What are the best personal development books of all time?
What self-help books are must-reads for personal growth in 2021?
There are so many good books. Books to motivate, books to inspire you, and books that will change your life.
With no shortage of options for your personal growth and development in 2021, it’s easy to be overwhelmed. No wonder we feel as if it will take a lifetime to read them all.
So, where do you start your personal development journey?
What self-help book should you read first?
I want every book you read in 2021 to change your life – to impact you, your mindset, and your life in a fundamental way. To encourage you that achieving your dreams and goals is possible for you. Because it so is!
Personal development is a lifelong pursuit of betterment and just one book isn’t enough to get you there. It’s not just about growing your skills and talents, but about connecting with who you really are. It’s a pursuit of self-discovery, of purpose, and of greater understanding.
Each and every book in this best personal development book roundup has impacted lives. Instead of reading a synopsis of each book title, you’ll read recommendations from real people who have selected this book as their favorite personal development book of all time.
Here are the 100 best personal development books to read in 2021, organized by topics. Get started on your journey of self-growth today.
Plus, be sure to grab this awesome freebie by Jordan Gross. He summarized his 61 favorite personal development books in one sentence (many of which are on this list).
Best Self Help Books on Success
You want to be successful in life. Of course, you want to achieve your goals. But exactly, how do you succeed? What are the steps to success? The following are the best personal development books on success. They each teach you principles and practical strategies to achieving success in your life. So, if you’re frustrated, feel like giving up, or stressed out that things aren’t working out, these self-help books are for you to get your success mindset and actions right.
The ONE Thing by Gary Keller
“In the world of self-help and personal development, it seems everyone has a message to make your life better. It can get really noisy, really fast. That’s why my favorite personal development book is The One Thing by Gary Keller.
No matter where you are in your life, this book is all about helping you focus. By asking the focusing question, it keeps your eyes set on what needs to be done next to reach your goals. I love this book. It’s impacted my life in a powerful way.”
– Eric Sztanyo, We Buy NKY Houses
– Paul Gallagher, The Amazing Me Project
The Success Principles by Jack Canfield
– Irma Stretch, Fearless Affiliate
Mastery by George Leonard
I personally think everyone needs to read this amazing personal development book by George Leonard because it gives you the keys to success.”
– Subha Malik, Positive Blaze
The Slight Edge by Jeff Olson
– Shannon Cairns, That Marketing Mama
The Big Leap by Gay Hendricks
– Leili Heidema, Mint Studio Creative
Personal Development Books on Goal Achievement
You’ve set goals, but how do you actually achieve them? Living the life you want isn’t just about setting achievable goals, but also overcoming obstacles and challenges. The goal setting is the easy part, so the following best personal development books for 2021 are here to help you achieve your goals. If you’ve got big dreams to live an amazing life, but not sure how to make it happen, these self-help books offer a great place to start.
Goals! by Brian Tracy
– Rosie Chuong
Your Best Year Ever by Michael Hyatt
– Jacinta Grand, Social Circle Inc.
Start Right Where You Are by Sam Bennett
– Catherine Ryan Gregory, To & Fro Fam
Best Productivity Books for Self-Motivation
Want to know how to get motivated? Having a hard time beating procrastination? You’ve set goals, you even have a plan, but how do you take action? The following best personal development books for 2021 help with self-motivation. If you’re tired of the struggle to get started, and looking for the best productivity tips, the following self-help books are for you!
5 Second Rule by Mel Robbins
– Jo Larsen, i40Club
Deep Work by Cal Newport
– Earl White, House Heroes LLC
Getting Things Done by David Allen
– Colleen Mitchell, Inspired Forward
Scrum by Jeff Sutherland
“I recommend reading Jeff Sutherland’s book ‘Scrum’. In it, he talks about sprint cycles. A sprint cycle is a time period, usually two weeks, in which you solely focus on one project, and start and complete it during that time period. Each sprint should have the same duration, and bring you closer to achieving your ultimate goal.
So, in practical terms, what does this mean? It means that you’ll take your goal, break it down into subcategories, and work on each of these subcategories for two weeks. For instance, let’s take create a profitable blog as an example. One sprint can be to do all of the research and brainstorming to get your blog live. Another sprint can be to write blog posts for the next two months, while another can be to create all of the graphics that you’ll need.”
– Marina Lotiaf, Yes to Tech
Focus by Daniel Goleman
– Emily Standley, Social Buzz Hive
Take the Stairs by Rory Vaden
– Gene Caballero, Your Green Pal
Self Discovery Books to Get to Know Yourself Better
What are your strengths and weaknesses? What’s your personality like? Do you know your superpower? Your personal development is all about getting to know yourself and discovering more about yourself. The following best personal development books help you on your journey of self-discovery. Whether finding the best career or life path, these self-help books will help you find the way. Why not figure out who you are in 2021?
Strengths Finder 2.0 by Tom Rath
– Lisa Purvis, Brilliantly Balanced Life
The Four Tendencies by Gretchen Rubin
– Alexandra Weisser, The Happy Life Formula
– Kate Ashley, All the Trinkets
What Color is Your Parachute? By Richard N Bolles
– Olivia Sod, the DIY Feminist
Mindset The New Psychology of Success by Carol Dweck
– Miki (Michal) Feldman Simon, I Am Back at Work
Best Self Acceptance Books
Are you a perfectionist who is always aiming for your best? Do you constantly feel like you’re not good enough? Personal growth is also about self-acceptance, and not just your strengths and talents, but your imperfections and humanness as well. The following best personal development books encourage you to be compassionate and to accept all the parts of yourself. Not just that, be open to showing and sharing your vulnerabilities with others as well.
The Dark Side of the Light Chasers by Debbie Ford
The Gifts of Imperfection by Brené Brown
– Nina Grey, A Gorgeous Soul
Self-Compassion by Kristin Neff
– Candess Zona-Mendola, Make Food Safe
Daring Greatly by Brené Brown
– Kathryn Hunter, Compass Pod
– Clare Kinsey, Clare Kinsey Coaching
Top Books to Build Self-Confidence
Wish you were more confident? That you have the motivation to go for the life you’ve always wanted? You can with the best personal development books to build self-confidence in 2021. Each of these self-help books will light a fire in your belly and inspire you to make achieve your dreams and goals.
Awaken the Giant Within by Tony Robbins
– Justyna Poreba, Sparkles of Creativity
The Fire Starter Sessions by Danielle Laporte
– Brynn Johnson, Swan Dive Life
48 Laws of Power by Robert Greene
– Kristen Raney, Shifting Roots
You Can Win by Shiv Khera
– Chhavi Agarwal, Mrs Daaku Studio
Self Help Books on Happiness and Positivity
Tired of being miserable and complaining every day? Wish you could be a happier person? You can be more positive in life with the best personal development books to ready in 2021 on happiness and positivity. These self-help books are filled with strategies for looking on the bright side.
The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin
– Loura Sita van Krimpen, Nomad Soulzz
365 Days of Happiness by Jacqueline Pirtle
– Mitch Pirtle, Morning Consult
Stumbling on Happiness by Daniel Gilbert
– Josée Perron, You Choose The Way
How to Stop Worrying and Start Living by Dale Carnegie
– Lettice Barnum, Achieving Family Goals
Complaint Free World by Will Bowen
– Natasha Nunez, The Artisan Life
Best Personal Development Books for Millennials
Are you unhappy in the same old life? Want to do what you love and live a life you’re passionate about? You’re not alone! Almost all millennials strive for more and the following are the best personal development books to help you do just that. Forget what anyone says or tells you to do, live your best life as you see fit.
Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert
“Choosing my most life-changing personal development book is one of the hardest tasks to do because, in the last year, I’ve read over 50+ self-help books to get to know myself better. Big Magic transformed the way I look at creativity. I use to think I wasn’t creative at all, but it turns out I just wasn’t an artist. Elizabeth’s conversational style makes you feel like you’re just having coffee with a friend.
This is a must-read book for anyone who believes they’re non-creative, in a creative rut, or needs to hear some big magic principles they’ve forgotten. The chapters are short and easy to read and digest and there are plenty of golden nuggets for both old and new creatives, bloggers, and entrepreneurs. I think the best thing is that Elizabeth is very apt at putting into words some things I can’t articulate.
My biggest takeaway from the book is that ideas come to us and it’s up to us to sign a contract with the idea; if we say ‘yes’, then we are the very person to turn this idea into physical form. Now that’s ‘big magic’.”
– Judy, Sea of Bliss
You Are Badass by Jen Sincero
– Jen Winsor, Waves & Willows
The Subtle Art of Not Giving A F*ck by Mark Manson
– Gabby Cruz, Ocio Lifestyle
Designing Your Life by Bill Burnett & Dave Evans
– Kacie Mischler Bass, Sight Seeker Travels
Normal Gets You Nowhere by Kelly Cutrone
– Andrea Bazemore, The Black Apple
Self Help Books about Perseverance and Strength
Does achieving your goals feel too difficult? Are you struggling to keep going? If you wish you had grit, perseverance, and persistence then here are the best personal development books for you in 2021. Each of these will help you build your mental strength and toughness to face challenges and never give up.
Grit by Angela Duckworth
– Rachael, Pingel Sisters
Relentless by Tim Grover
– Dani Panganiban, This Village Girl
The Obstacle Is The Way by Ryan Holiday
– McKinzie Bean, Moms Make Cents
The War of Art by Steven Pressfield
177 Mental Toughness Secrets of the World Class by Steve Siebold
– Heather Hannigan, Well Red
Feel the Fear… And Do it Anyway by Susan Jeffers
– Suchot Sunday, The Curious Frugal
Law of Attraction Books for Personal Growth
You’ve heard of the Law of Attraction, but wonder how it works. You want to live abundantly, but have no idea how. If that sounds like you, then these are the best personal development books for you. Collectively these self-help books will help you think positively, attract abundance, be thankful, and raise your frequency.
Thank and Grow Rich by Pam Grout
– Tami Walker
The Power of Intention by Dr. Wayne Dyer
The Secret by Rhonda Byrnes
– Angel Evenson, Angel’s Keen Angels
Abundance Now by Lisa Nichols
The Creation Frequency by Mike Murphy
– Andrea Thomas, Andrea Thomas Collective
Mind, Body, Spirit Books for Spiritual Growth
Want to become more spiritual? There is so much more to you than you know. Your personal development can also be a spiritual journey to discover your mind, body, and spirit. Here are the best personal development books for spiritual growth. They help you tap into something greater and deeper. Read these self-growth books in 2021 to invest in your spiritual life.
The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz
– Andrea Travillian, Aspirify
The Seat of the Soul by Gary Zukav
You Can Heal Your Life by Louise Hay
– Helen Godfrey, The Authentic Path
The Self Care Project by Jayne Hardy
– Ben Taylor, Home Working Club
Dying To Be Me by Anita Moorjani
– Giulia, Searching For Better
Best Books for Finding Your Purpose and Passion
Do you wonder, who am I and why am I here? What’s my purpose and passion? If these are questions you have then here are the best personal development books for finding your purpose. When you read any of these self-help books you won’t be able to look at your life the same way again.
