From time to time, any man needs advice, be it money, work, relationships, or in general, the meaning of life. But what if the right mentor isn’t around? The answer is simple – books. Or, to be more precise, self-help books. We’ve handpicked these 75 self-help books for men to help you find solutions to your hardships.
Top self-help books for men
This self-help book explains how to deal with change emotionally and methodically when things are about to go down. Because nobody is perfect, and sometimes, we miss the warning signs. So it aims to help the reader learn how to adopt changes and positively impact different aspects of life.
This best-selling book consists of 42 short chapters inspired by Christian philosophy. It can help you understand and define your purpose in life by answering fundamental questions.
“The Power of Habit” not only explains what forms a habit but also how to get rid of bad ones and grab onto good ones. Using this knowledge, you can improve in anything from regular exercise to business.
Not being a novelty in recent years, Dr. Murphy’s book still ranks among the best guides in psychology that helped millions of people. So if you’re looking for practical techniques to find solid ground with your mind, this book is a must-read.
Boundaries Updated and Expanded Edition: When to Say Yes, How to Say No To Take Control of Your Life
We all can overdo, become doormats, and get ourselves in codependent and not correctly working relationships even though the goal was pure and innocent. But everything needs balance, and so your commitment to people. This book can show you how not to overpush by setting clear boundaries in different aspects of life.
The Mask of Masculinity: How Men Can Embrace Vulnerability, Create Strong Relationships, and Live Their Fullest Lives
The title of the book speaks for itself. Men often hide thoughts and feelings under various masks, not showing themselves vulnerable even to their truly loved ones. As a result, that “picture” significantly affects everything in life, even when you don’t think so.
In his funny and somewhat vulgar way, Mark Manson debunks the thought of being positive all the time. He advises us to try out our limitations and accept them cause not everyone can be extraordinary. And once we face that unpleasant truth, we can start building confidence and finally become happier.
Admiral William H. McRaven’s speech that went viral in 2014 became the basis for this book. He shared the ten principles he learned during Navy Seal training, which brought him through hurdles of his Navy career. In short tales from his own life and those who served with him, he provides examples of how anyone could use these basic lessons to change themselves or even the world for the better.
Jen Sincero, in 27 short chapters filled with funny yet inspiring stories, easy exercises, and the occasional swear word, helps recognize and change the self-sabotaging beliefs and behaviors that stop you from getting what you want.
If you liked “The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck” and “You Are a Badass” from our list of best self-help books, then this one is for sure going to take its place on your virtual or real bookshelf. It’s written in a similarly straightforward and honest way, which leads you through a series of seven assertions and helps you become the truly unfu*ked version of yourself.
Spiritual teacher Michael Singer shows how developing consciousness through meditation can help us stop running from the present. And also leave our painful thoughts and memories that put blocks between us and happiness.
The 15 Invaluable Laws of Growth: Live Them and Reach Your Potential
Each chapter discusses one of the fifteen self-improvement laws, for example:
1) The Law of Intentionality: Growth Doesn’t Just Happen
2) The Law of Awareness: You Must Know Yourself to Grow Yourself
3) The Law of Consistency: Motivation Gets You Going, Discipline Keeps You Growing
In addition, after each chapter, the author includes questions to help readers realize how to apply each law to their lives and reach true potential.
Awaken the Giant Within: How to Take Immediate Control of Your Mental, Emotional, Physical and Financial Destiny!
Truly one of the best self-help books by famous coach and speaker Tony Robbins. Sometimes you can lose control of your life because you’re a reflection of all of your past thoughts and actions, but you’re not your past. It’s all stuck in your head, spinning you in a spiral, and this book is the helping hand to get you out of this whirlpool.
In “The One Year Uncommon Life Daily Challenge,” Super Bowl-winning former head coach Tony Dungy shares 365 reflections on how to live an “uncommon life” by appreciating your family, friends and creating a real meaning to life. A whole year consists of seven themes, one for every day of the week: core, family, friends, potential, mission, influence, and faith. Since the devotions are stand-alone, you can follow them without confusion at any time of the year.
Viktor Frankl describes his life as a prisoner in Nazi death camps and lessons for spiritual survival through his psychotherapeutic method. Between 1942 and 1945, Frankl labored in four camps, including Auschwitz, while his family perished. His example and the patients he treated later in his practice demonstrate that suffering might be unavoidable. Still, it’s our choice to cope with it, find meaning in it, and move forward with restored purpose.
