Entering your twenties is a thrilling and transformative phase of life. It’s a time of self-discovery, growth, and navigating the challenges that come with adulthood.
During my twenties, I embarked on a personal journey filled with ups and downs, and I’ve come to appreciate the invaluable wisdom found within the pages of self-help books.
In this blog, I’m excited to share with you a carefully curated list of the best self-help books tailored specifically for women in their twenties.
These books encompass a wide range of topics, from career development and relationships to self-confidence and personal fulfillment.
Join me on this literary adventure as we explore the empowering reads that can guide and inspire you during this exciting chapter of life.
Whether you’re seeking guidance, motivation, or a fresh perspective, these books have the potential to be your companions on the path to self-discovery and success.
40 Self-Help Books For Women in Their 20s
“Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead” by Sheryl Sandberg
This book is a call to action for women to achieve their full potential. Sheryl Sandberg, COO of Facebook, combines personal anecdotes, hard data, and compelling research to explore gender inequality in the workplace and offers practical advice for women to help them achieve their goals. It addresses challenges such as balancing professional achievement and personal fulfillment.
“The Defining Decade: Why Your Twenties Matter – And How to Make the Most of Them Now” by Meg Jay
Clinical psychologist Meg Jay emphasizes the importance of the twenties as a critical time in an adult’s life. Contrary to popular belief, the twenties are not a throwaway decade, but a period of essential growth and making pivotal decisions that set the stage for the rest of one’s life. The book is filled with engaging stories and scientific studies, providing strategies for career success, relationships, and personal growth.
“Girl, Wash Your Face” by Rachel Hollis
Rachel Hollis shares her personal story and the specific practices that helped her move beyond past limitations to build a fantastic life. She dismantles the falsehoods that hold many women back, offering a blend of tough love, humor, and honesty. It encourages women to stop living in the shadow of their perceived inadequacies and embrace a joyful, ambitious, and fulfilling life.
“Becoming” by Michelle Obama
This memoir is a deeply personal account from Michelle Obama, chronicling her life from a childhood in the South Side of Chicago to her years as an executive, to her time spent at the world’s most famous address. The book reflects on her triumphs and disappointments and is a strikingly honest account of a woman who’s consistently defied expectations.
“You Are a Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life” by Jen Sincero
This book serves as a how-to guide for people who want to improve their lives but don’t want to get busted doing it. Sincero provides hilarious anecdotes, sage advice, and easy exercises, offering a fresh perspective on personal development. She guides readers in identifying and changing self-sabotaging beliefs and behaviors that stop them from getting what they want.
“The Confidence Code: The Science and Art of Self-Assurance—What Women Should Know” by Katty Kay and Claire Shipman
This book is a journey to the heart of confidence as it relates specifically to women. Combining cutting-edge research in genetics, gender, behavior, and cognition with their own experiences, Kay and Shipman offer insightful advice to women on how to close the confidence gap and step into their power.
“Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear” by Elizabeth Gilbert
Elizabeth Gilbert shares her unique perspective on creativity. She asks readers to embrace curiosity and let go of needless suffering. The book discusses the attitudes, approaches, and habits needed to live a creative life. Gilbert encourages readers to pursue a creative life beyond the realms of fear, and to embrace the strange alchemy of inspiration.
“Untamed” by Glennon Doyle
This memoir is about Doyle’s journey of self-discovery after the end of her marriage and her embarkation on a new path with her now wife. It’s a story about how she learned to trust herself and defy the expectations of society. The book encourages women to explore the voice deep inside them rather than listen to the clamoring voices of the world.
“Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking” by Susan Cain
This book challenges the extrovert ideal prevalent in Western culture and argues the undervalued importance of introverts. Cain uses research in psychology and neuroscience to demonstrate the strengths and capabilities of introverted people. She provides insights into how introverts, being more reflective and less risk-taking, bring balance and creativity to a world dominated by extroverts.
“The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up” by Marie Kondo
Marie Kondo introduces her KonMari method of decluttering and organizing, which is rooted in the principle of keeping only those items that “spark joy.” This book goes beyond simple cleaning tips, offering a philosophical take on decluttering that encourages readers to rethink their relationship with material possessions and create a more organized, peaceful space.
“Educated” by Tara Westover
Tara Westover recounts her journey from growing up in a strict and abusive household in rural Idaho with no formal education to earning a PhD from Cambridge University. The book is a testament to the power and importance of education in expanding one’s horizons and changing one’s life. It’s a story of self-invention and the resilience of the human spirit in the face of extreme adversity.
“Daring Greatly” by Brené Brown
In this book, Brené Brown explores the concept of vulnerability, arguing that it is not a sign of weakness but a courageous act. Drawing from extensive research, Brown suggests that embracing vulnerability is essential to developing meaningful connections and living a full, authentic life. The book delves into themes of shame, courage, and worthiness, encouraging readers to “dare greatly” by embracing their vulnerabilities.
