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The Most Transformative personal growth books I've Read

 By: Katie Lister

April 8, 2024

Need a little dose of inspiration? Here are the top 27 transformative non fiction books I’ve read in the last few years. I’m sure you’ll find a couple that resonate!

Table of Contents

Katie Lister

Katie Lister

Written by Katie Lister, RN, BScN. An experienced Registered Nurse, Group Facilitator, Life Coach, and Community Leader. Read Katie's Full Author Bio

Practical Self-Help

1. Think Like a Monk – Jay Shetty

Profound insights gained from time spent with monks into practical tools for cultivating mindfulness and purpose.

2. Girl, Stop Apologizing – Rachel Hollis

A life-changing guide for any woman who’s ready to find her voice, stop people pleasing, and pursue her dreams.

3. The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck – Mark Manson

A funny and necessary self-help book outlining the importance of taking personal responsibility for our lives and how to focus on what truly matters.

4. I Will Teach You to be Rich – Ramit Sethi

A practical guide for a better financial future with thought provoking ideas to shift your money mindset.

5. How to Win Friends and Influence People – Dale Carnegie 

A nearly 100 year old classic outlining practical solutions to creating better relationships and becoming a better person.

6. Make It Happen – Jordanna Levin

A lighthearted, practical and easy-to-follow guide to manifestation. 

7. Atomic Habits – James Clear

The ultimate guide on habit formation to accomplish more through focused simplicity.



8. Untamed – Glennon Doyle

An empowering memoir full of potent analogies, call to actions, and tender love.

9. Maybe You Should Talk To Someone – Lori Gottlieb

Moving, relatable, and vulnerable stories based on the author’s real life therapy clients and her personal challenges, highlighting the transformative power of therapy.

10. Greenlights – Matthew McConaughey

A hilarious yet moving memoir serving as both a personal narrative and a guide to self-improvement, inspiring readers to embrace an authentic life journey.

11. Finding Ultra – Rich Roll 

From alcoholic to overweight to ultra triathlete, this memoir is an inspiring story of the author’s physical and spiritual transformation.


Creativity & Purpose

12. Big Magic – Elizabeth Gilbert

Insights on inspiration and the author’s unique perspective on creativity.

13. The War of Art – Steven Pressfield

This author illuminates the various types of resistance encountered by artists, entrepreneurs, and individuals striving to overcome creative obstacles.

14. Choose Wonder Over Worry – Amber Rae

Filled with potent reflective journaling prompts, this book guides us in choosing curiosity over fear, enabling us to unlock our fullest potential.

Mental Health

15. In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts – Gabor Mate

The ultimate book on grasping addiction at its essence, derived from the insights of a renowned physician who specializes in treating individuals afflicted by trauma, mental health disorders, and addiction.

16. How to Change Your Mind – Michael Pollan

The history, science, and author’s personal experience of psychedelics and their role in consciousness, dying, addiction, depression, and transcendence.  


17. The Four Agreements – Don Miguel Ruiz

A set of principles drawn from Toltec wisdom to enhance one’s life.  

18. The Obstacle is the Way – Ryan Holiday

Stoic philosophy with a modern approach teaching readers to view adversities as opportunities.   

Health & Wellness

19. Period Power – Maisie Hill

A necessary roadmap for synchronizing daily activities with the menstrual cycle, offering women a straightforward understanding of their monthly hormonal fluctuations.  

20. Breath – James Nestor

A comprehensive exploration of the profound effects of breathing through historical, scientific, and personal lenses.


21. It’s Not Your Money – Tosha Silver

A spiritual guide to abundance to reframe how you think and feel about money. 


Love & Humanity

22. Atlas of the Heart – Brené Brown

A deep dive and aesthetically beautiful outline of 87 emotions that define our humanity.

23. Attached – Amir Levine & Rachel Heller

Written by a psychiatrist and neuroscientist, this book unveils how comprehending attachment theory can aid in discovering and maintaining love.

24. Everybody, Always – Bob Goff

Wisdom and the author’s personal experience on loving unconditionally while also practicing discernment. (Note: This is by a Christian writer who frequently mentions God. However, the teachings provided can be interpreted in a manner that aligns with any higher power that speaks to you, as the principles are universally relevant)

25. Braving the Wilderness – Brene Brown

An imperative read that questions our preconceptions about fostering genuine belonging within our communities, organizations, and culture, teaching us to believe in ourselves so fully that we can stand alone when needed.

Short Stories

26. Tiny Beautiful Things – Cheryl Strayed

Relatable and powerful insights on love and life, stemming from the author’s “Dear Sugar” advice column, which she penned anonymously.

27. Gift from the Sea – Anne Morrow Lindbergh

Written in 1955, these essays draw inspiration from beach shells, providing timeless reflections on youth, age, love, marriage, peace, solitude, and contentment.


Happy Reading!

I’d love to hear from you! Comment your favourtie book from this list or which ones you’re looking forward to delving into most. If you’re interested in more personal growth advice and tips, be sure to sign up for our free Newsletter below 🙂 

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