Looking for inspiration to guide you on a journey of personal growth and self-care? We’ve got you covered. Check out our list of the best self-help books for women.
You know what we love?
When we all share the wisdom we’ve gained from our sometimes hard-earned lessons.
We often think we have to come up with all the answers on our own.
But, as this list of self-help books for women shows, it’s just so much better when we do it together.
Who knows? Delving into some of this inspiring literature may persuade you to share a little of what you have learned along the way.
Before we get going, an important note: If you are struggling with depression or anxiety, the right books can be really useful, but they’re not a substitute for treatment.
Help is available.
Check out these professionally vetted resources.
They provide options for help in a crisis and information on how to find a healthcare professional if you need one.
In this article: 📝
- What books can I read to improve myself?
- Best self-help books for women
What books can I read to improve myself?
We’re going to suggest that you’re enough already.
But we do love the idea of sharing experiences, wisdom, and knowledge.
Tapping into what a global community of thinkers, dreamers, and doers can offer dispels the myth that everyone else seems to have it together while we’re scrambling.
And while it’s important to help ourselves, it’s just as important to seek community, whether IRL or online. (Psst. Peanut can help with this.)
So take a meander around this list.
See what appeals to you.
And pass on the magic that you find.
Best self-help books for women
We’ve divided our list into two sections.
The first is self-care, and the second is personal development.
Striving to go forward is important, but it has to be accompanied by taking care of yourself along the way.
Self-care books for women
1. “Self-Love Workbook for Women: Release Self-Doubt, Build Compassion, and Embrace Who You Are” by Megan Logan
Written by a licensed clinical social worker, this book offers an interactive journey to self-discovery through cultivating self-love.
Providing a combination of exercises in positive psychology and mindfulness, journaling exercises, and positive affirmations, it dares you to come out unchanged at the other end.
2. “Wintering: The Power of Rest and Retreat in Difficult Times” by Katherine May
This New York Times bestseller offers us permission to rest and take the time to “winter” when needed.
There is power in retreating, feeling sadness, and understanding that life is circular.
Rest now, because the seasons will change.
3. “Body Talk: How to Embrace Your Body and Start Living Your Best Life” by Katie Sturino
We’ve been given a lot of messages about our bodies.
What if your body is not a problem?
What if you’re perfect how you are?
Imagine getting rid of the shame and loving the skin you’re in.
This interactive book is about finding a new relationship with our bodies that empowers us to discover our authentic sparkle.
4. “More than Enough: Claiming Space for Who You Are (No Matter What They Say)” by Elaine Welteroth
Yep, Elaine Welteroth is a powerhouse.
This bestselling author, award-winning journalist, and former editor-in-chief of Teen Vogue may already be familiar to you if you’re a fan of Project Runway.
In this profound exploration of her own story, she shares that she’s had enough of the world telling women they’re not enough.
5. “Yoke: My Yoga of Self-Acceptance” by Jessamyn Stanley
This book is not about finding the perfect pose.
It’s about using yoga to find self-acceptance.
Going back to the original meaning of yoga (from the Sanskrit “yoking” or “union”), we’re invited to find union between mind and body, light and dark.
And that’s on and off the mat.
6. “Year of Yes” by Shonda Rhimes
Whether or not you’re a Grey’s Anatomy superfan, this New York Times bestseller is sure to get you laughing, inspired, and saying yes!
The book explores the power of diving into what scares us, moving out of our comfort zones, and seeing what happens when we allow ourselves to be our authentic selves.
7. “You are a Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life” by Jen Sincero
If just the title makes you want to live your best life, you’re not alone.
The best part about Jen Sincero’s approach?
Its tongue-in-cheek tone.
Through a combination of storytelling and interactive exercises, she shows us how loving ourselves is possible — and maybe even fun.
8. “When Things Fall Apart: Heart Advice for Difficult Times” By Pema Chödrön
If you are in a particularly painful or dark time, this classic book offers insightful advice that strays away from what you might expect.
Drawing from Buddhist teachings, Pema Chödrön shows us the possibilities of moving towards rather than away from pain.
9. “Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail” by Cheryl Strayed
This New York Times bestseller is a memoir exploring finding yourself by losing yourself.
