The Self-Development Listens Every Man Should Hear

Whether you're looking to boost motivation or deepen your relationship, these are the best self-help guides for guys.

With the plethora of books available, self development can be an intimidating genre to approach. Combine that conundrum with trying to balance all the enticing promises of each title with what you actually hope to achieve, and you might need the guidance of a self-help book just to find a self-help book! A huge portion of the genre is geared toward men, so while there’s no shortage of titles tackling men’s unique difficulties—from navigating relationships and building confidence to securing financial stability and coping with the exhausting expectations of masculinity—sorting through them all is daunting indeed. We’ve created this list of some of the best and most helpful self-help books for men—and trust us these selections can help create a lasting, meaningful impact for listeners of any gender.

10% Happier Revised Edition

We are under continual duress from our constantly engaged world, which demands our attention from all corners. In such circumstances, it can be hard to truly decompress and have a moment of mindfulness. Dan Harris, an ABC reporter and anchorman, fell victim to this nonstop pressure, which culminated in his having a panic attack on air. He went on to write 10% Happier, not as an explanation of the incident, but rather to get to the bottom of what may have caused it. In the author-narrated audiobook, Harris walks us through the different methods he tried before finally landing on incorporating acts of mindful meditation into his daily life. What really makes this listen helpful is the fact that Harris himself was initially a skeptic: his transformation is not magical or instantaneous, but very methodical and incremental. 10% Happier outlines an ongoing, real process that offers up hope and strategies to implement in your daily life.

The Power of Habit

It is very easy to get caught up in a cycle of habits without realizing the damage they may be inflicting in our personal and professional lives. The Power of Habit helps you identify such cycles and provides you the framework to work towards changing these habits. At its core, this listen is about how habits shape our lives, and how it is possible to change bad habits into positive routines. The trick is in identifying what is cueing you to the bad habit, experimenting with positive rewards, and making a plan for how to adjust your routine. The audiobook, narrated by actor Mike Chamberlain, is an excellent choice if you’re looking to make actionable change right away.

Gmorning, Gnight!

Who doesn't need little bouts of inspiration every now and then? And who better to write and deliver them than the incomparable Lin-Manuel Miranda? This collection is a compilation of the Hamilton creator's tweets of encouragement, sent to his followers at the beginning and end of the day. But as Miranda notes in the introduction: "I don't have a book of quotations or wisdom I pull from the shelf; Most often the greetings I wish you are the greetings I wish for myself." G’Morning, G’Night never verges on artifice—it’s such a genuine listen that offers great solace and hope. You might fly through this brief listen fairly quickly, but it's one you will want to keep close and return to in moments of despair.

Maybe You Should Talk to Someone

Let’s face it: men often find it difficult to ask for help. Though mental health struggles continue to be destigmatized, the words “I am in therapy” might still earn you a side-eye. In this memoir, Lori Gottlieb lets you in on her experience with therapy—on both sides of the couch—in an honest, approachable way. After a crisis, Gottlieb knew she needed help...and would up in the office of Wendell, a quirky but seasoned therapist. Full of wisdom and humor, Maybe You Should Talk to Someone gives you insights into how therapy works, what therapists do, and how mental health professionals view their patients—and themselves. Narrator Brittany Pressley deftly guides you through the audiobook—a favorite of both listeners and Audible editors that will leave you feeling inspired by the scope of therapy and rethinking the negative attitudes surrounding it.

The Big Short

Sometimes, the most effective self-dev listen can be a cautionary tale. Michael Lewis’s The Big Short, for instance, is a fascinating glimpse into how not to manage your money or seek personal fortune. In this nonfiction best seller turned star-studded film, Lewis tackles the 2008 financial crisis and lays bare the events that triggered it, breaking down a complex situation so you don't need a degree in finance to understand it. Though it’s off-the-beaten track for a self-dev list, this title showcases the domino effect of seemingly minor decisions—in this case, the small, individual transactions that snowballed into an unthinkable crisis and destroyed the lives of millions of Americans. After you listen to Jesse Boggs's engaging narration, you’ll be more ready than ever to take control of your finances and make smart, thoroughly researched decisions.

I Contain Multitudes

The best way to get the most out of this thoroughly enjoyable study of microbes (yes, a fun book about microbes!) is to listen to the audiobook narrated by classically trained actor Charlie Anson. In I Contain Multitudes, journalist Ed Yong makes complicated scientific details accessible and easily understandable as he debunks bacteria’s bad rap and instead suggests why we should appreciate them. What is a listen about bacteria doing on a list of self-help audiobooks, you ask? Well, a key part of self-help is taking care of your body and mind, which is what you’ll be inspired to do after hearing Yong’s lucid explanation of how our natural microbes have the answer to pervasive health issues and how care for our natural bodies is essential. Yong does so in a subtle, guiding way, and via Anson's engaging narration, allows listeners to see the grand scheme of things through microscopic examples.

How to Do Nothing

Like most men, your life is probably filled with responsibilities and pressures. This perspective-altering listen will help you clear your overwhelmed mind. From the title alone, How to Do Nothing subverts expectations as author Jenny Odell shatters traditional frameworks entirely and seeks to deconstruct notions of productivity, exploring why and what we consider “doing nothing” to mean in the first place. She also discusses the ways in which the attention economy is enmeshed in and contributes to looming environmental catastrophe. With the help of narrator Rebecca Gibel, Odell offers up constructive frameworks on how to shift our perspectives for long-term sustainability and leave behind a legacy that is not destructive.

Tools of Titans

Tools of Titans is an enormous collection of interviews extracted from the popular podcast of self-development giant Tim Ferris. Clocking in at just under 23 hours, this listen is divided into three sections: Healthy, Wealthy, and Wise. In the first section, you'll find some excellent tips and tricks for improving your physical health. The second section offers actionable ideas, suggestions, and tools for taking your personal brand and business to the next level. In the final section, you'll hear the stories and learn from the wisdom of people incorporating different ideals such as mental toughness, brevity of language, and deeper observation for a more meaningful life. Take your time and really relish these life lessons by listening to the audiobook narrated by the author and his high-profile interviewees.

The Mask of Masculinity

Men are constantly bombarded with the toxic messaging of hypermasculinity: don’t show your emotions, stay tough and closed off, man up and get over it. In The Mask of Masculinity, author Lewis Howes breaks apart the stereotypes, attitudes, and expectations that restrict men from being their truest, most vulnerable selves, demonstrating how false ideas of masculinity are damaging to men as individuals and communities at large. In his own calm, confident delivery, Howes shares his personal journey towards self-discovery and acceptance while providing listeners with guidance on how to shed destructive habits and assumptions of what defines “manliness.” When paired with insight from pop culture heroes and psychologists alike, the heart of this book comes alive, encouraging men to assess and express their most honest thoughts, fears, feelings, and desires.

The Decision

We’re all familiar with Kevin Hart for his impeccable comedic timing on the big screen and the stand-up stage. The actor has made a name for himself as a man who is charismatic, dynamic, and unapologetically himself—so it tracks that he’d have some valuable insights for listeners looking to do the same. In The Decision, Hart shares the rules and tools he’s utilized to transform his life, build his career, and reach each and every one of his goals. In the trademark hilarious delivery we’ve come to expect, Hart puts on his coaching cap and takes listeners on a reflective journey far out of their comfort zone and into the rest of their lives.

Love Is Not Enough

Few aspects of our lives are as complicated as finding, forging, and maintaining a healthy romantic relationship. Whenever two individuals come together as a team, they often bring with them conflicting approaches, interests, pet peeves, and ideas of the future. Mark Manson, the author of self-dev favorite The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F-ck, brings his same tough-love attitude to the subject of, well, love in the Audible Original, Love is Not Enough. In this unique listen, follow along as Manson provides guidance and wisdom to five real people navigating the tricky intricacies of love—from dating app addictions to the lasting damage of infidelity. By turns funny and emotional (but always candid!), these conversations lend a window in how listeners might address the issues that plague their own romantic endeavors and become a more thoughtful, loving, courageous partner.

Greenlights

Offering a masterclass in vulnerability, Academy Award winner Matthew McConaughey shares reflections from his personal diaries in his new memoir, Greenlights. Though an autobiography might not seem to belong to the self-dev genre, McConaughey’s certainly does: in each success and failure, he manages to find a gem of wisdom or a bit of advice to pass on to the listener, from thoughts on what makes a good man to how to live a life full of purpose. A listen that McConaughey himself calls “a love letter to life,” this is the perfect choice for any man needing a bit of guidance, a story of hope, or a meaningful adventure. In his signature cool, laidback voice, McConaughey narrates his own musings in a tone that never feels condescending but instead like a familiar, reassuring friend accompanying you on the journey.

