8 "Self-Help" Books That Will Do Nothing of the Sort

We're always looking to improve our lives, particularly if it doesn't require all sorts of, you know, effort.

Luckily there are a whole bunch of books that promise they can turn our whole operation around, for the 15 bucks or so it takes to buy a copy. We're not sure which one of those actually has all the answers, but we're pretty sure which ones don't:

#8. Shut Up, Stop Whining, and Get a Life: A Kick-Butt Approach to a Better Life

Larry seems to have studied psychology, as well as fashion, under The Shield's Vic Mackey. Every problem can be solved by sunglasses, a sneer and being manly.

It's probably awesome for beating confessions out of suspects, but not so helpful for working through a life crisis. If installing a killer 'tude were as easy as the book's suggestion of "Fuck this, I'm going to Burger King," then we would all have real jobs instead of writing on the internet.

We have a feeling this guy comes from the Republican school of thought, where all these lazy minorities and hippies just need to pull themselves up from their bootstraps, stop whining and get a life! Man, how easy was that!

If You Take Their Advice ...

Some kid's whining because he has leukemia? Fuck you Billy, get a job!

Wife complaining of her boss groping her ass at work? Stop dressing like such a whore, Alice!

Cops upset about you shooting up a class of 5th graders? Eat lead, coppers ... I do things my own way, thanks to the "direct, caustic, and sometimes controversial" advice given in Shut Up, Stop Whining, and Get a Life!

#7. The Lightworker's Way: Awakening Your Spiritual Power to Know and Heal

At the extreme opposite end of the spectrum from Shut Up, Stop Whining ... we get The Lightworker's Way, by the obviously fake-named Doreen Virtue.

So how do you become a "lightworker?" The website says:

"This is a chosen title, and is bestowed to all those requesting to carry it. It reflects a willingness to consciously carry light to planet Earth and this attitude is the only prerequisite. As you know we are reluctant to use titles of any kind. We find humor in the fact that humans place so much importance in titles. We see that oftentimes humans accept messages of questionable integrity because of an elaborate title attached to it."

"Humans?" We have serious doubts about getting behind anybody who refers to their own species in the 3rd person.

These are people who believe that "we are spirits playing a game in a human body and as such we have difficulty re-membering who we are and why we are here." Wait a second! These are hippies!

If You Take Their Advice ...

If you decide that life is in fact just an elaborate game, you'd probably forget the self-help books altogether and spend more time on "re-membering" how to score with hippie chicks who smell like Nag Champa.

You will also transcend the earthly fettered boundaries of style and good taste, finding your inner spiritual guru, who makes websites that look like this:

And furthermore, you will learn to overcome and transcend every strangulation of your personal chakra; such as suffering, pain, employment and responsibility.

#6. How to Manage Your Dick: Redirect Sexual Energy and Discover Your More Spiritually Enlightened, Evolved Self

There is something to be said about a title that just comes right out and punches you in the genitals. Any man that could see this book on the shelf and not pick it up, is not a man. But there's a tease here, in that DICK is apparently some kind of weird-ass acronym meaning Destructive Impulses with Cyber Kinetics. So now we're getting into shit that makes it sound like we're talking about Robocop's dick.

The key phrases in this book, according to Amazon, are Dick Management, Dick Manager, Dimensionally Interactive Cyber-Kinetics, Mother Nature, Lao Tzu, New Age, Butt Naked, Dalai Lama, Howard Bloom, Sigmund Freud, United States, Way of Heaven, Zero Point Energy, All Rights Reserved, Dragon Lines, Energy Permission, Law of Entropy, Manage Your, The New Yorker Collection.

Yeah, that combination of terms piled together makes for a veritable smorgasbord of mental illness, all on public display. We're not sure we want this guy telling us about the Laws of Entropy and Thermodynamics, much less our dick.

If You Take Their Advice ...

This. This will happen to you. Meet the author:


#5. Chicken Soup for the Cat & Dog Lover's Soul: Celebrating Pets as Family with Stories About Cats, Dogs and Other Critters

The tagline reads "Chicken Soup for the Pet Lover's Soul spoke directly to the hearts of all readers whose lives have ever been changed by the love of a pet." That's a nice thought, but that's a cat on the cover. The only reason your cat doesn't kill you in your sleep is because then there'd be nobody to feed it. But it wants to.

Your animals don't give a damn about your self-esteem, and since these books are supposed to written in that vein, at this point it's just cat-lady fanservice. Maybe that's what this book is, a guide to living the unhinged Cat Lady lifestyle. The only 'emotional healing' it might bring you is the comfort of knowing that there are in fact other people who place high value on animals that in fact probably care nothing about you, and they actually scored a book deal.

If You Take Their Advice ...

You will truly transform yourself, Scientology-style, from a rational human being who has a job and wears actual clothing, to a shell of a person, looking for their next antihistamine fix. So maybe the "Chicken Soup for the Soul" aspect of it makes sense, in that chicken soup is just hot, salty water with basically no nutritional value.

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