“Bad Feminist” by Roxane Gay
This collection of essays by Roxane Gay offers a refreshing and insightful perspective on feminism and the complexities of being a woman today. Gay addresses various topics, including pop culture, race, gender, and politics, acknowledging her own inconsistencies and flaws as a feminist. The book is a call for a more inclusive and less dogmatic approach to feminism.
“The Happiness Project” by Gretchen Rubin
Gretchen Rubin’s book chronicles her year-long experiment in practicing various traditional and modern theories about happiness. Each month, Rubin focuses on different aspects of life, from energy to love to money, and tries various methods to find what increases her happiness. The book combines personal narrative with research, providing readers with practical tips to enhance their own happiness.
“Year of Yes” by Shonda Rhimes
This memoir by the creator of “Grey’s Anatomy” and “Scandal” is about her challenge to say “Yes” for a year. Rhimes recounts how saying yes transformed her life, expanding her comfort zone, and making her more open to opportunities. The book is an inspirational tale of how saying yes to challenges and facing fears can lead to a more fulfilling life.
“Atomic Habits” by James Clear
In this book, James Clear lays out a practical framework for understanding and implementing good habits while eliminating bad ones. He emphasizes the power of small, incremental changes that compound over time, leading to significant improvements. Clear combines scientific research with real-world examples and offers straightforward strategies for habit formation and change.
“The Gifts of Imperfection” by Brené Brown
In this book, Brené Brown encourages readers to embrace their imperfections and recognize that they are enough just as they are. She explores the psychology of releasing the need for perfection and instead cultivating feelings of self-worth. Through personal stories and research, Brown discusses how to live a more authentic and wholehearted life by embracing vulnerability, practicing gratitude, and understanding the power of empathy.
“Thrive” by Arianna Huffington
Arianna Huffington, the co-founder and editor-in-chief of The Huffington Post, offers a compelling narrative on redefining what it means to be successful in today’s world. She argues that there is more to success than just money and power, introducing the third metric that includes well-being, wisdom, wonder, and giving. The book combines personal anecdotes, research, and practical advice on building a life of well-being and fulfillment.
“Girlboss” by Sophia Amoruso
This is an empowering memoir by Sophia Amoruso, the founder of the fashion brand Nasty Gal. Amoruso shares her journey from a rebellious teen to a successful entrepreneur. She details the challenges and triumphs she faced while building her business from the ground up. The book is a celebration of hard work, determination, and the power of trusting your instincts in business and in life.
“Mindset: The New Psychology of Success” by Carol S. Dweck
Carol S. Dweck, a renowned psychologist, introduces the concept of the “fixed” vs. “growth” mindset. She explains how our mindset—not just our abilities and talent—plays a critical role in our success. The book offers insights into how adopting a growth mindset can help us reach our full potential in personal development, relationships, education, and careers.
“The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom” by Don Miguel Ruiz
Don Miguel Ruiz draws on Toltec wisdom in this enlightening book, proposing four agreements as essential steps on the path to personal freedom and true happiness. These agreements are: be impeccable with your word, don’t take anything personally, don’t make assumptions, and always do your best. The book offers a powerful code of conduct that can rapidly transform lives to a new experience of freedom, happiness, and love.
“Playing Big: Practical Wisdom for Women Who Want to Speak Up, Create, and Lead” by Tara Mohr
Tara Mohr provides a compelling guide for women to step into their power, voice, and leadership. The book addresses the internal obstacles women face in their careers and personal lives and offers practical tools to overcome self-doubt, fear, and other barriers. Mohr encourages women to play bigger roles and make their voices heard in all aspects of life.
“#GIRLBOSS” by Sophia Amoruso
This book is another work by Sophia Amoruso, similar in theme to “Girlboss,” where she shares her experiences and insights on entrepreneurship and business. “#GIRLBOSS” is a blend of personal anecdotes and practical advice, aimed at inspiring and motivating women to pursue their passions and carve their own paths in the business world.
“Nice Girls Don’t Get the Corner Office: Unconscious Mistakes Women Make That Sabotage Their Careers” by Lois P. Frankel
In this book, Dr. Lois P. Frankel reveals the unconscious mistakes that women make in their careers and how they can avoid or correct these to achieve success. Frankel provides straightforward advice and practical strategies to help women navigate the complexities of the workplace and break through the glass ceiling, moving beyond the “nice girl” syndrome to become effective, empowered professionals.
“The Artist’s Way” by Julia Cameron
This book is a seminal work on creativity and a self-help guide for artists. Julia Cameron provides a twelve-week program aimed at helping individuals to recover their creativity from various blocks, including limiting beliefs, fear, and other issues. It includes exercises and rituals like morning pages and artist dates, which are designed to foster creativity and artistic expression.
“Women Who Run With the Wolves: Myths and Stories of the Wild Woman Archetype” by Clarissa Pinkola Estés
In this book, Clarissa Pinkola Estés uses folklore and myth to explore the instinctual nature of women. She delves into various stories and legends to illustrate the powerful force of the “Wild Woman” archetype. It’s a call for women to reconnect with their fierce, healthy, visionary attributes.
