25 Best Self Help Books for Women to Read in
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There are some people that wouldn’t be caught dead reading a self help book in public.
But why are these works of emotional education so often scorned by members of society? Why do people feel embarrassed about their quest toward personal development?
As mental health is becoming an increasingly open topic to discuss in our country, people are turning to self-help books more frequently to address their own emotional concerns.
Well-written self-help books offer great insight using a variety of writing styles to help teach people how to change their mindset in order to improve their lives. Often, self-help books can benefit those who are least inclined to do any kind of self-reflection because these are the people who don’t realize an area of their life needs attention until it’s deeply broken.
Self-help books for women can promote self-acceptance, help women find happiness in their lives, and free women from the reigns of anxiety–among many other things. Whether you have benefitted from reading self-help books in the past or you’re the one who wouldn’t dare pick one up at the library, there is a self help book out there that can guide you in improving your life in some way. I think you would be surprised at how much you can directly relate to what is being said by other women about issues that we face universally, but often don’t talk about.
I urge those of you who haven’t read a self-help book to take a chance with it and pick one up. In this article, I am going to give a quick description of the 25 best self-help books for women to read in 2021.
Pick one of these books to start with–even if you pick it for the humor that it promises–and I think you will find yourself reaching for another once you’ve finished it.
Let’s take a look.
(Side note: Another positive way to improve your life is to read and learn something new every day. A great tool to do this is to join over 1 million others and start your day with the latest FREE, informative news from this website.)
What You Will Learn
- 25 Best Self Help Books for Women to Read in 2021
- 1. Tiny Beautiful Things: Advice on Love and Life from Dear Sugar by Cheryl Strayed
- 2. I Am That Girl: How to Speak Your Truth, Discover Your Purpose, and #bethatgirl by Alexis Jones
- 3. The Confidence Code: The Science and Art of Self-Assurance—What Women Should Know by Katty Kay and Claire Shipman
- 4. How to Stop Feeling Like Sh*t: 14 Habits that Are Holding You Back from Happiness by Andrea Owen
- 5. The Self Care Prescription: Powerful Solutions to Manage Stress, Reduce Anxiety & Increase Wellbeing by Dr. Robyn Gobin
- 6. Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking by Susan Cain
- 7. The Self-Love Workbook: A Life-Changing Guide to Boost Self-Esteem, Recognize Your Worth and Find Genuine Happiness by Shainna Ali
- 8. It’s OK to Feel Things Deeply by Carissa Potter
- 9. WorkParty: How to Create & Cultivate the Career of Your Dreams by Jaclyn Johnson
- 10. Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead by Sheryl Sandberg
- 11. It’s Not Supposed to Be This Way: Finding Unexpected Strength When Disappointments Leave You Shattered by Lysa TerKeurst
- 12. Heart-Dreamer: Stepping into Life, Love, Creativity and Dreams-No Matter What by Cheryl Melody Baskin
- 13. Addicted to Unhappiness (Second Edition): How Hidden Motives for Unhappiness Keep You From Creating the Life You Truly Want, And What You Can Do by Martha Heineman Pieper and William J. Pieper
- 14. You Are a Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life by Jen Sincero
- 15. The Self Esteem Workbook for Women: 5 Steps to Gaining Confidence and Inner Strength by Megan MacCutcheon LPC
- 16. Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear by Elizabeth Gilbert
- 17. When Things Fall Apart: Heart Advice for Difficult Times by Pema Chodron
- 18. Year of Yes: How to Dance It Out, Stand In the Sun and Be Your Own Person by Shonda Rhimes
- 19. A Life Full of Glitter: A Guide to Positive Thinking, Self-Acceptance, and Finding Your Sparkle in a (Sometimes) Negative World by Anna O’Brien
- 20. The Self-Love Experiment: Fifteen Principles for Becoming More Kind, Compassionate, and Accepting of Yourself by Shannon Kaiser
- 21. Present Over Perfect: Leaving Behind Frantic for a Simpler, More Soulful Way of Living by Shauna Niequist
- 22. Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead by Brene Brown
- 23. Badass Affirmations: The Wit and Wisdom of Wild Women by Becca Anderson
- 24. The Art of Asking: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Let People Help by Amanda Palmer
- 25. Girl, Stop Apologizing: A Shame-free Plan for Embracing and Achieving Your Goals by Rachel Hollis
- Final Thoughts on Self Help Books for Women
25 Best Self Help Books for Women to Read in 2021
1. Tiny Beautiful Things: Advice on Love and Life from Dear Sugar by Cheryl Strayed
Cheryl Strayed was once anonymously known as Sugar, an advice columnist for a literary website, The Rumpus. Cheryl comes to us with rich life experiences–as evidenced by her bestselling book, Wild–to offer advice in a variety of facets of life. Strayed compiled the best of her Dear Sugar advice columns for this book, in addition to pieces that never made it to the site.
