17 Best Self-Help Authors To Help You Make Positive Changes

Find out the best self-help authors to guide you with your personal growth and development. Learn more in this article.

Self-improvement is a never-ending journey, and people worldwide agree that these best-selling self-help books can help you learn to live your best life, one good decision at a time. 

Self-help books have helped many people change their lives for the better, and it’s easier than ever to get your hands on reading material that can help you grow and change. Whether you choose to hit up Amazon or your local library, the authors below are known among businesspeople, entrepreneurs, and everyday people who want to improve their lives by writing the best self-help books. 

Best self-help authors

1. Dale Carnegie

Dale Carnegie
Dale Carnegie is heralded as one of the best self-help authors of all time

Dale Carnegie’s self-improvement books have helped extroverts and introverts alike learn how to make friends and live happier lives. How to Stop Worrying and Start Living helps people living with anxiety and worry. His book on honing one’s social skills, How to Win Friends and Influence People, has sold over 30 million copies. Carnegie is heralded as one of the best self-help authors of all time. 

How to Stop Worrying and Start Living
  • Hardcover Book
  • Carnegie, Dale (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 318 Pages - 01/01/2018 (Publication Date) - General Press (Publisher)

2. Brené Brown

Brené Brown
By BBeargTeam – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0

With over four million copies of her books sold worldwide, social scientist Brené Brown is in high demand. Her studies on relationships, vulnerability, and shame have helped people dig into past hurts and how they affect their relationships today. In addition to steadily churning out books that top the charts, Brown is also a regular guest on podcasts and talk shows alike. Brown’s latest book, Atlas of the Heart, is expected to follow sales trends of her previous bestsellers, including Daring Greatly and Dare to Lead

Atlas of the Heart: Mapping Meaningful Connection and the Language of Human Experience
  • Hardcover Book
  • Brown, Brené (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 336 Pages - 11/30/2021 (Publication Date) - Random House (Publisher)

3. Jen Sincero

Jen Sincero
By Drlogdr – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0

Successful people worldwide know Jen Sincero for her You Are a Badass series, which has sold more than five million copies. In 2011, Sincero sold most of her belongings and embarked on a journey of self-discovery, running her book proposal writing business from all corners of the globe. In addition to writing motivational books, Sincero also performs motivational comedy, captivating audiences with her kick-in-the-pants style of pushing people to move forward. 

You Are a Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life by Jen Sincero
  • Jen Sincero (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 12/09/2022 (Publication Date) - John Murray Learning (Publisher)

4. Stephen R. Covey

Stephen R. Covey
By Neshan H. Naltchayan – https://catalog.archives.gov/id/162904863, Public Domain

Heralded as one of the best self-help books of all time, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey has sold more than 20 million copies. Published in 1989, 7 Habits has stood the test of time and continues to be a favorite among high achievers across various sectors. Covey completed an analysis of self-help books during his doctoral dissertation and found a hole in the market that he could fill. So he developed 7 Habits as a secular extension of his faith, helping people use relational skills that worked no matter their beliefs.

Sale
The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: 30th Anniversary Edition (The Covey Habits Series)
  • Covey, Stephen R. (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 464 Pages - 05/19/2020 (Publication Date) - Simon & Schuster (Publisher)

5. Eckhart Tolle

Eckhart Tolle
By Kyle Hoobin (twitter.com/kylehoobin) – Transferred from en.wikipedia to Commons by Off2riorob using CommonsHelper., CC BY-SA 3.0

Embracing the power of positive thinking has undoubtedly worked for self-help author Eckhart Tolle — he’s sold more than 2 million copies of The Power of Now, his self-help guide to help readers learn to live in the present moment. Born in post-war Germany, Tolle experienced periods of deep depression that later inspired him to develop his world-renowned self-help techniques. In 2008, the author partnered with Oprah Winfrey to host a webinar series, exposing millions of people to his teachings on appreciating the stillness and embracing life at the moment. 

The Power of Now
  • Yogi Immpressions (IBD) (Publisher)

6. Elizabeth Gilbert

Elizabeth Gilbert
By Erik Charlton from Menlo Park, USA – Eat, Pray, Love, CC BY 2.0

Known for her self-love manifesto, Elizabeth Gilbert‘s 2006 Eat, Pray, Love tale of travel and personal discovery captivated book lovers and movie buffs alike. The memoir was made into a hit film starring Julia Roberts in 2010. To date, the bestseller has found its way into the hands of more than 10 million readers worldwide. Gilbert grew up in Connecticut and went to college in New York City. Post-college, she spent time traveling to gain experiences that she could use for her writing. Her divorce sparked her globe-trotting journey that she shared with Eat, Pray, Love readers. 

