The Best Books About Self-hatred

Book 1

The Happiest Man on Earth: The Beautiful Life of an Auschwitz Survivor
Holocaust survivor Eddie Jaku shares secrets to happiness (love, family!) in his inspiring memoir. Timeless lessons for all!
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Book 2

Self-Compassion: The Proven Power of Being Kind to Yourself
Conquer any struggle! Exercises & plans for ALL: parenting, weight loss & more.
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Book 3

How to Be an Imperfectionist: The New Way to Self-Acceptance, Fearless Living, and Freedom from Perfectionism
Science hacks perfectionism! Ditch the lines, embrace "good enough" for a happier, healthier, more productive you.
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Book 4

Addicted to the Monkey Mind: Change the Programming That Sabotages Your Life
Therapist & client approved! "Addicted to the Monkey Mind" breaks negative thinking with relatable stories & exercises.
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On Self-Hatred: Learning to like oneself (Lessons for Life)
End self-hate with kindness! This book shows why you're not alone & guides you to self-compassion.
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The best books about self-hatred often explore the causes and effects of this condition. Self-hatred, as defined by these books, is a hatred directed toward oneself rather than toward others. It is often focused on the past, especially a painful moment or emotion like shame or guilt, anger or embarrassment, or a sense of powerlessness. You may be experiencing self-hatred and not know it.

Here are a few common symptoms you can check for, including low self-esteem, low confidence, lack of faith in one's self, panic attacks, anxiety and stress, stage fright, feeling of emptiness, and worthlessness. People with this condition often feel uncomfortable in their own skin. This condition can lead to severe conditions like depression and substance abuse. [1]

Self-hatred is also a symptom of many personality disorders including borderline personality disorder, as well as mood disorders like depression [1]. It can also be linked to guilt for someone's actions or inactions that they see as wrongful [2]. A study conducted on self-harm discovered that 55% of participants reported experiencing self-hate before harming, 43% reported self-hate being a motive for self-harm, 45% reported harming to punish themselves, those who harmed more frequently (daily or weekly, rather than every few weeks or months) were significantly more likely to be motivated by self-loathing or a need to punish themselves than those who harmed less frequently, and one in four participants reported feeling guilty, ashamed or embarrassed after an episode of self-harm [3].

The Best Self-help Books About Self-hatred

These best books about self-hatred are self-help books that tend to offer a well-structured, step-by-step approach to addressing the feelings and behaviors that contribute to self-hatred or self-loathing and encourage you to explore proven techniques. If you are hoping to break free from self-hatred, here are some of the ideal books to consider:

Best Overall: The Happiest Man on Earth: The Beautiful Life of an Auschwitz Survivor

Book cover, 'The Happiest Man on Earth: The Beautiful Life of an Auschwitz Survivor' by Eddie Jaku in a post about the best books about self-hatred
  • Our Rating: 9.4
  • Amazon Rating: 4.8
  • Goodreads Rating: 4.6
  • Price: View Price
  • Publication Date: May 4, 2021
  • Book Length: 212 pages
  • Language: English
  • Author: Eddie Jaku

Book Description:

The Happiest Man on Earth is filled with Eddie Jaku's insights on friendship, family, health, ethics, love, hatred, and the simple beliefs that have shaped him. It offers timeless lessons for readers of all ages, especially for young people today.

At 100 years of age, despite all he suffered, Eddie calls himself the "happiest man on earth." In his memoir he shares his wisdom and reflects on how he has led his best possible life, talking warmly and openly about the power of gratitude, and tolerance.

About the Author:

Born in Leipzig, Germany, into a Jewish family, Eddie Jaku is a Holocaust survivor. On November 9, 1938, during the perilous Night of Broken Glass (Kristallnacht), Eddie was beaten by SS members, arrested, and sent to a concentration camp with thousands of other Jews across Germany. For seven years, Eddie faced unimaginable horrors in Buchenwald, Auschwitz every single day, and also endured a forced death march during the Third Reich’s final days. Although the Nazis took everything from Eddie, he remained motivated and happy.