“Presence: Bringing Your Boldest Self to Your Biggest Challenges” by Amy Cuddy
Amy Cuddy, known for her popular TED Talk on “power poses,” explores the science underlying presence, the state of being attuned to and able to comfortably express our true thoughts, feelings, values, and potential. This book is a practical guide to harnessing body language, behavior, and mindset to build personal power and confidence.
“Eat, Pray, Love” by Elizabeth Gilbert
This memoir documents Elizabeth Gilbert’s journey across Italy, India, and Indonesia, following a difficult divorce. Searching for self-discovery and personal transformation, Gilbert explores different aspects of her nature: the enjoyment of food in Italy, the power of prayer in India, and the balance between worldly enjoyment and divine transcendence in Indonesia. It’s a story about the importance of pursuing a life that is truly meaningful.
“The 5 Second Rule: Transform Your Life, Work, and Confidence with Everyday Courage” by Mel Robbins
Mel Robbins introduces a simple but powerful tool to help one act with more courage, confidence, and willingness to face challenges. The 5-second rule is a countdown technique that pushes you to take action before your brain stops you. This book offers a straightforward approach to breaking the cycle of self-doubt and procrastination.
“Make Your Bed: Little Things That Can Change Your Life…And Maybe the World” by Admiral William H. McRaven
Based on a commencement speech Admiral McRaven gave at the University of Texas, this book shares the ten principles he learned during Navy Seal training that helped him overcome challenges not only in his training and long Naval career but also in life. Each chapter outlines a simple life lesson taken from his experiences, starting with the benefits of making your bed every morning.
“The Myth of the Nice Girl: Achieving a Career You Love Without Becoming a Person You Hate” by Fran Hauser
This book tackles the misconception that women need to be aggressive or overbearing to succeed in the business world. Fran Hauser, a long-time media executive, offers advice and practical strategies for how women can achieve their career goals while remaining true to themselves. She emphasizes the importance of kindness, empathy, and authenticity in building successful careers.
“The Body Is Not an Apology: The Power of Radical Self-Love” by Sonya Renee Taylor
Sonya Renee Taylor offers tools for understanding and practicing radical self-love in this empowering guide. The book challenges traditional norms about bodies and self-image, arguing against societal expectations and pressures. Taylor encourages embracing our bodies as they are and advocates for a movement of radical self-love to foster global transformation.
“Girl, Stop Apologizing: A Shame-Free Plan for Embracing and Achieving Your Goals” by Rachel Hollis
Rachel Hollis presents a wake-up call for women to stop apologizing for their desires, hopes, and dreams. This book focuses on the internalized guilt and societal pressures that often hold women back. Hollis shares personal experiences and practical strategies to help women own their hopes, desires, and goals, encouraging them to move past societal expectations and embrace their unique path.
“Braving the Wilderness: The Quest for True Belonging and the Courage to Stand Alone” by Brené Brown
Brené Brown delves into the paradoxical nature of belonging in our society. She argues that true belonging doesn’t require us to change who we are; it requires us to be who we are. The book emphasizes the importance of braving the wilderness of uncertainty and criticism to find our true sense of belonging, which is a courageous and often solitary journey.
“Adulting: How to Become a Grown-up in 468 Easy(ish) Steps” by Kelly Williams Brown
This book is a humorous and insightful guide offering practical advice for navigating the confusing world of adulthood. Covering a wide range of topics, from managing finances to handling relationships, Kelly Williams Brown provides step-by-step instructions and wisdom to help young adults master the art of being an adult in a complex world.
“The Self-Love Experiment: Fifteen Principles for Becoming More Kind, Compassionate, and Accepting of Yourself” by Shannon Kaiser
Shannon Kaiser shares her personal journey and lessons learned while undertaking a self-love experiment. The book outlines fifteen principles for developing self-compassion and acceptance, guiding readers through the process of making peace with their bodies, aligning with their true selves, and living authentically.
“More Than Enough: Claiming Space for Who You Are (No Matter What They Say)” by Elaine Welteroth
Elaine Welteroth, in her memoir, explores her journey as a young woman of color, breaking ceilings in the predominantly white world of fashion and media. She shares her experiences and challenges and encourages readers to find their own voice, break barriers, and claim space for themselves.
“The Path Made Clear: Discovering Your Life’s Direction and Purpose” by Oprah Winfrey
Oprah Winfrey offers a collection of insights and wisdom she has gathered over the years from her own experiences and from notable guests on her shows. The book serves as a guide for readers to discover their life’s direction and purpose, with each chapter providing a step towards finding personal fulfillment and success.
“Rising Strong: How the Ability to Reset Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead” by Brené Brown
In this book, Brené Brown addresses the power and importance of failing and getting back up. She explores the process of rising from our falls, overcoming our mistakes, and facing our fears. The book is a testament to the strength of the human spirit and the ability to persevere through adversity.
“Fierce Conversations: Achieving Success at Work and in Life One Conversation at a Time” by Susan Scott
Susan Scott emphasizes the importance of conversations in achieving personal and professional success. She provides techniques and strategies for having honest and constructive conversations that can lead to meaningful and transformative outcomes. The book highlights how effective communication is essential in all aspects of life.