Help Me!: One Woman's Quest to Find Out If Self-Help Really Can Change Your Life

Help Me!: One Woman's Quest to Find Out If Self-Help Really Can Change Your Life

by Marianne Power


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I wanted to find out what would happen if I really did follow the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People? Really felt The Power of Now? Could life be transformed? Could I get rich? Skinny? Find love? Be more productive and fulfilled? Because I really did want all the things these books promised.

For years Journalist Marianne Power lined her bookshelves with dog-eared copies of definitive guides on how to live your best life, dipping in and out of self-help books when she needed them most. Then, one day, she woke up to find that the life she hoped for and the life she was living were worlds apart—and she set out to make some big changes.

Marianne decided to finally find out if her elusive “perfect existence”—the one without debt, anxiety, or hangover Netflix marathons, the one where she healthily bounced around town and met the cashmere-sweater-wearing man of her dreams—really did lie in the pages of our best known and acclaimed self help books. She vowed to test a book a month for one year, following its advice to the letter, taking what she hoped would be the surest path to a flawless new her. But as the months passed and Marianne’s reality was turned upside down, she found herself confronted with a different question: Self-help can change your life, but is it for the better?

With humor, audacity, disarming candor and unassuming wisdom, in Help Me Marianne Power plumbs the trials and tests of being a modern woman in a “have it all” culture, and what it really means to be our very best selves.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780802129062
Publisher: Grove/Atlantic, Inc.
Publication date: 01/15/2019
Pages: 384
Product dimensions: 5.60(w) x 8.30(h) x 1.30(d)

About the Author

Marianne Power is a writer and journalist who lives in London. She has written for The Daily Mail, The Irish Independent, Good Housekeeping, and Glamour, among others. Help Me! is her first book.

Read an Excerpt

Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway by Susan Jeffers

I started small on January 2nd – with a spot of parallel parking. Not exactly dramatic, but I hadn’t tried it since my driver’s test when I was seventeen.

At home my bold step into the world of fear-fighting was not greeted with excitement.

‘I just did a parallel park!’ I told mum, swinging the car keys on my fingers like a man of the road, an easy rider. She looked up from the sink full of dishes.

‘Does your book tell you to park?’

‘No, it’s just about doing scary things. Confronting your fears. And parking is scary.’

Mum looked bewildered. She didn’t find parking scary. She could fit a truck on a postage stamp and would make no big deal about it.

When she was my age she had three children and a house to run, she was not ‘challenging’ herself by parking or jumping into icy ponds.

She did not have time for self-discovery or, as she puts it, ‘I was not brought up to contemplate my toenails.’ Funnily enough, self-help wasn’t big on the farm in rural Ireland, where she grew up, the eldest daughter of seven brothers and sisters.

When I had told her about my idea at Christmas, she opened her mouth to say something, then closed it again. Then she opened it. And closed it.

‘Most people would say your life is already very good, Marianne.’

‘I know it is but what’s wrong with wanting to be a bit happier?’

‘Nobody can be happy all the time. It’s just not the way life is.’

‘Well that’s miserable.’

‘No, it’s not. It’s realistic. Maybe you would feel better if, instead of always looking for more, you were grateful for what you have.’

Table of Contents

The Life-Changing Hangover 1

1 Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway Susan Jeffers 13

2 Money, a Love Story Kate Northrup 49

3 The Secret Rhonda Byrne 76

4 Rejection Therapy Jason Comely 99

5 Rejection Therapy Take Two 116

6 F**k It: The Ultimate Spiritual Way John C. Parkin 136

7 The F**k It Fallout 160

8 Unleash the Power Within Tony Robbins 171

Perfect Me - The 10-Day Tony Challenge 184

9 Broke 189

10 Angels, with Doreen Virtue 205

11 Sick 217

12 The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People Stephen R. Covey 226

13 Depressed 238

14 The Power of Now Eckhart Tolle 254

15 Get the Guy Matthew Hussey 277

16 Get a Husband? 302

17 Daring Greatly Brené Brown 314

18 You Can Heal Your Life Louise Hay 341

So Does Self-Help, Well, Help? 356

Acknowledgements 363

Author's Note 365

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