The Life And Work Of Motivational Author Louise Hay

The Life And Work Of Motivational Author Louise Hay

louise hayLouise L. Hay was recently mentioned as “the closest thing to a living saint” in Australian media and she is really well known as a motivational author and as one of the self-help movement founders. She was born on October 8th, 1926 and wrote dozens of highly successful self-help books. The one that she is mostly known for is “You Can Heal Your Life”, launched in 1984.

Biography – Personal Life

Just as with most successful self-help writers out there, Hay’s success comes from a violent childhood. When she was just 5 she admitted to having been raped by one of her neighbors. Also, her mother was poor and remarried to a violent stepfather.

When Louise Hay was 15, she dropped out of school and did not get her diploma as she was pregnant. Exactly on her 16th birthday she gave the baby girl up for adoption and moved to Chicago, making her living through low paying jobs. By the time she reached 1950, she was living in New York. Louise also changed her name and started to look for a career as a model. Success was achieved as she managed to work for big names in the industry like Pauline Trigere and Bill Blass.

In 1954 Louise married Andrew Hay, a highly successful English businessman. However, this did not go too well for her since after fourteen years of marriage, Andrew left her to follow another woman.

The Foundation Of Her Motivational Work

After those 14 years of marriage, Hay was devastated. However, this is where she found the 48th Street First Church Of Religious Science. Based on the work of Florence Scovel Shinn, she started studying New Thought. She was also highly influenced by Ernest Holmes, Religious Science founder.

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In the early seventies we saw Louise as a practitioner of Religious Science. She thus took part in spoken affirmations and eventually became really popular as workshop leader. Hay continued her studies in order to learn as much as possible about meditation, self-help and spirituality.


Around 1978 she was hit hard by life with a cervical cancer diagnosis. She believes now that because she held on to resentment for the childhood rape and abuse, she actually contributed to the onset of the condition. Conventional medical treatment was reduced and she followed a regime based on therapy, forgiveness, reflexology, occasional enemas and nutrition. While no doctor can confirm this story as they all passed away, this is the claim that she made.

Screenshot of Louise’s Website:


The first book written by Louise Hay was “Heal Your Body” and it appeared in 1976. It was basically a small pamphlet that contained various bodily ailments. The pamphlet was eventually extended and enlarged. The new version was the highly successful “You Can Heal Your Life”, which was published in the year 1984. In February 2008 the book was ranked second on the New York Times best-sellers list under miscellaneous paperback category.

Hay Rides

Hay Rides was the name that Louise gave to the support groups she created in order to help people that were living with AIDS or H.I.V. Just a few people initially participated and sessions were held at her home. As time passed, hundreds of individuals attended in West Hollywood’s large hall. The work that she did with the AIDS patient brought her fame. She even appeared on Donahue and The Oprah Winfrey Show in 1988. That is what basically made You Can Heal Your Life a best-seller with over 50 million copies sold.

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Hay House

In the year 1984, Louise Hay launched the Hay House Publishing Firm. By 1988 we saw Reid Tracy join as accountant. He eventually became the CEO. Business flourished and quickly attracted writers. At this point in time we see Hay House publishing audio and regular books by Wayne Dyer, Doreen Virtue and Deepak Chopra, among a total of over 130 writers.

Life Movie

In the year 2008, a movie called You Can Heal Your Life was released. It is basically a movie that talks about Hay’s life and features her teachings and how she managed to apply them. There are many notable authors and speakers that appear in the movie like Gay Hendricks, Doreen Virtue and Gregg Braden. Michael Goorjian (Emmy winning director) was responsible for directions.

As you can see, Louise’s life is an inspiration. She started from the bottom and reached the top, all with sheer will power and a wish to help others and herself. Never deny the importance of positive thinking. You never know what life throws at you but you can overcome anything.

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