Welcome to The Kit, our new series where we ask experts from different fields which tools they think we need to succeed in life. We've already explored the benefits of crystals with Emmy Lou Knowles and discovered the ultimate defence mechanisms for anxiety when it rears its ugly head, but for this edition, we asked Toni Jones, founder of Shelf Help, a multi-platform book club and online community that focusses on self-development and self-care, to share her reading list for the year ahead.
Self-help books can be hit or miss, with the misses encapsulating those books that claim that all your problems can be solved if you just stop worrying—worst advice ever. The hits, however, are the sorts of tomes that seep into your brain, embed their wisdom right there and inspire you to really change your outlook on life. Those are the books to buy, read, read again and discuss with anyone who will listen. Considering that nobody knows self-help books quite like Jones, we asked her to share with us the ones she thinks will define 2018. Better make room on your bookshelf…
Who it's best for: Short-on-time "always on" types who crave a bit more focus.
"Author Rohan Gunatillake is all about mindfulness on the move and making it part of our everyday lives, no digital detox required," says Jones. "In fact, Rohan likes to use technology as a way to get more mindful (he's also the brains behind the brilliant Buddhify meditation app, and this book is packed with bite-sized exercises to ground the busiest of brains."
Who it's best for: Recovering orthorexics and anyone looking for body and soul nourishment.
"Yes, Danielle Copperman is a model. But don't dismiss this as just another well-being book by a beautiful person—Copperman also happens to be an entrepreneur, writer, holistic chef and bodyworker-in-training, so she's a busy and successful beautiful person. A brilliant holistic resource, Well Being is a collection of the recipes and rituals Danielle uses daily to keep her body and mind on track in this speedy and sometimes shallow world."
Who it's best for: Anyone suffering from overwhelm, social anxiety and low self-esteem (um, that'll be most of us then!), particularly those looking to change self-destructive behaviour.
"This book from Addicted Daughter duo Persia and Joey invites us to take a brutally honest look at our lives and behaviour and ask whether everything is as rosy as it may look on Instagram. If not (as is so often the case), these 20-something life coaches use examples of their own battles with addiction and self-destructive behaviour to help readers identify the parts of their life they may be sabotaging (relationships, work, finances, family), look at the 'why' and then show them how to apply some tough self-love (the 'inner fix') to get things back on track."
Who it's best for: Anyone ready to look at their relationship with alcohol but not ready to give up happy hour for good.
"We know that drinking is bad for us. But it can still be a lot of fun, and this book proposes that moderation may be the answer to making better choices without killing your social life. Full of tools and techniques to help you navigate the 'sober-curious' path, as well as insights into the powerful social conditioning and brainwashing behind our love affair with booze."
Who it's best for: Seekers looking for inspiration and some answers to the BIG questions.
"No self-help guide would be complete without a mention of Oprah, a walking, talking lesson in living your best life and using your power for good. Through her media empire, Oprah is on a mission to make spirituality mainstream, and this book is a collection of the inspiring and enlightening life lessons she shared over 14 years in her monthly What I Know for Sure column."
For more information about Jones's book club, visit ShelfHelp.club.