Eat, Pray, Love: One Woman's Search for Everything Across Italy, India and Indonesia
  • A balance between worldly enjoyment and divine transcendence
  • Gilbert, Elizabeth (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 400 Pages - 01/30/2007 (Publication Date) - Riverhead Books (Publisher)

7. James Clear

James Clear
James Clear’s Atomic Habits is at the top of the book list for self-improvement gurus worldwide

With over 5 million copies sold to date, James Clear‘s Atomic Habits is at the top of the book list for self-improvement gurus worldwide. A freak baseball accident that caused brain damage caused Clear to take a serious look at his life — and move things in a different direction. Throughout his recovery, he began to realize how small, consistent habits could make a significant difference in one’s life and chose to share his experience with others in his books. James works to help his readers understand that solid systems are far more effective than goal-setting when it comes to long-term accomplishments. 

Are you interested in building a solid system for your content creation business? Check out our post on building a solid editorial calendar

Atomic Habits: an Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits and Break Bad Ones
  • Clear, James (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 320 Pages - 10/01/2019 (Publication Date) - Penguin Random House USA (Publisher)

8. Marie Kondo

Marie Kondo
Diarmuid Greene / SPORTSFILE / Web Summit, CC BY 2.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Marie Kondo‘s three-book series on how decluttering can lead to a more fulfilling life has sold more than 4 million copies in the United States alone. Kondo states that she has spent more than half of her life thinking about ways to tidy and organize, and 2010’s The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up is proof of her dedication to her craft.

By her mid-20s, Kondo’s self-made organizing business had a hefty waitlist. Kondo’s method — dubbed the KonMari method, a nod to the Japanese-style version of her name — invites people to choose to keep belongings that serve a purpose or spark joy and to respectfully discard items that no longer serve them. 

Tidying Up with Marie Kondo: The Book Collection: The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up and Spark Joy
  • Hardcover Book
  • Kondo, Marie (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 10/15/2019 (Publication Date) - Ten Speed Press (Publisher)

9. Mark Manson

Mark Manson
Maria Midoes, CC BY 4.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Mark Manson‘s self-help books have sold more than 14 million copies globally. His no-nonsense style is evident in his books, Life Advice That Doesn’t Suck and The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck. Manson encourages people to subscribe to the less is more philosophy, encouraging them to focus on fewer tasks and people. In paying attention to fewer tasks, Manson encourages people to ensure that the tasks they focus on are done with excellence. In focusing on fewer people, Manson encourages his audiences to work to bolster the relationships that matter most. 

10. Napoleon Hill

Napoleon Hill
Unknown authorUnknown author, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Napoleon Hill‘s 1937 smash success Think and Grow Rich taught people how to make money — the book has sold more than 30 million copies to date. Born in 1883, Hill helped his audience understand the importance of having — and working to fulfill — high expectations in life. In addition, Hill was the first self-help guru to introduce the concept of mastermind groups, in which executives and entrepreneurs with similar interests get together outside of their typical work environment to meet and swap ideas. 

Sale
Think and Grow Rich Deluxe Edition: The Complete Classic Text (Think and Grow Rich Series)
  • Think and Grow Rich
  • Hardcover Book
  • Hill, Napoleon (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 378 Pages - 10/16/2008 (Publication Date) - TarcherPerigee (Publisher)

11. Tony Robbins

Tony Robbins
Randy Stewart, CC BY-SA 2.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Known for his powerful personal development seminars, Tony Robbins is also rocking the self-help book market, with more than 15 million copies of Awaken the Giant Within sold around the world. Robbins had a tough start to life, as he lived with abuse at home and developed a pituitary tumor that caused a 10-inch growth spurt in high school.

After leaving home at 17, Robbins worked as a janitor. Then, he began working for motivational speaker Jim Rohn and later began to run his own self-help and professional development seminars. Today, Robbins has a complete brand of coaching that offers trained coaches who work with budding entrepreneurs and others who want to move forward in business and life. 

Sale
By Tony Robbins - Money: Master the Game: 7 Simple Steps to Financial Freedom (2014-12-03) [Paperback]
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 12/09/2022 (Publication Date) - Simon & Schuster Ltd; edition (2014-11-18) (Publisher)

12. David Schwartz

The Magic of Thinking Big by David Schwartz has helped people around the world develop a more positive thought process

With more than 6 million copies sold, The Magic of Thinking Big by David Schwartz has helped people around the world develop a more positive thought process. After studying at Georgia State University, Schwartz became well-known as a motivational expert.

The Magic of Thinking Big encourages readers to set high goals and believe in their ability to achieve. In addition, Schwartz guides his readers through the process of using visualization to support their processes, as well as the importance of sharing good news with others to keep the positive energy flowing. 

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The Magic of Thinking Big
  • David J. Schwartz (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 276 Pages - 07/26/2015 (Publication Date) - Magdalene Press (Publisher)

13. Paulo Coelho

Paulo Coelho
Paul Macleod, CC BY 3.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Many have said that The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho is a story that can change your life — and 65 million people around the globe have experienced the powerful tale of how Santiago, a small-town shepherd boy, created his own reality.

