Finding yourself struggling to cope with staying at home? Many of us are feeling the same way, but with so much time on our hands this is the ideal time to pick-up old hobbies, start trying out new ones, and work on yourself in order to make the most of the time we have in isolation! Turning this into something positive can be easy when we focus on the things we enjoy.

Our team at Spencer Hunt are avid readers, from fiction to biographies, so we thought it would be helpful to recommend some of our favourite self-help reads, giving you the best tips on how to stay positive, mentally engaged and work on ways to self-improve over the next few weeks.

Following on from our Five Podcasts to Stay positive, here our some of our favourite books that are perfect to help you develop and keep your spirits up while working from home…


The Miracle Morning – Hal Elrod



The key to having a good day, according to Elrod, is to make sure you start it right. The Miracle Morning has taken off in popularity for its simple messaging, effective instruction and ease of implementation within your everyday life.

This is not a book that instructs you to change your entire persona or outlook on events in your life, instead it simply asks you to spend a small section of your morning to focussing on meditation and mindfulness – giving yourself a head-start to the day as you begin with a clear head – with the rest following along.

Not only wildly popular for its life-changing guidance on how to begin your day, this book also brought the idea of the 6-minute meditation to the forefront to everyone’s minds. By taking a small amount of time out of your day to truly focus on yourself and clearing your mind, The Miracle Morning has helped revolutionise the way people treat their own mental health – a guide that might be needed more than ever in the current climate.


The Chimp Paradox – Steve Peters



The Chimp Paradox is probably one of the most well-known and useful self-help books around. Based on the research of a psychiatrist Steve peters, this book is an essential tool on how to control impulsive and negative behaviours that often-become obstacles to achieving goals within our lives.

Its effectiveness is well-recorded, as many of the book’s techniques have gone on to influence professional athletes and some of the leading minds within business. By utilising a relatable and easy-to-understand mechanic of the ‘inner chimp’, Peters allows you to become in control of your negative thoughts in a tangible and beneficial way through his ‘chimp management system’.

Given the situation we find ourselves in, it’s likely many of us our letting our inner chimp get out of control – so in order to not only make the most of our time spent in isolation, but also in an aid to  control our mental wellbeing while at home – The Chimp Paradox is a must read!


The Secret – Rhonda Bryne



The Secret is one of the best-selling self-help books going and created something of a revolution when it first released in the mid-200s. The book’s philosophy is an ode to positive thinking, proclaiming that the power of your thoughts and attitude can often be enough to make your goals become a reality.

For many, it’s a life-changing lesson in how to gear your attitude towards your dreams and become one step closer to achieving them, for others it’s a somewhat controversial read that can start to become a little over-the-top if you delve too far into the philosophy (or start to read beyond the first book in the series).

No matter how you feel about The Secret, though, there’s no denying its popularity as a self-help book and its usefulness in putting positivity and focus on one’s goals to the forefront of our minds. There’s an incredible lesson about self—discipline to be learned from this book, and it’s one that many people swear by.


The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck – Mark Manson



If The Secret is the quintessential self-help book, The Subtle Art of not Giving a Fuck is almost the opposite. Lauded by critics as an ‘antidote’ to the overcrowded popular psychology market, this is a book that refocuses the idea of self-help into one of acceptance. Rather than focus energy into making every attitude a positive one, Manson speaks to the reader by allowing them to focus on the things in life that aren’t necessarily happy – and taking the reader through a process of dealing with life’s obstacles in a realistic and human way.

So rather than specifically asking the reader to try harder to be happy, Manson asks the reader to change their attitude towards negative emotions, allowing them to become an important part of our lives. The mantra of this book is essentially, ‘the struggles in life are what make it worth living’, and while not a particularly optimistic outlook, it creates its own sense of positivity by remaining realistic to  people’s lived experiences while reassuring an audience that its okay to occasionally not be okay.

If you really enjoy Manson’s first book, it’s definitely wroth checking out his follow-up, Everything is Fucked, which takes the ideas and philosophy he creates in his first book and uses it as a lens to look at the problems outside of individual experiences and across the world.


The Boy, the Mole, the Fox & the Horse – Charlie Mackesy



Sometimes self-help means simple. That’s where Charlie Mackesy’s book, The Boy, the Mole, the Fox & the Horse comes in. Rather than spending time attempting to change the behaviour of readers, Mackesy instead uses simple, elegant and beautiful illustrations to portray important life lessons to readers.

His style of illustration is well documented on Instagram (where you can find out more about his work here), and it’s this unique illustration that sets this book apart from the others. Where other books focus on attitude control, Mackesy instead introduces a moment of calm into the reader’s life through simple story-telling and wonderful drawings of an adorable cast of characters. At this point in time, it might be exactly what we need to keep ourselves afloat.


Happy – Fearne Cotton



You may recognise this author form our previous blog on podcasts to listen to while self-isolated. Happy Place was a firm recommendation of ours for its delve into the psychology of celebrities and how they deal with trauma and obstacles in their life.

The book Happy, is where it all started. Fearne Cotton takes a simpler approach to self-help in her debut book. Rather than focusing on the large things in life and how to achieve them, Cotton refocuses the reader, changing their attitude on where exactly happiness is found.

Happy is a book about finding happiness in the smallest of life’s things – turning the goal of positivity from something that can often seem achievable in trying circumstances, to one that allows you to find happiness in things that might otherwise seem mundane. It’s this attitude that allows Cotton to have such a personal, strong connection on her podcasts, and it’s also an effective approach that works well within her book, too.


…and that’s it! We hope this list of reads helps you further yourself throughout the next few weeks in self-isolation, as they have for many of us in this office. If you have any books you’d like to recommend to us, feel free to get in touch and let us know, and we’ll be sure to let you know what we think!

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