11 Best Self Help Books For Women: The Ultimate List (2019)

self help books for women

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Need help figuring out your love life, your career, your body, or your mind? These are the best self help books for women. These books preach self-love, and provide actionable advice for improving your life.

Whether you need to get ahead at work, lose a few pounds, get over a nasty breakup, or just feel more empowered, the following ten books are must-reads for women at any stage of life. These titles also make great gifts for your mom, daughter, sister, or best friend.

What Are the Best Self Help Books for Women?

Health at every size book cover Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Science-based debunking of dieting myths
  • Bodies can be healthy without being thin
  • Sensitive to those with Eating Disorders
Price: $12.70 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Choosing me book cover Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Paperback, Kindle, and audiobook
  • Witty, easy read
  • About putting you first
Price: $12.70 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
He's not that into you book cover Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Paperback, hardcover, Kindle, audiobook
  • Lighthearted tone
  • Male perspective on men
Price: $12.78 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
gifts of imperfection book cover Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Self-esteem boosting
  • Paperback, Kindle, and audiobook
  • Motivational
Price: $11.59 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
life organizer book cover Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Great for those into journaling
  • Paperback, hardcover, Kindle, audio CD
  • Nice loose structure
Price: $4.24 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
White book cover for Women who think too much Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Written by psychology professor
  • Established self-help writer
  • Paperback, hardcover, Kindle, audiobook
Price: $14.06 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Ignore the guy book cover Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Bestseller
  • Paperback and Kindle
  • Great for post-breakup issues
Price: $8.99 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
20 something book cover Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Great for younger readers
  • For those feelings lost
  • Paperback and Kindle
Price: $13.55 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
nice girls book cover Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Paperbook, Kindle, audiobook
  • Good for any femms in business
  • Updated since first publication
Price: $10.08 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
lean in book cover Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Paperbook, hardcover, Kindle, audiobook
  • Number one bestseller across the globe
  • Author has been female exec
Price: $13.39 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
hungry girl diet book Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Approved by registered dietition
  • Number one bestseller
  • Paperback, hardcover, Kindle
Price: $14.99 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Our Unbiased Reviews
  1. 1. Health At Every Size: The Surprising Truth About Your Weight

    Pros:
    • A breath of fresh air from fat-shaming diet books
    • Health doesn't have a certain body type
    • Sensative to those with Eating Disorders
    • Uses science to disprove dieting myths
    • Written by a doctor and psychologist
    Cons:
    • The about face can be hard for some to swallow
    • Not a typical dieting book if that's what you're looking for
    • I just need to throw out there that people still have worth even when they aren't healthy

    "Fat isn't the problem. Dieting is the problem." This is a health and weight book unlike any other. The concept might be hard for a lot of us to wrap our minds around because we've been taught the complete opposite our entire lives. 

    The book works to dispell the myth that health has a certain look to it. We're taught that you can't be healthy if you're not thin, but that's simply untrue. You can go on crash diets, be skinny, and completely physically unhealthy. And you can be the weight that your body wants to be (throw that BMI scale out the window) and still be healthy. The key is finding healthy habits that make your body feel good.

    The author Dr. Linda Bacon has a Ph.D. in Physiology dealing with weight regulation as well as a graduate degree in Psychology specializing in eating disorders. This book isn't just an opinion. She has conducted scientific and academic studies to prove that our obsession with being thin doesn't have a realistic basis in health.

    Disordered Eating, either past or present, is an issue so many of us deal with as a result of fat-shaming and diet culture. This book has a sensitive approach to addressing your body image and how to make small changes in your life that make you physically feel better without falling into an unhealthy mindset.

    If you're sick of the pressure of diets and putting your life on hold until you look a certain way, you owe it to yourself to give this book a try. 

  2. 2. Choosing ME Before WE: Every Woman’s Guide to Life and Love

    Pros:
    • Available in paperback, Kindle, and audiobook
    • Witty, fun read
    • Loving yourself first
    • Includes great exercises for self discovery
    Cons:
    • In the end focuses on how to be in a relationship
    • I don't actually think no one can love you if you don't love yourself
    • Too challenging for some

    Arylo's book is designed to help women of all ages find meaningful relationships. For women who tend to compromise too often in their relationships, this book is a great guide to finding balance and true happiness. This book is relevant to those seeking a serious relationship, or those who just left a relationship. It's also good for women who are thinking about leaving their partner, or just working through some heavy relationship issues.

  3. 3. He’s Just Not That Into You: The No-Excuses Truth to Understanding Guys

    Pros:
    • Available as paperback, hardcover, Kindle, and audiobook
    • Lighthearted tone is easy to read
    • Male perspective on men and dating
    • Like your gut feeling in a book
    Cons:
    • Paints some broad strokes
    • Ultimately about dating and you might not need that advice
    • Can have some harsh truths

    He’s Just Not That Into You: The No-Excuses Truth to Understanding Guys is tough love at its funniest. Inspired by an episode of Sex and the City, and later turned into a movie starring Jennifer Aniston and Drew Barrymore, this modern classic is a must-read for all women. While this book does make the reader face some hard truths, the tone is light-hearted and funny. At the end, you’ll feel empowered, uplifted, and just a little bit more knowledgeable about the mind of your man.