Raised in Rio de Janerio, Coelho rebelled against his family’s strict Roman Catholic values, resulting in his parents sending him to a psychiatric facility at a young age. Then, during a trip through Europe and Africa, Coelho walked the Santiago de Compostela, a 500-mile trek. Eight years later, Coelho wrote The Alchemist and became one of the top-selling self-help and motivational authors of all time. 

Sale
The Alchemist: 25th Anniversary Edition
  • Hardcover Book
  • Coelho, Paulo (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 208 Pages - 09/09/2014 (Publication Date) - HarperOne (Publisher)

14. Don Miguel Ruiz

Don Miguel Ruiz
Ruiz has also published The Fifth Agreement, co-authored by his son

The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom by Don Miguel Ruiz has sold more than nine million copies. Born and raised in rural Mexico, Ruiz did not start as a self-help guru helping others with life lessons. Instead, he was a practicing neurosurgeon before he became one of the best-known authors in the world. The Four Agreements offers readers steps that can provide long-term peace and transformation. Ruiz has also published The Fifth Agreement, co-authored by his son. 

Sale
The Four Agreements Toltec Wisdom Collection: 3-Book Boxed Set
  • The Four Agreements Toltec Wisdom Collection
  • Ruiz, don Miguel (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 856 Pages - 09/01/2008 (Publication Date) - Amber-Allen Publishing (Publisher)

15. Robert Kiyosaki

Robert Kiyosaki
Kiyosaki’s teachings have helped people worldwide rise above their circumstances and develop a sound financial future

Bestselling author Robert Kiyosaki is a Hawaii-born Japanese-American who has become one of the most well-known personal finance experts. More than 32 million copies of Rich Dad Poor Dad have sold worldwide, and many look to Robert Kiyosaki for personal and business finance guidance.

Kiyosaki based his brand on his biological father, who was highly educated but struggled to earn a living, and his fictional other father, who was the richest man in Hawaii, despite being a high school dropout. Kiyosaki’s teachings have helped people worldwide rise above their circumstances and develop a sound financial future, no matter how they got their start. 

Sale
Rich Dad's CASHFLOW Quadrant: Rich Dad's Guide to Financial Freedom
  • Trade Paperback
  • Kiyosaki, Robert T. (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 360 Pages - 08/16/2011 (Publication Date) - Plata Publishing (Publisher)

16. Viktor Frankl

Viktor Frankl
Frankl taught at both the University of Vienna and at American universities

Viktor Frankl‘s Man’s Search For Meaning has sold more than 10 million copies. The Austrian psychotherapist and psychiatrist believed that the purpose of therapy should be to help clients in their search for meaning in their lives. Frankl served as the chief of the female suicide prevention program at a psychiatric hospital before working as the chief of neurology at Vienna’s Rothschild Hospital.

Frankl’s wife and mother were killed in concentration camps during the Nazi occupation of Germany, and Frankl determined that people who had meaning in their lives were more likely to make it out of concentration camps than those who felt their lives lacked meaning. Later in life, Frankl taught at both the University of Vienna and at American universities. 

Sale
Man's Search for Meaning: Young Adult Edition: Young Adult Edition
  • Frankl, Viktor E. (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 192 Pages - 04/25/2017 (Publication Date) - Beacon Press (Publisher)

17. Rhonda Byrne

Rhonda Byrne
Rhonda Byrne’s The Secret has sold more than 30 million copies

Heralded by Oprah and other self-improvement superstars, Rhonda Byrne‘s The Secret has sold more than 30 million copies. After a series of traumatic personal and professional events, Byrne discovered the law of attraction and researched how the law had served various populations over time. The Secret shares the law of attraction with readers, inviting them to stay focused on what they want in life. 

The Secret Daily Teachings (7) (The Secret Library)
  • Hardcover Book
  • Byrne, Rhonda (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 736 Pages - 12/09/2008 (Publication Date) - Atria Books (Publisher)

The Final World On Best Self-Help Authors

While many self-help authors don’t get into writing to make money, personal development and motivation are lucrative markets. The authors listed above haven’t just transformed people’s lives — they’ve changed their own careers as well. There may be a stigma attached to reading books by self-help authors, but that is an old and outdated view.

Personal growth and development are something everybody should be encouraged to explore. The authors on this list, and the books they have written, are full of empowering and motivating ideas and concepts that can set you on the path to not just a brighter tomorrow, but a better you, today. 

FAQs On The Best Self-Help Authors

What are the best books for self-help on the market today?

Today, some of the current top sellers in the self-help market include How To Win Friends and Influence People, The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck, and The Power of Now. 

Who is the wealthiest self-help author?

The richest self-help author is Tony Robbins, with a net worth of $480 million. 

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