When it comes to morality and ethics, people are eager to think in terms of black and white. But “The 48 Laws of Power” deals mainly with the gray areas. And since most of the Laws in this book are for great evil or good, it depends on the reader which side to choose.
The book consists of six meditations, in which Descartes first discards all belief in things that are not certain and then tries to establish what can be known for sure. You can use this way of thinking when building long-going plans.
“7 Habits of Highly Effective People” explains the principles of Stephen Covey’s model that make a person more productive personally and professionally. It shows how a principle and character-based life can help you build healthy relationships crucial for a comfortable living. This classic self-help book is worth reading for its viewpoint and practical advice.
“Art of Living” is the teachings of the stoic philosopher Epictetus. The book contains never dying, practical wisdom, which leads to happiness, inner peace, and success.
“Do not try to seem wise to others. If you want to live a wise life, live it on your own terms and in your own eyes.” ― Epictetus.
“Can’t Hurt Me” is the inspiring story of David Goggins – from struggle during his childhood to hard work and determination to become a Navy Seal and Army Ranger, faith in himself while overcoming severe health challenges – and many other life lessons. The author says that most of us can only use 40% of our capabilities. But he believes that every man should go beyond that limit by wrecking fear, acting with complete confidence, and working hard.
If you’re looking for some classic self-help book, then take a look at “Think and Grow Rich” by Napoleon Hill. This book was written in the US in 1937, during recovery from the Great Depression, but it’s still relevant today. Overall, it took Hill 20 years and many conversations with Andrew Carnegie, Thomas Edison, Henry Ford, and other millionaires of his generation to formulate his discoveries into 17 principles by which men could become rich and influential.
It is an easy read book with straightforward examples to help you recognize anger in yourself, providing many tools to defuse destructive anger. Gentle and at the same time firm kind of advice that should be there for every man who struggles to control hurricane inside.
“Outliers” explore the factors that provide high levels of success in sport, business, music. The author reflects on the opportunity and time spent by people in those fields to gain outstanding results. Also, throughout the book, he mentions the “10,000-Hour Rule”, which nowadays is a well-known theory about the amount of time you need to master a skill.
“How to Win Friends and Influence People” is one of the most successful self-help books in American history for a reason. It can teach you how to speak and behave with people, make you attractive to them, convince them of different subjects. And, after all, improve self-esteem.
On almost two hundred pages, the author exposes forty self-destructive patterns of behavior that can poison you daily. He proposes practical steps to shift behavior to life-enhancing instead of self-defeating.
While somewhat religious-centered, this self-help book offers to face yourself and bring constant change in your life by revising time, relationships, finances, personality, and other challenging questions.
We all have negative thoughts from time to time, but if you constantly feel tired and overwhelmed, you need to explore how these thoughts impact your way of living. “Declutter Your Mind” aims to show how mindfulness techniques provide more room for the right decisions that move you closer to life goals.
“Getting Past Your Past” is about trauma, PTSD, and how our minds function after unpleasant events. It focuses on a psychotherapy technique called EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing) that reportedly gets effective results in some cases. But it’s not a textbook. Written conversationally with life stories and humor, the author describes why we get stuck in different ways and what to do about it.
“The Self Confidence Workbook” consists of a 5-step program to improve self-esteem, build confidence, and stop over-criticize yourself. This workbook is full of exercises and quizzes based on psychological therapies. It gives a little more structural approach than self-help books from influencers.
How to Make Sh*t Happen: Make More Money, Get in Better Shape, Create Epic Relationships and Control
This one spins around CORE 4 – four main areas or principles on which you can build your well-being:
Power (health and body)
Passion (relationships with people)
Purpose (setting up your day with a positive daily routine)
Production (career or business)
It’s only a hundred pages with a straightforward kind of motivational content, so if you are looking for something to read in a couple of evenings, that might be a good option.
Like anything worth achieving, happiness takes practice. So if you’ve reached the bottom of your self-esteem, then even the most straightforward mantra like “I love myself” day after day can work a miracle. In his book, Kamal Ravikant shows how to finally find sweet words for yourself.
