Louise Hay, founder of Hay House, has died of natural causes at 90 years old. Dubbed as the “closest thing to a living saint” by the Australian media, Hay had a passion for serving others and was considered a founder of the self-help movement.
In 1970, Hay started what would become her life’s work in New York City. She attended meetings at the Church of Religious Science before entering the ministerial program. She grew in popularity as a speaker within the church, which began her counseling various clients. Several years later, she created a reference guide which would later become widely known as “the little blue book” that elaborated on the reversal of mental causes of physical ailments through positive thought patterns to create health. Well before the connection between mind and body was popular to talk about, she wrote Heal Your Body (Hay House, 1976) at 50 years old.
When Hay was diagnosed with cancer, she practiced her philosophies in an intensive assortment of visualization, affirmations, nutritional cleansing, and psychotherapy to create her body’s natural healing process, rather than turning to alternatives like surgery and drugs. In six months time, her body of was completely healed of cancer.
Hay's second book, titled You Can Heal Your Life (Hay House, 1984), sold more than 50 million copies and became a New York Times best seller, spanning 16 weeks on the list. In 1985, she started a support group with six men diagnosed with AIDS called the “Hayride.” In just three years, the group grew to 800 people. As she did many years prior, she had started another movement of love and compassion long before it was popular to talk about.
Hay's friends, family, and colleagues always spoke highly of her. “Her passion for serving others translated into everything she did," says Reid Tracy, president and CEO of Hay House. "Simply by working alongside her, an analytical accountant like me transformed into someone who became aware of the power of affirmations and self-love. Being able to learn from her has been one of my life’s greatest blessings. The beauty of Louise was that you didn’t have to work alongside her to learn from her, you felt like you were there with her with every word you read or heard.”
Hay’s legacy will be lived on within Hay House as they continue to publish products and learning courses online that correlate with her advocacy for self-improvement and self-love.