Social media and self-help
This vulnerability, says Blair, is at the heart of the new self-help movement. when, after a nervous breakdown, she wrote about the power of vulnerability and became a six-million-hits internet wonder.) ‘We want real people, not perfect people – we want those who have stumbled but are standing up again, because their hardships make us believe [that] we can conquer our own,’ says Blair.
Where in the past you might read Feel The Fear and Do It Anyway by Susan Jeffers and within a few weeks promptly forget about it, today’s young gurus won’t let that happen, as they’re busily tweeting and Facebooking you with snappy shareable memes and quotes to reinforce their messages every day. ‘I love getting daily inspirations from Gabby,’ says Sarah Dawson, 35, a copywriter and self- confessed self-help junkie from London. ‘Getting that daily hit of something is like a reinforcement that I don’t have to work too hard towards. The book might be sitting beside my bed, but I rarely get to dip back into it, whereas Gabby’s tweets in my timeline keep it all alive.’
What, then, is the appeal of gurus like Bernstein, compared with the Deepaks and Dr Phils of old? ‘The woman got herself over a coke addiction at 25 and she’s not afraid to share that,’ says Dawson. ‘She’s so down-to-earth
about her own struggles, it makes me think, “Well, if she’s slayed those demons, maybe I can slay mine.” Plus, the fact that she is young and gorgeous makes it all the more inspiring. I am tired of my gurus being bald old men. I like that she believes you can still be spiritual while wearing stilettos. It’s kind of cool.’
New sources of selfhelp for the millennial generation – youthful, hip and eager to share.