Good Reviews:

A user recommended this book, saying that reading this book affirms the author's greatness and the wisdom of his words [4]. Another user expressed their satisfaction by thanking Mr. Jaku for the courage to share such "wisdom" [5].

Another satisfied user describes this book as a great read to understand a first-hand account of Jews's treatment in Nazi Germany. They also noted that the book is a great read to learn about how to make happiness a choice [6]

Bad Reviews: 

An unsatisfied reader says they didn't enjoy this book because it deals with such an emotional topic [7]

Potential Strengths:

  • A well-written account of one who has made his life a testimony.
  • A great book to understand a first-hand account of Jews's treatment in Nazi Germany. 
  • Also a great book to learn about how to make happiness a choice.

Potential weaknesses:

  • Deals with emotional topics.

Self-Compassion: The Proven Power of Being Kind to Yourself

Cover of the book 'Self-Compassion' by Kristin Neff, Ph.D., featuring the title in large purple letters, a sandy beach background, and a single vibrant yellow flower in a post about the best books about self-hatred
  • Our Rating: 8.8
  • Amazon Rating: 4.7
  • Goodreads Rating: 4.1
  • Price: View Price
  • Publication Date: June 23, 2015
  • Book Length: 320
  • Language: English
  • Author: Kristin Neff

Book Description:

This is a self-help book that offers exercises and action plans for dealing with every emotionally debilitating struggle, be it parenting, weight loss, or any of the numerous trials of everyday living.

About the Author:

Kristin Neff got her Ph.D. in 1997 at UC Berkeley, studying moral development. Neff is currently an Associate Professor in Human Development at the University of Texas at Austin. During her last year of graduate school Kristin became interested in Buddhism and has been practicing meditation in the Insight tradition ever since.

While Kristin was doing her post-doctoral work, she decided to conduct research on self-compassion which is a central construct in Buddhist psychology and one that had not yet been examined empirically. Adding more to her engineering research into self-compassion, Keistin has developed an 8-week program to teach self-compassion skills. This program is co-created with her colleague Chris Germer and it is called Mindful Self-Compassion. 

Good Reviews:

A satisfied user mentioned that Neff in this book provides a very personal and evidenced-based narrative regarding self-compassion, finding ways to be kind to ourselves in a culture pervasive with comparison and judgment [8]

Another satisfied user explained that this book provides the perfect amount of fertilizer to nurture and grow and good life. They also noted that it is simple,  easy, and very positive.  More still, they said they enjoyed the read and look forward to offering it and recommending it to others [9].

Bad Reviews: 

There are no bad reviews on this book at the time of this review.

Potential Strengths:

  • Very personal and evidence-based narrative regarding self-compassion
  • Very insightful and inspiringPotential weaknesses:
  • We do not have any potential weakness to offer at the moment.

How to Be an Imperfectionist: The New Way to Self-Acceptance, Fearless Living, and Freedom from Perfectionism

Book cover of 'How to Be an Imperfectionist' by Stephen Guise, featuring a striking blue background with the title in large white and yellow letters, crossed out 'perfect' to highlight 'IMPERFECTIONIST in a post about the best books about self-hatred
  • Our Rating: 8.6
  • Amazon Rating: 4.5
  • Goodreads Rating: 4.1
  • Price: View Price
  • Publication Date: June 4, 2015
  • Book Length: 223
  • Language: English
  • Author: Stephen Guise

Book Description:

This self-help book channels the science of behavior modification directly to the roots of perfectionism, resulting in a new and superior method for change. According to the book, imperfectionists are not so ironic as to have perfect lives, they are just happier, healthier, and more productive at doing what matters.

