Self-help books have long been a valuable resource for individuals seeking personal growth, empowerment, and healing.
For women, these books can be particularly powerful, offering guidance and inspiration for navigating life’s challenges and achieving their goals.
In this blog post, we will explore a curated list of self-help books tailored specifically for women.
Whether you’re looking to boost your self-esteem, find balance in your life, or cultivate a greater sense of purpose, these books have got you covered.
Best Self-Help Books For Women
“Women Who Run With the Wolves” by Clarissa Pinkola Estés
This book delves into the rich world of folklore and mythology, using these powerful stories to explore the instinctual nature of women. Estés, a Jungian psychoanalyst, presents the idea of the ‘Wild Woman’ archetype as a source of feminine strength.
Through various tales, she offers insights into the female psyche and encourages women to reclaim their natural power.
“The Wisdom of Sundays” by Oprah Winfrey
This book is a compilation of some of the most meaningful and powerful conversations from Oprah Winfrey’s show, “Super Soul Sunday.”
It includes insights and thought-provoking ideas from various thought leaders, authors, and spiritual teachers. It’s designed to inspire readers to reflect on their personal journeys and find deeper meaning and connection in their lives.
“Eat, Pray, Love” by Elizabeth Gilbert
In this memoir, Gilbert recounts her journey after a difficult divorce, as she travels through Italy, India, and Indonesia.
The book is structured around the themes of pleasure (Eat), spirituality (Pray), and balance (Love). It’s a story of self-discovery, healing, and the quest for true happiness and fulfillment.
“The Dance of Anger” by Harriet Lerner
This book is a groundbreaking work on the subject of anger, specifically from a woman’s perspective. Lerner, a psychologist, provides insight into how women can transform their anger into a constructive force for reshaping their relationships.
It offers practical advice on how to break destructive patterns and improve communication.
“The Gifts of Imperfection” by Brené Brown
In this book, Brown, a research professor, invites readers to embrace their imperfections and recognize that they are enough just as they are. She outlines ten guideposts for wholehearted living, including cultivating courage, compassion, and connection.
This book is about letting go of who we think we’re supposed to be and embracing who we are.
“You Can Heal Your Life” by Louise Hay
Louise Hay’s philosophy is centered around the idea that our thoughts and beliefs shape our lives.
This book provides practical steps for changing thought patterns and uses affirmations and personal stories to demonstrate the healing process. It’s a guide to creating a more healthful, prosperous, and positive life.
“Untamed” by Glennon Doyle
This memoir is a powerful examination of the societal expectations and norms that often limit women.
Doyle shares her own journey toward self-discovery and how she broke free from societal constraints to find her truest self. It’s a call to women to trust their instincts and break free from the confines of what society expects of them.
“The Body Keeps the Score” by Bessel van der Kolk
Van der Kolk, a leading expert on trauma, explores how traumatic experiences physically reshape both body and brain.
The book combines scientific research with stories from his practice to demonstrate how trauma can be healed through a range of therapeutic approaches, emphasizing the importance of understanding the interconnectivity of the mind and body.
“Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear” by Elizabeth Gilbert
In this book, Gilbert explores the nature of creativity. She discusses how to overcome fear and other obstacles that inhibit creativity.
Using her own life experiences and insights, Gilbert encourages readers to live a life driven more strongly by curiosity than by fear.
“Rising Strong” by Brené Brown
This book focuses on what it takes to get back up after experiencing failure or falling down in life. Brown discusses the process of struggling, owning our stories, and writing a brave new ending.
She emphasizes that it’s not just about bouncing back but also about the transformation that can occur when we confront our setbacks with courage, openness, and resilience.
“In the Meantime” by Iyanla Vanzant
This book is about finding peace and love within yourself when your life is not going as planned. Vanzant uses a metaphor of a house to represent different levels of emotional and spiritual states.
She provides guidance on how to love oneself and others while waiting for life to fall into place, emphasizing that love and happiness are often found in unexpected places and times.
“The Four Agreements” by Don Miguel Ruiz
Based on ancient Toltec wisdom, this book presents a simple but powerful code of conduct for attaining personal freedom and true happiness.
