13 for ’13: Nontraditional Self-Help Books

In our continuing quest to provide you with new year’s inspiration, here’s a round-up of 13 nontraditional self-help books. If we lost you at “self-help”—wait! The emphasis is on the “nontraditional” here. There are no “skinny rules,” no dating rules, no rules at all, really, in our reading roundup. What you will find are serious, science-backed suggestions for self-improvement; tried and true time-management techniques; positive psychology; and a little bit of hippie-ing out. Hopefully, there’s something for everybody here — unless you’re a Rules girl. In that case, might we suggest you visit Cosmo?


Remember, Be Here Now

This inspiring manifesto from 60s spiritual guru Ram Dass is also intricately and gorgeously illustrated.
Remember, Be Here Now

The Myths of Happiness

In The Myths of Happiness, Sonja Lyubomirsky looks at achievements (marriage, children, professional satisfaction, wealth) and failures (singlehood, divorce, bankruptcy, illness) "to reveal that our misconceptions about the impact of such events is perhaps the greatest threat to our long-term well-being."
The Myths of Happiness: What Should Make You Happy, but Doesn't, What Shouldn't Make You Happy, but Does

Nice Is Just a Place in France: How to Win at Basically Everything

From the publisher's description:

LOOK, MAYBE YOU’RE A NICE GIRL, but we’re guessing you’re more like us or you probably wouldn’t have picked up this book. Not that we have a problem with girls who are nice people. But being nice is just not the way to get what you want. And this book is about getting what you want. Not in like a finding happiness, giving back to the world, being grateful for what you have sort of way. But in a ruling your world, being the most desired, powerful badass in the room way, so you can come out on top of any situation: guys, career, friends, enemies, whatever.

Sign us up!

Nice Is Just a Place in France: How to Win at Basically Everything

The Art Of Happiness

From Penguin Classics, this book explores the teachings of ancient philosopher Epicurus, including musings on life, death, religion, science, happiness, pleasure, morality and friendship.
Though Epicurus faced hostile opposition for centuries after his death, he counts among his many admirers Thomas Hobbes, Thomas Jefferson, Karl Marx, and Isaac Newton. This volume includes all of his extant writings—his letters, doctrines, and Vatican sayings—alongside parallel passages from the greatest exponent of his philosophy, Lucretius, extracts from Diogenes Laertius' Life of Epicurus and a lucid introductory essay about Epicurean philosophy

The Art of Happiness (Penguin Classics)

Tweak It: Make What Matters to You Happen Every Day

All right, honestly, we don't know if this is a 'nontraditional' self-help book or not. It sounds kinda lame, and kinda cool, and it just came out last week so none of us have read it yet. You be the judge.
Tweak It: Make What Matters to You Happen Every Day

The Beauty Experiment: How I Skipped Lipstick, Ditched Fashion, Faced the World without Concealer, and Learned to Love the Real Me

"I looked at my reflection and despaired," writes Phoebe Baker Hyde. "As an exhausted young mother I felt ugly and saw that a new dress or face cream would never help. I was at risk of passing on a habit of feeling miserable about my looks to my baby girl—if nothing changed."
The Beauty Experiment: How I Skipped Lipstick, Ditched Fashion, Faced the World without Concealer, and Learned to Love the Real Me

Super Brain

Deepak Chopra's new book combines your standard self-help spirituality with relevant research on brain aging and neuroscience.
Super Brain: Unleashing the Explosive Power of Your Mind to Maximize Health, Happiness, and Spiritual Well-Being

What The Most Successful People Do Before Breakfast

It may seem like your typical self-help book, but author Laura Vanderkam has a great way of making you rethink assumptions about the way you spend your time.
What the Most Successful People Do Before Breakfast: A Short Guide to Making Over Your Mornings

Das Energi

This book changed my life when I was 15, and I still re-read it every year. Get past the hippie lingo and it might just changes yours, too.
Das Energi

Making Habits, Breaking Habits


Making Habits, Breaking Habits: Why We Do Things, Why We Don't, and How to Make Any Change Stick

Willpower: Rediscovering the Greatest Human Strength

John Tierney & Roy F. Baumeister's book doesn't just provide tips for increasing your willpower, it also examines the latest scientific research on just what this thing we call "willpower" is and how it works.
Willpower: Rediscovering the Greatest Human Strength

18 Minutes: Find Your Focus, Master Distraction, and Get the Right Things Done

My friend Jen says: "I'd have to say that 18 Minutes by Peter Bregman was my favorite for 2012. That book really helped me learn to organize my time better and to think about 'the big picture.'"

Born to FREAK: A Salty Primer for Irrepressible Humans

This book had me at the title. Judging from the Amazon description, it might be a jumble of nonsense -- or the best book ever. It's in my cart, so I'll update you when I know, but in case you want to see for yourself in the mean time ...
Born to FREAK: A Salty Primer for Irrepressible Humans
Share This Post: