Self-help and self-improvement have become must-haves of the decade. The only problem is that there are so many resources and guides out there, that you may end up feeling more lost than empowered.
This is where this article comes in. We’ve put together five of the most insightful resources we’ve found online for a good starting point, so do check them out!
1) Mark Manson
Many people have heard of Mark Manson’s books, especially The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F***. If you haven’t, do yourself a favour and give it a read!
He also runs a blog that he updates frequently, where he uploads detailed and well-researched articles with life advice on everything from relationships to finding your passion (in his opinion, you don’t). They’re long and sometimes they’re blunt—Manson never claims to have the answers to everything—but they’re written and structured so well that you just keep coming back for more.
Only two-thirds of his website is open to non-members, but that’s already plenty of content to consume!
2) Arthur C. Brooks
Arthur C. Brooks is a Harvard professor, PhD social scientist, and bestselling author who has a bi-weekly column in the American newspaper The Atlantic. In it, he talks about happiness and meaning, and there’s something for every age and demographic. University students and fresh graduates should read his piece on how to choose a fulfilling career, and this one on major life changes.
Unfortunately, The Atlantic only allows non-subscribers five free articles monthly; you’ll have to pick the column pieces that interest you the most based on their titles. That’s okay, though: just bookmark the column’s webpage and visit it every so often!
Artist Hector Janse van Rensburg draws comics of a boy and his supportive cat (inspired by his late cat Ona) that bring many comfort and a different perspective to the vagaries of life. They’re not exactly in the realm of self-improvement or self-help, but they’re still great to reflect on.
Here’s one we really love:
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And here’s another:
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If you need a little encouragement to keep going, head on over to Swatercolour’s page. Now, where can we find ourselves a lovely cat like this?
4) Brain Pickings
Brain Pickings was started in 2006 by Maria Popova, and her collection of essays revolving around the search for meaning has since become part of The Library of Congress Web Archive (belonging to the United States of America). Her essays can touch on philosophy, science, art, history, and a little of everything else, and her writing style is one to slowly savour over tea and biscuits.
If you’re unsure on where to start, you can start with these 13 life lessons Maria Popova has to share after her first 13 years of running Brain Pickings. After you’re done (because her website is a little harder to navigate), you can search for more essays to read via the drop-down menu under the archives section on the left.
Maria Popova has also written a book called Figuring, and co-edited A Velocity of Being. The latter is targeted at young children but the words on why we read are timeless. Pick it up if you can, and savour the illustrations that come along with it!
5) Eric Barker – Barking Up the Wrong Tree
Eric Barker’s book (see below) has made the Wall Street Journal Bestseller list and his articles can be found on TIME’s website, so you should check out his articles to see why they’re so well-received.
Eric Barker’s articles are research-backed, and he often interviews experts in their fields to obtain actionable insights for readers. He’s spoken to a clinical psychologist on how to have difficult conversations, a former head of the FBI’s Behavourial Analysis Department on how to build rapport with people and get them to like you, amongst others, and his articles end with really helpful summaries that you can screenshot (or jot down) to look at anytime you need to.
As updates are currently a little sparse, you may want to sign up for the blog’s newsletter to get notified when new content is up! There’s plenty to look at, regardless, and Eric has put together a list of his most popular posts that you can start with.
There you have it—a smorgasbord of content that will hopefully enrich your days and bring you some food for thought! If you’re a faithful reader of an advice/self-improvement/encouraging blog or newsletter, please do us a favour and share it with all of us in the comments;we can’t wait to learn more cool stuff that we can apply in our daily lives. (;