Health & Wellness

6 Personal Development Books to Read this Year

Why not resolve now to check out a few of these guides to becoming your best self?

By Katrina Caruso


The New Year is a great time to start thinking about all the books that you want to read—or re-read—over the 12 months ahead. This year, if you’ve been thinking about working on some personal growth, you might want to consider these bestsellers and award-winners for your list.

The 4 Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom, Miguel Ruiz

If you read only one self-help book this year, read Don Miguel Ruiz’s The Four Agreements. Critically acclaimed, it has garnered a spot as one of the all-time best self-help books. The Four Agreements is all about letting go of that which limits us in reaching our potential and our dreams, and that which causes us unnecessary pain. Based on ancient Toltec wisdom, this quick read is practical, accessible, and refreshing.

Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear, Elizabeth Gilbert

You may remember her as the bestselling author of Eat Pray Love, an empowering story of self-love. Gilbert published Big Magic in 2016 and it has since earned high praise. The book is for anyone with a creative side who is looking for a spark to get going and a fresh perspective on what drives inspiration.

Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff… and It’s All Small Stuff: Simple Ways to Keep the Little Things From Taking Over Your Life, Richard Carlson

This little book might fool you as first. Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff is about how to let go of the negative thoughts you think, how to look at problems in a new light, and reduce your anxieties and stress levels. Each tip is only a few pages long, so it’s a fast read. I suggest you read one “small thing” a day; it can make a difference and help you to savour Carlson’s wisdom for longer.

Rising Strong; How the Ability to Reset Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead, Brené Brown

A social scientist, Brown is perhaps best known for her TedTalk on vulnerability (if you haven’t seen it, go watch it right now). Rising Strong brings together her many ideas on courage and fear, vulnerability and insecurities, shame and self-worth. In this book, Brown teaches the power of emotion and how live a life of strength.

The 5 Love Langauges (Updated): The Secret to Love That Lasts, Gary Chapman

This book is a New York Times bestseller about the ways in which we can work to stay in love in our romantic relationships. The main concept is that each person has a predominant love style that he or she exhibits and also prefers to receive. The 5 Love Languages will change the way you look at relationships, and how you care for your partner.

The Happiness Project, Gretchen Rubin

A light and enjoyable read that will make you laugh and smile and leave you inspired, the book outlines Rubin’s year-long journey in pursuit of happiness. She set off to work on her marriage, home, and career with the ultimate goal of enjoying all that life already had to offer her. What she did will easily be applicable to your life if you choose to take on your own project.

Photo: iStock/MaskaRad.