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Mind, Body, Spirit: 10 Self-Help Books by Black Authors to Help Align Your Life

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Natalya Muncuff

Staff Writer

Born in Florida and raised in the Turks and Caicos Islands, Natalya has her Bachelor of Arts degree in Communications from The University of Tampa. She is currently an Account Manager at a Florida-based full-service promotional product agency. A writer since childhood, Natalya knows that good stories make for brilliant brands and is also an editor and assistant to authors and multi-passionate creatives. When she’s not working or catching up on her favorite television shows, she can usually be found with her nose in a book, perusing the shelves of her neighborhood bookstore. She is the author of All The Things I Never Said, a soul-stirring collection of short stories, prose and love letters for the soulful wanderers, the brokenhearted and the hopeless romantics. Blog: The Island Reader Twitter: @NatalyaMuncuff

Whether we’re confused about the next steps in life, worried about our career and relationships, or simply need a cheerleader in our corner, self-help books can provide the much-needed balm and guidance we need. Finding the right ones with the perfect amount of insight without the fluff can be tough. Allow me to help. There are books out there for every phase of our lives. As a Black woman, I always look to find Black authors first in my pursuit of self-help books. These 10 self-help books by Black authors prioritize self-care, provide advice and help readers make the journey to becoming our best selves just a little bit easier.

Year of Yes cover

Year of Yes: How to Dance It Out, Stand in the Sun and Be Your Own Person by Shonda Rhimes

Sometimes the best self-care is getting out of our comfort zone and refusing to remain in the same space, even if it terrifies the hell out of us. In Year of Yes, Shonda Rhimes peels back the curtain to what happened the year she decided to say yes and encourages us all to take the step to say yes. It’s funny and charming and lets us know that sometimes doing the things that scare us is what we need the most. Perhaps the book I recommend the most.

Clever Girl Finance: Ditch Debt, Save Money and Build Real Wealth by Bola Sokunbi

I believe that a major part of our self-care is taking care of our finances. As someone who avoided the topic for much of my early 20s, trust me when I say the earlier you take a deep look at your finances the better. Once you get past the scariness of it all, it helps you make informed decisions going forward.

From creating a basic budget to doing your best with a small salary and keeping your credit in check, Bola Sokunbi helps with the financial basics and encourages you to take charge of your financial independence the clever girl way.

what i know for sure

What I Know For Sure by Oprah Winfrey

If you are a longtime reader and subscriber of O, The Oprah Magazine, like I am, you are aware of Oprah’s What I Know For Sure column. This book is a collection of updated and revised gems from that column. Organized by theme—joy, resilience, connection, gratitude, possibility, awe, clarity, and power—these essays provide a great guide to those determined to “be” better. One of my favorite passages in the book is on power: “When you define yourself by the things you can acquire rather than see what you really need to be happy and fulfilled, you’re not just living beyond your means or overextending yourself. You’re living a lie.”

Don’t Settle for Safe: Embracing the Uncomfortable to Become Unstoppable by Sarah Jakes Roberts

Safe can become boring, and in turn can sometimes stifle us in ways we wouldn’t imagine. In Don’t Settle for Safe, Sarah Jakes Roberts tells us that no matter the circumstances, no matter what life has thrown your way, you have to get uncomfortable in order to get the life you want and deserve. She shares her personal stories of being the daughter of one of the most famous clergymen, her teenage pregnancy, and the failure of her first marriage.

She’s Still There: Rescuing the Girl in You by Chrystal Evans Hurst

What happens if you come to a point when you look around at your life and it seems unrecognizable? Chrystal Evans Hurst has been there, and in She’s Still There she reminds readers that though the path may be rocky and messy as hell, you can still be rescued. Whether you are lonely, scared, or confused, she shares steps to connect with God-given steps and renew the promises (or change them if necessary) you made to your younger self. From aligning your dreams with your environment to giving yourself permission to change and grow, Chrystal tells us that’s never too late to live a life you love.

Living Over Existing: How To Push Past the Mental Barriers That Are Holding You Back From Success by Alisha Robertson

While this book is geared towards entrepreneurs, I think even those who have no dream of owning their own business can benefit from reading this book. From having the will to change to pursuing your purpose in spite of challenges, Alisha provides tips to those who feel fearful and self-conscious about their dreams and need a push to help them get to the next level.

The Art of Being by Danielle Allen

This collection of poetry and life lessons is all about being the best version of yourself. Sometimes you need a pick me up or someone to keep you going and in this book, Danielle serves as personal encouragement with her inspirational messages. Fall in love with yourself.

Love in my Language by Alexandra Elle

In this book of poetry and essays, Alex shares some of her defining moments that helps her to find her light and hope. There are dark moments and successes, and as she allows us to see more into her life, she gives gentle reminders to readers that peace is around the corner.

Don’t Waste Your Pretty: The Go-to Guide for Making Smarter Decisions in Life & Love by Demetria L. Lucas

Demetria L. Lucas is a favorite follow on social media. Her colorful commentary and advice have a way of cutting straight to the bone while remaining candid, funny, and informative.

There are a lot of ups and downs when it comes to dating, and for some of us there are questions we may not be comfortable asking out loud to our peers. That’s where Demetria and her book Don’t Waste Your Pretty comes in. This advice guide is full of questions from her clients and readers—it’s fun and shows us we’re not alone in the dating world.

Successful Women Think Differently by Valorie Burton

Habits build excellence and in Successful Women Think Differently, author Valorie Burton tells us how to create new thoughts and habits in the different areas of our lives. From relationships, work, career, spirituality, and health, Valorie provides discovery into how we can take matters into our own hands and define success on our terms.

If you haven’t read these self-help books by Black authors and any sound intriguing to you, I recommend purchasing a copy.