I’ve always thought a complete list of the Internet’s top personal development blogs would be a fantastic resource. As the saying goes, great minds think alike. Steven Aitchison and Brendan Baker have put together some awesome lists over the past couple years that clearly took a tremendous amount of effort to put together.
I’ve found lots of great blogs through their lists. There were also many blogs that didn’t resonate with me, but that’s to be expected with lists as large as the ones they’ve compiled. I’ve benefited hugely from Brendan and Steven’s lists, and I greatly appreciate the effort they put into them.
Reading their lists inspired me to put together my own list of personal development blogs, but from a different angle.
What’s Different About My List?
Well for one my list only includes 32 blogs. Why 32? Because 50 and 100 are just too many. At that point you’re beginning to sacrifice quality for quantity, and it’s been shown that when you give people too many choices they get overwhelmed and refuse to pick any of them. I also decided to use 32 rather than 30 because it’s unconventional and goes against the grain which is a huge part of personal development.
Another thing that separates my list from most is I’ve actually provided a description of the blogs I’m linking to. This allows you to quickly find blogs that resonate with you, but it also forced me to read all the blogs to find out what they were about and verify they were high quality.
I didn’t want to merely elaborate on Steven and Brendan’s lists so instead I went out on my own, researched and read an endless number of personal development blogs, picked the best, wrote a description to help you determine whether or not they resonate with you, categorized them, and compiled them all into a single FREE blog post for YOUR benefit.
Why Did I Do This?
Like I said, I always thought a complete, detailed list of the internet’s best personal development blogs would be a fantastic resource for anyone interested in becoming a better person. I wanted to create the ultimate resource for anyone wanting to learn more about the field.
I loved what Steven and Brendan were doing with their lists, and if I could create a similar resource that could help others and raise awareness of the field of personal development then doggone it nothing was going to stop me.
This list took me dozens of hours to research, write, and edit, but I think the potential benefits it will bring to anyone who uses it will be well worth the cost. I thank Steven, and Brendan for helping inspire me to put this together and I hope you don’t feel any ill will with me creating a list similar to the ones you’ve created.
Disclaimers & Warnings
There’s some things I’d like to throw out before we get to the actual list. One, as I’ve done all the research, writing, and editing of the post myself I’ve probably made a number of minor mistakes.
I’ve been careful with my research and proofread this whole post a number of times, but I’m sure the occasional research error or typo slipped through. If you notice any grammar errors, or inaccuracies in the information I’ve provided below let me know, and I’ll be sure to change them as soon as possible.
I’ve done my best to provide you with the most complete, detailed resource I could possibly produce. FOR FREE.
If you preferred the simplicity of Brendan or Steven’s list that’s perfectly fine. We’ve all worked to give back to the community in three different ways. That’s the beauty of the internet. You as a consumer have options and are able to use and benefit from whoever’s work best fits your needs.
My request is that regardless of whose list you use, and what blogs you end up reading because of us, PLEASE take action on the things you learn. Don’t be the keyboard jockey who gets caught in analysis paralysis. Don’t subscribe and attempt to follow every blog below. Knowledge may be potential power, but knowledge without action is a pathetic waste of potential.
Finally, legal talk. I provide the guide below to you AS IS and I cannot be held responsible for any actions you take based on the information below. I also cannot be held responsible for any actions you take based on information you may read, see, hear, or otherwise learn about on the various websites this list links out to.
I’ve done my best to make sure all the information listed below was accurate as of the date of publishment, but ultimately cannot be held responsible for any inaccuracies. Basically, use the information provided below responsibly and don’t sue me. 🙂
With that out of the way, I present to you the top 32 blogs that’ll change your life.
(If you apply what you learn from these blogs and work hard this could be your backyard one day…)
The blogs listed below focus on the field of personal development in general rather than being specifically focused on a certain aspect of personal development such as relationships, or finances.
Leon Ho founded Lifehack in 2005 and has since built it into one of the finest blogs in the field of personal development. The site is dedicated to providing you with the best lifehacks on the internet. In other words, Lifehack.org is perhaps the best online resource to learn about new methods, tips, and tricks to hack yourself into becoming a more productive person.
Although you’ve probably heard of Tim Ferris from his New York Times Bestseller, The 4-Hour Workweek, he’s also known for being the internet’s guinea pig in lifestyle optimization. He’s done a number of awesome experiment including one where he decided to gain 34 pounds of muscle in 30 days.
