Are there any Best Self-Help books that are non-bestsellers?

When it comes to picking books, especially Self-Help books, most people will automatically go for ones labelled as “bestsellers”. This leads to the missing out of valuable books which are worth our attention and time to read. This post attempts to find out for you the Best Self-Help books which do not come with any “bestsellers” label.

Bestsellers are books that warrant recognized level of quality in market and are always deliberately displayed in obvious spots of bookstores for commercial reasons.

However, would you be open-minded in finding out and reading the hidden gems in the sea of Best Self-Help books?

Let’s find out…

In my mind, there are so many underrated Self-Help books which should also receive our recognition and appreciation. The purpose of this post is to uncover and share with you some worthwhile non-bestselling Self-Help books.

Without further delay, let’s get into it.

using a systematic approach

You can easily find out what other web publishers think are the Best Self-Help books by doing a simple search on the Internet. However, it remains a mystery how these lists were actually made.

I tried to create this list of “Best Self-Help books without bestsellers label” by using a systematic approach. Here are the 10 steps I took to come up with the list:

The 10 Steps

  1. Looked up “best self-help books” on 3 popular search engines: Google, Bing and Baidu
  2. Screened all the results from the first page on each search engine, skipping the results connected with popular book sites including Amazon and Goodreads
  3. Skipped results that were directed to videos or video sites
  4. Skipped results which only contained book lists without commentaries
  5. Screened and list out recommended books in each website I entered
  6. Filtered out books labelled as “bestsellers” or “best-selling books
  7. Recorded the name of books and their authors and included them in an Excel table
  8. Repeated Steps 1 to 7 above for each website until I finished recording the results on one search engine before moving to the other
  9. If there were duplicated book titles, I would simply stack their count on the list
  10. In order to screen for quality, I only included books that has a rating greater or equal to 4.5 at Amazon AND 4.0 at Goodreads

Constructing the list of Best Self-Help books not labelled as bestsellers

I compiled this list during days 12th to 18th of November 2022 and the data points were based during this period. This exercise took me much longer than expected!

From this exercise, I screened over 250 books and this is how my summary table looked like:

List of 22 Best Self-help books that are not labelled as bestsellers

Although I have not read many of the books in the above list, I tried to include a 1-2 sentence summary about each book based on my understanding from other sources.

I now proudly present to you all, the list of “22 Best Self-Help books that are not labelled as Bestsellers”. The books are listed in alphabetical order.

The List (1-5)

* Links for purchasing items below are paid links via Amazon and Book Depository. We may receive commissions from qualifying purchases

1              100 Demon Dialogues   

By Lucy Bellwood

100 Demon Dialogues

An interesting book about self-care which is not covered by words, but by comic illustrations. Creatively designed by cartoonist Lucy, go through an awesome comic adventure of self-discovery by understanding how we interact with the little demon in our heads!

2              A Cat’s Guide to Money: Everything You Need to Know to Master Your Purrsonal Finances, Explained by Cats               

By Lillian Karabaic


This is a unique personal finance guidebook which easily lights up your mood by crossing over… with cats! An alternative choice from reading some bland personal finance books out there.

3              A Course in Miracles      

By Drs. Helen Schucman and Bill Thetford

A course in miracles

This book is a spiritual self-study program and consists of 3 separate volumes. More a religious initiative with God but definitely a good approach for self-discovery.

4              Conscious Loving: The Journey to Co-Commitment          

By Gay Hendricks and Kathlyn Hendricks

Conscious Living

This is a powerful book that helps enhance the relationship with our love partner by teaching us the appropriate way of communication as well as the attitude.

5              Don’t Feed the Monkey Mind: How to Stop the Cycle of the Anxiety, Fear, and Worry

By Jennifer Shannon

Don't feed the monkey mind

A book that helps strengthen our mentality by showing us how to overcome anxiety and practice mindfulness through a series of proven-effective behavioral approaches.

The List (6-10)

6              Financial Wellness and How to Find It     

By Melanie Eusebe and Orion Spring

financial wellness and how to find it

We always link the concept of wellness to our health but seldom would we do that towards monies. This book teaches us how to grow good financial habits and money mindsets.

7              For Your Own Good: Hidden Cruelty in Child-Rearing and the Roots of Violence  

By Alice Miller

For your own good

This is a special book that explores the hidden danger of upbringing children with violence, be it intentional or not. It also offers us with useful solutions on how to free children from such effects and unlock their emotional life.

