Best Self Help Book for 2020

I was scrolling through the many “Saved for Later” items I’d set aside and forgotten in my Amazon cart and deleting all of the un-purchased temptations. It was then these words that stopped me mid-cart-cleanse: Pick Me Up: A Pep Talk For Now and Later. In these times, mood-boosting words are an undeniable necessity, so I immediately added it to my cart and checked out because I knew this was an impulse purchase I wouldn’t regret. Because this is more than your average talk-up of collaged positive affirmations — it’s way better. Adam J. Kurtz has put together a living pep-talk that you can personalize and build on as you evolve. Think of it as collaborative, cathartic motivational work between you and the author, explicitly tailored to your emotional needs.

Pick Me Up is filled with inspirational memos, prompts, and mini-tasks that will make you laugh and smile while serving as small reminders to pause every once in a while because you deserve it and you need it. Just fill in the blanks to create positive outlooks that come from none other than yourself. After all, who better to offer custom advice to you than, well, you? This book serves as a guide to help you find your light if you might have misplaced it. You don’t even need to start at the beginning. Instead, you can flip to a random page and follow along. No two of the cheery pages are alike, but all are freeing in their ability to gently raise your self-awareness. Today I opened up a page that asked: “What’s the nicest thing someone has said to you lately?” It turns out that many nice things have been said to me lately. In fact, so many that I ran out of space on the line provided and quickly forgot about the long day I’d just had. Sometimes, it’s easy to focus on the not-so-great, but Pick Me Up has been there for me to highlight the pretty incredible things that have a way of being overlooked. It’s a small exercise that has helped change my outlook each day I use it.

My personal favorite part about this book, aside from its strong mood-boosting capacity, is its “for now and later” component. You’ll visit (and revisit) Pick Me Up’s pages. And as you do so, you’ll witness your growth and change, and that in itself is immensely motivating. Although you may feel like you’ve stopped advancing at times, especially lately, these pages will document your progress. Whenever you’re feeling like you’re stuck in a rut or down, you can open the book and see that you’re still moving forward. This is a vital and uplifting realization that we all need to hear from time to time. And this is also what makes Pick Me Up the most thorough self-help book that I’ve encountered. It’s the companion that will cheer you up in the present and help you safely tuck away the crazy that 2020 has been. And then it will accompany you into the New Year and the future after that.

Pick Me Up: A Pep Talk for Now and Later

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