The Book of Secrets by Deepak Chopra
– Brit Taylor, The Happiness Agreement
You Are the One by Kute Blackson
– Sarah Woodard, Stone Bridge Transformation
Believe Bigger by Marshawn Evans Daniels
– Fo Alexander, Girl Talk With Flo
A New Earth by Eckhart Tolle
– Sunita Durral
Man’s Search For Meaning by Viktor Frankl
“It’s no exaggeration to say that Man’s Search For Meaning by Viktor Frankl changed my life. It taught me the key principles for finding meaning in life and showed me the only two ways to achieve it: through love and through a passion for a cause greater than oneself. It opened my eyes to where I was going wrong and put me on a better path toward a happy and content life. I’ve read it from cover to cover several times and, needless to say, I’ll read it many more times to come.”
– Steve Phillips-Waller, A Conscious Rethink
Personal Development Books about Belonging and Connection
Do you feel alone and living a life filled with fake and shallow relationships? Wish you could connect better with people? Then here are the best personal development books for creating a connection. These self-help books for 2021 will help you communicate better, love better and build better relationships.
Braving the Wilderness by Brené Brown
– Juliana Hahn, The Curious Butterfly
How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie
– Jarek, Time in the Market
The Charisma Myth by Olivia Fox Cabane
– Sawyer MacKenzie, Love Sawyer
Return to Love by Marianne Williamson
– Sandra Francisco, Rare Privilege
Nonviolent Communication by Marshall Rosenberg
– Tamara Pflug, Personal Development Zone
Better Apart by Gabrielle Hartley and Elena Brower
– Susan Guthrie, Divorce a Better Way
Pre-suasion by Dr Robert Cialdini
– Maggie Lamarre, Cascade Avenue
Best Books about Changing Habits
Are you focused solely on goal setting and your to-dos? The truth about success is that it’s our habits that make or break us. The following are the best personal development books for creating new habits that make success so much easier. These self-help books are also filled with scientific evidence and relatable examples.
The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg
– Claudia Garbutt, Pear Tree Pod
– Nabil Beirouty, Affios
The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey
– Stacy Caprio, Stacy Caprio Inc.
High-Performance Habits by Brendon Burchard
– Jill Krefft, Organizational Toast
Atomic Habits by James Clear
– Rose Barnett
Healthy Habits to Transform Your Life Books
You want to live a healthy lifestyle. To wake up early, get enough sleep at night, and eat healthily, but it’s hard to get started. Here are the best personal development books for transforming your life with healthy habits. Your personal growth would not be complete without taking care of your health goals.
The Miracle Morning by Hal Elrod
– Angie Emde, Lifestyle Anytime
The 5 am Club by Robin Sharma
– Alexandra and Scott, Wick Free Candles
Eat, Move, Sleep by Tom Rath
– Dave Bowden, IrreverentGent
Mini Habits for Weight Loss by Stephen Guise
– Helen Godfrey, The Authentic Path
Mindfulness Books for Personal Growth
Do you find it difficult to just live in the moment? Is your mind preoccupied with thoughts of the past, or obsessing over the future? If this sounds like you then these are the best personal development books to become more mindful of. These self-help books teach you how to practice mindfulness, which enables you to just be here, in the now, and to find happiness and joy in being present.
The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle
“One of my favorite self-help books is ‘The Power of Now’ by Eckhart Tolle. The reason this book changed my life is that it reminded me that there truly is ‘only this moment’ and the importance of living day-to-day in the now, versus living in some imagined future – which may not even come. The key takeaway is to be fully aware of what we are doing in every single moment – and this brings fulfillment and inner joy, that cannot be found in external places.”
– Leon Turetsky, Passion 4 Dancing
How To Be Here by Rob Bell
– Ryan Tahmaseb, Spiritual Parent
Essentialism by Greg McKeown
– Haley Barry, Let’s Mama
Happier Now by Nataly Kogan
– Chelsea Day, Just Sea For Yourself
Loving What Is by Byron Katie
– Lauren Brockman, Live By the Sunshine
The Power of Less by Leo Babauta
– Tara Dubiel, I Dream of Simple
Inspirational Stories for Personal Growth
Want to invest in your personal development, but not a fan of self-help books? Or perhaps you just love an inspirational story with life lessons? If so, here are the most inspirational stories for your personal growth. Sometimes the best personal development books are just really good stories.
