Do Self-Help Books Actually...Help? : 1A "A lot of these books are setting the authors up to be who we aspire to be. Maybe some of us don't want that," podcaster and author Kristen Meinzer says. "Unfortunately, a lot of the self help books we've lived by say there is one way we should be."

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Do Self-Help Books Actually...Help?

Do Self-Help Books Actually...Help?

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How do we make ourselves better? And what does better even mean? Those can be expensive questions to answer.

One 2016 estimate valued the self-help industry at close to $10 billion.

From modern crazes like Marie Kondo's "The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up" to classics like Dale Carnegie's "How to Win Friends and Influence People," people have been turning to self-help books for a long time, and they continue to do so.

To find out which of these books actually worked, Jolenta Greenberg and Kristen Meinzer spent years on a social experiment. As a part of their podcast "By The Book," they pick self-help bestsellers and live by their rules—and only by their rules—for at least two weeks.

And now, they have a new book sharing what they've learned. It's called "How to be Fine: What We Learned from Living by the Rules of 50 Self-Help Books."

What have they learned from living "by the book?" Do self-help books actually help? Or is this multi-billion dollar industry just a work of fiction?