Today we at Daastan, are trying to unravel the truth about the world of self-help books. From Stephen Covey’s “7 Habits” to Mark Manson’s “The subtle art of not giving a F”, the reign of self-help books has been long and it still continues to grow today.

Debating the significance of self-help books

If you have never read a self-help book, try reading one who knows it may just have what you are looking for! Even if you don’t find something that caters to your needs, you will have chance to understand different approaches that do help other people. That’s how the world of self-help books work. There are no researches backing up their positive or negative impacts, as such experiences are arbitrary and vary from person to person.

Self-help books

That being said, a complete and total reliance on self-help books without seeking professional help may cause implications. There are many reasons for that. For instance, among, hundreds of these books being published, how does one know which advice is beneficial for them. Moreover, a lot of self-help books are repetitive. Therefore, the question begs, why is something being said so many times? Is it because it’s good advice? Or is it an overused statement bearing no results?

Placebo Effect

Another reason for the successful reign of self-help industry is the placebo effect. A book may not be carrying life-changing advice or a secret to happiness. But it can do so, if one believes that. Similarly, several of these books have very common truths stated in them. What makes these common observations helpful is that no one really payed much attention to them before. Hence, contributing to the idea of a solution to one’s problem only and only through a certain book.

Instagramable Self-Care

After the heyday of Instagram, many self-help gurus and influencers emerged with their podcasts and books. This era of self-care and self-help ranged from the holistic healing approach to crystal, chakras, tarot readings and even bubble baths and essential oils. This specific branch of self-help received a lot of criticism as it talked about surface level gratification. These things only appealed the masses if they were ‘instagramable’ and ‘aesthetic’. The term ‘instagramable’ here also refers to chasing instant fix for problems that are not solved by bubble baths and sugar coated quotes.

Application of the advice

Sometimes, the self-help books are put together under supervision from professionals who make sure to put forward the correct tools for people. However, the problem arises when people just want to read a plethora of self-helps and not incorporate the lessons mentioned in them in their daily lives. Many practical approaches present in these self-help rituals encourage people to start by making small changes in their daily lives and progress from there. Therefore, the sole responsibility of a self-help ritual not working out can not be blamed on the book but on the individual who is unwilling to change him/herself.

Self-help books


If you are a fan of the genre, then here are some recommendations for you.

  • “Outliers: The Story of Success” by Malcolm Gladwell

  • “How to Win Friends and Influence People” by Dale Carnegie

  • “The 5 Love Languages” by Gary Chapman

  • “The 4-Hour Workweek” by Timothy Ferriss

  • “Atomic Habits” by James Clear

We hope you enjoyed our take on self-help industry. For more literary goodness, stay tuned!


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