I have a love-hate relationship with self-improvement books. I spent majority of my twenties reading them, hoping to experience a better tomorrow. They were an instant pick-me up. I felt energized and hopeful while reading them, despite the fact that they were a little fuzzy on the details.
In other words, they were my crutch to help me get through insecure, confused, and lost days. Now, in my thirties, I’m more selective with self-improvement books. I’m no longer dazzled by authors that make wild and bold empty promises through “self-affirmation” and “hopeful” methodologies.
Instead, I’m attracted to essayists, thought-leaders, writers and bloggers who are pragmatic and helpful. They are more relatable and provide me a sense of relief to read that I’m not the only one struggling with life.
Below are some of my favorite authors and bloggers who I respect and envy. I respect their original thinking and approach. I envy their celebrity status within their “niche.”
Without a further ado, here are my favorites.
Brain Pickings – This is the best blog for timeless nuggets of insights and wisdom curated by Maria Popova. She’s been compiling inspirational quotes for a decade and am so thankful that she continues to share her learnings.
Because her content and writing is so serious and dense, I have an on and off relationship with the blog. My goal in life is to be able to have enough mental space and energy to be able to read all of her articles in its entirety.
Barking Up the Wrong Tree – Eric Barker’s blog is one of the most well-research blog out there. He synthesizes all available research on a given topic and summarize in digestible format, making sure that you walk away with valuable information.
The only downside is that the blog is updated once every two weeks, but totally understandable, given the amount of research that goes into his articles. And his book, “Barking Up the Wrong Tree” is also superb!
Mark Manson – I discovered Mark’s blog after reading his book “The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F,” which was one of the most original and truthful book about self-improvement I’ve read to date. Mark is raw, honest and thoughtful.
The only complaint about his blog is that there are many subscriber only posts, meaning you have to pay for content. That’s his business model and there’s nothing wrong with that, but I’m experiencing this hurdle. I feel weird paying for articles by one author.
Jocelyn K. Glei – Similar to three authors above, I first encountered Jocelyn K. Glei via her book, “Manage Your Day-to-Day: Build Your Routine, Find Your Focus, and Sharpen Your Creative Mind.”
While I didn’t finish that book yet, I really loved her voice and passion to share practical advice. No fluff, just tried and true examples to help better yourself. Her non-nonsense attitude and approach is really a breath of fresh air in this space.
Design Luck – This blog is a recent discovery via Medium and my favorite section of the site is the book recommendations section. The articles are a hit or a miss, depending on the topic, but so far, enjoying the premise and the goal of the site.
Hope that you find this list to be helpful and feel free to share if there are other blogs that you’d like to share!
photo by Rodrigo Ardilha & Milan Chudoba & Cris Saur on Unsplash