I’ve always held Steve’s blog close to my heart as he’s the one that introduced me to personal development. I’ve never had any personal contact with him, but I feel as if I’ve known him my whole life.
Steve first became interested in personal development in 1991 after being expelled from college and finding himself in a jail cell for felony grand theft. Since hitting rock bottom he’s worked hard to turn his life around.
In the process he graduated from college with a double major in only three semesters, ran a successful computer games business, and most recently pioneered the development of online personal development blogs.
He’s been called the father of personal development blogs because he built a tremendously popular website and was the first to show there was a lot of online interest in the field. However, just because he’s old doesn’t mean he’s irrelevant. He still maintains arguably the best personal development blog on the internet and I highly recommend checking him out.
Leo Babauta’s Zenhabits is another one of my favorite blogs. Zenhabits is focused on helping its readers eliminate stress as well as simplify their lives. Leo wants to help people realize that more isn’t necessarily better.
He’s also written extensively on veganism and diet, so I’d recommend his blog if you’re interested in learning to eat healthier. Leo makes a list of his best posts on Zenhabits every year, so if you’re interested in hearing about his philosophies, here’s a good place to start.
Marc and Angel are a couple who share thoughts and tips on a variety of topics. From love, compassion, goals, and productivity, to personal development in general they share perhaps the most honest, heartfelt advice on the internet.
They’ve got a great community and their site is one of the few where quality contributions and discussions can actually be found in the comments section. Their blog has a more sincere and caring vibe than any other I’ve ever been on. Another thing worth noting, is Marc and Angel write the majority of their posts as lists, so if you enjoy reading articles in that format you’ll likely enjoy their site even more.
Pick the Brain was founded by John Wesley in 2006, but remains one of the most popular personal development sites today. Over 200 bloggers have contributed to Pick the Brain, so it’s definitely more diverse than most blogs.
Unfortunately, there’s also a tradeoff with being so diverse. Pick the Brain has so many writers it’s difficult to feel like you’re ever really getting to know them. It’s also a more mainstream personal development blog, but it’s still a great site and definitely worth checking out.
For those of you unfamiliar with the site, rsdnation is the place where Tyler as well as several other of the best pickup artists in the world post their videos. Don’t let the term pick up artist turn you off, however.
Although some of the videos discuss topics relevant only to pick up, the majority of the videos have a huge overlap with personal development. I especially recommend this site to guys, but I think open minded females will find it interesting as well. In addition to having awesome video content, rsdnation is also home to what I feel is the best social dynamics forum on the internet.
Although even the author doesn’t know where the name came from, Dumb Little Man is a great site to learn more about productivity, automating your life, and achieving your goals. It’s written by a man who goes by the pen name of Jay White, and if you’re interested in the site I’d recommend getting started with these two articles. Also, if you’re reading this Jay White, in my humble opinion you should have named your site big smart man. 😉
First we had Dumb Little Man, and now we have Tiny Buddha. What’s next, miniaturemoses.com? 😉 Small talk aside, I really liked Tiny Buddha. It’s run by Lori Deschene and reminds me a bit of Zen Habits.
Although Lori’s blog is called Tiny Buddha, it isn’t about Buddhism. She writes on a number of topics from motivation, relationships, love, mindfulness, letting go, and beyond. Some posts I’d recommend getting started with are Tragedy Can Help Us Find Our Life’s Purpose and How to Rewire Your Brain (and Renew Your Life). Also worth noting, is Tiny Buddha has a personal development forum. If you’ve been searching for one since Steve Pavlina closed his, Lori’s forum might be just what you were looking for.
Penelopetrunk.com is written by none other than Mrs. Penelope Trunk. I know, I know, real shocker there. 😉 Penelope Trunk’s blog covers everything from productivity, and self-management to finding a career, and entrepreneurship. She also happens to live in Wisconsin, the same state as yours truly.
Penelope’s done everything from founding several companies, to finishing 17th at the beach volleyball’s national championship, to becoming a full-time writer, and settling down on a rural farm in Southwest Wisconsin where she’s gotten married and is now raising her children. Some good posts to get started with on her blog are Don’t Do What You Love and Living Up to Your Potential.
I REALLY LIKE Chris’s blog. I actually found it just a couple weeks ago, but I’ve been a loyal reader since. Along with never holding a “real job,” Chris has led an unconventional life in which he’s actually visited every country in the world!