Defense mechanisms are a necessary part of the human mind. Still, they may hurt our relationships and prevent us from behaving in ways we would like. They have their purpose, so the point is not to destroy those mechanisms but to remove unhealthy aspects. The author offers to review twelve mechanisms and perform exercises that can help you act correctly in triggering situations.
If you light up like a match at the slightest annoyance, then you should turn to anger management strategies. Clinical Therapist Aaron Karmin gives specific tools for men to self-control temper and aggression.
Minimalism is about getting rid of the unnecessary, but what if you apply this simple idea to your gadgets? In “Digital Minimalism,” Cal Newport describes methods to limit social media and find the pleasure of the offline world. He shows how to use these practices in your life, starting with a thirty-day digital detox.
You’ve already seen a book about habits and how to use them for good on our list. But this one explains them slightly differently, focusing on a more hands-on approach, pushing goals and motivation into the background.
A favorite job, a good salary, and social status are not reasons to feel guilty. Because life is about choice, but sometimes in pursuit of all this, we might get trapped in work addiction. “#Chill” is an excellent guide to find silence and time for yourself in the nonstop working world.
This book is about how and why people usually make bad financial decisions. The book cover shows the author’s idea of “the behavior gap.” It’s a period between what we should do and what we do with money and how that makes a difference in the long run.
Stop Overthinking: 23 Techniques to Relieve Stress, Stop Negative Spirals, Declutter Your Mind, and Focus on the Present
You can’t describe it better. Twenty-three helpful methods on how to break overthinking circles, control negative thoughts and reduce stress.
Losing a loved one can be the most challenging time. Grief overwhelms you, and it seems no one can understand your feelings. But it should get easier over time, and this self-help book shows how to cope with the loss.
“The Fitness Mindset” is the perfect self-help book for men who are just making their first steps in training. It consists of two parts. The first one explains how to manage your physical progress with diet, hydration, supplements, sleep. The second is about creating habits and managing stress in the process.
Nathaniel Branden provides his six action practices for daily living to boost your confidence. But what is more important, it’s a great source of many reflective thoughts about yourself because self-esteem is crucial for your psychological health.
Most people think that charisma is something that comes from birth. However, this book debunks this myth explaining that charisma is a set of behaviors that can be learned and developed over time.
Another excellent example of a self-help book about health and wellness. Tom Rath, in his guide, shares a way of building a healthy routine on diet, activity, and sleep. Similarly, you can make your plan by following these little tips.
If you liked “How to Win Friends and Influence People” by Dale Carnegie, you’d likely enjoy this book too. The author explains techniques that can move almost anyone close to a pro speaker level. You may not find all 92 methods helpful. However, you’ll for sure find quite a few useful ones.
The Willpower Instinct: How Self-Control Works, Why It Matters, and What You Can Do to Get More of It
Dopamine is the reason why we may prefer short-term rewards over long-term ones. But in practice, we can teach ourselves to avoid such decisions. And this book gives tips on how to grow willpower using modern ideas of what we know about the human mind.
“Meditations” by Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius is a mix of his notes and ideas on Stoic philosophy. But even after almost two thousand years, it’s still relevant for modern men. He reflects on the nature of human life, relationships, and how little time each of us has. Therefore, he encourages focusing on work to give purpose and meaning to life and a way to improve.
“The 5 seconds rule” is the result of Mel Robbins’ successful speech at the Tedx Talk. So as you may get from naming, it spins around the simple rule. When you need to do something useful, you can count from one to five and start doing it. And once you begin, you’ll likely continue.
Through many short chapters, “59 seconds” turn myths about human behavior upside down. And for every topic, Richard Wiseman shares a few exciting experiments. In addition, he gives specific suggestions on how to make it run in your own life.
If you don’t like being in the spotlight, you prefer a small group of friends and get energized by being alone. Then this self-help book is a great find because probably you’re introverted. It highlights your strengths and shows how to benefit from them in the extrovert world.
Brian Tracy offers twenty-one ways to stop putting off things for later. And as the title says, you need to do the most challenging things first. This way, you won’t think about them all day and free your time for other tasks.
We’ve all heard about Pareto’s Law or simply the 80/20 principle. But how to find this 20 percent in real life? Using this principle, the author shows how we can work less and have more pleasure in our personal and professional lives.
