5 Inspiring and Unconventional Personal Development Blogs You Should Read


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Like a lot of people, I’m a personal development junkie. I love the idea that I can improve who I am, what my life looks like.

And I love personal development blogs for a quick dose of reality, perspective or controversy especially if they are unconventional or inspire me to think differently.

The internet is drowning in these type of blogs but those that are unconventional stand out and are worth following because these bloggers are true leaders. They have their own style and take on life. They don’t have a ‘me too’ self-development blog.

Here are five great ones I read regularly.

1. The Happiness Project

Why it’s unconventional: Updated daily with a wide variety of commentary related to happiness – interviews, insight, quotes and thoughts – many of them those we think but rarely say out loud.

I read Gretchen Rubin’s book back in January and like the thousands of her readers am enthralled by the idea of happiness and having more of it. I like how she updates it with blog posts that are either inspiring or useful or make me think. I love this one, an interview with blogger and plane crash survivor, Stephanie Nielson.

2. Space Clearing

Why it’s unconventional: Karen Kingston manages to turn an ancient Chinese practice (feng shui) into something universal that everyone can relate to.

This is a blog that appears at first glance to be about strange things like feng shui, altar cloths and tinging bells but in reality it is about the emotional benefits of living in spaces that are clean, bright and uncluttered and how to get to that point. I love the readers letters on how to get rid of ‘stuff’ and her insightful replies.

3. Talk Therapy Biz

Why it’s unconventional: Common-sense, no psycho-babble, no-nonsense. Discusses some challenging subjects.

Linda’s blog is such a blast of reason that I go there to benefit from her experience as a psychotherapist specializing in anxiety and teens even though I am not either (anxious or a teen.) Her post on boundaries was one of my favorites ever.

4. Being Primal

Why it’s unconventional: Teaches principles and pushes the envelope.

Dean’s blog initially looks like it’s a “how to look good naked” site, and while in some respects it is, it is really about the psychology of change especially as it relates to weight-loss and eating. Dean’s a pretty funny guy too, check out this post about how he got stopped by a cop on a horse.

5. A Daring Adventure

Why it’s unconventional: Tim’s personality stands out and his points always stem from his personal experiences.

I often go to Tim’s blog when I have a few minutes. Something about his blog is visually appealing and draws me in. I like the cartoons that always accompany his blog posts and how he is so sensible in a very down-to-earth way.  I particularly like this post: 50 Things You Won’t Say On Your Deathbed

We’re always looking for new people to inspire, educate and entertain us. Who are your favorites in the blogosphere? Let us know in the comments!

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{ 33 comments… read them below or add one }

Linda Esposito
March 27, 2012 at 6:53 am


Thank you so much for including me amongst this accomplished group :) . I love Gretchen’s daily Facebook updates, and Tim, well, I’m never dissatisfied after visiting his wonderful site full of honest, straightforward, and entertaining nuggets. I look forward to checking out the good workd of Karen and Dean, too :) .

I really appreciate our kvetching in one another’s comments section about our boys and their travails. Anxiety and parenting teens–it’s a great combo, for sure ;) . I can claim one of THOSE central nervous systems. As for the teens–I just love this age group. I’ve been working with them forever. Apparently too long, as the parenting gods have cursed my son with early-onset puberty…at least in the attitude department. It’s cool, I know where I can go for a quick dose of support :) .

Thanks again friend :) .
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Linda Esposito
March 27, 2012 at 6:55 am

OMGawd–kinda overdid it with the emoticons…!
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Alison Golden March 27, 2012 at 3:56 pm

Finally! Someone who is more emoticon-addicted than me. Must go along with Facebook stalking and chocolate temptations. :-)

And somehow I think you’ll be more than capable of dealing with your teen. Me? I have no idea what I’m headed into… ;-)

(Only two emoticons – I’m monitoring my usage. :-) Oops, that’s 3.)
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Mary E. Ulrich
March 27, 2012 at 8:18 am

Alison, You’ve picked some great blogs. I’m trying the declutter ideas right now. Actually, I’ve heard you have a blog about that too. Don’t be too modest, share yours too.
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Alison Golden March 27, 2012 at 3:58 pm

Awww, okay. Mine is inspired by Karen’s. http://clutter365.com. :-)
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Susan March 27, 2012 at 8:38 am

Thanks for posting this list — my niece has social anxiety disorder and is really having a tough time. I think Linda’s blog will be a huge help for our family!