  4. 4. The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You’re Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are

    Pros:
    • Research professor of vulnerabilty, shame, and empathy
    • Emphasises our worthiness as we are
    • Self-esteem boosting
    • Available in paperback, Kindle, and audiobook
    Cons:
    • Not very long
    • Family and mother focused
    • Author uses herself and family as examples a lot

    In The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You’re Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are, author Brene Brown outlines her “guideposts” for women who want to boost their self-esteem. As of this writing, this book is the best selling self-esteem title on Amazon.

    Packed with esteem-boosting activities and thoughtful quotes from other authors, this book is a great starting point for beginning a journey of feminine self-discovery. This is a stellar read for those seeking the best self motivation books.

  5. 5. The Life Organizer: A Woman’s Guide to a Mindful Year

    Pros:
    • Inspiring
    • Helps you prioritize
    • Great for people into journaling
    • Available in paperback, hardcover, Kindle, and audio CD
    Cons:
    • Not available as digital audiobook
    • Not as engaging as some
    • Need to commit to doing exercises for it to work

    The Life Organizer is the perfect self-help title for the woman who loves list-making, planning, and long-term goal-setting. This book will help you recognize and then realize your true life goals. If you feel like your energy is scattered, this book can help you regain both focus and balance.

  6. 6. Women Who Think Too Much: How to Break Free of Overthinking and Reclaim Your Life

    Pros:
    • Written by psychology professor
    • Author has published many successful self-help books
    • Available as paperback, hardcover, Kindle, and audiobook
    • Good for folks with anxiety
    Cons:
    • Over simplistic for some
    • Either this is exactly about you or you don't connect
    • Title could be a lot better

    There’s nothing wrong with being an intelligent woman. However, some intelligent women have a tendency to overthink, and that can actually lead to anxiety or depression. For women who find themselves stuck in a mental rut, this book provides concrete strategies for stopping toxic trains of thought.

    Author Susan Nolen-Hoeksema is a University of Michigan psychology professor, and the author of five professional books. That pedigree means her advice is worth more than some of the other self help writers out there.

  7. 7. Ignore the Guy, Get the Guy

    Pros:
    • Bestseller
    • Available in paperback and Kindle
    • Helps you deal with how to act after a breakup
    Cons:
    • Relationship focused
    • Cool and distant isn't for everyone
    • A little simplistic

    Leslie Braswell’s best selling book is a must-read for any woman who just went through a nasty breakup. This title helps women to re-frame their idea of what a single woman is. In the past, being single had negative connotations. Today, being single means that a woman is discerning, free, and intelligent. And if you secretly want to get your man back, this book offers tips and tricks that will make him regret ever breaking things off with you.

  8. 8. 20-Something, 20-Everything: A Quarter-life Woman’s Guide to Balance and Direction

    Pros:
    • Available in paperback and Kindle
    • For those feeling lost and without purpose
    • Provides lots of first-hand experience
    • Author has published over self-help books
    Cons:
    • A little outdated
    • Paints some broad strokes
    • Very heteronormative
    • Not available as audiobook

    It can be hard to be a woman, no matter what age you are. For women who are entering their 20s, there are many unique issues, stresses, and problems that can overwhelm young women. Whether you are in college, starting a family, or pondering your future career, this book can help you find both balance and a meaningful direction for your life.

    If you feel like you are on the brink of a “quarter-life crisis,” read this book.

  9. 9. Nice Girls Don’t Get the Corner Office: Unconscious Mistakes Women Make That Sabotage Their Careers

    Pros:
    • Available in paperbook, Kindle, and audiobook
    • Updated since first publication
    • Great for any femmes in office environments
    Cons:
    • "Lean in" culture puts woman as at fault for the effects of the Patriarchy--which is gross
    • A little dry
    • Still slightly out of date

    Nice Girls Don’t Get the Corner Office has been a valuable resource for women in business for over a decade. The revised and updated edition, Nice Still Girls Don’t Get the Corner Office, contains changes that make the book more relevant for today’s readers. Executive coach Lois P. Frankel offers a guide for women who need to change their behavior in order to get ahead at work.

    Some of her tips include getting more involved in office politics, using social media cautiously, and always taking the opportunity to negotiate. If you think that your “niceness” is what is holding back your career, definitely give this book a read.

  10. 10. Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead

    Pros:
    • Number one bestseller
    • Available in paperback, hardcover, Kindle, and audiobook
    • Most famous women in the workplace book
    Cons:
    • "Lean in" culture places onus on women to fix the Patriarchy by becoming more like men
    • Outdated in many ways
    • Author is problematic

    Part biography, part self-help guide, and part inspirational journey, Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead highlights anecdotes and lessons from noted exec Sheryl Sandberg. This female exec has held positions of power at Facebook, Google, and Disney.

    While it has certainly stirred up some controversy, this must-read book has inspired scores of women to take their careers to the next level. If your aim is to become a leader in the workplace, this is a book that should be on your nightstand.

  11. 11. The Hungry Girl Diet: Big Portions. Big Results. Drop 10 Pounds in 4 Weeks

    Pros:
    • Available in paperback, hardcover, and Kindle
    • Four week program
    • Easy recipes
    • Number one bestseller
    Cons:
    • Dieting books are pretty inherently fat-shame-y
    • All diets are hard to stick to
    • Not available as audiobook

    The Hungry Girl Diet is one of the many books written by Hungry Girl, aka the blogger Lisa Lillien. The Hungry Girl philosophy is all about losing weight responsibly, but still eating balanced meals that satisfy your hunger.

See Also:

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