Readers enjoy Strayed’s insight along with her sense of humor and complete honesty as she offers advice on how to overcome life’s obstacles.
She covers everything from infidelity to the loss of a loved one and also acknowledges the positive aspects of life like falling in love and landing your dream job.
Strayed’s writing is engaging and nonjudgemental, and many readers have found that she has a sense of empathy that seems to be lacking from other self-help books. If you feel lost in life, reading this book will help give you a greater sense of guidance as you learn to see things from a new perspective and take action that will make a difference in your life.
2. I Am That Girl: How to Speak Your Truth, Discover Your Purpose, and #bethatgirl by Alexis Jones
Alexis Jones, who is well known for competing in the Spring 2008 season of Survivor, is now an activist and motivational speaker for girls around the world who want to find their purpose, think for themselves and live up to their full potential.
This book is named after the non-profit organization founded by Jones that currently has 175 chapters worldwide who all fight the media’s perfectionist portrayal of women that the world faces.
In this book, Jones urges readers to stop believing any messages of not being good enough or failing to reach a level of perfection that seems to be expected. She offers stories from 30 women to teach you how to start living the life that you want now, and stop letting people hold you back.
After reading this book, you will have the courage to recognize that anything is possible in your life and you can inspire those around you to dream bigger as well.
3. The Confidence Code: The Science and Art of Self-Assurance—What Women Should Know by Katty Kay and Claire Shipman
Do you find yourself struggling with self-doubt? If you find that confidence is often out of reach, The Confidence Code can help you garner the sense of courage that you so frequently see in other people.
Written by journalists Katty Kay and Claire Shipman, the lessons offered in this book explore the neuroscience behind confidence and how women can actually choose to improve their confidence by being proactive and taking risks. The authors show readers how their actions can help rewire their brains to improve self-confidence, which can then increase success, life satisfaction, and leadership abilities.
After reading this book, you will understand how confidence comes from a mix of nature and nurture, and the things you can do to cultivate self-assurance. Through their insight and inspiring writing style, the authors will show you how following your instincts and being genuine can be transformative steps on your journey to a life of confidence.
4. How to Stop Feeling Like Sh*t: 14 Habits that Are Holding You Back from Happiness by Andrea Owen
In this book, Andrea Owen offers women a matter-of-fact approach to personal development by telling the blunt truth about some of the most frequent self-destructive behaviors that women engage in. Owen addresses everything from imposter syndrome to catastrophizing to the tendency to be a people pleaser and examines what causes these negative behaviors. As a life coach, Owen has been able to help many women throughout her career change their mindset and live a happier life.
Owen’s insight will help you live a more fulfilling life as she will knock you out of autopilot and empower you to create the life that you want to live.
Readers have found this book to be an easy read, as the chapters are short and the writing is approachable. The author writes concisely and to the point, creating a powerful message that excludes deep analysis in favor of on-the-mark self-awareness.
5. The Self Care Prescription: Powerful Solutions to Manage Stress, Reduce Anxiety & Increase Wellbeing by Dr. Robyn Gobin
If you are struggling to find balance or purpose in your life, Dr. Gobin’s The Self Care Prescription can empower you to achieve this.
After reading this book, you will be equipped with solutions-based strategies to take better care of yourself and revamp your life. Using proven self-care techniques, you can improve the personal, professional, physical, spiritual, and emotional areas of your life.
Dr. Gobin helps readers develop an individualized self-care plan to allow for spending more time with loved ones, finding a fulfilling career, and combating life’s hurdles such as anxiety and procrastination. She teaches actionable techniques to help you engage in self-care, including mindfulness meditation and healthy meal planning so you can reach your goals and live your best life.
6. Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking by Susan Cain
With 30-50% of the population being introverts, this book might apply to you.
In Quiet, Cain offers a well-researched look at how society undervalues introverts and makes a strong argument for how much society loses by doing so.