Even crazier is the fact that he’s accomplished so much despite the fact he’s only 35 years old. Of course, I shouldn’t be one to talk as I’m only 16 myself, but he’s living proof that you can live your dreams no matter how out there they may seem. If you’re having trouble building up the courage to follow your dream, or you’re struggling to convince others your dreams have merits this is the perfect blog for you. Chris’s content on unconventional living is second to none.
(Adventures like this are just an everyday occurrence for Chris.)
Ayee mate, if you haven’t heard Steven Aitchison is the UK’s go to personal development blogger. In addition to blogging extensively about relationships, and success, he’s also created a number of personal development products.
I haven’t tried out any of his products personally, so I don’t feel comfortable recommending them. With that being said, I’ve read a number of his blog posts over the last couple years and I’d be surprised to hear them disappoint.
In addition to being the man behind Zenhabits.net, Leo Babauta also has another awesome blog in mnmlist. As you may have noticed, mnmlist is actually a short hand form of the word minimalist which is (no surprise here), the topic of the blog.
Me and Leo both agree that the important things in life aren’t, well, things. Less is more. Excess clutter does little more than contribute to stress. I highly recommend mnmlist.com, as I truly believe you’ll be happier for applying the lessons Leo writes about.
The Positivity Blog is run by Henrik Edberg, a 32 year old man from Sweden who’s spent the last seven years immersing himself in the field of personal development. Henrik writes primarily on becoming more productive, living a happier life, and improving your relationships. I actually just discovered Henrik’s blog while doing research for this list, but I’ve read several of his posts and would recommend getting started with Do You Make These 3 Common Mistakes and Get Lost in Procrastination?
Scott H. Young is a blogger who writes about a wide variety of topics in the field of personal development. He’s in his mid-twenties so he’s another young blogger, but he has some deep insights. Besides his philosophical thoughts I also enjoyed his articles on social independence and how to become more social.
Derek Sivers is well known for being the founder and former CEO of CD Baby, but he also has a fantastic blog. He writes about the things interesting things he’s learned through out his life, and he’s got a number of awesome posts. Here’s one of my favorites.
Think Simple Now is a personal development blog dedicated to helping empower people. It was started in 2007 by Tina Su, and is still written by her and a small team of similarly growth oriented woman today. From the handful of posts I’ve read it seemed to be aimed more towards women, but there’s still good advice for everyone on the site. Everyone could benefit from reading this post.
Scott Dinsmore does an awesome job running the show at Live Your Legend. He’s spent the past eight years running experiments on himself, to find out what sets people on fire, and now helps others to just that. He’s got some phenomenal content on his blog, and although I had never heard of him prior to making this list, I’m now hooked. Here’s a killer post he’s written on surrounding yourself with passionate people.
I just found Alden’s blog while looking through websites for this list, but it’s absolutely phenomenal! I can’t believe I’d never heard of it earlier! If the law of attraction, and new agey personal development material that’s been surfacing lately turns you off this blog is for you! Alden may bust out the profanities at times, but he keeps things real like NOBODY ELSE!
(How Alden would do an impression of someone preaching the Law of Attraction.)
Although Seth Godin’s blog is written with marketing in mind, there’s a lot of overlap with personal development in his posts. He publishes daily and he a better job of saying lots in fewer words than anybody else. He often writes about doing things to stand out and be the best you can possibly. He recently passed 5,000 posts in his archive, but if you want to get started reading his blog don’t be overwhelmed. Here’s a gem to start off with.
The Change Blog was created by Peter Clemens in 2007 after he received the news he was going to become a father. Once Peter realized he was going to have a kid he immediately began inner work to shift into the person he always wanted to be. A number of people now write for his blog, but the focus of The Change Blog is still to show change is always possible. Even if you don’t feel confident that you can change, the folks over at the Change Blog can show you how to develop self-confidence.
Donald Latumahina first got the idea of lifestyle optimization from his background in computer science. He fell in love with the idea of aiming to maximize the computer’s resources and now works to do the same with himself. Living up to his potential, per se. If you’re interested with getting started with lifestyle optimization yourself start with this article.
