Here at the HBC we love books and we wanted to give our blogging community more recommendations for fantastic reads to inspire you. So we’ve teamed up with Shelf Help, a new online/offline book club and community dedicated to self-help and self-development and starting real conversations.

Each month founder Toni Jones, a wellbeing journalist and self-help geek, highlights a book that has changed her life for the better, sharing content on the Shelf Help Facebook and Instagram pages as well as holding IRL meetups and author events.



Better Than Before: What I Learned About Making and Breaking Habits – To Sleep More, Procrastinate Less, and Generally Build a Happier Life by Gretchen Rubin

Get your copy here



Habits are the invisible architecture of everyday life and there’s no shortage of expert advice on how to change them. But as we know from tough experience, there’s no magic, one-size-fits-all solution for everything, whether that’s to lose weight, get up earlier, drink less, stop checking our phone or prep our meals.

In this book Rubin reveals the true secret to habit change is that first we must know ourselves. So, whether are you an Upholder, an Obliger, a Questioner or a Rebel, once you can shape your habits to suit yourself it’s possible to find success, even if you’ve failed before.



We all have a habit (or two!) we’d like to kick and this book is proof that it’s not all about willpower. Plus, it starts with an awesome personality quiz, and who doesn’t love one of those?

Author Gretchen Rubin


Author Rubin told HBC: “After I wrote my books The Happiness Project and Happier at Home, about all the resolutions I followed to make myself happier, I was struck by how many people asked, ‘But how did you get yourself to do all those things?’

I thought, well, I just decided to do them—and did them! But I realized that many people struggled to do this. I became increasingly intrigued by the role that habits could play in helping us follow through with the changes that could make our lives happier, healthier, more creative, and more productive.”



I love the section on ‘Scheduling’ as a strategy for changing habits, and particularly the Johnny Cash ‘To Do‘ list, which includes scheduling some time for ‘worrying’ (apparently a brilliant way to take the pressure off the rest of the time).

Rubin told us: “What I want people to take away from this book is that there’s no magic, one-size-fits-all solution. There’s no one “best” habit. Some people do better when they stay up late, and some people, when they get up early. Some people thrive in an atmosphere of simplicity and order; others thrive in an atmosphere of buzz, abundance, and overflow.

Some people resist temptation best by giving up something (chocolate, Words with Friends) altogether, some do best when they indulge in moderation. We all need to find the habits that work for us. I try to help readers understand all the different ways that habits can be structured, so they can tailor their habits to themselves, rather than trying to cram themselves into the ways that other people think “should” work.”


Find out more about Gretchen Rubin, her other books and her podcast on her website.