4 January 2017

In defence of self-help

Admitting that I like self-help books feels like I’m admitting that I have an extensive stamp collection on display in the spare bedroom of my house. It’s just not cool. Granted, the genre has become slightly more mainstream in recent years with the release of books that effortlessly walk the line between memoir and self-help and/or have much snazzier covers. But a love for self-help is still the kind of love that you keep hidden from society until you find a fellow enthusiast. Then, and only then, do you throw open the doors to your metaphoric spare room, turn on your metaphoric display lamps and revel in your shared adoration in all of its metaphoric crimped edged glory.

Yet, here I am, admitting it for the world to see: I love self-help books. I could call them ‘self-improvement’ books but I think that denies their troublesome and wholly uncool past. I wouldn’t want to do that.



Perhaps its because I’m an English Lit student who doesn't want to read the same stuff in her spare time that she writes essays about. Perhaps it’s because I have visions of being a badass business babe. Perhaps I’m just fundamentally uncool. To be honest, it’s probably a mix of all three and I’m totally fine with that. 

It all started with “#Girlboss”. It was pale pink and had a lot of buzz about it and I thought it made me a better fashion blogger (did you know I used to be a fashion blogger?). So, I read it. Since then I’ve accumulated my fair share of self-help books and even more self-help podcasts. Some have been bloody wonderful, whilst some have made me want to bang my head against a wall. The later may or may have not been related to men and women being from two different planets. But either way, I’ve learnt a lot from my short time in the world of self-help. I’ve learnt that the universe owes me nothing, so I may as well stop moaning and use that spare energy working towards what I expected to be given to me (Big Magic, Elizabeth Gilbert). I’ve learnt to not think about the outcome whilst creating (#GIRLBOSS, Sophia Amoruso). I’ve learnt the power of the stories that we tell ourselves (You are a Badass, Jen Sincero).

I feel like the bad rep that the self-help genre has accumulated over time is stopping people from having the kind of moments that make me love these books: Moments of awe because you've realised something about yourself that you didn’t even know was a thing! I want to change that.

For those of you that don’t know, I run an online book club called “Blogs and Books”. It’s pretty rad, if I do say so myself, and you should join by giving us a follow on Twitter to stay up to date. This month our theme is “self-help” – because apparently I have no business sense and wanted to scare off all of you hip and happening blogger babes – and our book is “You are a Badass”. When I tell you guys that Jen Sincero’s book is a game changer, believe me. Not only is full of the kind of wisdom you need in your life if you’re hoping to be an all around boss of a person. But it’s not at all wanky.

It’s the kind of self-help book to read if you have an aversion to the perpetually chirpy nature of self-help. It’s the kind of self-help book to read if you want to dip your toe into self-help whilst also convincing yourself that you’re just reading a humorous memoir of sorts. It’s gold.

If you do fancy giving it a gander, be sure to join our chat on Janurary 26th at 7pm. 


7 comments:

  1. i love reading your posts, i'm gonna join your book club and put the 26th in my snazzy new 2017 diary!
    jen | velvet spring

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    1. Yes Jennifer! I'm so excited for you to join! xx

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  2. I've never read any self help books - i think it's time to change that!! Where do you find podcasts too by the way? I really want to get into them!xx

    Lucy x | lucy-cole.co.uk

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    1. It so is time for that to change! I find my podcasts through the app that's already installed on iphones (it's a purple icon). Then I just search for ones that I've heard good things about. My favourite is Magic Lessons by Liz Gilbert.

      xx

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  3. I just laughed so hard at that first sentence haha and then thought to myself... I wonder where my stamp collection went from school :) This was such a great book!

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    1. hahah that's brilliant! Put you and me together and we'd be the coolest pairing, Amanda! xx

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  4. Video games for self-development
    http://www.onedailypractice.com

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