According to the author, "From a young age,  kids are taught to color inside the lines and any color straying outside the lines is considered a mistake that they should avoid. Perfectionism will limit one's mindset naturally.  Imperfectionism will free one to live outside the lines where possibilities are infinite, mistakes are allowed and self-judgment is minimal."

About the Author:

The author of this book; Stephen Guise, is an international bestselling author, blogger, and entrepreneur. Guise is known for delivering highly actionable, world-class behavior change strategies in a humorous wrapper. His books have been translated into 21 languages. Stephen lives near Disney World in Orlando, FL. 

Good Reviews:

A user reported that they liked this book so much, in their words they didn't consider themselves a perfectionist but they discovered they could use a lot more information from this book than they expected [10]. Another user expressed satisfaction towards this book, according to them there are only a few books that they have read they would consider real life-changers, and that this book was one of those books [11]

Another user recommended that this book be read by anyone who is not only a perfectionist and is looking for a way out, however, they added that it should also be recommended as a source of material in schools and universities so that we can teach people from a young age to embrace the freedom of their imperfections [12]

Bad Reviews: 

Unfortunately, one user was unsatisfied with this book, they reported that because they aren't a native speaker, they found this book a bit difficult to read as the author uses a wide range of unusual vocabulary. The same user also pointed out that the book is a bit repetitive [13]. Another user complained that they couldn't seem to get into the writer's writing style and that they had a tough time with most of the examples he gave because they did not have similar interests with the writer [14] 

Another user reported that they did not give the book five stars because they thought it was longer than it needed to be. The same user also mentioned that the narrow scope of Guise's illustration was irritating to them and that it undermined his credibility by making it seem like he did not do any interviewing or research but only drew on his narrow range of experience [15]

Potential Strengths:

  1. Very informative
  2. A real life-changer
  3. Tips that work
  4. Solid ideas that are followed up with actual steps you can take

Potential weaknesses:

  1. Use of unusual vocabulary
  2. A bit repetitive
  3. Poor writing style
  4. The same examples in many chapters

Addicted to the Monkey Mind: Change the Programming That Sabotages Your Life

The cover of 'Addicted to the Monkey Mind' by JF Benoist shows two contrasting trees, one vibrant green and one barren, symbolizing the transformative message of the book in a post about the best books about self-hatred
  • Our Rating: 8.4
  • Amazon Rating: 4.6
  • Goodreads Rating: 4.0
  • Price: View Price
  • Publication Date: August 29, 2018
  • Book Length: 368 pages
  • Language: English
  • Author: J.F Benoist

Book Description:

This book by J.F. Benoist is full of insight and clarity which both psychotherapists and their clients would greatly benefit from. In the book, the author used vignettes and suggested exercises that are informative, instructive, and hold the readers' interest.

In this book, the author, who is a visionary thought leader in the fields of addiction treatment and personal development, uses the journeys of two relatable characters to teach the readers how to develop a powerful new mindset and finally break the pattern of negative self-talk. Benoist goes straight to the core of human dysfunction most uniquely, from page one to the end. This book is a potent, personal therapeutic tool. 

About the Author:

The author of this book, JF Benoist, has over twenty years of experience counseling those grappling with addiction, mental health, and relationship issues. He is also the author of the bestselling self-help book, Addicted to the Monkey Mind.

Good Reviews:

A user who has read a lot of self-help books and claims to have undergone over twenty years of extensive evidence-based treatments to address various psychological disorders professes that this book gave them something new to chew on [16]

Another user who came across the book through a random recommendation on Amazon when browsing books and read a handful of reviews and decided it sounded like it was a book worth trying, reported that met its expectations [17]

Bad Reviews: 

A user complained that they found the stories too wordy and too simplistic. They opined that some editing would have cut through the redundancy [18]

Potential Strengths:

  • Well written
  • Easy to read
  • Good sound advice
  • Very accessible
  • A practical approach to depth psychology.Potential weaknesses:
  • Too wordy stories
  • Too simplistic
  • Needs for a companion workbook

