We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

How Do I Choose the Best Self-Help Materials?

By Christina Edwards
Updated Jan 26, 2024
Our promise to you
WiseGeek is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At WiseGeek, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

Before choosing any self-help materials, you should first have a clear idea about what you want to improve about yourself. Books, CDs, and videos are all great self-help materials, and some self-help information can also be found on the Internet. Friends and doctors may be able to recommend self-help products, but you should also make sure that they are easy to understand and come from a trusted authority on the subject. Many self help resources may also be targeted toward a particular gender, age group, or religion.

Any self-help materials you try should focus on an area that you are looking to improve about yourself. Self-help resources that are not targeted toward your specific problem will usually do you no good. For example, a childless person will usually find a parenting self-help book rather useless.

You should then decide which type of media you want your self-help materials to be in. Self-help books are very popular, for example, and these can be found in book stores and libraries. Movies and CDs are another option. The Internet is also full of self-help resources, and many of them are free.

When choosing the best self-help resources, you may want to ask trusted individuals for advice. Friends and family members who have dealt with similar problems may be able to recommend an excellent self-help resource, for instance. Your doctor or self-help support group may also be able to recommend materials.

The best self-help materials for you, however, will largely depend on your personal preferences. Make sure that they are easy for you to understand. Flip through self-help book and read a few pages, if possible, to make sure that you like the author's writing style. If you are a more lighthearted person, for instance, you may not benefit from a self-help book that is completely serious.

You should also consider where the self-help resources come from. The best self-help materials are typically written by experts in their fields. A psychologist specializing in depression, for instance, would usually be able to write a credible self-help depression book.

Many self-help materials are geared toward a specific type of person. Self-help resources may be targeted toward either men or women, for instance. Self-help materials are also available for different ages groups, from children to teenagers. Christian self-help resources may also be beneficial to spiritual individuals.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Link to Sources
Discussion Comments
By Fa5t3r — On Oct 27, 2014

@KoiwiGal - Self help materials aren't just contained in books. There are audio tapes and seminars and other materials available as well. I do think people should look up library resources of course, but the first port of call should be self help websites, particularly those set up by people who are reviewing different kinds of materials. Either that or forums, where you can get good advice on things that have actually helped people overcome their problems.

By KoiwiGal — On Oct 26, 2014

@pastanaga - I think that's good advice for anyone who is looking for self help materials. Shop around. Go to the library and check out a whole bunch of different kinds of books on the topic that interests you and see what is out there. See what books they all reference and check those out as well.

Don't take this kind of scattershot approach for your entire journey, because eventually you'll want to get deeper into knowledge, but until you know what you don't know and you figure out where to find it, you could fall victim to any number of scams. Self help materials are always going to sound as if they are the answer to everything, because that's what they want you to think.

By pastanaga — On Oct 25, 2014

I've found that counselors tend to be very good at recommending self help books. Since they have to read a lot of them in order to stay up to date in their career, they have a good sense of what is worth reading and what isn't.

Just beware anyone who is too fanatical about a single book or author. In my experience there isn't a single book that is useful for every single situation and anyone who says there is just hasn't read enough to know differently.

WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.