As you may have suspected, today I wanted to share my best self help books with you.
When anything happens in my life that I don’t understand or don’t know how to deal with, I reach for books. With that attitude (and my addiction to reading) I read more than 100 books a year, and have done so for at least since 2012, when I started tracking the books I’ve read.
So you could say I did a fair bit of market research before I selected these books to dub them the best self help books. I am 100% sure that these books will change your life. Some of them are on personal development, some on career and money. But all of them are about women and how we should deal with the world.
These books can empower you, make you think, make you grow, and take control of your life.
If you’re looking to create a super cozy space in your home for your perfect reading nook, take a look at this post I wrote on creating a nice reading corner for yourself.
One of the best ways to read is with the Kindle unlimited app. For the price of only one book a month, you get access to millions! You can get a free trial to kindle unlimited right here, and if you’re a bookworm like me, there is no better way to save money. I know me and my house wouldn’t be able to support my reading habits if I’d had to get every book in physical copy, so this is the perfect solution!
If you’re more of an audiobook kind of person, you can also start your free trial of audible here, They’ll even send you a reminder before your 30-day trial ends, so you can cancel it on time if you want to.
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* This post may include affiliate links, which means I make a small amount of money from your purchase at no extra cost to you. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.
5 best self help books for women: the list
ON THE BACK : “YOU ARE A BADASS IS THE SELF-HELP BOOK FOR PEOPLE WHO DESPERATELY WANT TO IMPROVE THEIR LIVES BUT DON’T WANT TO GET BUSTED DOING IT.
In this refreshingly entertaining how-to guide, bestselling author and world-traveling success coach, Jen Sincero, serves up 27 bitesized chapters full of hilariously inspiring stories, sage advice, easy exercises, and the occasional swear word, helping you to: Identify and change the self-sabotaging beliefs and behaviors that stop you from getting what you want, Create a life you totally love. And create it NOW, Make some damn money already. The kind you’ve never made before.
By the end of You Are a Badass, you’ll understand why you are how you are, how to love what you can’t change, how to change what you don’t love, and how to use The Force to kick some serious ass.”
Well-known by now, but always worth a mention: You are a badass. You are a badass quickly explains the law of attraction, and goes into how you can change your life with it. Jen herself did everything under the sun, all with the law of attraction.
Jen claims we’re all caught up in the big snooze, which is essentially living life on autopilot. She argues we should all wake up from this snooze, and start living our lives fully awake. This way we can live life, instead of being a passive person in our own lives. She does not sugar coat everything, and if you don’t like profanity and swearing, this is not the book for you. If you can handle it, get this book.
The first third of the book goes into her story and how she turned her life around. The other ⅔ are about how you can do the same. Explaining things with hilarious anecdotes from her own life, she explains how we are self-sabotaging, and what we can do about it. The end of these chapters all have super practical tips that you can easily start implementing in your own life.
ON THE BACK: “Full of ideas and strategies that have worked for millions of people worldwide. You Can Heal Your Life, the definitive bestselling book on self-healing, has transformed the lives of millions of people. This is a book that people credit with profoundly altering their awareness of the impact that the mind has on our health and wellbeing.
In this inspirational work, world renowned teacher Louise L. Hay offers profound insight into the relationship between the mind and the body. Exploring the way that limiting thoughts and ideas control and constrict us, she offers us a powerful key to understanding the roots of our physical diseases and discomforts.This practical self-help guide will change the way you think forever!“
A truly amazing and life changing book. Although it wouldn’t be in this list of best self help books if it weren’t. I am a big Louise Hay fan and have several of her books, but this is my favorite.
Louise believes that all our problems are self-love problems. Therefore, they can all be solved by loving ourselves more. She explains exactly how that works and how we can work on it with stories from her clients and exercises. I really recommend getting this book and doing an exercise a day.
I definitely think this book will change your life, especially if you don’t feel too good about yourself. So if there is any room in your life to learn to love yourself more, this book will be the best gift you’ll ever get yourself.
ON THE BACK: Money. We love it. We hate it. If we don’t have enough, we’re struggling to get more. If we do have it, we’re fighting to hold on to it. Why does money have to be such a source of anxiety? Is it possible to find peace? Yes! According to master integrative coach Nancy Levin, the real key to creating financial freedom isn’t changing what we do,
it’s changing our limiting beliefs – and that requires more than learning how to invest.
In Worthy, Nancy makes an essential, eye-opening connection: the state of our net worth is a direct reflection of our self-worth. Then she shows us how to get to the root of the problem and do the internal work that’s needed to replace feelings of unworthiness with a solid sense of our own value. Filled with inspiring real-life stories and thought-provoking questions and answers, her 10-step plan helps us to:
– Get real about the money issues we face every day
– Examine the excuses we use to avoid creating the life we really want
– Be willing to see ourselves as worthy of abundance in all its forms
– Take back our financial power – and watch amazing things start to happen
Whether we’re looking for financial ease or a new relationship with money and ourselves, Worthy will give us the tools to clear the path for wholeness, fulfilment and richness not only in our bank accounts but in all areas of our life.
When I started reading worthy, it was like a revelation. I still remember that day as my life changing, as I finally realized how I felt about myself. I realized I didn’t think I was good enough.