8              Health At Every Size: The Surprising Truth About Your Weight     

By Linda Bacon


As you may guessed from the title, the author suggests that the key problem does not lie in being fat or thin, but the attitude of dieting. Feel good about your body and build self-esteem!

9              Mindsight: The New Science of Personal Transformation

By Daniel J. Siegel

Through explaining broad range of research works and developed approaches, the author helps us to obtain a clearer and deeper understanding of how our human mind works.

10           Perfect Health Diet: Regain Health and Lose Weight by Eating the Way You Were Meant to Eat

By Paul Jaminet, Shou-Ching Jaminet

A self-help “Diet” book that teaches us how to lose weight in a healthy and orderly way.

The List (11-16)

11           Philosophy for Life and Other Dangerous Situations: Ancient Philosophy for Modern Problems       

By Jules Evans

What is philosophy? The author invites us to join him go back into history to talk to 12 greatest philosophers in the ancient world to understand the philosophies of life.

12           Radical Acceptance: Embracing Your Life With the Heart of a Buddha 

By Tara Brach

This book offers us with solutions to heal our pain and find inner peace by accepting ourselves as being ourselves.

13           Self-Love Workbook for Women: Release Self-Doubt, Build Self-Compassion, and Embrace Who You Are 

By Megan Logan

This is a practical self-help workbook for women of all ages that teaches us how to release self-doubt and, at the same time, to love ourselves more.

14           The Courage to Be Yourself: A Woman’s Guide to Emotional Strength and Self-Esteem    

By Sue Patton Thoele

Another self-help book written for women but focuses on building self-esteem and enhancing emotional intelligence.

15           The Drama-Free Way: A Thought-Management Guide to Navigating Chaos and Thriving  

By Jennifer Kern Collins

A practical guide teaching us how to manage the drama inside our mind in order to lead a better and more peaceful life.

16           The Psychedelic Explorer’s Guide: Safe, Therapeutic, and Sacred Journeys        

By James Fadiman

This is a rare book which explores with us the value and benefits of psychedelics, and how they can actually facilitate problem solving.

The List (17-22)

17           The Self Esteem Workbook for Women: 5 Steps to Gaining Confidence and Inner Strength

By Megan MacCutcheon LPC

The Self Esteem Workbook for Women

A book written for women that focuses on helping you build self-esteem and presented in a practical workbook format.

18           The Self-Love Workbook: A Life-Changing Guide to Boost Self-Esteem, Recognize Your Worth and Find Genuine Happiness 

By Shainna Ali

A book that focuses on recognising self-love, boosting self-esteem, and presented in a practical workbook format.

19           The Simple Path to Wealth: Your Road Map to Financial Independence and a Rich, Free Life

By JL Collins

The Simple Path to Wealth

This powerful little book teaches you the simplest yet most important lessons about money, and how to lead ourselves to financial independence.

20           The Six Pillars of Self-Esteem     

By Nathaniel Branden

  The Six Pillars of Self-Esteem

A rather old but important philosophical book which explores the meaning of self-esteem, its implications and how to practice it. Reviews revealed that this book is quite a challenging read.

21           What Makes You Not a Buddhist

By Dzongsar Jamyang Khyentse

Through introduction to the spirits of Buddhism, the author offers us a light read in search for our meanings in life.

22           You Are Powerful: The Secret to Everyday Manifestation

By Becki Rabin

The content of the book is in its title: “Believe in yourself, empower yourself and make your dreams come true!”. You are as powerful as you can imagine.

What can you do?

So now you have gone through the list, you will learn there are actually many valuable “non-bestselling” Self-Help books that are worth your time and attention.

Needless to say, these Self-Help books authors have poured in enormous effort to teach and share through their books. The knowledge they wanted to pass to us are priceless and definitely worth our support and respect.

While a good Self-Help book can eventually shine without the “bestseller” label, it will need time for readers to slowly discover it become it goes mainstream. What we can do to help these authors is to share these book titles actively among the reading and writing communities, so that valuable knowledge can be passed on and spread to others.

With this in mind, I encourage you to get a copy of a non-bestseller Self-Help book from the list above to start your reading journey!

Thank you for reading and until next time.

This post is part of a series under the category “Understand Self-Help” at Calm Reading.

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