Oliver Burkeman invites us to rethink the ideas that we regularly see in self-improvement books. On examples of Stoicism and Buddhism, he shows alternative ways instead of blind trust in positive thinking.
The little things we do in life matter the most. As a result, we don’t become obese overnight or lose wealth instantly. It’s all a compound effect of bad decisions taken almost every day for a long time. But how about replacing it with good ones?
Randy Pausch was a CS professor who was diagnosed with terminal cancer. During his last year, he had a chance to give a lecture called “Really Achieving Your Childhood Dreams.” It was so full of sincerity, hope, and humor that it went viral on Youtube. Later it made a basis for “The Last Lecture.”
“The Four Agreements,” inspired by Toltec wisdom, offers to make four simple agreements with yourself that can lead to personal freedom. However, it’s a somewhat spiritual kind of self-help book. So there might be a better option on the list if you prefer a more solid approach.
Although the title isn’t great, the book provides sound financial advice. It also questions typical roads to wealth and their weak sides.
Example of fiction that we can see as an inspirational self-help book. The plot is about a young shepherd boy who goes on a trip searching for treasures. But in the end, he finds much more than just wealth.
Some chapters remind ideas from “The Millionaire Fastlane.” However, the rest of the “pillars” explore concepts and mindsets behind getting rich and how you can use them in real life.
Rich Dad Poor Dad: What the Rich Teach Their Kids About Money That the Poor and Middle Class Do Not!
In his famous self-help book, Robert Kiyosaki shows two views on money and investing. Of his real father and the father of his best friend, “rich dad.” Then he proves how these opposite ways of thinking affect their wealth.
Again, we deservedly mention the book by Dale Carnegie. He wrote it in 1948, but much of his advice is still valid today. Moreover, he backs it with real stories where you may see yourself and your worries.
Malcolm Gladwell explores what stands behind a good decision that we take in the blink of an eye. And also why some of us are better than others at dealing with quick thoughts.
Persuasion is what makes a good speaker. However, not everyone has it from birth. So if you’re looking for ways to be more persuasive in your talks, try this self-help book.
In contrast to modern tricks and tips, “Lead the Field” sticks to principles and human nature from simpler times. So if possible, give it a try in the audio version because Earl Nightingale’s deep voice adds class to every word.
Making a Good Brain Great: The Amen Clinic Program for Achieving and Sustaining Optimal Mental Performance
We follow the training program, diet, and get enough sleep while working out the body. In the same way, we should take care of our minds. At first, “Making a Good Brain Great” gives info on how our brain works, then how we can support and improve it. Finally, it provides a 15-day plan to get on track with a healthy routine.
“Rework” using straight talk tries to rethink everything you might know about work and business. Moreover, it’s the opposite of an ordinary business book. So there’s no step-by-step instruction or a to-do list here. Only things that authors tried themselves.
“Dare to Lead” is an insight into soft leadership for those who lack courage or are just about to take the lead position. But it’s not only for work because most advice you can apply to any area of life.
“The 33 Strategies of War” is an extensive guide about concepts of war and social games. And what could be more similar to a competitive environment than conflicts? To illustrate his points, Robert Greene provides historical examples of prominent figures and famous battles.
Classic 90s financial self-help book. You can still use good financial habits from it. However, some things have changed in our crypto-times.
In brief, “The Power of Positive Thinking” is a mix of CBT-like techniques to better your self-esteem and Christian values. So the last one can get the non-religious people a little put off.
Earlier, we mentioned a book on how to declutter your mind. It’s time to take care of your room in the same way. With the help of Marie Kondō, discard everything unnecessary to keep what really “sparks joy.”
“12 Rules for Life” is an excellent self-help guide for young men who struggle to find themselves in the modern world. Twelve chapters contain one rule each and cover many topics from philosophy, psychology, literature, and history to give a solid ground. Also, there’s a sequel which is further progress of ideas provided there.
Susan Jeffers, Ph.D., describes the full spectrum of harmful behavior and then explains how to fix it, replacing it with healthier. So if you’re helpless to get rid of fears, bitterness, anger that overwhelm you, this book will help.
When it comes to self-improvement, we often rely on willpower only. But sometimes, it’s simply not enough, and we go back to our habits again. So Benjamin Hardy’s idea is that we need to change our environment to change ourselves because today’s world is full of obstacles and distractions.
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