Listen to this story



Why the Self-Help Industry Is Dominating the U.S.

A brief history of self-improvement

Credit: Scar1984/Getty Images

A brief history of self-help

Portrait of Samuel Smiles, a ‘founding father’ of the self-help genre. Credit: Sir George Reid via Wikimedia

By the 2000s, the self-help genre had blossomed from paperback beginnings into a full-blown industry.

As an interesting aside, Norman Vincent Peale was also Donald Trump’s pastor, which could explain Trump’s positive, uncompromising self-confidence. Photo: Tom Gates/Getty Images

Despite its various makeovers through the decades, self-help never really left the advice of its founder, Smiles: “Heaven helps those who help themselves.”

Photo: Jim Spellman/Getty Images

Self-help today

For over a century, self-help has meant self-improvement. Perhaps this time around, self-help should mean self-acceptance.

Manson’s bell curve graph. Credit: Mark Manson

Paris-based. Video Journalist. Photographer. Videographer. Always trying to “figure out” what’s next.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store