Our List for The Best Self Help Audio Books
Being human, we will always run into issues once in a while. Be it with self-doubt, crippling anxiety, low self-esteem or even just feeling run down. Alternatively, you may feel like you’re lacking in some areas of life or perhaps just want to improve on an aspect of your character. For the most part, improving yourself not only for the sake of your happiness, but for the sake of those around you is one of the noblest pursuits one can chase after. As with all things good in life, being your best self doesn’t come easy. It needs practice, practice, and more practice.
Everything from social skills to creative thinking are things you have to spend a tremendous amount of time doing to be good at. The real problem comes with how to start. For that reason, we’ve amassed a list of some of the best self help audio books to help you out in your pursuit, on a gamut of topics, all by acclaimed authors and approved by renowned psychologists like James H. Capshew.
12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos by Jordan B Peterson
You may know Jordan B Peterson, the author of ‘12 Rules for Life’ for his media spotlight in recent years. He’s become an overnight celebrity for his controversial remarks and combative opinions on his opponents. His past is slurred with contention, but feelings aside, his book is a rather interesting foray into the self-help genre.
As a whole, the book is a mixture of sensible advice from his own clinical practice and inspirational anecdotes gathered from his personal accounts and his work in the field of psychology. All of these are presented in highly prepossessed ways. For instance, he talks a lot about ‘biological and non-arbitrary emergent truth’ with regards to the transgender folk and that ‘meaning emerges beautifully like a rosebud opening itself into’ what he refers to as the light ‘sun and light of God.’ The resulting effect is nothing if not bizarre.
Regardless of your personal inclination towards or away from religious dogma, this book offers still general rules about personal responsibility and making the best life choices. Choose your friends wisely, discipline your children with love and respect wisdom passed down from tradition. Whether or not you finish the book feeling hectored or relieved to have experienced life from his lenses is completely up to you. However, we do consider this one of the best self help audio books.
How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie
Any self-help book countdown without this entry is probably incomplete and in need of a serious editorial review. Dale Carnegie is one of the best selling authors of all time, thanks to the wisdom gained from being a lowly, shy salesman to one of the most prolific speakers in modern times. This 80-year-old book has stood the test of time and carried some of the richest and most famous people to the top of their thrones. I read this classic myself 30 years ago and I consider it a masterpiece and definitely one of the best self help audio books anywhere.
The title may put some people off for its gung-ho approach, which seems to say that friends are not made, rather won, and you should keep them only as long as they serve your best interests. But the book, reflected by its popularity, is a different ball game altogether. It involves more carefully crafted takes on human interactions and how to co-exist without having to sacrifice your skin or leaving a trail of animosity in your wake. The writing may feel dated and the people chosen to illustrate his point – Lincoln, Roosevelt, etc. – may not ring much a bell with modern day readers, but the messages, as long as they aren’t taken out of context, remain as relevant as ever.
Getting Things Done by David Allen
In this book, David Allen argues that people should let go of tradition; of tired arguments regarding communication and responsibility; yesterday’s methods just do not work. His premise for changing your life for the better is a simple one: you can only be as productive as you can lay back and have a beer. The more you’re able to do the latter, the better you are at the former (and vice versa). Only when your mind is free of all the nuisances of day-to-day unease can you truly release your full potential.
Ironically enough, his philosophy regarding how to manage your time follows the old rule of the ‘4 Ds’: ‘do it, delegate it, defer it, drop it.’ It’s a method long devised to help you manage your time, reassess your goals and keep your mind focused on situations that are nothing if not dynamic in life. He preaches avoidance of confusion, staying on track to keep away from anxiety and focusing on what you want done above all. Despite what the author preaches away from the book, it’s has a ‘traditional’ feel to it. It urges one to stick to the rules rather than break them and create your own. In the end, it’s quite thought-provoking and his advice shows how to keep yourself in check without burning out.
Spark by John J. Ratey
In this audio book, the author has a different take on how to improve yourself for the better. Citing numerous studies, Ratey attempts to explain to the layman the benefits of exercise in sharpening mental processes. To cut everything into simple terms, he suggests that continually having your muscles on the move produces a slew of proteins that play different roles in the repair of synapses and keeping your body in line. It also helps in the production of hormones that help regulate mood. In essence, more exercise leads to more happiness.
The book itself reads like a thousand page novel with a repeating plot, and yet one so winding that you can’t help but wonder what will happen next. Admittedly, his views on depression and ADHD are a bit contentious, suggesting that daily exercise is a cure-all for the aforementioned and even more afflictions and various fears. He does cite every one of his claims, and they are peer-to-peer reviewed at that, but it does feel like he has an agenda to push. It feels like a narrative being whispered into your ear with a megaphone chapter after chapter. In the end, it’s a book that makes a fantastic read for people afflicted with depression, or at least it’s a great place to start, and anxiety. If you’ve ever felt the need to exercise but are better at doing mental gymnastics on how to avoid it, this book would also be a great fit for you.