Ruiz outlines four agreements to practice: be impeccable with your word; don’t take anything personally; don’t make assumptions; always do your best. These principles aim to create a life of greater peace, freedom, and love.
“Broken Open: How Difficult Times Can Help Us Grow” by Elizabeth Lesser
Lesser shares her own experiences and the stories of others who have endured difficult times and emerged stronger and more whole.
This book provides insights into how challenges and crises can be transformative, leading to a deeper understanding of ourselves and the world around us.
“The Sun and Her Flowers” by Rupi Kaur
This collection of poetry and prose takes readers on a journey of wilting, falling, rooting, rising, and blooming in the process of personal growth.
Kaur’s work touches on themes of love, loss, trauma, healing, femininity, migration, and revolution. It’s a celebration of love in all its forms and an exploration of the process of healing and growth.
“Daring Greatly” by Brené Brown
Brown argues that vulnerability is not a weakness but a powerful means to connect and engage with the world.
She challenges conventional wisdom about what it means to be brave, encouraging readers to dare greatly by embracing vulnerability and imperfection, cultivating shame resilience, and understanding the myth of scarcity.
“The Power of Now” by Eckhart Tolle
This spiritual guide aims to help readers find their path to enlightenment and inner peace by focusing on the present moment.
Tolle introduces the concept of “living in the now” as a way to transcend thoughts and ego, thus reducing anxiety and unhappiness.
“Codependent No More” by Melody Beattie
This book is a foundational resource in understanding codependency. Beattie explains what codependency is and how it affects individuals’ lives and relationships.
She provides practical tools for breaking the pattern of codependency, emphasizing self-care and healthy boundaries.
“Reviving Ophelia: Saving the Selves of Adolescent Girls” by Mary Pipher
This book explores the unique challenges faced by adolescent girls in modern society.
Pipher, a clinical psychologist, uses case studies to discuss the societal pressures that can influence a young girl’s sense of self and lead to issues like depression or eating disorders. She provides insights into how parents, educators, and society can better support the healthy development of adolescent girls.
“Girl, Wash Your Face” by Rachel Hollis
Hollis uses personal anecdotes to debunk common myths and lies that often hold women back.
She promotes a message of empowerment, encouraging women to take charge of their lives, let go of self-doubt, and pursue their dreams with passion and hustle.
“The Secret” by Rhonda Byrne
This book focuses on the law of attraction, which posits that thoughts can change a person’s life directly.
Byrne compiles wisdom from modern-day teachers who have used it to achieve health, wealth, and happiness. The book guides readers on how to use this power in their own lives to manifest their desires.
“Year of Yes” by Shonda Rhimes
In this candid and witty book, Shonda Rhimes, the creator of hit shows like “Grey’s Anatomy” and “Scandal,” chronicles her year of saying “yes” to everything that scared her.
This transformative journey began with a challenge from her sister and led Rhimes to discover the power of stepping out of her comfort zone. The book is an inspiring call to embrace opportunities, face fears, and live a more fulfilling life.
“Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking” by Susan Cain
Cain’s book is a compelling argument against the societal preference for extroversion, highlighting the often-overlooked strengths of introverts.
Through research and real-life examples, Cain demonstrates how introverts can thrive in a world that seems tailored for the outgoing. The book is an eye-opener for both introverts and extroverts to understand and appreciate the quiet power of introverted individuals.
“Becoming” by Michelle Obama
In her memoir, Michelle Obama takes readers through the experiences that have shaped her—from her childhood in Chicago’s South Side to her years as an executive balancing the demands of motherhood and work, and her time spent at the world’s most famous address.
It is a deeply personal account, reflecting on her triumphs and disappointments, both public and private, and her story of defying expectations and inspiring others to do the same.
“The Artist’s Way” by Julia Cameron
This book is a seminal work on creativity and personal development. Cameron presents a 12-week program designed to help individuals unlock their creative potential.
Through exercises and reflections, it guides readers in overcoming creative blocks, self-doubt, and other barriers to artistic expression. It’s widely embraced by artists and non-artists alike for its insights into the creative process.
“I Thought It Was Just Me (But It Isn’t)” by Brené Brown
Brown addresses the universal experience of shame and the feelings of inadequacy that accompany it.
