12 Life-Changing Personal Development Books To Read in 2021

Kick start the new year (and a new decade!) with some self-improvement. Here are 12 life-changing personal development books to read in 2021 – one for each month of the year.

1. The Art of Making Memories by Meik Weiking

Personal Development Books -The Art of Making Memories by Meik Wiking

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The Art of Making Memories examines how mental images are made, stored, and recalled in our brains, as well as the “art of letting go”—why we tend to forget certain moments to make room for deeper, more meaningful ones. Ultimately, Meik shows how we each can create warm memories that will stay with us for years.

Like his previous releases, like The Little Book of Hygge, This personal development book is an easy read filled with infographics, illustrations, and photographs, and featuring “Happy Memory Tips,” The Art of Making Memories is an inspiration meditation and practical handbook filled with ideas to help us make the memories that will bring us joy throughout our lives.

This Book is for: Millennials who want to make more meaningful moments in the new year.

Get the Book: Amazon

2. The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle

self-help book; the power of now book

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Much more than simple principles and platitudes, The Power of Now takes readers on an inspiring spiritual journey to find their true and deepest self and reach the ultimate in personal growth and spirituality: the discovery of truth and light.

This personal development book changed my life. I know that sounds so cliché, but its true. I am a self-diagnosed perfectionist, so I tend to worry about “what-if” situations. But reading this book gave me a true understanding of what it means to “live in the present”. I remember attending a lunch and learn session about mindfulness and dismissing the whole thing because it just sounded so dumb. But after reading this book, I am a big believer in the power of the present moment. Many of us are taught to work hard now so that we can reap the benefits in the future. But guess what? You don’t have to wait because the present moment is bliss, you just have to embrace it.

This Book is for: Millennials who want to become more present and maintain inner peace.

Get the Book: Amazon


3. Millenneagram: The Enneagram Guide for Discovering Your Truest, Baddest Self by Hannah Paashe

Must Read Enneagram Books: Millenneagram

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If you aren’t into the traditional, formal Enneagram teachings, then I’ve got the book for you. It’s anything but boring! This fun and sassy book was written by Hannah Paashe, the creator of the #millenneagram Twitter thread. It provides a funny and insightful understanding of each type, that any millennial can relate to. Best of all – it doesn’t feel like you’re doing Enneagram research. Although it’s not as in-depth as The Complete Enneagram, Millenneagram offers a fun way to learn about the types.

Millenneagram reinvigorates the Enneagram by putting a modern spin on the classic nine types.  For Hannah, the Enneagram is not about changing who we are, but rather nurturing and loving our whole selves, even the pain in the ass qualities. 

This Book is for: Anyone who wants a fun introduction into the world of Enneagram.

Get the Book: Amazon


4. Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert

self help book; eat pray love

Source: Amazon

You may have seen the movie, but have you read the book? Trust me the book is 10 times better than the movie. Now, this may not be your traditional self-help book but it’s such a fun and inspiring read. Elizabeth Gilbert takes you on her year-long journey in three countries that begin with the letter “I” – Italy, India, and Indonesia. From indulging in fresh margarita pizzas in Italy to meditating at 5 am in India, to bonding with a toothless medicine man in Indonesia. Eat, Pray, Love is a blast to read. It inspires wanderlust and makes you want to pack your bags and go on an impromptu adventure.

This Book is for: Millennials who are looking for an inspirational, light-hearted, and refreshing read.

Get the Book: Amazon

5. Reasons to Stay Alive by Matt Haig

Personal Development Books -Reasons To Stay Alive by Matt Haig

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Reasons to Stay Alive is Matt Haig’s accessible and life-affirming memoir of his struggle with depression, and how his triumph over the illness taught him to live. Reasons to Stay Alive provides an emotional account of just how life-altering depression can be, and gives a unique perspective on how Matt Haig coped with it. The book is sprinkled with nuggets of wisdom and heartfelt quotes that are sure to make this a modern classic.

Matt Haig is the internationally bestselling writer of six novels, including the forthcoming How To Stop Time. He has also written award-winning children’s books. His work has been translated into thirty languages. Reasons to Stay Alive, a bestseller in the UK since its publication, is his first work of nonfiction.

This Book is for: Millennials who are looking for an inspiring memoir detailing a triumphant battle over depression and anxiety.

Get The Book: Amazon

6. Enneagram Transformations by Don Richard Riso

Must Read Enneagram Books: Enneagram Transformations

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In Enneagram Transformations, Don Richard Riso, one of the foremost developers of the enneagram, presents a groundbreaking contribution to the self-help field. Using releases and affirmations based on various personalities, he shows readers how to unlock their psychological pains and strengths to promote healing, recovery, and tranquility.

Now this book is less in-depth, in terms of providing overviews of the types than many of the other Enneagram books listed. However, it is great for readers who already understand their types and want something different than a standard analysis piece. It’s chock full of motivators, specific to each type, and will definitely help readers anytime they feel stuck!

This Book is for: Anyone who feels stuck in a rut and is looking for personalized motivation.

