2016 Self Help Book Recommendations? Please Share :)


You guys… In less than a month, I’ll be turning 29. This, in turn, will equate me being one year away from turning 30. (O_O)

And while the prospect of getting older is something I look forward to since I believe I’m only getting better with time as a woman… There’s something about turning 30 in a year that makes me want to be more proactive and purposeful about the direction of my growth.


As a result, I’ve found myself gravitating towards the self-help book section of my local library. Very different from the usual mixture of science/historical/fantastical/romantic fiction that I’m naturally drawn to.

This is a big deal because I’m a fiction girl through and through. But lately, I’m realizing the importance of feeding my mind with information that will help me deal with myself and my world as opposed to providing a way for me to escape from it.


Unfortunately, the two self-help books that have been on my radar were not available at my library so I ended up ordering them online via Amazon. It’s all good tho. These are books I’m excited to add to the existing collection of literature that’s growing on my bookshelf at home.

Yesterday, my order finally arrived. All shiny and new. I swear, the smell of book paper is intoxicating. And yes. While reading, I do bring the book all the way up to my face so I can smell it every once in a while. Some people sniff glue… I sniff books lol. #dontjudge

Here’s what I ordered:


YEAR OF YES by Shonda Rhimes

I mean hello. If there’s anyone who epitomizes GIRL BOSS to me, it’s Shonda Rhimes – creative producer and writer of Grey’s Anatomy, Scandal and How To Get Away With Murder.

I watched her TED Talk a couple weeks ago and it was so inspiring. In addition to being a great writer, Rhimes is also a great public speaker. The calm and soothing melody of her voice drew me in and held me captive as I listened to her share her story.

The premise of “Year of Yes” revolves around Rhimes’ decision to spend a year saying yes to the things that scared her which she touched on briefly during her Ted Talk. And I knew, without a doubt, after listening to her speak that I had to read her book.



Not gonna lie, this book had me hooked at the title.

I, Setarra Kennedy, have a major problem with giving way too many f*cks about people and/or things that really don’t interest or better me. But I want that to stop. I want to feel more empowered to say no to the things I don’t want to do so I can have more time to do the things I do want to do. Hence, why I’m interested in reading this book.

Also, if the title of this book sounds familiar – it’s a response by Sarah Knight on how her life changed after reading Marie Kondo’s book. I’m doing this a little backwards since I have yet to read Marie Kondo’s book but I swear that book is next on my list!


So pretty much I ordered a book about saying yes and a book about saying no lol. Balance is key.

Right now, I’m only allowing myself to read these two books while spring semester of grad school is in session so I don’t overdo it. But the semester will be over in less than 2 months which means I’ll have a lot more time to read sooooon. Until then, I’m working on a summer reading list and would love your feedback!

Are there any self-help books you’ve read and would recommend? In particular, books that focus on improving creative lifestyles? If you have any suggestions, let me know in the comments below :)

  • I wholeheartedly recommend If you Have to Cry, Go Outside by Kelly Cutrone. She is a PR maven, complete bad ass, and one of those women who just radiate strength and power. Her book is part memoir, part self-help, but she gives advice on everything from career to spirituality to motherhood to relationship, and beyond. It’s a book I come back to time and time again.

    Also, please let us know how you liked Shonda’s book! It’s on my to-read list!

    • Ooooooh, Kelly sounds like an ah-mazing woman. Thanks for this rec Zauni! Will definitely add her book to my list. And yes, I will do that! It hadn’t crossed my mind to do follow up review so thanks for that suggestion :) xoxo

  • The not giving a F*ck book made me laugh out loud because I’ve gotten sucked into the Konmari “throw everything away if it doesn’t bring you joy” method. I will definitely have to pick that one up! One self-help style book that I’ve been wanting to get my hands on is Aim True by Kathryn Budig – she’s a yoga teacher and everything about her is so inspiring! I’m in love with her instagram (@kathrynbudig)

    Jess || writinginredlipstick.com

    • Haha, isn’t the title awesome! And you had me at yoga teacher (I love yoga) haha. I will most definitely check Kathryn Budig out. Thanks for the recommendation Jess!

  • These books sounds great, let us know what you think!! :) I liked The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin!

    • Yes, I read the Happiness Project a couple years ago and really enjoyed it. May have to revisit it again :)

  • Year of Yes! I read the book last month and it has changed my perspective on the use of YES! It’s definitely a life changer! I am trying to find some self help books as well. But I may have to get back to ya. This is a tough one lol

    • Hey Amanda! Your comment makes me even more excited to read the book! xo

  • Fallon Thompson

    The Crossroads of Should and Must by Ella Luna, You are a Bad Ass by Jen Sincero and Adventures for Your Soul by Shannon Kaiser. ALSO podcasts & videos to look up: Jennifer Kass (LOVE HER) and Brene Brown.

    • Omg, omg. Thanks for all of these recommendations Fallon! I hadn’t even thought about PODCASTS haha. Will definitely check Jennifer Kass out. xo

  • I need to have both of these right now! I’m a HUGE fan of self-help books. And I think the term “self-help” is so negative, you know? It makes it sound like there’s something wrong with me. There’s nothing wrong with wanting to increase your spirituality and connect with yourself on a deeper level. Ok, end rant.

    Umm, suggestions…. Living with Intent by Malika Chopra. My copy is so annotated and highlighted it looks like a text book.

    • I feel the same exact way – like why is so bad that I actually want to help myself to be a better person? There doesn’t have to be an issue, I just want to be better haha. Thanks for rec Michael! Hope you’re still planning on coming down to D.C. this year. No pressure, just hopeful :)