Alison Golden March 27, 2012 at 3:59 pm

Hi Susan! I’m sorry to hear that. I know it can be extremely debilitating. Linda is a great person.
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Alison Golden March 27, 2012 at 4:00 pm

Oh, I just saw Tim’s reply. Take him up on his offer, too. He writes some great stuff.
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Tim Brownson March 27, 2012 at 10:20 am

Well quite honestly I’m disappointed there weren’t more emoticons in this post. On that front it was a bit if a disappointment, but I guess I can deal with it.

Thanks a lot for the kind words Ms Golden and I will most definitely be checking out Deans blog as I’m always on the lookout for good primal stuff.

Susan, I have written a book on that topic. It’s not like what Linda would use because there’s a fair bit of NLP, but if you’d like a copy I’d be more than happy to send you one if contact me through my website.
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Alison Golden March 27, 2012 at 4:06 pm

Sorry to disappoint you, sir, on the emoticon front. I’ll see what I can do…

Are you into primal/paleo again? I have a blog for people who are living the paleo lifestyle while living around those who are not (so it’s for everyone, right? :-) ) http://paleononpaleo.com :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-)
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Tim Brownson March 28, 2012 at 6:00 am

Now you’re talking!
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Mary E. Ulrich
May 23, 2012 at 9:12 am

you guys make me laugh :) :) :)
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Alison Golden May 23, 2012 at 9:16 am

Not enough smilies, Mary!
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Glynis Jolly
April 12, 2012 at 3:30 pm

feng shui! That was the word I’ve been looking for since February. I love the idea of only having out what is necessary and EVERYTHING else is either put away or it’s gone, gone, gone. I was beginning to think I had made up the word. I kept trying to find someone who knew how to spell it (my spelling is the pits). Thank you Alison!
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Alison Golden April 23, 2012 at 5:55 pm

You are very welcome, Glynis. Glad to help. I have a whole blog on clearing clutter which is based on a book called ‘Clearing Clutter with Feng Shui.’ You can find it at http://clutter365.com. :-)


Liz April 18, 2012 at 9:06 am

I will most definitely be checking out Deans blog as I’m always on the lookout for good primal stuff. Thanks for the great thoughts.


Mike May 15, 2012 at 6:58 am

I’m a fan of Being Primal. Very unconventional techniques… definitely not your run-off-the-mill personal development blog.

Thanks for sharing this Alison!

-Michael Heye


Tina June 2, 2012 at 1:15 am

I’m actually hooked to The Happiness Project. The article posts there are very unique and and well written. I always make sure to have time to read that blog once every week. Great list btw.


Peter August 23, 2012 at 10:08 am

You missed me out!
Only joking. Thanks for the great list, just what I was looking for.
I hope to find myself up amongst the greats one day.
Thanks, Alison.


Alison Golden August 25, 2012 at 8:22 am

You’re welcome. I checked out your blog. Very thoughtful relaxing. None of those horrible ads and linkages. :-)
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JJ Wong September 8, 2012 at 2:50 am

Thanks for the sharing. :)

I personally love the most on Leo Babauta (not in the list) on his sharing in personal growth.

Will definitely check out blogs in the list. :)
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Alison Golden September 9, 2012 at 8:13 pm
rachid February 2, 2013 at 3:27 pm

thank you for this list , self improvement blogs are a great source in order to develope my self thank you again


Motivational Speaker | Craig Harper April 2, 2013 at 9:32 pm

Great list!

A couple on your list that I wasn’t familiar with. Look forward to reading them all.

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Bethany October 20, 2013 at 1:43 pm

Hi! I just found my way here from Start of Happiness. We have so much in common–I am most certainly a warrior woman, a mother, and a paleo girl. I will definitely be back!

Thanks for the list–I haven’t heard of most of these blogs, and I will be checking them out. :-)
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Jeff Bridges November 29, 2013 at 8:44 am

A dream becomes a goal when action is taken toward its achievement.
Bo Bennett


Joshua Tilghman July 22, 2014 at 8:48 am

Thanks for the list, Alison. I’m always looking for great new sites to read. I especially enjoyed BEINGPRIMAL.
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