10% Happier Revised Edition

We are under continual duress from our constantly engaged world, which demands our attention from all corners. In such circumstances, it can be hard to truly decompress and have a moment of mindfulness. Dan Harris, an ABC reporter and anchorman, fell victim to this nonstop pressure, which culminated in his having a panic attack on air. He went on to write 10% Happier, not as an explanation of the incident, but rather to get to the bottom of what may have caused it. In the author-narrated audiobook, Harris walks us through the different methods he tried before finally landing on incorporating acts of mindful meditation into his daily life. What really makes this listen helpful is the fact that Harris himself was initially a skeptic: his transformation is not magical or instantaneous, but very methodical and incremental. 10% Happier outlines an ongoing, real process that offers up hope and strategies to implement in your daily life.

The Power of Habit

It is very easy to get caught up in a cycle of habits without realizing the damage they may be inflicting in our personal and professional lives. The Power of Habit helps you identify such cycles and provides you the framework to work towards changing these habits. At its core, this listen is about how habits shape our lives, and how it is possible to change bad habits into positive routines. The trick is in identifying what is cueing you to the bad habit, experimenting with positive rewards, and making a plan for how to adjust your routine. The audiobook, narrated by actor Mike Chamberlain, is an excellent choice if you’re looking to make actionable change right away.

Gmorning, Gnight!

Who doesn't need little bouts of inspiration every now and then? And who better to write and deliver them than the incomparable Lin-Manuel Miranda? This collection is a compilation of the Hamilton creator's tweets of encouragement, sent to his followers at the beginning and end of the day. But as Miranda notes in the introduction: "I don't have a book of quotations or wisdom I pull from the shelf; Most often the greetings I wish you are the greetings I wish for myself." G’Morning, G’Night never verges on artifice—it’s such a genuine listen that offers great solace and hope. You might fly through this brief listen fairly quickly, but it's one you will want to keep close and return to in moments of despair.

Maybe You Should Talk to Someone

Let’s face it: men often find it difficult to ask for help. Though mental health struggles continue to be destigmatized, the words “I am in therapy” might still earn you a side-eye. In this memoir, Lori Gottlieb lets you in on her experience with therapy—on both sides of the couch—in an honest, approachable way. After a crisis, Gottlieb knew she needed help...and would up in the office of Wendell, a quirky but seasoned therapist. Full of wisdom and humor, Maybe You Should Talk to Someone gives you insights into how therapy works, what therapists do, and how mental health professionals view their patients—and themselves. Narrator Brittany Pressley deftly guides you through the audiobook—a favorite of both listeners and Audible editors that will leave you feeling inspired by the scope of therapy and rethinking the negative attitudes surrounding it.

The Big Short

Sometimes, the most effective self-dev listen can be a cautionary tale. Michael Lewis’s The Big Short, for instance, is a fascinating glimpse into how not to manage your money or seek personal fortune. In this nonfiction best seller turned star-studded film, Lewis tackles the 2008 financial crisis and lays bare the events that triggered it, breaking down a complex situation so you don't need a degree in finance to understand it. Though it’s off-the-beaten track for a self-dev list, this title showcases the domino effect of seemingly minor decisions—in this case, the small, individual transactions that snowballed into an unthinkable crisis and destroyed the lives of millions of Americans. After you listen to Jesse Boggs's engaging narration, you’ll be more ready than ever to take control of your finances and make smart, thoroughly researched decisions.

I Contain Multitudes

The best way to get the most out of this thoroughly enjoyable study of microbes (yes, a fun book about microbes!) is to listen to the audiobook narrated by classically trained actor Charlie Anson. In I Contain Multitudes, journalist Ed Yong makes complicated scientific details accessible and easily understandable as he debunks bacteria’s bad rap and instead suggests why we should appreciate them. What is a listen about bacteria doing on a list of self-help audiobooks, you ask? Well, a key part of self-help is taking care of your body and mind, which is what you’ll be inspired to do after hearing Yong’s lucid explanation of how our natural microbes have the answer to pervasive health issues and how care for our natural bodies is essential. Yong does so in a subtle, guiding way, and via Anson's engaging narration, allows listeners to see the grand scheme of things through microscopic examples.