Through extensive research and personal stories, she explores how shame affects women’s lives and relationships. Brown offers strategies for developing resilience and practicing empathy, both towards ourselves and others, to overcome the destructive impact of shame.
“Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead” by Sheryl Sandberg
In this influential book, Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg examines the barriers preventing women from taking leadership roles and challenges readers to change the conversation from what women can’t do to what they can.
Sandberg shares her own experiences and offers practical advice to help women achieve their full potential in the workplace.
“Milk and Honey” by Rupi Kaur
This is a collection of poetry and prose about survival, the experience of violence, abuse, love, loss, and femininity.
Kaur’s poems are direct, emotive, and often deeply personal, resonating with a wide range of readers. The book is divided into four chapters, each serving a different purpose and exploring different themes.
“Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail” by Cheryl Strayed
This memoir recounts Strayed’s solo hike along the Pacific Crest Trail following a period of personal turmoil, including the loss of her mother and the end of her marriage.
The journey becomes a transformative experience of healing and self-discovery. Strayed’s narrative is raw, honest, and inspiring, highlighting the power of resilience and the human spirit.
“Self-Compassion: The Proven Power of Being Kind to Yourself” by Kristin Neff
Neff, a leading expert on self-compassion, offers practical advice on how to treat ourselves with the same kindness we would offer to others.
The book presents scientific research on the benefits of self-compassion and provides exercises to cultivate this quality, arguing that it can lead to greater emotional resilience, less anxiety and depression, and more satisfying personal relationships.
“The Confidence Code: The Science and Art of Self-Assurance—What Women Should Know” by Katty Kay and Claire Shipman
This book delves into the science and psychology of confidence in women. Kay and Shipman explore how a lack of self-assurance impacts women’s lives and careers.
Through interviews with successful women in various fields, cutting-edge research in genetics, psychology, and neuroscience, they unravel the mystery of confidence and provide practical strategies for building it.
“Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway” by Susan Jeffers
This influential self-help book offers practical advice and strategies for overcoming fear and indecision.
Jeffers emphasizes that fear can be a catalyst for growth and teaches techniques to turn passivity into assertive action, change negative thought patterns, and make life’s decisions with greater confidence and clarity.
“Anatomy of the Spirit” by Caroline Myss
In this book, Myss presents a unique model of the body’s seven centers of spiritual and physical power (often referred to as chakras), drawing parallels between traditional Christian sacraments, the Kabbalah’s Tree of Life, and Hindu chakra system.
She explores how illnesses of the body often have their roots in our spiritual and emotional histories, suggesting a holistic approach to healing.
“The Path Made Clear: Discovering Your Life’s Direction and Purpose” by Oprah Winfrey
This book provides guidance and inspiration on how to discover your path and purpose in life.
Oprah shares what she sees as a guide for activating your deepest vision of yourself, offering the framework for creating not just a life of success, but one of significance. It includes contributions from a range of influential figures.
“The Magic” by Rhonda Byrne
An extension of the principles found in “The Secret,” this book focuses on gratitude as a transformative force.
Byrne offers a 28-day program designed to teach the reader how to apply gratitude in their everyday life, arguing that this shift in mindset can lead to significant improvements in personal happiness and fulfillment.
“Burnout: The Secret to Unlocking the Stress Cycle” by Emily Nagoski and Amelia Nagoski
The Nagoski sisters combine science and personal anecdotes to explore stress and its impact, particularly on women. They discuss how societal pressures exacerbate stress and lead to burnout.
The book offers practical solutions for completing the stress response cycle and strategies for dealing with the “human giver syndrome.”
“More Myself: A Journey” by Alicia Keys
In this memoir, the renowned singer-songwriter Alicia Keys offers an intimate look at her journey from a New York City neighborhood to the global stage.
She shares the challenges and triumphs she encountered along the way, providing a behind-the-scenes glimpse into her life and the valuable lessons she learned about finding and accepting oneself.
“The Moment of Lift: How Empowering Women Changes the World” by Melinda Gates
Drawing from her years of experience at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Melinda Gates offers an insightful analysis of how empowering women can lead to transformative improvements in societies worldwide.
The book combines personal narratives with extensive research, highlighting how even small investments in women’s health, education, and economic opportunity can lead to large societal benefits.
