17 best self-help books for 2023 that are actually worth reading, according to MC Editors

You won't be able to pu these down.

Best self help books UK: A woman reading a book in a field

If you're searching the Internet for the best self-help books UK, you might feel a little overwhelmed. There are 597,000,000 results on Google alone - so where do you start? And which ones won't be a waste of time? 

Good question - which is why we've rounded up the books team Marie Claire UK have genuinely loved in this handy edit for you. Wondering how to be happy? There's a book for that. On the hunt for expert tips for how to switch off? There's a book for that, too. 

Picking up a self help book is one of of our favourite self-care ideas - but how do you separate the wheat from the chaff and find the best self-help book for you? You've probably heard of Atomic Habit, The Secret, and The Power Of Positive Thinking - but below, we'll share the other must-reads to have on your list. Because yes, there are books that can genuinely empower you, break bad habits and even change your life. 

Read on for our complete roundup of the books that are actually worth reading, from new releases to timeless classics. All you have to do is pick up a copy and get stuck in.

Make sure to check out our guide to the best self care gifts and the best self care apps, while you're here.

16 best self-help books UK to boost mood and mental health

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Best self help book for manifestation sceptics

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Best positive thinking book

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Best self confidence book

Best self help book for a spiritual awakening

Best self help book that actually helps

Best self help book for if you're feeling stuck

Best self help book for people who don't like self help books

Best self-help books for people pleasers

Best self help book for building courage

Best self help book for motivation

Best self help book for overcoming fear

Do self-help books work?

Good question - and this will largely hinge on your personality type, goals from reading the book, and more. It's normal to be sceptical, but it's about finding the right book for you and your current lifestyle.

They won't be for everyone. That said, one 2023 study published in the Journal of Happiness Studies found that “self-help has greatest success with people with high motivation, resourcefulness, and positive attitudes toward self-help treatments.” 

In short, if you're already keen to make a change, self-help books can offer new methods of thinking and serve as a valuable resource. If you're not as motivated, they might not be for you. 

Team Marie Claire UK are big fans of self-help books - they've helped with everything from goal setting, fostering a positive mindset, and boosting productivity. They can also be pivotal in giving you the motivation you need or reminding you to practice gratitude (aka stop people-pleasing).

Jadie Troy-Pryde
News Editor

Jadie Troy-Pryde is News Editor, covering celebrity and entertainment, royal, lifestyle and viral news. Before joining the team in 2018 as the Lifestyle and Social Media Editor, she worked at a number of women’s fashion and lifestyle titles including Grazia, Women’s Health and Stylist, and now heads the Marie Claire UK news desk.

With contributions from