I got so excited about the book that I went through it in one day.
Looking back now, I see that that wasn’t the best idea. I am going through it again as I am writing this post, and I am taking my sweet time. I’ve been at it for 2 weeks, taking some time every day, and I’m about two-thirds of the way through.
Worthy is about how our self-worth connects to our net-worth. Nancy believes they are related, and you can’t have a healthy one without a healthy other. She states that women often have lower net worths, simply because we don’t believe we deserve to have more. We gladly set ourselves aside to make other people happy, because innately we believe they are more worthy than we are.
Not strange considering the way society views men and women. Regardless, the best way to increase our net-worth is to see that we are worthy of having everything we desire.
Nancy walks you through a 10-step plan with several exercises which help you understand your financial situation, your self-worth situation, and how to improve them.
I am a big fan of the book (if that wasn’t clear already) and I truly think all women should be reading (and working through) this one. Even if you think you’re in a good place, there is always room for improvement!
THE BACK STATES: “The quest for perfection is exhausting and unrelenting. There is a constant barrage of social expectations that teach us that being imperfect is synonymous with being inadequate. Everywhere we turn, there are messages that tell us who, what and how we’re supposed to be. So, we learn to hide our struggles and protect ourselves from shame, judgment, criticism and blame by seeking safety in pretending and perfection.
Based on seven years of her ground-breaking research and hundreds of interviews, I Thought It Was Just Me shines a long-overdue light on an important truth: Our imperfections are what connect us to each other and to our humanity. Our vulnerabilities are not weaknesses; they are powerful reminders to keep our hearts and minds open to the reality that we’re all in this together.”
This book is exactly what the title suggests. Brene talks about things we women usually don’t talk about, especially shame.
Brene has done research into shame, and this book presents (part of) her findings. From how we can deal with our own shame to how we deal with the shame of other people. How to show empathy without pity. Being understanding and not making others feel worse about whatever they feel ashamed about.
We are all ashamed of things, but we don’t usually talk about these things. The book discusses so many situations in which you think: “I’m sure I’m the only one”. Except, as it turns out, you are not. Not even a little bit!
What mostly stuck with me were the statistics about the beauty industry. Now the book is from over a decade ago, so I can only imagine what these numbers look like now. But for example, in the book it states that the current media ideal for women is only achievable by less than 5% of the female population, and that’s only in terms of weight and size. Between 1997 and the writing of the book, there had been a 465% increase in cosmetic procedures. That’s more than 5 times as many! Now like I said, these numbers are slightly outdated. But with the information from this article, I wouldn’t say the situation has improved since.
Brene talks about subjects we usually avoids, and makes them approachable. She’ll make you feel like you’re not alone, which you really aren’t. Just because no one is speaking about it doesn’t mean no one is going through the same thing. We all are, and this book shows us how much.
ON THE BACK: “The New York Times bestseller, which for 10 years has been a must-have for women in business, is now completely revised and updated. In this new edition, internationally recognized executive coach Lois P. Frankel reveals a distinctive set of behaviors-over 130 in all-that women learn in girlhood that ultimately sabotage them as adults. She teaches you how to eliminate these unconscious mistakes that could be holding you back and offers invaluable coaching tips that can easily be incorporated into your social and business skills. The results for hundreds of thousands of women have been career opportunities they never thought possible – at every stage of their career, from entry-level to the corner office! Stop making “nice girl” errors that can become career pitfalls, such as:
- Mistake #13: Avoiding office politics. If you don’t play the game, you can’t possibly win.
- Mistake #21: Multi-tasking. Just because you can do something, doesn’t mean you should do it.
- Mistake #54: Failure to negotiate. Don’t equate negotiation with confrontation.
- Mistake #70: Inappropriate use of social media. Once it’s out there, it’s hard to put the toothpaste back in the tube.
- Mistake #82: Asking permission. Children, not adults, ask for approval. Be direct, be confident.“
Maybe not a typical self help book, but definitely important is Nice girls don’t get the corner office. One of the best career books for women, in my opinion.
Whether you’re at the start of your career or a bit further on the ladder, this book will have so many nuggets you can use. There is a test at the beginning, which will tell you in what areas your main mistakes are. You can then look them up and, with the accompanying coaching tips, start working on overcoming these mistakes. That way you can be more confident at work, and stand up for yourself. For example, for mistake #82, some of the coaching tips are:
- Inform others of your intentions; don’t ask for permission. By informing others you show respect for their need to know, but without your action being contingent upon their approval.
- Assume equality.
- Turn this: “Would it be all right with you if I work at home tomorrow? I’m expecting a delivery midday,” into this: “I just wanted to let you know I’ll be working at home tomorrow. I’ve got a delivery coming.”
There are practical solutions for every mistake, so you can try the ones you are most comfortable with.
If you are working in a company and feel unsure, I highly recommend you get this book. Even if you don’t necessarily want that corner office, this book will help you feel more comfortable and assertive in your current position.
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So those are my absolute favorite self help books. I truly think all of these books have the potential to change your life if you read them carefully and go along with the exercises.
These self help books are not books you read before going to bed, and they’re not books to skim through if you want them to have an effect. But they are books with serious potential, and they have definitely changed my life, each in their own way.
If you like personal development, take a look at our other personal development posts.