On Self-Hatred: Learning to like oneself (Lessons for Life)

A book titled 'On Self-Hatred' from The School of Life series with the subtitle 'Learning to like oneself' against a dark blue cover with vine illustrations in a post about the best books about self-hatred
  • Our Rating: 8.2
  • Amazon Rating: 4.7
  • Goodreads Rating: 4.4
  • Price: View Price
  • Publication Date: April 11, 2023
  • Book Length: 144 pages
  • Language: English
  • Author: The School of Life

Book Description:

This book investigates the phenomenon of self-hatred while giving pragmatic advice on how to overcome it with immense compassion and fellow feeling. In this book, you will discover where the feeling of self-hatred comes from, what it makes us do, and how we might become kinder and more compassionate towards ourselves.

This book is a guide to the more compassionate and gentle relationship we should have had with ourselves from the start, and can all achieve now. 

About the Author:

The School of Life is a global organization that has been helping people lead more fulfilled lives. The School of Life is a resource for helping people understand themselves, for improving their relationships, their careers, and their social lives, and also for helping people find calm and get more out of their leisure hours. They achieve this through films, workshops, books, and gifts and also through a warm and supportive community.

Good Reviews:

A user recommends that people who truly believe that there's something wrong with them should read this book [19]. There are a lot of other positive reviews on this book, for instance, one user who is currently in depression and regularly attends therapy reported that they think this book helps them to navigate through their long-term tendency of self-hatred and find a different way to cope with it. They also find the book enjoyable to read when they are alone in their bed during the night [20], and another one wishes they had read the book when they were growing up [21].

Another reader reported that reading this book made them look deep inside themselves and their past to see some of the things they did wrong and remember fondly the things they did right [22]

Bad Reviews: 

An unsatisfied user came up to say they wanted to like this book but that it was so repetitive and obnoxiously drawn out. They also went further to mention that the author seems to focus more on sounding super smart by using big words and advanced grammar rather than just getting to the point [22]

Potential Strengths:

  • Life-changing
  • Very educative
  • Very insightful

Potential weaknesses:

  • Too repetitive
  • Too many big words and advanced grammar

How to Use the Best Books About Self Hatred

A book about self-hatred is a practical mind-body-spirit guide for anyone struggling with a psychological condition involving one hating oneself. 

Here are some steps on how to use these books on self-hatred effectively: 

  1. Start by scanning through the book
  2. Make a routine for reading
  3. Ensure you follow the instructions and complete each exercise carefully
  4. Continue as areas of your life begin to transform
  5. Ask for external help and support if needed

The Benefits of  Books About Self Loathing 

Here are a few benefits of books about self-hatred:

  • They Identify the origins and consequences of self-hatred
  • They encourage you to develop assertiveness against self-loathing and embrace self-love no matter what
  • They provide advice for living a more self-accepting life
  • They give us the tools to challenge our inner critic and deal with imposter syndrome 
  • They offer a technique to dissolve negative emotions such as low self-esteem, fear, anger, or resentment 
  • They reveal the underlying sources of self-hatred and lead you through strategies for positive change
  • They teach you how to cultivate happiness from within by feeling gratitude and compassion towards others and yourself
  • They teach you simple changes that give you time to breathe, reflect, and live a normal life. 
  • They teach you to consider what makes you happy and realize that the cruel dictator in your head is wrong. 


What are books about self-hatred for? 

Books about self-hatred are books for people suffering from self-loathing. These self-help books use immense compassion and fellow feelings to investigate the phenomenon of self-hatred while giving pragmatic advice on how to overcome it. 

What are the primary causes of self-hatred? 

The primary causes of self-hatred are rooted in the relationship one has with their parents or caregivers. 


1. The Self-Hate Scale: Development and validation of a brief measure and its relationship to suicidal ideation

2. Self-hatred In psychology and psychiatry

3. Self-harm study

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