How to Do Nothing

Like most men, your life is probably filled with responsibilities and pressures. This perspective-altering listen will help you clear your overwhelmed mind. From the title alone, How to Do Nothing subverts expectations as author Jenny Odell shatters traditional frameworks entirely and seeks to deconstruct notions of productivity, exploring why and what we consider “doing nothing” to mean in the first place. She also discusses the ways in which the attention economy is enmeshed in and contributes to looming environmental catastrophe. With the help of narrator Rebecca Gibel, Odell offers up constructive frameworks on how to shift our perspectives for long-term sustainability and leave behind a legacy that is not destructive.

Tools of Titans

Tools of Titans is an enormous collection of interviews extracted from the popular podcast of self-development giant Tim Ferris. Clocking in at just under 23 hours, this listen is divided into three sections: Healthy, Wealthy, and Wise. In the first section, you'll find some excellent tips and tricks for improving your physical health. The second section offers actionable ideas, suggestions, and tools for taking your personal brand and business to the next level. In the final section, you'll hear the stories and learn from the wisdom of people incorporating different ideals such as mental toughness, brevity of language, and deeper observation for a more meaningful life. Take your time and really relish these life lessons by listening to the audiobook narrated by the author and his high-profile interviewees.

The Mask of Masculinity

Men are constantly bombarded with the toxic messaging of hypermasculinity: don’t show your emotions, stay tough and closed off, man up and get over it. In The Mask of Masculinity, author Lewis Howes breaks apart the stereotypes, attitudes, and expectations that restrict men from being their truest, most vulnerable selves, demonstrating how false ideas of masculinity are damaging to men as individuals and communities at large. In his own calm, confident delivery, Howes shares his personal journey towards self-discovery and acceptance while providing listeners with guidance on how to shed destructive habits and assumptions of what defines “manliness.” When paired with insight from pop culture heroes and psychologists alike, the heart of this book comes alive, encouraging men to assess and express their most honest thoughts, fears, feelings, and desires.

The Decision

We’re all familiar with Kevin Hart for his impeccable comedic timing on the big screen and the stand-up stage. The actor has made a name for himself as a man who is charismatic, dynamic, and unapologetically himself—so it tracks that he’d have some valuable insights for listeners looking to do the same. In The Decision, Hart shares the rules and tools he’s utilized to transform his life, build his career, and reach each and every one of his goals. In the trademark hilarious delivery we’ve come to expect, Hart puts on his coaching cap and takes listeners on a reflective journey far out of their comfort zone and into the rest of their lives.

Love Is Not Enough

Few aspects of our lives are as complicated as finding, forging, and maintaining a healthy romantic relationship. Whenever two individuals come together as a team, they often bring with them conflicting approaches, interests, pet peeves, and ideas of the future. Mark Manson, the author of self-dev favorite The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F-ck, brings his same tough-love attitude to the subject of, well, love in the Audible Original, Love is Not Enough. In this unique listen, follow along as Manson provides guidance and wisdom to five real people navigating the tricky intricacies of love—from dating app addictions to the lasting damage of infidelity. By turns funny and emotional (but always candid!), these conversations lend a window in how listeners might address the issues that plague their own romantic endeavors and become a more thoughtful, loving, courageous partner.

Greenlights

Offering a masterclass in vulnerability, Academy Award winner Matthew McConaughey shares reflections from his personal diaries in his new memoir, Greenlights. Though an autobiography might not seem to belong to the self-dev genre, McConaughey’s certainly does: in each success and failure, he manages to find a gem of wisdom or a bit of advice to pass on to the listener, from thoughts on what makes a good man to how to live a life full of purpose. A listen that McConaughey himself calls “a love letter to life,” this is the perfect choice for any man needing a bit of guidance, a story of hope, or a meaningful adventure. In his signature cool, laidback voice, McConaughey narrates his own musings in a tone that never feels condescending but instead like a familiar, reassuring friend accompanying you on the journey.


When Nusrah is not busy tweeting, she can be found writing at Book Riot, or doing her job of recommending books to those that ask (and those who don’t).

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