Life’s Golden Ticket by Brendon Burchard
– Janeal Steed, Vibrance and Bliss
The Traveler’s Gift by Andy Andrews
– Alvern Bullard, Success Unscrambled
Who Moved My Cheese? by Spencer Johnson
– Jennifer Anastasi, Parent Smarter Not Harder
The Boys in the Boat by Daniel James Brown
– Chris Eckstrum, House Call Pro
The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho
– Yolanda Ridley, Put the Kettle On
Best Personal Development Books for Entrepreneurs
Ready to become an entrepreneur? Want to start a profitable business? Being an entrepreneur is not easy. Having your own business isn’t either. But with the help of the best personal development books for entrepreneurs, you can achieve your business goals.
The Magic of Thinking Big by David Schwartz
– Jo Anna, More Money Tips
“This book I am presently reading has prompted me to take a lot of action towards achieving my goals. In this book, David Schwartz tells us of numerous situations in which various people began thinking bigger than they initially believed possible. This change in thought pattern was followed by inspiration with ideas which made them achieve what they initially thought impossible. He makes us reflect on the actions we are presently taking which are a result of our present thought limitations and how we can begin making a change for the better.”
– Josephine Etah, Cross Mountains
Start with WHY by Simon Sinek
– Amy Johnson, Amy J Co.
The Entrepreneur Rollercoaster by Darren Hardy
– Shawn Breyer, Breyer Home Buyers
Boss Life by Paul Downs
– Dewayne Hamilton, Web Cosmo Forums
Principles: Life and Work by Ray Dalio
– Jasmine and Phrieda Bogere, J & P Living
Best Leave the 9 to 5 Behind Books
Want to escape the 9 to 5 life and be your own boss? Tired of being trapped in a negative money mindset? Here are the best personal development books to reframe your beliefs about money and work. You can retire early, you can quit that job you hate if you learn and implement the principles in these self-help books.
The Four Hour Workweek by Tim Ferriss
– Katie Evans, Perfectly Employed
Financial Freedom by Grant Sabatier
– Olivia Hall, Happy In the Hollow
Your Money or Your Life by Joe Dominguez and Vicki Robin
– Jacqueline Gilchrist, Mom Money Map
10 Pillars of Wealth by Alex Becker
– Shawn Breyer, Breyer Home Buyers
The Millionaire Fastlane by MJ DeMarco
– Joe, Home at 30
Top Personal Finance Self Help Books
Do you spend too much and have too much debt? Wish you were better at managing your finances? If that sounds like you then here are the best personal development books for improving your personal finance. These self-help books not only teach you how to make more money, but how to break down your negative beliefs about money and wealth.
Rich Dad Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki
“Rich Dad Poor is a great book that taught me a lot about money and finance and how can we use our money to make more money. In this book, Robert teaches that the school system never teaches us anything about finance and that becomes a problem in the future. Robert taught the new difference between Assets and Liabilities according to which Assets are all the things that put money in your pocket, but liabilities are all things that take out money from your pocket.
After reading Rich Dad Poor Dad, I was fully convinced that I should not waste my money on anything that is not my asset. So I never bought anything on Loan, EMI or did anything that creates a liability for me. I used all my money in creating more assets that help me in being self-independent.”
– Mukeshwar Singh, Snakes in Dreams
I Will Teach You To Be Rich by Ramit Sehti
– Charlene Li, Crazy Cute Co.
Million Dollar Habits by Brian Tracy
– Amira Law, A Self Guru
Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill
– Prashant Dang, The Lifestyle Habit
You are a Badass at Making Money by Jen Sincero
– Kimberly Ihekwoaba, Kihek Creations
Money a Love Story by Kate Northrup
– Vicky, The Flourishing Pantry
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Last Updated on February 21, 2021