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5 Irreverent Self-Help Books

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Sarah Knight

Staff Writer

Sarah lives in Brooklyn (when it's warm in New York) and the Dominican Republic (when it's not). She is a native Mainer, Red Sox fan, Harvard graduate, and Cards Against Humanity enthusiast, as well as a freelance editor and writer. Her book, THE LIFE-CHANGING MAGIC OF NOT GIVING A F*CK, is a national and international bestseller. Learn more at Follow her on Twitter @MCSnugz.

Having recently become a self-help author in my own right (and been dubbed an “anti-guru”), I thought it would be fun to explore some other titles in the category that promote the same kind of sass and sauciness of my book, The Life-Changing Magic of Not Giving a F*ck, while simultaneously helping people become their best selves.

So, without further fucking ado…

YOU ARE A BADASS by Jen Sincero1. You Are a Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life by Jen Sincero

Take it from Jen Sincero, because she’s definitely a badass. And also hilarious, smart, and a former self-help skeptic who brings her own twist to personal transformation. This is a book for people who say they don’t like or need self-help, and for people who want to read a chapter titled “Your Brain is Your Bitch.”

FUCK FEELINGS2. F*ck Feelings: One Shrink’s Practical Advice for Managing All Life’s Impossible Problems by Michael Bennett, MD and Sarah Bennett

This Harvard-educated psychiatrist and his comedian daughter team up to prove that the real f-words in life are “feelings” and “fairness.” Their advice includes “stop trying to change the things you can’t, and just do the best with the things you can control.” Practical, profane, and pretty dead-on.

WORKS WELL WITH OTHERS by Ross McCammon3. Works Well with Others: An Outsider’s Guide to Shaking Hands, Shutting Up, Handling Jerks, and Other Crucial Skills in Business That No One Ever Teaches You by Ross McCammon

A guide to cutting through workplace bullsh*t, by a self-described “impostor” who found himself thrust into a high-stakes New York City job with little preparation and LOTS of anxiety. Very funny and full of nuggets of advice the likes of which you won’t find in a traditional business how-to book, this should replace Oh, The Places You’ll Go! as the traditional gift to college graduates.

FUCK IT by John Parkin4. F*ck It: The Ultimate Spiritual Way by John C. Parkin

I learned only recently that John C. Parkin was ahead of me on the no-fucks-given trend. Parkin has parlayed his Fuck it philosophy into a globe-trotting career, hosting spiritual “Fuck it Retreats” and penning several related books. His theory is that Westerners can more easily access the benefits of Eastern spiritualism when it’s not cloaked in meditation and leather sandals. I think he and I would get along.

CALM THE FUCK DOWN by Sasha O'Hara5. Calm the F*ck Down: An Irreverent Adult Coloring Book by Sasha O’Hara.

Adult coloring books are here to stay, and in my opinion the best ones combine the tranquilizing effect of detailed tinting and shading with the liberating images and expressions found within Calm the F*ck Down, such as “Namaste. Now Fuck off.”