Life’s tough. That’s already a given. You’re on your way to adulthood and the path to independence isn’t easy. But who said you have to go through it alone? Repeat after me: Seeking help isn’t a sign of weakness.
Friends, family and colleagues are great sources of inspiration, but they don’t always hold the keys to self-improvement. And you can only read motivational quotes and BuzzFeed life hacks so much before they get repetitive. So, why don’t you give the self-help genre a chance? Even young cynics may find wisdom in generalized advice after all.
In that case, don’t think you’re limited to the usual reads; go for books that get straight to the point and steer clear of sappy stories or “just think positive” BS. We’ve already told you about five of these gems, and in the spirit of progress, we’ve got five more to recommend.
Make Time: How to Focus on What Matters Every Day by Jake Knapp and John Zeratsky
Even in today’s busy culture, zeroing in on what’s important is a way more fulfilling approach to life than being in a constant state of (attempted) productivity. Two ordinary guys from the tech industry wrote this “not macho or hardcore” guide, peppered with personal anecdotes and informative doodles, to help you focus on your best self. They know that not everything works for everyone, so you’re given 87 practical strategies such as “Bulldoze Your Calendar” to “Caffeinate Before You Crash” to pick from.
The Life-Changing Magic of Not Giving a F*ck by Sarah Knight
Marie Kondo-ing can get addicting and “anti-guru” Sarah Knight has caught on. Don’t just declutter your house; declutter your life, too. You can’t care about every single thing for your own good, so Knight will teach you how to adopt a f*ck budget and how to say no (without being a total jerk who cares about absolutely nothing).
Read more: Notes on leadership from ‘Avengers: Endgame’
Quiet Girls who Can Run the World by Rebecca Holman
A girl boss must be aggressive and ruthless—you really don’t wanna mess with her—right? Well, Rebecca Holman doesn’t agree with that stereotype. She proposes “beta” women could be just as successful and introverts can develop their innate strengths into leadership skills. Based on the author’s research and personal career experience, this book is specifically addressed to the ladies in the office—but anyone could use the reminder that each one of us has something to contribute.
How to Remember Everything by Richard Wiseman
Got a terrible memory? Psychology professor Richard Wiseman says he does, so he wrote this straightforward manual of mind tricks (which are basically self-help life hacks). Wouldn’t life be more wonderful if forgetting things wasn’t so freaking easy?
Why We Do the Things We Do: Psychology in a Nutshell by Joel Levy
In response to life’s big questions (i.e. “What is normal?”, “Why do we forget?”, “Why are teenagers ratty?”), Joel Levy breaks down a ton of psychological concepts and their historical development. This book is entry level, so you won’t need a psychology degree to figure out how your mind works. It’s actually not filed under the self-help genre but a better understanding of human nature could certainly help you help yourself.