Louise Hay

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Louise Hay : biography

08 October 1926 –

Louise Hay (born October 8, 1926) is an American motivational author, and the founder of Hay House. She has authored several New Thought self-help books, and is best known for her 1984 book, You Can Heal Your Life.


In 1984, Louise Hay established Hay House Publishing Firm. It took few years before Hay House had its roots grounded. In 1988 Reid Tracy joined the company as an accountant. The business flourished and attracted several writers. Now Hay House is the primary publisher of books and audio books by Deepak Chopra and Doreen Virtue, as well as many books by Wayne Dyer. Hay House also publishes the teachings of Abraham, channeled through Esther Hicks. Along with many others, Hay House Inc. is accounting for over 130 authors. UK Official website

In addition to running her publishing company, Hay runs a charitable organization called the Hay Foundation, which she founded in 1985. Official website.

You Can Heal Your Life

In September 2011, Louise Hay and Cheryl Richardson released their book "You Can Create An Exceptional Life".


Hay recounted her life story in an interview with Mark Oppenheimer of the New York Times in May 2008. In it Hay stated that she was born in Los Angeles to a poor mother who remarried Louise’s violent stepfather. She recounted that when she was about 5, she was raped by a neighbor. At 15 she dropped out of high school without a diploma, became pregnant and, on her 16th birthday, gave up her newborn baby girl for adoption. She then recalled she moved to Chicago, where she worked in low-paying jobs. In 1950 she moved on again – to New York. She explained that at this point she changed her name and began a career as a fashion model. She achieved success, working for Bill Blass, Oleg Cassini and Pauline Trigère. In 1954 she married the English businessman Andrew Hay, but went on to tell how, after 14 years of marriage, she felt devastated when he left her for another woman.

Hay said that about this time she found the First Church of Religious Science on 48th Street, which taught her the transformative power of thought. Hay revealed that here she studied the New Thought works of authors like Florence Scovel Shinn, who claimed that positive thinking could change people’s material circumstances, and the Religious Science founder Ernest Holmes, who taught that positive thinking could heal the body.

By Hay’s account, in the early 1970s she became a Religious Science practitioner. In this role she led people in spoken affirmations, which she believes would cure their illnesses, and became popular as a workshop leader. She also recalled how she had studied Transcendental Meditation with the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi at the Maharishi International University in Fairfield, Iowa.

Hay described how in 1977 or 1978 she was diagnosed with "incurable" cervical cancer, and how she came to the conclusion that by holding on to her resentment for her childhood abuse and rape she had contributed to its onset. She reported how she had refused conventional medical treatment, and began a regime of forgiveness, coupled with therapy, nutrition, reflexology and occasional enemas. She claimed in the interview that she rid herself of the cancer by this method, but, while swearing to its truth, declared that there is no doctor left alive who can confirm this story. , Mark Oppenheimer, New York Times magazine, May 4, 2008. Accessed May 2008.

In 1976, Hay wrote her first book Heal Your Body, which began as a small pamphlet containing a list of different bodily ailments and their “probable” metaphysical causes. This pamphlet was later enlarged and extended into her book You Can Heal Your Life, published in 1984 As of February 2008, it was second on the New York Times miscellaneous paperback best-sellers list. New York Times, February 23, 2008.

Around the same time she began leading support groups for people living with H.I.V. or AIDS which she called "Hay Rides". These grew from a few people in her living room to hundreds of men in a large hall in West Hollywood. Her work with AIDS patients drew fame and she was invited to appear on “The Oprah Winfrey Show” and “Donahue” in the same week, in March 1988. Following this, You Can Heal Your Life immediately landed on the New York Times best-seller list. More than 50 million copies sold around the world in over 30 languages www.telegraph.co.uk, 23 April 2007. and it also has been made into a movie. You Can Heal Your Life is also included in the book 50 Self-Help Classics for being significant in its field. Some of these statistics are open to question however.

Louise Hay wrote, on page 225 of her book, (December 2008 printing) that the book has ". . .sold more than thirty five million copies".http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_best-selling_books#Between_30_million_and_50_million_copies It was announced in 2011 that You Can Heal your Life had reached 40 million sales. Get Busy Thriving