When Cheryl Strayed thought she had lost everything, she decided to get lost herself.
Setting out on her own, she hiked the Pacific Crest Trail through California, Oregon, and Washington State.
This beautifully written account of this massive undertaking is strengthening, stimulating, and supremely healing.
10. “Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Love, Parent, and Lead” by Brené Brown
We are taught to believe vulnerability is a weakness.
With a PhD in social work, this bestselling author dispels this myth.
She shows us how shutting ourselves off from vulnerability can cut us off from purpose and meaning.
She suggests that the courage to be vulnerable, even if it comes with a risk of getting hurt, is what allows us to truly be seen.
11. “Feeding the Soul” by Tabitha Brown
A 53rd NAACP Image Awards winner and #1 New York Times bestseller, this book offers the magic of nonjudgmental love.
Hilarious, joyful, and authentic, this is the tale of what happens if we allow ourselves and others true kindness and love.
12. “I’ve Been Thinking” by Maria Shriver
If this is your first foray into the powerful words of Maria Shriver, welcome.
This book is the perfect antidote to feeling directionless.
Through meditations, prayers, and inspiring quotes, this insightful collection can help lead us towards purpose, passion, and joy.
13. “The Happiness Project: Or, Why I Spent a Year Trying to Sing in the Morning, Clean My Closets, Fight Right, Read Aristotle, and Generally Have More Fun” by Gretchen Rubin
If you’re already hooked by the title, hold onto your seats.
It’s only the beginning.
Gretchen Rubin went on a year-long attempt to find out what truly makes her happy.
Delving into science, philosophy, art, and tidying up, she found the things that truly spark joy.
And she expresses it all in a totally relatable way.
14. “Untamed” by Glennon Doyle
If you’ve already been told that you need to read this book, you’re not alone.
A favorite of Reese Witherspoon’s book club, this New York Times bestseller has rocked many readers’ worlds in the right way.
It teaches us to live a life authentic to our own experience, rather than under the weight of expectation.
Scary, yes. But absolutely 100% worth it.
Personal development books for women
15. “Professional Troublemaker” by Luvvie Ajayi Jones
Warm wit meets courageous honesty in this manifesto against fear.
Luvvie Ayaji Jones calls on us to be professional troublemakers and take risks that we’ve been afraid to take, even in the face of rejection.
That’s where freedom lies.
16. “Full Out: Lessons in Life and Leadership from America’s Favorite Coach” by Monica Aldama
If you need a cheerleader in your life, Monica Aldama may just be what you’re searching for.
Here she discusses how she has built her success in all areas of her life, from the professional to the personal.
This inspiring account is an invitation for us all to reach our full potential.
17. “Find Your Unicorn Space: Reclaim Your Creative Life in a Too-Busy World” by Eve Rodsky
This one’s for those looking for an injection of creativity.
There’s so much that gets in the way of us living a creative life.
Our schedules are fraught with endless business, and the thought of carving space for our creative selves often feels impossible.
Collecting insight from a range of thinkers, leaders, and artists, Eve Rodsky shows us how creativity is not something we can engage with if we have the time. It’s essential.
18. “Tiny Habits: The Small Changes That Change Everything” by BJ Fogg
If you’ve thought that the only way to meet your goals was in bold moves, BJ Fogg offers a kinder (and perhaps more productive) approach.
He shows us how to start small. We can create habits that truly last by starting with tiny building blocks.
The best part? Rather than feeling guilty about never doing or being enough, we can celebrate how far we’ve come.
19. “How To Do the Work: Recognize Your Patterns, Heal from Your Past, and Create Your Self” by Dr Nicole LePera
We may want to work on ourselves but have no idea where to begin.
That’s where clinical psychologist Dr Nicole LePera steps in.
Her revolutionary approach combines the mental, physical, and spiritual to give you the tools necessary to make real change.
20. “Am I There Yet?” by Mari Andrew
You may already know Mari Andrew from her popular Instagram account.
In this “loop-de-loop zigzagging journey to adulthood,” she takes us through lessons of personal growth — and she does so with complete artistry.
Through her own journey of vulnerability, she invites us to be vulnerable too.
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