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How do I Choose the Best Audio Self-Help?

Tricia Christensen
Updated May 17, 2024
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Audio self-help can come in a variety of forms. It could be recorded MP3 files, books on tape/CD, or full audio program recordings in a number of formats, designed to address one or more of many self-help issues. Given the plethora of available material, people are often confounded on how to choose. A few things people might want to consider when choosing would be appropriateness of material, recommendations from friends, family, doctors or etc, format of the material, and interest level.

Clearly, the best audio self-help is that designed to help the person who needs it. It makes no sense at all to choose things that don’t engage the person on the issues he or she would like to consider. What good is a stop smoking tape to someone who would like to learn how to be more confident in public? With this in mind, people should narrow their choices down to subjects they want to explore.

Yet narrowing things down may still leave a lot of choice, and there has to be some other criterion upon which to judge the best audio self-help. This is when recommendations become extremely useful. Whenever possible, people can ask anybody they know, when it isn’t embarrassing and if the person being asked is likely to have used audio self-help, what they think about particular examples of material. If this seems too difficult or there is no one to ask, it might be a good idea to ask for recommendations from professionals, like doctors, therapists, chiropractors, yoga instructors and the list can go on.

Another way to assess audio self-help and find out what is recommended is to read reviews. These are easiest to find for products like books-on-tape. Even if the audio recording isn’t reviewed, the book may be. Reading reviews from critics can give people a better sense of what they can expect to find in a recording. Reviews by the producer of the recording are generally not useful, since these usually are inflated and concentrated on selling the audio self-help product being reviewed.

Recommendations and reviews are terrific, but audio self-help isn’t effective when it can’t be used because it is in an incompatible technology format. If a person lacks an MP3 player and computer, for example, how will she play an MP3 file? Frequently, self-help recordings are produced in multiple formats. As people choose, they should make sure to choose the right one, or they get nothing for their purchase.

Lastly, even with recommendations, reviews, appropriate format, and right subject, people still need to use their own instincts. If an audio self-help recording looks inherently boring or too complicated, what are the chances it will actually be of use? What’s the likelihood it provides any help? It’s recommended people consult their level of interest before making final selections. In other words, choose those products that are likely to engage and interest.

WiseGEEK is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Tricia Christensen
By Tricia Christensen , Writer
With a Literature degree from Sonoma State University and years of experience as a WiseGEEK contributor, Tricia Christensen is based in Northern California and brings a wealth of knowledge and passion to her writing. Her wide-ranging interests include reading, writing, medicine, art, film, history, politics, ethics, and religion, all of which she incorporates into her informative articles. Tricia is currently working on her first novel.

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Tricia Christensen

Tricia Christensen


With a Literature degree from Sonoma State University and years of experience as a WiseGEEK contributor, Tricia...
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