20 Best Self Help Books for Women

By on December 6, 2014

There are so many books in the Self Help section that it can seem almost impossible to pick just one out. If you have a problem leaving with a single book or spend hours browsing every shelf at the bookstore, this list was created with you in mind. The following 20 best self help books for women are some of the top books available on the marketplace. They are selected because they help with real world problems and are often written from a female perspective. If you are committed to your self-development, check out the following 20 self help books.


How to Stop Worrying and Start Living by Dale Carnegie

Even the title of this book sounds perfect. How many women out there spend more of their time worrying about life than just enjoying life? Dale Carnegie’s book is a great look at how to stop spending your time consumed by anxiety. If his name sounds familiar, it is because Dale Carnegie also wrote the famed book, “How to Win Friends and Influence People”. He lived during the Great Depression, so he has personal experience dealing with the most tragic and worrisome of circumstances. His take on the general problem of anxiety is extremely accurate, although he likes to pepper his books with old timey quotes and sayings.


A Return to Love by Marianne Williamson

Whether you are a religious person or a die hard atheist, this book has something to offer you. If you have spent years searching for love in all of the wrong places, Williamson’s book will help you to start loving yourself instead. Before you can reach out and be with another person, you have to be able to truly love who you are. Through doing this, you can gain a heightened level of peace. Be warned, however, Marianne Williamson is religious. There will be some mentions of God and the Holy Spirit in the book, so prepare yourself for that if you are not particularly religious.


The Breakout Principle by Herbert Benson and William Proctor

Even when confronted with an unsolvable problem, you can find a solution through creativity. All you need to do is completely give up. Seriously. Written by a doctor from Harvard Medical School and a coauthor (I assume the coauthor helped with the nit picky editing stuff), this book showcases real research into activating peak performance levels. Instead of living in conflict, confusion and worry, you can activate a biological trigger and put yourself into “the zone”. This mental flow state known as the zone is where top athletes and artists go when they are working on something. In addition to driving some of the greatest creativity in history, the zone is also a way for you to reach a happier state of being. Don’t believe me? Read the book.


The Secret by Rhonda Byrne

The Secret is perhaps the worst secret ever. If you have not heard of this book yet, you are either completely oblivious or you live in a box. It has been showcased on Oprah, and has even been sold on supermarket bookshelves. Basically, this book goes through fragments of what it calls, “the secret”. According to Byrne, parts of the secret have been written about for millennium. In the book, it covers how to use this secret in your everyday life. Through the secret, you can purportedly gain wealth, better health and happier relationships. It sounds too good to be true, but this book was actually quite interesting to read.


The Courage to Be Brilliant: How Five Acts of Improvement a Day Will Make You Shine by Marta Monahan and Jeff Anrdrus

Whether you are afraid of failure, cautious or worried about your abilities, something is holding you back (well, most likely anyways) from being the best person that you can be. In Monahan’s book, you are taught how to return to the path of brilliance. All you need to do is make five steps each day to illuminate your path to success. Like most self-help books, this work offers a too good to be true outcome. Despite this “sky’s the limit” approach, it does have some extremely useful advice for improving your life.


Your Inner Awakening by Byron Katie

There is an old saying that money doesn’t buy happiness. This book goes through the reasons why this saying is true. No matter how much wealth, how many job promotions or how great a success you are, there is a strong possibility that you are not truly happy. Every person wants to experience true joy and freedom in their lifetime. Unfortunately, many people end up delving into the depths of depression while they pursue a “successful” lifestyle. In this work by Byron Katie, readers are taken through four basic questions that help to change how they live their day-to-day lives. Instead of ignoring pain, Katie teaches readers to investigate it and find true peace. Overall, this book challenges how you already see the world. If you are pushed for time, it is fairly easy to find a brief summation of the four questions and their answers. For the book to truly help you out, you should probably read the entirety of the text.


Why Men Love Bitches: From Doormat to Dreamgirl by Sherry Argov

I should begin this by saying that I disagree fundamentally with the title. To begin with, there are certainly options in between doormat and dream girl. Also, as a happily married woman, I do not think that ALL men fit this stereotype. With that caveat, we can return to the book.

Written by Sherry Argov, this book basically reduces this controversial title into a search for confidence. Men do not love bitches—they love confidence. As you read the book, you start to realize that become self-confident and having self-respect are the best ways for you to get a date. It may sound like common sense, but it is still a useful book to read if you are stuck in a dating rut.


