Funny Self-Help Books to Rock Your World

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Ashley Holstrom

Staff Writer

Ashley Holstrom helps make books at Sourcebooks. She lives near Chicago with her cat named after Hemingway and her bookshelves organized by color. Newsletter: Crooked Reads. Twitter: @alholstrom.

Ashley Holstrom

Staff Writer

Ashley Holstrom helps make books at Sourcebooks. She lives near Chicago with her cat named after Hemingway and her bookshelves organized by color. Newsletter: Crooked Reads. Twitter: @alholstrom.

If you’re like me, you’re a sucker for self-help books. Especially funny self-help books. The humor knocks out the gentle, woo-woo side of self-help and gets down to the truth. We have this list of personal development books, which is great (and super helpful!), but where is the humor? I got your humor right here, pals, with ten fabulously funny self-help books.

Funny Self-Help Books

Buy Yourself the Fcking Lilies coverBuy Yourself the F*cking Lilies: And Other Rituals to Fix Your Life, from Someone Who’s Been There by Tara Schuster

Buy Yourself the F*cking Lilies is Tara Schuster’s path toward healthy adulthood after years of anxiety, depression, and self-medicating. She uses daily rituals to remember to love herself, and now she’s sharing them with us. Learn to shield yourself from self-criticism, create a life you love, and fake gratitude until you feel it. It’s a candid, humorous guidebook for all of us.

Funny Self-Help BooksI’m Judging You: The Do-Better Manual by Luvvie Ajayi

I’m Judging You is one of my favorite funny self-help books! Luvvie Ajayi side-eyes every aspect of the digital world we live in and then tells us how we can be better. From online dating and subtle racism to personal hygiene and how to generally not be an asshole, Ajayi points out the faux pas and gives advice on avoiding them.

Funny Self-Help BooksHow to Date Men When You Hate Men by Blythe Roberson

First of all, can we get an amen for this title? Comedy writer Blythe Roberson digs deep into the world of heterosexual dating and shares oh so many anecdotes from her own dismal dating life. Important and funny self-help sections: Good Flirts That Work, Ways to Make It Clear It’s a Date, and Acceptable Places for PDAs.

Funny Self-Help BooksF*ck No!: How to Stop Saying Yes When You Can’t, You Shouldn’t, or You Just Don’t Want To by Sarah Knight

Sarah Knight’s latest book in her bestselling series is all about saying no—without being an asshole. She offers up tips on when, if, and how you should say no to anything from bachelorette parties to loaning money. It’s helpful, and blunt, and full of laughs.

Funny Self-Help BooksHello, Fears: Crush Your Comfort Zone and Become Who You’re Meant to Be by Michelle Poler (May 5)

Michelle Poler’s mission is to encourage people to live outside their comfort zones, and with her book, Hello, Fears, she’s crushing that work. This is a gorgeous, colorful book about reaching your full potential and living a wonderful life with smarts and humor.

Full disclosure: I work for the publisher of this book. 

Dear Girls: Intimate Tales, Untold Secrets, & Advice for Living Your Best Life by Ali Wong

Ali Wong is a hoot, y’all, and Dear Girls is on par with her regular comedy. In this book, she shares letters to her daughters (are we all her children??) with the wisdom she’s gleaned from her years on this earth as an Asian woman in comedy. It’s gross and hilarious and enlightening.

F*ck Your Diet by Chloe Hilliard book coverF*ck Your Diet: And Other Things My Thighs Tell Me by Chloé Hilliard

Chloé Hilliard is here to smash everything you think you know about food and waistlines and diets. F*ck Your Diet is a collection of political commentary, conspiracies, and confessions about diet culture and fat shaming and whew is it a riot. In this delightfully sharp book, Hilliard presents a better option: Don’t let someone else—especially the government!—decide your self-worth for you.

The Upside of Being Down book coverThe Upside of Being Down: How Mental Health Struggles Led to My Greatest Successes in Work and Life by Jen Gotch

Jen Gotch, founder of the fab lifestyle brand, has struggled with mental illness for much of her life. But it hasn’t stopped her from following her dreams. Her first diagnosis led to her journey toward awareness and success—it was because of her mental illnesses that she was able to rock her creativity, after all. The Upside of Being Down is a wonderful, relatable, and funny book that’s part self-help and part memoir.

Year of Yes coverYear of Yes by Shonda Rhimes

Any list of self-help books that does not include Shonda Rhimes’s Year of Yes is incomplete. Those are the rules. Beloved TV creator and producer Rhimes realized she was saying no too much. So she started saying yes—for a year. And suddenly, things in her life began to change for the better. Year of Yes is her journey to saying yes and doing more things outside her comfort zone.

Fierce, Free, and Full of Fire: The Guide to Being Glorious You by Jen Hatmaker

Jen Hatmaker is here to share everything she’s learned in her wild ride of a life—from being a powerful woman in the church to receiving death threats—in this delightfully funny and inspiring book. Fierce, Free, and Full of Fire is a guide to listening to yourself and learning to own your space and live guilt-free. She’s written it like a conversation she’s having with a close friend, and it’s impossible to put down.

If you’re looking for even more funny self-help books (or, you know, any books) to read, try out TBR: Tailored Book Recommendations! It’s a subscription service that provides readers with three personalized book recommendations per quarter. It’s pretty rad, if we do say so ourselves.

Book Riot's TBR: Tailored Book Recommendations