I really like Sid Savara. He keeps things real and his advice is awesome. He’s been interested in patterns since he was a kid and he learned that by analyzing what worked for other people and systematically testing it he was able to learn anything other people could do. His analytical nature comes through in his blog posts and I highly recommend him. Here’s a super interesting article he wrote on how dopamine and other natural reward chemicals impact our pursuit of growth.
Farnoosh (Love the name!) is a wonderful women who could never seem to find happiness in her career. That all changed in 2011 when she quit her 6-figure corporate job and started Prolific Living. Since then she’s been living the dream and now writes blog posts helping others to do the same.
Tynan is hands down my favorite blogger and it’s not just because he built SETT (the blogging platform my blog is hosted on). In addition to developing SETT Tynan is also a former pickup artist and professional gambler as well as a minimalist and RV’er today. He writes mainly about productivity and unconventional living and I can’t recommend him highly enough. Some great posts to get started with from his blog are love work and be the twin.
(Do you want to have this much fun working? Better read Tynan’s blog.)
Sebastian Marshall is the Seth Godin of personal development. He posts nearly everyday, and never fails to get me thinking. When I was first introduced to Sebastian’s blog I didn’t think I would be interested in it because he often references historical events I’ve never even heard of.
However, Sebastian does an amazing job of expressing himself and despite having little interest in history I always finish his posts with interesting insights applicable to my own life. One of my favorite posts from Sebastian is about why you need to stop comparing yourself to the average person.
Mary Jaksch is an authorized zenmaster from New Zealand. She teaches people to see life from a different perspective and helps them accomplish their dreams and becoming the people they want to be in the process. Some good posts to get started with on her blog are how to transform your experience and ways to develop your intelligence at any age.
Relationships, Emotions, and Spiritual
Erin’s blog is so different from the other blogs in this list it earned its own category. While the rest of the blogs on the list cover personal development from a logical perspective Erin (Steve Pavlina’s ex-wife) covers it from a more spiritual, psychic view.
I found Erin’s blog through Steve’s a couple years back and I’ve been reading it ever since.
Although I don’t have any first-hand experience with her or any other psychics, after reading both her’s and Steve’s blogs for a number of years I think it’s highly likely that she’s capable of doing the things she says she can do. I’m a really logical guy so I feel strange recommending her blog, but give it a read. I really do think it’s legit.
Business and Financial
Some of the blogs listed below are focused only on entrepreneurship and straightening out your finances, however, many of them also have some relevancy to personal development as well.
Has reading this list inspired you to want to start your own blog? Or, if you already have a blog, looking to increase your traffic and monetize it? Then this is the blog you’ve been looking for. Run by “Pro Blogger” Darren Rowse, this website is the authority on how to make your blogging dreams come true. I subscribe to Problogger and can’t recommend them highly enough. It’s a spectacular resource and a must read blog for anyone looking to take blogging seriously.
Before Jonathan Mead chose the path less traveled he did the same thing most people do. He worked at a job he hated just because he thought he had to. Fortunately, he realized he was wasting his life away and that lead to the creation of, Paid to Exist, a website created to help other people make a living doing that they love. If you’re currently working at a job you hate and don’t know how to quit, be sure to read this post.
Henri of Wake Up Cloud is a blogger from Finland who writes about how to turn your passion into a thriving lifestyle business. I really like Henri’s philosophy because his blog isn’t just about making money. It’s about building an online business that supports your lifestyle and gives you more freedom. Even if you’ve currently got a decent job, I’d still recommend reading at least this article.
If you’re trying to build a popular website you NEED to subscribe to Think Traffic. They don’t just give you the same “social media” marketing techniques every other blog does. Corbett Barr (the founder) consistently produces epic shit and teaches you how to do the same. If you’re trying to build traffic to your online business or blog ThinkTraffic is a MUST READ.
Passing The Mic
If you found this post useful please use the facebook and twitter buttons to share it with others who may benefit from it. I’ve done my best to narrow the list down to what I consider the most essential reads, but of course I’m far from perfect. I’m sure I missed some really great blogs. Be sure to let me know if I missed any of your favorites in the comments! 🙂
Remember, you can meditate, and plan all you want, but it means NOTHING if you don’t take action. Share this post it if it helped you, and subscribe so you don’t miss out on future posts, but then get off your computer and go do something to change the world!
(First three pictures in this post taken by me during my 2010 trip to Arkansas, and my 2011 trip to Arizona. Last three pictures are of me during the 2010 and 2011 school year.)
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