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Top 5 Must-Read Books for Personal Growth


Reading is such a comfort for me. I love fiction for its ability to transport me and take me out of my own mind (romance and thriller are my go-to genres, see my recommendations here), but for inspiration and personal growth, I can’t go past a good self-development book.

These are my top five five-star reads that challenged, inspired, motivated and helped me to create the life I wanted for myself and my family. I hope you can find encouragement for your own goals in these pages too!


  1.     The Miracle Morning: The Not-So-Obvious Secret Guaranteed to Transform Your Life Before 8am by Hal Elrod

Blurb: What if you could miraculously wake up tomorrow and any—or every—area of your life was transformed? What would be different? Would you be happier? Healthier? More successful? In better shape? Would you have more energy? Less stress? More money? Better relationships? Which of your problems would be solved?

There is a “not-so-obvious” secret that is guaranteed to transform your life, faster than you ever thought possible, and it only takes six minutes a day. Enter The Miracle Morning. What’s now being practiced by thousands of people around the world could perhaps be the simplest approach to creating the life you’ve always wanted. It’s been right there in front of us, but this book has finally brought it to life.

Steph says: I credit this book with helping me become a morning person. Getting up early and starting the day on my own terms has been literally life-changing. While I don’t do it ALL the time, I try my best to because I know how much better I feel when I do: calmer, happier, healthier, clearer, more capable and less overwhelmed. Try it! I can’t recommend it enough.


  1.     Atomic Habits by James Clear

Blurb: No matter your goals, Atomic Habits offers a proven framework for improving yourself—every day. James Clear, one of the world’s leading experts on habit formation, reveals practical strategies that will teach you exactly how to form good habits, break bad ones, and master the tiny behaviours that lead to remarkable results.

If you’re having trouble changing your habits, the problem isn’t you. The problem is your system. Clear is known for his ability to distil complex topics into simple behaviours that can be easily applied to daily life and work. Here, he draws on the most proven ideas from biology, psychology, and neuroscience to create an easy-to-understand guide for making good habits inevitable and bad habits impossible.

Steph says: Everyone needs to read this book! It is one of the most popular non-fiction reads for a reason. You guys know how much I swear by habit-forming as a way to achieve goals and make life work for you, not against you, and this book breaks it all down and teaches you how to do it.


  1.     The 5am Club: Own Your Morning. Elevate Your Life by Robin Sharma

Blurb: Legendary leadership and elite performance expert Robin Sharma introduced The 5am Club concept more than 20 years ago, based on a revolutionary morning routine that has helped his clients maximise their productivity, activate their best health, and bulletproof their serenity in this age of overwhelming complexity.

Now, in this life-changing book, handcrafted by the author over a rigorous four-year period, you will discover the early-rising habit that has helped so many accomplish epic results while upgrading their happiness, helpfulness and feelings of aliveness.

Steph says: Similar to The Miracle Morning, this book had a massive impact on my personal habits and morning routine. It provides steps and formulas for waking up ready to go and using the quiet hours of the morning to think, create, plan, reflect and exercise, which has knock-on effects for the rest of the day and every area of your life.


  1.     The Life-Changing Magic of Not Giving a F*ck by Sarah Knight

Blurb: The Life-Changing Magic of Not Giving a F*ck explains how to rid yourself of unwanted obligations, shame and guilt, and give your f*cks instead to people and things that make you happy.

The easy-to-use, two-step NotSorry Method for mental decluttering will help you unleash the power of not giving a f*ck about: family drama, having a ‘bikini body’, Iceland, co-workers’ opinions, pets, children and other bullsh*t! And it will free you to spend your time, energy and money on the things that really matter.

Steph says: The tagline for this book is “How to Stop Spending Time You Don’t Have with People You Don’t Like Doing Things You Don’t Want to Do”, and honestly, name a better sales pitch for a self-dev book! It’s a parody of Marie Kondo’s The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up and is funny and insightful. (Note: not suitable for those averse to F-bombs!)


  1.     The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck by Mark Manson

Blurb: In this generation-defining self-help guide, a superstar blogger cuts through the crap to show us how to stop trying to be positive all the time so that we can truly become better, happier people.

Manson makes the argument, backed both by academic research and well-timed poop jokes, that improving our lives hinges not on our ability to turn lemons into lemonade, but on learning to stomach lemons better.

Steph says: This one is a bestseller because it is just so relatable and helpful. It’s similar in topic (and name) to the one above, and I have recommended it before, but it is one of the best self-development books I’ve read and simply must be on this list. It’s a brutally honest and refreshing dive into our unattainable quest for happiness and how to only give a f*ck about the important stuff. A-ha moments everywhere! A must-read.


What are your favourite personal development books? Tag me on socials #stephpase, let’s build our to-be-read piles together!


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