How do I Choose the Best Self-Help Video?

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  • Written By: G. Melanson
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 20 October 2019
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One of the most accessible and affordable paths to personal improvement is the self-help video. Self-help videos first gained popularity in the 1980s, and were largely made possible by the introduction of home videocassette recorders (VCRs) to the marketplace. At times accompanied by audio cassettes or CDs for the car, self-help videos are often promoted on infomercials as a convenient means of improving any number of areas in one’s own life. There are self-help videos available to help people quit smoking and overcome other addictions, earn more money, achieve career success, lose weight, improve relationships, and more. With so many different types to choose from, selecting the best self-help video involves matching the area of your life that you’d most like to improve upon with a self-help video that specializes in that area.

For people who wish to focus on achieving career success and earning more money, motivational speaker Anthony Robbins offers seminars and a series of DVDs aimed at helping people in the areas of leadership, time management, and setting goals. Although Robbins’ motivational products and services have been marketed as the go-to tools for some of the most successful people in sports, politics, and entertainment, they are also broad enough that they can be applied to other life areas. Some of Robbins’ self-help videos include: Get the Edge, Inner Strength, and Personal Power.


Although many instructional aerobics, pilates and other fitness videos technically qualify as self-help, the ones which offer a combination of motivation and advice along with a fitness regime are most commonly considered to be in the self-help category. For example, fitness trainer and motivational speaker Susan Powter offers a series known as the Lifestyle Exchange Program, aimed at helping people lose weight and get fit. Powter is known for her no-nonsense approach and unvarnished advice: “Eat. Breathe. Move. Think.” For those who prefer more fun in their fitness and weight loss self-help video, Richard Simmons’ series, Sweatin’ to The Oldies and SuperSweatin': Party Off the Pounds feature Simmons leading and motivating an aerobics lesson set to music from the 1950s and 60s.

In the area of relationships and dating, author John Gray offers a companion self-help video to his book Men are From Mars, Women are from Venus, titled: Mars, Venus and Beyond- The 9 Day Relationship Makeover. Gray also has a combination weight loss and relationship video, The Mars and Venus Diet & Exercise Solution -DVD, which aims to help couples lose weight and improve their relationship.

Although there are many motivational speakers and gurus featured in self-help videos who claim the title of “Doctor”, people should not take mental or physical health advice from a self-help video without first consulting their doctor. A doctor might be able to recommend a certain self-help video as part of a program; however, relying on the advice of a self-help video alone for serious mental or physical health issues is not recommended.


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Post 3

@Iluviaporos - I'm quite suspicious of self help gurus though, because they are often so expensive and I think a lot of them are essentially scam artists. Even if they are helpful, you could get the same help by watching free videos available online, or going to your library and getting out a few good books.

Post 2

@clintflint - I agree that you need to pick your self-help videos and articles carefully, but there are a lot out there with very good information. I would actually suggest that if someone was really looking to make a change in their life, that they should read several of the top recommended self help books and watch any videos they can find. Just take in all the information with a grain of salt and remembering that they might all present themselves as being the answer to every problem, but the method might not suit you.

I think having a lot of different opinions and methods can help people to pick and choose what works for them. It's only when people see one video and get completely overwhelmed by one message that it can be dangerous (depending on the message). But that's true of anything.

Post 1

Most self help videos are not going to be all that useful. Remember that anyone can sound inspiring and can talk about how they inspired themselves, but if they are spending time talking about how other people can live their lives, instead of living their own life, how inspired can they be?

There are a few sources of inspiration out there that I would recommend, but most of them are inspiring videos from people who have a day job doing something else, like writing fiction or working in science and they just happen to have been asked to provide some inspiration for graduates or something.

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