She explores real-life situations in business, schools, and American culture where extroverts have an immediate advantage over those who prefer listening and working on their own. Cain also references recent neuroscience and psychology research to explain the surprising differences between introverts and extroverts.
Readers are inspired by this book through stories of success from introverts as well as the extremely useful advice that Cain offers to introverts on how to navigate a world that is seemingly dominated by extroverts.
Reading this book can help introverts see themselves in a different light, and help extroverts learn the importance and advantage of seeing the value in introverts.
7. The Self-Love Workbook: A Life-Changing Guide to Boost Self-Esteem, Recognize Your Worth and Find Genuine Happiness by Shainna Ali
If you struggle with low self-esteem, this might be the right book for you. Author Shainna Ali communicates to readers about the importance of loving yourself as much as you love other people and other people love you. If you live without self-confidence, you won’t be able to live your life to the fullest and reach your potential. By reading this book, you will learn how to change your attitude, cultivate self-love, and improve your outlook on life.
The exercises in this workbook will help you recognize your unique needs and learn how to fully accept yourself.
Ali offers constructive advice and actionable tips and techniques to help you cultivate self-love, including interactive activities, prompts for self-reflection, and practical steps to take. Reading this book will help you accept your true self and live your best life.
8. It’s OK to Feel Things Deeply by Carissa Potter
This book was written by Carissa Potter to help women get through the tough times in life. Its supportive message helps women develop coping skills when they’re faced with grief, depression, stress, and anxiety.
Readers appreciate feeling a sense of normalcy about their emotions when reading this book, as Potter reminds women that these feelings are normal, and they can be navigated as long as you have the right supports in place.
Potter is able to deliver a positivity boost for women who are facing challenges through practical advice, humor, genuine words of empathy, art, and honesty. Reading this book will help give you the encouragement that you need during the times you need it most.
9. WorkParty: How to Create & Cultivate the Career of Your Dreams by Jaclyn Johnson
After suffering from two immense blows to her career before turning 25, Jaclyn Johnson had no choice but to bounce back and overhaul her professional life. After investing in millions of dollars worth of projects and launching the Create & Cultivate platform, Johnson gained the experience to be able to teach others how to be fueled by their frustrations and turn distrust into a sense of determination.
In reading this book, you will learn the tricks of some of our era’s top businesswomen while developing the sense of passion and determination that you have to have in order to succeed. If you want to promote your career to the next level on your own terms, this is the right book for you.
10. Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead by Sheryl Sandberg
If you think you might be holding yourself back in your career, this could be the right book for you. Following her 2010 TED Talk, Sheryl Sandberg compiled this book of personal anecdotes, scientific data, and cutting-edge research to help women pay more attention to what they can do than what they can’t do.
In this book, Sandberg offers constructive advice on how to get more out of your career through negotiation techniques and mentoring. She uses humor and insight to offer women tips to incorporate their professional achievement with a personal sense of fulfillment. After reading this book, you will feel empowered to live up to your full professional potential.
11. It’s Not Supposed to Be This Way: Finding Unexpected Strength When Disappointments Leave You Shattered by Lysa TerKeurst
This is one of the best self-help books for women who prefer to read faith-based books. In It’s Not Supposed to Be This Way, TerKeurst teaches women how to continue to live with a sense of certainty during times of unexpected turmoil. Readers appreciate TerKeurst’s courage, vulnerability, and an honest sense of humor as she explains how to cope with unmet expectations and difficult situations.
After reading this great self-help book, you will be better equipped to cope with uncertainty and persevere through times when you feel like you have more on your plate than you can handle.
Readers who are disappointed with some facet of their lives because they had higher expectations have felt very validated by TerKeurst’s lessons and advice in this book.
12. Heart-Dreamer: Stepping into Life, Love, Creativity and Dreams-No Matter What by Cheryl Melody Baskin
Baskin, a life coach, motivational speaker, and healing arts specialist, shares her own struggles and insecurities in this book to show women that they’re not alone in their vulnerabilities and doubts.
Readers are offered a variety of self-healing activities in each chapter that revolve around determination, courage, transformation, and strength to help guide them through living the life that they truly want. Readers find Baskin to be an inspiration on their journey to finding a positive path to take in their lives.
Baskin writes in a compassionate and encouraging tone for any woman who needs help to heal, grow, and to live a life of hope, no matter what circumstances are present.
Reading this book will help you follow your dreams–or if you aren’t yet sure what you dream is–you will be inspired to find your life’s purpose.