Louise Hay Leaves Lasting Legacy

On August 30, Louise Hay, noted publisher, visionary and advocate who is often considered the founder of the self-help movement, transitioned peacefully of natural causes. Hay published her first book, Heal Your Body, in 1976 (at age 50) long before it was fashionable to discuss the connection between the mind and body.

Her second book, You Can Heal Your Life, was published in 1984 and became the basis for a documentary that was shown in Greenville in 2015 by this magazine.

Her early career began with attendance at the Church of Religious Science, and continued when she entered a ministerial program. A popular speaker at the church, she found herself counseling clients, which quickly transitioned to a full-time career. After several years, Hay compiled a reference guide detailing the mental causes of physical ailments and developed positive thought patterns for reversing illness and creating health. This compilation was the basis for Heal Your Body, also known affectionately as “the little blue book.”

In 1985, Hay began her famous support group, “The Hayride,” with six men diagnosed with AIDS. By 1988, the group had grown to a weekly gathering of 800 people and had moved to an auditorium in West Hollywood. Once again, Hay had started a movement of love and support long before people began to wear red ribbons on their lapels. In 1987, what began as a small venture in the living room of her home turned into Hay House, Inc.: a successful publishing company that has sold millions of books and products worldwide and now has offices in California, New York, London, Sydney, Johannesburg and New Delhi.

Louise Hay’s estate, as well as all future royalties, will be donated to The Hay Foundation, a nonprofit organization established by Hay that financially supports diverse organizations supplying food, shelter, counseling, hospice care, and funds to those in need.

To donate to the foundation, visit HayFoundation.org.