Get the Book: Amazon

7. The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo

self help book; the life changing magic of tidying up

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Marie Kondo was all the hype in early 2019 when she released her Netflix show. Don’t get me the wrong, the show is great. But it just reminded me a little bit too much of those cheesy TLC shows. If you’re craving something with more depth from Marie Kondo, then you should definitely read her book. Kondo breaks down how to effectively declutter your home once and for all. Seriously, how did we all grow up without anyone teaching us the proper way to clean our homes? We were forced to calculate the intercept of a parabola, but not this? Madness.

With detailed guidance for determining which items in your house “spark joy” (and which don’t), this personal development book will help you clear your clutter and enjoy the unique magic of a tidy home—and the calm, motivated mindset it can inspire.

This Book is for: Millennials who want to get that “fresh start” feeling and declutter their space once and for all.

Get the Book: Amazon

8. Stillness Is The Key by Ryan Holiday

Stillness Is The Key by Ryan Holiday

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Ryan Holiday is one of the world’s foremost thinkers and writers on ancient philosophy and its place in everyday life. In his new book, Stillness Is the Key, Holiday draws on timeless Stoic and Buddhist philosophy to show why slowing down is the secret weapon for those charging ahead.

This personal development book offers a simple but inspiring antidote to the stress of 24/7 news and social media. The stillness that we all seek is the path to meaning, contentment, and excellence in a world that needs more of it than ever. Each chapter is accompanied by real-life examples from great leaders of our generation and actionable next steps.

This Book is for: Millennials who want to be more present and mindful in their daily lives.

Get The Book: Amazon

9. Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert

big magic book cover

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I’m not sure if you can tell, but I just adore Elizabeth Gilbert. That’s why she’s on my list twice. Unlike Eat, Pray, Love, Big Magic is more akin to your typical self-help book. It’s all about working with your fear and creative genius to pursue your creative passion.  Yes, I said with your fear for a reason. I’m sure you have been told, at some point in your life, that you need to OVERCOME your fears, but Gilbert takes a different perspective in her book. Instead of overcoming your fears, just learn to work with them. The less you fight your fear, the less it fights back.

Whether you are looking to write a book, make art, find new ways to address challenges in your work,  embark on a dream long deferred, or simply infuse your everyday life with more mindfulness and passion, Big Magic cracks open a world of wonder and joy.

This Book is for: Millennials who want a pep talk in order to take the leap of faith to start their creative endeavors.

Get the Book: Amazon

10. You Are a Badass by Jen Sincero

personal development books - you are a badass book cover

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I like to think of You Are a Badass as a more general, less specialized version of Big Magic. While Big Magic focuses on those people who are in creative endeavors, You Are a Badass applies to everyone. Jen Sincero serves up an entertaining self-help book full of funny stories and important life lessons, with a sprinkle of swear words. If you are always making up excuses to not pursue your dream or passion, then this book just might be what you need to ignite that spark in you.

Via chapters such as “Your Brain Is Your Bitch”, “Fear Is for Suckers”, and “My Subconscious Made Me Do It”, Sincero takes you on a wild joy ride to your own transformation, helping you create the money, relationships, career, and general all-around awesomeness you so desire. And should you be one of those people who dreads getting busted with a self-help book in your hands, fear not.

This Book is for: Millennials who are professional procrastinators at delaying their pursuit of life-long dreams and passions.

Get the Book: Amazon

11. The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz

personal development books - the four agreements book cover

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I’m sure you have heard of animals being domesticated, but have you heard about the domestication of humans? The elements in your life that you had no control over such as your childhood, your environment, your parents, your school are what shaped you as a human being. The main focus of the book is on breaking free of your limiting beliefs or “agreements” as the author likes to call it and replacing them with a new set of agreements with ourselves.

Based on ancient Toltec wisdom, the Four Agreements — be impeccable with your word, don’t take anything personally, don’t make assumptions, always do your best — offer a powerful code of conduct that can rapidly transform life into a new experience of freedom, love, and true happiness. 

With less than 200 pages, The Four Agreements is a short and sweet personal development book with 4 important life lessons presented in an easily digestible format.

This Book is for: Millennials who struggle with limiting beliefs and aspire to make positive changes in their lives.

Get the Book: Amazon

12. The Path Made Clear by Oprah Winfrey

personal development books - the path made clear book cover

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Is it possible to make a list of best personal development books without mentioning the queen of personal development, Oprah Winfrey?

In her latest book, The Path Made Clear, Oprah shares what she sees as a guide for activating your deepest vision of yourself, offering the framework for creating not just a life of success, but one of significance. The book’s ten chapters are organized to help you recognize the important milestones along the road to self-discovery, laying out what you really need in order to achieve personal contentment, and what life’s detours are there to teach us.

Each chapter begins with a short introduction by Oprah herself. It is followed by a series of short stories from renowned teachers, including Deepak Chopra and world-famous celebs like Ellen Degeneres. This book is perfect to read before your morning meditation.

This Book is for: Millennials who are fans of Oprah, quotable moments, and nuggets of wisdom from an all-star lineup.

Get the Book: Amazon

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