Twelve of this era’s most influential self-help gurus

self-help gurus

Until around 50 years ago, you would have been fortunate to see even one book in a library or bookshop on mental health and wellbeing. But since then, it has slowly progressed to become the boom it is today.

We are truly blessed these days that there are so many books and speakers on mental health, self-improvement and wellbeing. There is at least one person who is an expert in whichever aspect of living life that we are interested in or need to know.

Naturally, the field of “self-help gurus” is subjective. There are so many more I could have chosen. However, here’s a list of 12 people who have without doubt had a significant positive impact on people’s lives in our era, starting with my personal favourite.

Wayne Dyer

Wayne Dyer (1940-2015) earned a doctorate in counselling psychology, but his life transformed when his first book “Your Erroneous Zones” (1976) became a huge international bestseller. Dyer emphasised the power of self-belief, positive thinking and taking personal responsibility for one’s life. He wrote more than 40 books, including “The Power of Intention” and “Change Your Thoughts, Change Your Life”.

Eckhart Tolle

Eckhart Tolle is a spiritual teacher and author who emphasises the power of living in the present moment. His book “The Power of Now” became a worldwide bestseller and has helped countless individuals find inner peace and positively transform their lives.

Louise Hay

Louise Hay (1926-2017) was a pioneer in the self-help movement and a bestselling author, perhaps best known for her book “You Can Heal Your Life”. She gave prominence to the power of positive affirmations and self-love.

Joe Dispenza

Joe Dispenza is a chiropractor who fixed a broken spine that he suffered in his 20s – after being told by four specialists he would never walk again. Now aged 61, he has since gained international recognition for his books, videos and talks around the world on the connection between mind, body and consciousness. He has inspired countless individuals to break free from limiting beliefs, heal traumas and unlock their full potential. His bestsellers are “Breaking the Habit of Being Yourself”, “Becoming Supernatural”, and “You Are the Placebo”.


Born Anthony Paul Moo-Young in 1954 in Jamaica, Mooji is a spiritual teacher known for his teachings on self-inquiry, the direct realisation of one’s true nature, and the dissolution of the ego. His insightful wisdom has especially resonated with people seeking spiritual liberation and inner peace.

Melody Beattie

Born in 1948, Beattie struggled with addiction and codependency. Her experiences led her to write “Codependent No More” (1986), which became an acclaimed book that continues to help millions of people understand and overcome codependency.

Deepak Chopra

Deepak Chopra is a renowned author and speaker who integrates Eastern philosophies with Western medicine. He focuses on the mind-body connection, meditation, and holistic wellbeing. He has written numerous books on spirituality and personal development.

Tony Robbins

Tony Robbins is widely recognized as one of the most influential and well-known self-help gurus. He has reached millions of people through his books, seminars, and motivational speaking – focusing on personal development, motivation and strategies for success.

Gabor Maté

Gabor Maté is a doctor who has become internationally known for his expertise on addiction, trauma and mind-body health. He explains the relationship between emotional stress, childhood experiences, and physical and mental health issues including addiction. His bestselling books include “In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts: Close Encounters with Addiction”; “When the Body Says No: The Cost of Hidden Stress”; and “The Myth of Normal: Illness and Health in an Insane Culture”.

Russell Brand

Russell Brand is a British comedian, actor, and author born in 1975. Known for his humorous and charismatic personality, he has been open about his struggles with addiction. Now an intelligent and significant voice for recovery and mental health, he’s written several books, including “Recovery: Freedom from Our Addictions”, sharing his personal journey and insights on overcoming addiction.

John Bradshaw

John Bradshaw (1933-2016) was an American author and counsellor who gained prominence with his ground-breaking book “Healing the Shame That Binds You” that explained toxic shame, dysfunctional family dynamics and healing the inner child.

Brené Brown

Brené Brown is a research professor and author known for her work on vulnerability, courage, shame and empathy. Her books – such as “The Gifts of Imperfection” and “Daring Greatly” – have resonated with many people seeking personal growth and self-acceptance.

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