What are the best personal development books? Our NLP training is special. During our classes, we connect Neuro-Linguistic Programming to deeper presenting problems and link them to neuroscience, positive psychology, and coaching.
Many people don’t know this about me, but when I am not in an NLP training I read 20 – 50 pages a day. It depends if I want to study, memorize, take notes or just read. Some personal development books topped my lists for years and then fall off. This is often because their information gets to be a little dated.
What are the best personal development books I would recommend at this time? These are books I would recommend, especially to coaches and people who work with NLP professionally.
Last update: March 22nd, 2023
I will continue to update this list.
What are the best personal development books?
Please note I get an affiliate commission when you purchase through the links below. This comes at no extra cost to you. I genuinely recommend these books during the seminars I teach.
Man’s Search for Meaning – Dr. Viktor Frankl
Without question, the most inspirational book ever written, and in my opinion the best personal development book you could buy. From a personal development perspective, it teaches how to use the brain to think like a survivor rather than a victim. For the students in my NLP training, you may remember me explaining how to program the brain to shift away from victim thinking towards thinking like a hero or survivor, based on lessons learned from Holocaust survivors.
Nonviolent Communication: A Language of Life: Life-Changing Tools for Healthy Relationships – Dr. Marshall Rosenberg
The most recommended personal development book inside my own coaching practice and typically when my clients struggle with communicating things without an underlying sting or aggression in the shape of words. If you care about communicating in a way that gets things done in healthy personal an professional relationships this method is the best option you have. I noticed that top negotiators and conflict resolutions specialists I have trained recommend this book.
Why We Sleep: The New Science of Sleep and Dreams – Matthew Walker, Ph.D.
It may be strange to add a book about sleep to this list. Sleep affects emotional regulation, focus, well-being, and physical and mental health. With that, all other books on this list are completely useless if you aren’t sleeping. In fact, if you aren’t getting more than 7 hours of shut-eye a night, this book and prioritizing sleep are the easiest way to take a huge leap in your personal evolution. If you are a coach, then understanding sleep isn’t an option; it is a requirement when you work with other people.
The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom – Don Miguel Ruiz
One of the best personal development books ever written dealing with limiting-beliefs. A practical guide it is!
Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience – Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi. Ph.D
This book has changed my life, and has been among my top recommendations ever since. Flow is about the science of optimal experience for those of you wanting to understand enjoyment, creativity, and full enjoyment of life. It teaches us to order information that enters our consciousness so we can improve our well-being and our life. It also can be considered one of the leading works in the field of Positive Psychology.
Thinking, Fast and Slow – Daniel Kahneman, Ph.D.
This is the only personal development book that I literally waited with baited breath for release. The moment It came out, I couldn’t wait to read it. Written by a Nobel prize winner, one of the top global thinkers of our time. There are many books written about irrational and rational thinking, however this book is a masterpiece. It is about how we think and choose. You will never think the same way about thinking again.
Self-Compassion: The Proven Power of Being Kind to Yourself – Kristin Neff, Ph.D
An absolute must-have for any person who is beating themselves up, requiring perfection, or dropping into a space of insecurity. Dr. Kristin Neff is the go-to scientist who dedicated her life’s work to studying and researching self-compassion. Practical exercises included.
Transitions (40th Anniversary Edition): Making Sense of Life’s Changes – William Bridges
This book has always been in my top 5 to recommend to new coaches, or people interested in change. It offers an easy and practical understanding of what emotions people experience during change. Which allows these changes to be more easily understood, processed, coached and navigated.
Atomic Habits: An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones – James Clear
I always want to be careful stepping into a habit of promoting books that recently received a lot of marketing, as we can not help to be influenced by this. At the same time, I believe that this book, and the book by Charles Duhigg is all you need to understand (bad) habits. Library on habits completed, check!
The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business – Charles Duhigg
In terms of the best personal develooment books about habits you only need to purchase the book by James Clear, and this book by Charles Duhigg.
Think and Grow Rich – Napoleon Hill
No list about the best personal development books out there is complete without Think and Grow Rich. If you study the habits of 500 successful and wealthy people over the span of 20 years, what specifically would you learn?
The Upside of Your Dark Side: Why Being Your Whole Self–Not Just Your “Good” Self–Drives Success and Fulfillment – Todd Kashdan, Ph.D
The best book about negative emotions, science-backed, and absolutely brilliant! I reference this book all the time.
The Happiness Advantage: The Seven Principles of Positive Psychology That Fuel Success and Performance at Work – Shawn Achor, Ph.D
Absolutely brilliant! Get all of his books. The Happiness Advantage explains to us how happy employees make the most successful employees.
Mindset: The New Psychology of Success – Carol Dweck, Ph.D
The leading expert in the field where it comes to mindset. Understanding what cultivates a growth mindset (and what doesn’t.) What are your beliefs about your capabilities? Let Dr. Dweck change your life in the process.
Rethinking Positive Thinking: Inside the New Science of Motivation – Gabriella Oettingen, Ph.D
The best book on goal-setting, 20 years of scientific research went into this book. It should have received much more marketing and press, as it is the only scientific method of goal setting. The WOOP method. One of the leading books in Positive Psychology.
Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance – Angela Duckworth, Ph.D
Angela Duckworth will change your life for the better once you understand how effort works. This is a must-read for anyone wanting to know about grit, resilience, effort and mastery. Best of all, based on years worth of scientific research by the author. One of the most recommended books from the field of Positive Psychology.
Three books you must own written by the one of the leading founders of positive psychology – Martin Seligman, Ph.D
2. Authentic Happiness
3. Learned Optimism
From the man who researched well-being (PERMA), signature strengths, learned helplessness and learned optimism.
Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead – Dr. Brene Brown
From one of the most inspiritual thought leaders currently in the public eye.
Breaking The Habit of Being Yourself – Dr. Joe Dispenza
How to loose your mind and create a new one. I felt my favorite Dispenza book needed to be on this list.
Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking – Susan Cain
Thoroughly researched, and science-based. The book for introverts. Extroverts and all those who wish to gain a better understanding guiding, coaching and engaging with introverts should read this book.
Attached: The New Science of Adult Attachment and How It Can Help You Find – and Keep – Love – Amir Levine, M.D.
I am not sure if is a buzzword, but a lot of people are referencing their attachment styles. Both in pop-psychology but also in serious scientific writings. A great book to reflect on for yourself, or your clients. Learn more about your attachment styles.
The Biology of Belief 10th Anniversary Edition: Unleashing the Power of Consciousness, Matter & Miracles – Bruce Lipton, Ph.D
If you ever wanted to find scientific proof of spirituality, this is book is a must-read. The power of belief can be explained through science, and Bruce Lipton is a leader in the field. This book gives everyone a thorough understanding how we should be deliberate who and what we surround ourselves with. This is really an executing read, and makes science fun and easy to digest.
Meditations: A New Translation – Marcus Aurelius
This book is relevant to anyone who cares about having a meaningful life. Savor this book, and love me for it. Spiritual exercises filled with wisdom.It remains one of the best personal development books written of all time. Maybe this book is only for smart people.
The Untethered Soul: The Journey Beyond Yourself – Michael Singer
I honestly never understood why this book didn’t become as mainstream as the Four Agreements. Just brilliant!
What are the best NLP books?
If you want to find the best NLP books, read this article
What are the best NLP books
I will keep reading the best personal development books and update this list.