Brain Rules by John Medina
Brain Rules is another of our best self help audio books. Physicists have long been on the search for ‘The Theory of Everything’ – a single equation that will encompass all the laws of the known universe. One equation to rule them all, if you will. But how about the human brain? Why do we know so much about the outside environment and yet so little about ourselves? Could there be one single thing that, if done by all humanity will change the way we interact by improving our relationships, work and even how we learn? According to Dr. Medina, there is.
Brain Rules explores how to be friends with yourself, how to use your brain as a tool and work with it rather than have it work for you or against you. In Brain Rules, he outlines his twelve practical guides to help us realize how our brains work and how we can change our daily interactions to reflect how everything should work. Without delving too much into the philosophical, and instead stressing the scientific, he tries to answer some fundamental questions about the human brain. How do we learn and what causes stress and what effect does it have on the brain? In each chapter, he describes what the title suggests – a brain rule – a transformative idea for taking over your life with a fresh breath of science.
The Sound of General Ignorance by John Lloyd and John Mitchinson
The Sound of General ignorance is an interesting read, not in the sense of uncovering something new about the human psyche or even opening your mind to worlds previously unseen, but rather in their approach to the genre. Reading a random catalog, searching for potentially entertaining books, this one might hit you as ‘another random question and answer books’, but it’s a bit different this time.
Brought to you by BBC comedians and talk-show hosts, this books sought to not only inform but question people’s fundamental understanding of topics that are supposedly well known. It’s pretty subjective, depending on how well acquainted you are with the semantics of language and the nittys of widely accepted scientific or otherwise well-known facts. From asking questions like ‘what’s the highest mountain in the world?’ to ‘a camel stores water in its hump’, this book offers a nice introduction to closer observation of ideas and beliefs. To question before accepting and observe before being drawn in. It’s a fresh and humorous approach to an otherwise unexplored genre.
Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking by Susan Cain
Have you ever been to a party and as it went on, and the crowd grew more and more effervescent, you just had the gnawing urge to leave? If so, Susan Cain is here to tell you that you’re not alone in that feeling. If you’ve ever sought to understand why some people are like that, perhaps yourself or someone you know, ‘Quiet’ offers a particularly detailed exploration into the human mind and what drives people to be so different from each other.
Society today personifies the star leader, the perfect student, the person we all need to be as an outspoken, open extrovert that’s not afraid to speak before a crowd. She argues that this, in turn, leads us to drool at the kind of people exemplified in ‘How to Win Friends and Influence People.’ Perhaps you’ve been met with the question, ‘why are you so quiet?’ before. Perhaps you’ve turned down requests by friends to go to a party solely for the want of being alone in the guise of ‘a super important meeting.’ If so, maybe you’re an introvert.
Susan Cain, in her revolutionary book, argues that introversion isn’t just a thought process, it’s part of a person’s character. The introvert isn’t necessarily shy and can speak their mind when they want to. They aren’t surrounded by a myriad of friends, but only because they prefer it that way. First, you need to figure out if you’re really an introvert, extrovert or lie somewhere in between – an ambivert. This book will guide you throughout the way.
Making Habits, Breaking Habits: How to make changes that stick by Jeremy Dean
Old habits die hard, the old saying goes. According to this author, this statement stays true even today. We’re barely into the year and perhaps you’ve already broken your new years’ resolution. The worst thing you could possibly do is feel bad about yourself, continue breaking the resolution and feel even worse. It’s an endless cycle towards self-degradation, Dean explains. This will continue until you reach an imminent low.
As with all cycles, this one can only be broken by disrupting one of the stages along the way. However, this is far easier said than done. In this book, he explains how half of all of our lives are governed by habits we developed along the line and how to break them.
It’s also been said before that it takes 30 days to form a habit, but according to this author, the real number is somewhere closer to 66. It’s not constant, of course, and will be different depending on various pervasive factors about your life including how you manage yourself, your self-discipline and what your mindset is while approaching such tasks. Aside from breaking the cycle, what’s more important, still, he explains, is how to make these newly learned skills stick. The principal goal is to develop the willpower and discipline that’s needed to maintain such a lifestyle and keep them for the rest of your life.
There you have it, some of the best self help audio books available anywhere. Here at Improved Mind, we pride ourselves on our many audio downloads for self improvement. For example, take a look at our Be a Happier Person Program which has 13 wonderful downloads or the Better You Hypnosis Series.