020 and distilled them down into two sentences each. Ahh, we feel calmer and happier already.
1. How to Get Over a Boy by Chidera Eggerue
Activist Chidera Eggerue (aka the Slumflower) has blunt advice for heartbroken women: Stop treating men like the prize and start treating yourself like one. When you take the reins and gain control of your relationships, you get to decide how much power he has (or doesn’t have) over you.
2. Get Out of Your Head by Jennie Allen
Christian self-help author Jennie Allen combines scripture and neuroscience in this book that helps readers quiet the constant buzzing of our thoughts, anxieties and insecurities.
3. Untamed by Glennon Doyle
The bestselling author and mom encourages women to push back against the expectations society has forced on them for centuries and unleash their wild, untamed selves. “The braver we are, the luckier we get,” she writes.
4. The Gift of Forgiveness by Katherine Schwarzenegger Pratt
If you’re having trouble forgiving someone from your past, Schwarzenegger Pratt (yes, the daughter of Arnold and wife of Chris) offers advice through interviews and true stories of people who were able to do just that. If Elizabeth Smart can do it, so can you.
5. Buy Yourself the F*cking Lilies by Tara Schuster
On the outside, Schuster was a successful Comedy Central exec who seemed to have her life together—but on the inside, she was miserable. Now, the transformed “ninja of self-love” is here to teach us the lessons she’s learned (like you should always treat yourself to the massage, the flowers, the guac or whatever tiny thing you really love).
6. Me and White Supremacy by Layla F. Saad
White people: It’s time for you to identify your biases and examine your privilege. It’s not just about being not racist, it’s about being anti-racist, and this book by the host of the Good Ancestor podcast will help you understand how to be an effective ally moving forward.
7. How to Be Fine by Jolenta Greenberg and Kristen Meinzer
Well, this is meta. In their podcast By the Book, Greenberg and Meinzer do a deep dive of one popular self-help book every week and apply the advice to their lives—here, they talk about what advice worked (learning to declutter) and what didn’t (becoming a morning person, ha).
8. Joy at Work by Marie Kondo and Scott Sonenshein
If you loved The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, it’s time to apply the “spark joy” philosophy to your work life. Here, the organizing guru teams up with a Rice University Business professor to streamline everything about your workday, from cleaning that cluttered desk to skipping out on unnecessary meetings.
9. F*ck Your Diet: And Other Things My Thighs Tell Me by Chloé Hilliard
In this gut-busting anti-diet book, the journalist-turned-standup comedian posits that the same society that shames us for being fat is also responsible for the socioeconomic issues, stress and chemicals in food that cause us to be fat in the first place.
10. Relationship Goals: How to Win at Dating, Marriage and Sex by Michael Todd
Pastor Michael Todd’s theory is that most people don’t aim for long-lasting, real love while they’re dating, which then lowers the standard for everyone else. His advice: “If you wouldn’t marry the person, don’t go out with him.”
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