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What do stars know about real life? Their wealth and celebrity make them immune from the hardships us mere mortals face, though many are quick to admit their success is based more on luck than strategy.

Some have taken it upon themselves to offer up their hard-won advice nonetheless, from Gwyneth Paltrow‘s lifestyle and “wellness” empire GOOP and Jim Carrey‘s Buddhist-like views about the fleeting nature of identity and fame, to drag icon RuPaul‘s aptly-named new book GuRu, published just last week.

In fact, more and more famous folk are foregoing the usual run-of-the-mill celebrity memoir for something resembling a self-help book. Some are predictably throwaway, but a few suggest the intriguing notion that fame can offer a truly unique perspective on life, and what’s worth chasing or worrying about.

Below are seven stars whose nuggets of wisdom are worth digging out.

1. Russell Brand

The former Mr. Katy Perry is no stranger to making mistakes, but he wants to teach others the lessons he’s learned. Recovery is unashamedly a “self-help” book: Written in ol’ Russ‘s characteristically rococo style, it’s based on Alcoholics Anonymous’s famous 12-step program, and offers a way out of all kinds of addictive behavior, from social media to consumerism.

2. Lauren Graham

The Gilmore Girls star has been playing strong mother figures on screen for almost 20 years, so it’s no surprise we’d look to her for some caring, wise advice. Her recent book In Conclusion, Don’t Worry About It builds on the commencement speech she gave at her former school Langley High in 2017, in which she reflects on growing up, pursuing your dreams, and living in the here and now.

3. Oprah

We could hardly not include Ms. Winfrey in this list. She’s made a career of giving advice to magazine readers and viewers of her TV show, but recently started branching out into books, including Mr or Ms Just Right (2016), The Wisdom of Sundays (2017) and The Path Made Clear: Discovering Your Life’s Direction and Purpose (2019). What I Know For Sure (2014) is an amalgamation of all the wisdom she’s received in life so far, packaged up for those of us who don’t have a direct line to Maya Angelou.

4. Jane Fonda

Not content with getting us to pull on leg warmers and cook more healthily, the Grace and Frankie star has dedicated the last two decades to improving life for teenagers, especially when it comes to issues of sexuality, self-esteem, and relationships, with books like Being a Teen (2014).

 5. Miranda Hart

Miranda‘s 2012 book Is It Just Me? was more an absurdist self-help book than a memoir, dedicated to overcoming the extreme awkwardness we know and love her for. There’s not advice as such, but it’s comforting to know we’re not alone when it comes to excruciating social faux pas.

6. Anna Faris

The sitcom star has been dispensing advice on love and relationships since 2015 in a podcast titled Anna Faris is Unqualified, which became a half-memoir, half-advice book in 2017. Its publication was given added piquancy by her high-profile breakup with the film star Chris Pratt, who wrote the book’s foreword.

7. Cheryl Strayed

Best known for her 2012 memoir Wild, the story of her solo hike up the Pacific Crest Trail turned into a critically acclaimed 2014 movie starring Reese Witherspoon, this novelist and writer dispensed advice in her regular column Dear Sugar, which she wrote anonymously from 2010- 2012 on literary website The Rumpus. The columns were so popular, especially this one where Cheryl gives advice to her 20-something self, they were turned into a podcast and a book called Tiny Beautiful Things.

Which celebrities do you turn to for advice?

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By Kat Sommers
Kat is a freelance writer for Anglophenia.