“The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up” by Marie Kondo
This book introduces the KonMari method, a category-by-category system of simplifying and organizing your home.
Marie Kondo encourages keeping only those things that speak to your heart and discarding items that no longer spark joy. It’s not just about decluttering but also about transforming your space and, in turn, your life.
“Ask and It Is Given: Learning to Manifest Your Desires” by Esther and Jerry Hicks
Based on the teachings of the non-physical entity Abraham, this book explores the laws of attraction and how to use them to manifest your desires. The Hicks provide practical techniques to teach you how to achieve a life of happiness and abundance.
“Playing Big: Practical Wisdom for Women Who Want to Speak Up, Create, and Lead” by Tara Mohr
This book is a call to women to play bigger in their work and in their lives. Mohr, an expert on women’s leadership, provides tools and insights to help women overcome self-doubt, identify their callings, communicate with more influence, and take bold action.
She emphasizes the importance of internal growth alongside developing practical skills.
“The Courage to Be Disliked” by Ichiro Kishimi and Fumitake Koga
This book presents a conversation between a philosopher and a young man, exploring the teachings of Alfred Adler, a contemporary of Freud and Jung.
It challenges the reader’s perspective on happiness, freedom, and personal change, emphasizing the power of breaking free from the expectations of others and finding happiness by focusing on the present and our own abilities.
“Tiny Beautiful Things: Advice on Love and Life from Dear Sugar” by Cheryl Strayed
This collection brings together the best of Strayed’s advice columns written for “The Rumpus,” originally penned under the pseudonym Sugar.
These letters and responses deal with a wide array of life’s challenges, offering raw, honest, and deeply empathetic advice, blending storytelling with practical guidance.
“Love Warrior” by Glennon Doyle
In this powerful memoir, Doyle shares her journey of self-discovery after confronting the crisis in her marriage.
It’s a story about overcoming despair, facing hard truths, and finding strength and love in unexpected places. The book is a testament to the healing power of vulnerability, courage, and resilience.
“Presence: Bringing Your Boldest Self to Your Biggest Challenges” by Amy Cuddy
Based on her renowned TED Talk, social psychologist Amy Cuddy explores the concept of “presence” — being confident and comfortable in your own skin.
She explains how body language, behavior, and mindset can affect your confidence levels and teaches techniques to help harness and project presence in challenging situations.
“The Untethered Soul: The Journey Beyond Yourself” by Michael A. Singer
This book delves into the idea of self-awareness and spiritual growth. Singer explores the question of who we are and encourages readers to explore their relationship with themselves.
The book is a guide to letting go of limiting beliefs, expanding consciousness, and experiencing true inner peace.
“Braving the Wilderness: The Quest for True Belonging and the Courage to Stand Alone” by Brené Brown
Brown examines the concepts of belonging and authenticity. She argues that true belonging doesn’t require us to change who we are, but rather requires us to be who we are.
This book offers insights into the courage to stand alone, brave the wilderness of uncertainty, and find true belonging.
“Radical Acceptance: Embracing Your Life With the Heart of a Buddha” by Tara Brach
This book combines the teachings of Buddhism and Western psychology to address the pain of feeling inadequate and disconnected from our lives.
Brach offers insights and practices that help to break the cycle of self-judgment and blame, leading to a path of healing and spiritual awakening.
“The Soul of Money: Transforming Your Relationship with Money and Life” by Lynne Twist
Twist, a global activist and fundraiser, offers a new and more positive perspective on money, challenging the scarcity mindset.
She argues that by reevaluating our relationship with money, we can transform our lives and make a more meaningful contribution to the world.
“The Power of Vulnerability: Teachings on Authenticity, Connection, and Courage” by Brené Brown
This book is a compilation of key takeaways from Brown’s extensive research on vulnerability, courage, worthiness, and shame.
It is a call to embrace vulnerability and imperfection, to live wholeheartedly, and to courageously engage in our lives.
“The Wisdom of Menopause: Creating Physical and Emotional Health During the Change” by Christiane Northrup
Northrup, an OB/GYN physician, provides comprehensive information on the emotional and physical changes during menopause.
She combines conventional medical knowledge with a more holistic understanding, offering advice on hormone therapy, lifestyle changes, and the emotional challenges during this life stage.