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The Best Self-Help Books to Read During Downtime

Caught off guard with some surprise downtime? It's the perfect opportunity to indulge in enriching nonfiction! At Blinkist, we curate the cream of the crop for you. Start your journey with our selection of the best self-help books, ready to inspire and empower!
by Chris Allmer | Oct 16 2023
best self-help books downtime


We’ve all been there. You’re staring at a tower of books, your heart aching to dive into each one of them, but the ever-ticking clock of life simply won’t let you. You wish for a powerful trick that can distill those pages filled with wisdom into bite-sized lessons you can consume on a quick coffee break. And voilà, Blinkist steps in, doing just that! This savvy platform brings you key insights from more than 6,500 nonfiction books, all ready for you to gobble up in minutes. Let’s stroll down the lane of self-improvement, stopping by some of the best self-help books on Blinkist. 

Why Should You Read Self-Help books?

Picture self-help books as your personal life coach, readily available on your bookshelf. They’re packed with insights, nudging you towards personal growth and shaping you into a better version of yourself. Each page turned exposes fresh perspectives and alternative approaches to life’s challenges. Think of these books as your guiding light, helping you maneuver through life’s complexities with simplicity. Self-help books are the motivational spark you need to chase your dreams with renewed energy.

Now get ready to join me on a rewarding journey of self-discovery and transformation with self-help books and Blinkist as your reliable guides.

Blinkist makes it easy to quickly glean insights from thousands of the world’s most acclaimed nonfiction titles, including hundreds of bestselling self-help books. If you’re interested in becoming a better you, here are some of our most popular self-improvement books in our library.


The Best Self-Help Books on Blinkist

Meditations by Marcus Aurelius

“Meditations” by Marcus Aurelius is a true gem that serves up a timeless blend of wisdom focused on resilience and stoicism. Think of it as your personal access pass to the private contemplations of a Philosopher-King, Marcus Aurelius. In just a 10-minute dive on Blinkist, you can unpack his teachings that spotlight the merits of keeping your cool and staying rational when life throws you a curveball. Here’s what you can take away from his wisdom:

  • Life comes with its fair share of hardships. Don’t run from them, instead use them as stepping stones to grow stronger.
  • Amidst chaos, aim to maintain your composure and lean into rational thinking. Remember, you can’t control the storm, but you can control how you navigate through it.
  • Everything in life is temporary and ever-changing. Instead of resisting it, learn to flow with the tide of impermanence.


I’m OK — You’re OK: Discover Your Inner Parent and Your Inner Child by Thomas A. Harris


Thomas A. Harris delves into Transactional Analysis in “I’m Ok, You’re Ok,” explaining how our inner parent and inner child shape our behaviors and relationships. This Blinkist summary can provide valuable insight into your interactions and emotional responses.

“The marvel of the human species is our ability to live simultaneously in the past, the present, and the future.”
Thomas A. Harris


You Are a Badass: How To Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life by Jen Sincero


Jen Sincero’s “You Are a Badass” is a powerful pep talk in a book, urging readers to stop doubting their greatness and start living an extraordinary life. As Sincero states, “You are a badass. You were one when you came screaming onto this planet, and you are one now.” A read through this summary on Blinkist can provide the spark you need to chase your dreams fearlessly.


The Happiness Project: Or, Why I Spent a Year Trying to Sing in the Morning, Clean My Closets, Fight Right, Read Aristotle, and Generally Have More Fun by Gretchen Rubin

Gretchen Rubin’s “The Happiness Project” is a year-long journey in pursuit of happiness. This engaging Blinkist summary may inspire you to embark on your own happiness project, seeking joy in everyday life.

“You’re not happy unless you’re happy.”
Gretchen Rubin


Atomic Habits by James Clear

This bestseller, available in a concise summary on Blinkist, offers a scientific approach to forming and breaking habits—all in just 25 minutes of your time! James Clear highlights that monumental change isn’t about making grand plans, but rather about nurturing tiny habits that can snowball over time. He also emphasizes the importance of systems over goals. The secret is consistency: seemingly minute changes can yield remarkable results if you commit to them for the long haul.

