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Self-help books to help you live your best life in 2018


In 2018, Americans have overwhelmingly resolved to eat healthier (37 percent), get more exercise (37 percent) and save more money (37 percent), according to a poll of the top New Year’s resolutions from YouGov. To a lesser degree, we are interested in practicing more self-care in 2018 (24 percent) and reading more (18 percent), but almost one-third of Americans resolved not to make any resolutions at all.

Anyone who isn’t a fan of resolutions can reach for “Forget Self-Help” by Thomas Fellows, a native Atlantan whose struggles with clinical depression helped him to focus not so much on helping himself, but helping others. Fellows weaves lessons from two books (Harper Lee’s “To Kill a Mockingbird,” and “Uncle Tom’s Cabin” by Harriet Beecher Stowe) with lessons from two men (Martin Luther King Jr. and Robert E. Lee) to re-examine the meaning of the Golden Rule.

If you do have plans for self-improvement and if one of your resolutions happens to involve reading more, you can score a twofer by investing in one of the many newish self-help books designed to help you get moving on whatever aspect of your life seems stuck. Here are some of the latest self-help books that will help you …

GET YOUR LIFE IN ORDER:

Get Out of Your Own Way Guide to Life” by Justin Loeber (Mango, $17): Loeber, an ’80s pop music recording artist turned marketing and PR expert, offers a humorous guide to getting ahead. His boot camp-style approach includes advice on improving communication and motivation and getting rid of procrastination and addictions.

Dot Journaling” by Rachel Wilkerson Miller (The Experiment, $13): Anyone who needs a practical resource for getting his or her life in order will find it with Miller’s step-by-step guide to Dot Journaling, the practice of planning, journaling and note-taking on dot-grid paper that will forever free you from pre-printed planners.

GET MORE CREATIVE:

Bored and Brilliant” by Manoush Zomorodi (St. Martin’s Press, $27): This seven-step program to help you conquer your digital addiction and reclaim your creativity comes directly from a real-life experiment Zomorodi conducted in 2015 with her “Note to Self” podcast and radio listeners. The 20,000 national and international participants said the project gave them more time to think and reflect.

Things Are What You Make of Them” by Adam J. Kurtz (TarcherPerigee, $14): In this tiny book, Kurtz offers creative people big ideas like why failure should be an option, using laughter as a fear-fighter and how to stop comparing yourself to other creative people.

GET RID OF STRESS:

Meditation for Fidgety Skeptics” by Dan Harris and Jeff Warren with Carlyle Adler (Spiegel & Grau, $26): After suffering a nationally televised panic attack in 2004, Harris turned to meditation. Now the meditation evangelist, in his second book on the topic, attempts to shift misconceptions about meditation and entice the people who need it the most.

Soulful Simplicity” by Courtney Carver (TarcherPerigee, $17): Learn how to live with less, eliminate debt, regain your health and improve your relationships from a woman whose diagnosis with multiple sclerosis (MS) made her get real about stress reduction.

Dying for a Paycheck” by Jeffrey Pfeffer (Harper Collins, $30): In this book, coming in March, Pfeffer shows why 80 percent of Americans are suffering from workplace stress and how employers can have a positive impact by implementing practices that enhance human well-being.

GET HAPPY:

Activating Happiness” by Rachel Hershenberg (New Harbinger Publications, $17): Hershenberg, an Atlanta-based psychologist, aims to help you beat depression with a book that shows you how to navigate negative moods and nonexistent motivation and make positive choices in small ways every day.

The Blue Zones of Happiness” by Dan Buettner (National Geographic, $26): The author of three previous best-selling books on health turns his Blue Zone methodology toward happiness by asking and answering two questions: What can individuals do to make themselves happier? And how can governments make their citizens happier?

GET HEALTHY:

James Duigan’s Blueprint for Health” (Sterling, $25): Can you get fit in 14 days? Duigan, a celebrity trainer, says you can by focusing on the four pillars of health — mindset, nutrition, movement and sleep. Writing in a Q&A format, he shows you the way with meditations, exercises and recipes that will help you function better.

Stay Fit for Life” by Joshua Kozak (DK, $20): Exercise is instrumental in staving off debilitating diseases as you age. After taking a fitness level assessment, readers can get in shape with leveled functional moves designed to mimic everyday movements and make everyday activities easier and more enjoyable.

GET A GRIP ON BAD EATING HABITS:

The Little Book of Big Weight Loss” by Bernadette Fisers (Simon and Schuster, $15): Fisers, a makeup artist, once weighed 283 pounds. At 5 feet 7 inches tall, that put her in the morbidly obese category. Rather than jumping on fad diets, she did her own successful experiment in which she lost 66 pounds in 30 weeks. Now she shares 31 rules to help readers follow in her footsteps.

How We Eat With Our Eyes and Think With Our Stomach” by Melanie Muhl and Diana Von Kopp (The Experiment, $17): Eating involves making more than 200 decisions about food each day, and each choice is impacted by our environment and other external factors such as plating, supermarket layouts and more. The book offers easily digestible insights to help you make more conscious choices about what goes in your stomach.

Eat Your Feelings” by Lindsey Smith (Wednesday Books, $25): Smith shows readers how to end the cycle of emotional eating by focusing on daily recipes that contain mood-boosting ingredients and a big dose of self-love.


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About the Author

Nedra Rhone has been a features reporter with the AJC for 10 years. She’s written about everything from fashion to food to news.