Rediscover: You Can Heal Your Life

Louise Hay, who turned her self-published bestseller You Can Heal Your Life (1984) into the self-help publisher Hay House, died on August 30 at age 90. Her book, which has sold more than 50 million copies worldwide, advocates positive thinking and affirmations to stay healthy. Hay says emotional and spiritual negativity are the roots of disease, that modern medicine is more successful at treating symptoms than underlying causes of bodily dysfunction. Hay's early life was marked by physical and sexual abuse. She later claimed to have overcome an "incurable" case of cervical cancer in the late 1970s in part by letting go of the anger and fear remaining from those formative traumas.

She became known in the 1980s for her HIV/AIDS support groups called Hay Rides, which led to appearances on the Oprah Winfrey Show and the Phil Donahue Show. Subsequently, You Can Heal Your Life landed on the New York Times bestseller list and has been in print ever since. Hay House has grown into a global company with several imprints, 130 authors, thousands of titles and multimedia offerings. A film based on Louise Hay's life, also called You Can Heal Your Life, was released in 2008. --Tobias Mutter

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