“Habits are the compound interest of self-improvement.”
James Clear


Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity by David Allen

In “Getting Things Done,” David Allen proposes a system to enhance productivity without added stress. According to Allen, “Your mind is for having ideas, not holding them.” This book summary on Blinkist can help you learn to manage tasks efficiently while freeing up mental space.


Wherever You Go, There You Are by Jon Kabat-Zinn

Jon Kabat-Zinn’s book explains how to fully enjoy the present moment without worrying about the past or the future. By providing step-by-step meditation practices, both formal and informal, that can easily be incorporated into everyday life, Kabat-Zinn steers us toward the peace and tranquility that we’re yearning for.

“Wherever you go, there you are. Whatever you wind up doing, that’s what you’ve wound up doing. Whatever you are thinking right now, that’s what’s on your mind. Whatever has happened to you, it has already happened. The important question is, ‘how are you going to handle it?’…”
Jon Kabat-Zinn


The 4-Hour Workweek: Escape 9–5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich by Tim Ferriss

If you’re tired of the traditional 9-5, “The 4-Hour Workweek” by Tim Ferriss offers a new perspective on work and life. Ferriss encourages readers to break free from the norm and design their own life, asserting that “life doesn’t have to be so damn hard.” Dive into this Blinkist summary to start shaping your dream lifestyle.


Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking by Malcolm Gladwell

In “Blink,” Malcolm Gladwell sheds light on the power of snap judgments and quick thinking. Diving into this 14-minute summary on Blinkist can make you reassess the balance between your instinctual decisions and lengthy deliberations. And if you are really keen, take a peek at Malcolm Gladwell’s book list

“There can be as much value in the blink of an eye as in months of rational analysis.”
Malcolm Gladwell


Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill

In “Think and Grow Rich,” Napoleon Hill reveals the secrets to wealth as gleaned from interviews with 40 millionaires. This 15-minute Blinkist summary can uncover the wisdom of these successful individuals and offer key insights for your financial journey.


The 80/20 Principle by Richard Koch

Richard Koch’s “The 80/20 Principle” helps readers harness the power of doing more with less. The book’s central theme is that 80% of results come from just 20% of efforts — a game-changing perspective for those striving for productivity and success. Here’s the essence of what he wants to convey following the Pareto Principle:

  • 80% of results stem from 20% of efforts
  • Identify and focus on these high-yield efforts
  • Apply the 80/20 rule across all aspects of life, from business to personal relationships


The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom. A Toltec Wisdom Book by Don Miguel Ruiz and Janet Mills

“The Four Agreements” is your guide to breaking free from negative patterns and fully realizing your true self. This self-help book was a New York Times bestseller for over eight years and explores ancient Toltec wisdom, offering a practical guide to personal freedom. Reading this Blinkist summary can provide you with valuable tools for self-improvement based on time-tested wisdom.


Self-Help Books on Blinkist

With each passing day, the world is becoming busier and our schedules fuller. However, this shouldn’t keep us from our pursuit of knowledge and self-improvement. Blinkist is a powerful tool that makes accessing wisdom from the best self-help books a breeze.

Whether you’re looking to harness the Stoic thinking of a Philosopher-King from “Meditations,” unravel the power of thinking without thinking from “Blink,” or learn to build good habits with “Atomic Habits,” Blinkist has got you covered.

Endlessly learning and improving yourself has never been this straightforward. In a world of information overload, Blinkist makes it simple by curating the best self-help books and audiobooks and delivering them in a way that fits into your busy schedule. So, why not get started on your self-improvement journey with Blinkist today? 

It’s the perfect companion for those ready to make the most of their time and continue learning, growing, and evolving. Remember, the road to self-improvement never ends—it just gets more exciting with every book summary you consume on Blinkist!

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