Seven Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey

Before Orpah really became famous and “viral” was a word, Seven Habits of Highly Effective People became a viral self-help book. It hit the best-seller lists because it intelligently looked at how successful people lived out their day-to-day lives. This book was originally intended to inform business people how to become CEOs and corporate executives, but its message is still exceptionally relevant for the average person. If you are trying to figure out how to make your life into a success or reach a personal goal, this book is an excellent look at the steps that you need to take.


Lean-In by Sheryl Sandberg

This book is supposedly controversial for its take on women in business, female viewpoints and life. For the moment, let’s ignore any controversy and just look at the book. Sheryl Sandberg begins the story by looking at the changing role of women in the workplace. This would feel like a 1990s throwback piece, but Sandberg also happens to be the COO of Facebook. She discusses why and how women’s leadership roles have stopped and how women can reach their full potential. Throughout the book, she uses real data as well as stories from her own life to paint a picture of life as a female executive. From seeking challenges to pursuing goals, Sheryl Sandberg offers real, useful help for future female executives.


Zero Limits by Joe Vitale

Like many self-help books, Zero Limits is peppered with so-called “secrets”. Although this common technique becomes boring over time, Zero Limits still manages to provide a useful perspective. It gives readers four phrases that have the power to change how they live their entire life. Some of the reviews on the Amazon page say that this book will stop war and end poverty. I highly doubt it. Realistically, this book will help you love yourself and others better. That’s it, but it is certainly worth it just for that. You come away with a better sense of gratitude and a basic understanding of psychological principles. Again, it is not an earth-shattering read, but it is interesting.


Uncertainty by Jonathan Fields

As a New York Times best seller, this book is pretty well-known already. It is written by a former corporate lawyer called Jonathan Fields. Years ago, he took a risk and quit practicing law. He set up shop in Tribeca and began running a yoga studio (successfully!) there before yoga had achieved its current popularity in the United States. In this book, he uses extensive researching to assert that you should embrace the unknown. Instead of running from your problems or fearing uncertainty, Fields believes that you should run headfirst into each new event. It is definitely worth the read and Fields’ personal story is also an interesting tale.


The Power of Now by Ekhart Tolle

Besides being a top contender for most unfortunate name of the century, Ekhart Tolle is also one of the best self-help writers ever. Born in Germany, he wrote this book as a way to address the possibility of happiness. He thoroughly covers the different things that we can change in our life and how we think to ensure that we feel true joy. It was easy enough to read, so you could probably get the general gist of his argument in just an afternoon.


The Power of Your Subconscious Mind by by Joseph Murphy

Within the Power of Your Subconscious Mind, you will find all of the tools that you need to become the best person possible. You can increase your financial standing, improve your health and better your relationships by learning how to control your subconscious mind. According to Joseph Murphy, this is the only thing that you need to do if you want to reach your goals and overcome every difficulty. Basically, his book teaches you how to program your subconscious—and it works. By using his techniques, you can actually make a difference in your day-to-day existence.


The Road Less Traveled by M. Scott Peck

Named after one of my favorite poems by Robert Frost, the Road Less Traveled is a work that helps you learn how to teach your children values. It has been around for decades, but still has a timeless understanding of relationships. In the book, you look at how to separate dependency from love and how to be a better parent. While you learn how to be true to yourself, you also learn ways to share your understanding of the world with your children. Unlike most self-awareness books, the Road Less Traveled has some uncomfortable moments where you realize that YOU could be the problem.


The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg

This book offers a refreshing and revealing insight into the world around us. Although it is not particularly earth-shattering, Duhigg has marshaled interesting stories and evidence to his cause that will keep you reading for days. One of the interesting facts that I learned is from a study conducted by mega chain stores. Apparently, a chain store can tell if a woman is pregnant before she knows just by changes in her buying habits. If just our shopping habits can be that revealing, imagine what other parts of our life show?

Kown for his work as a war correspondent and a staff writer with the New York Times, Charles Duhigg manages to take an interesting view on the world around us. I personally enjoyed this book because of his usage of real evidence and statistics. One of my main problems with self-help books is their tendency to give grandiose advice without anything to back it up. In the Power of Habit, we hear stories and statistics from the NFL to corporate boardrooms.


How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie

As perhaps the greatest self-help writer of the last 100 years, Dale Carnegie has been included on this book twice. How to Win Friends and Influence People is known as his most famous self-help book. In this short piece, he covers how to use body language, intonation, words, approaches and behavior to win people over to your side. Whether you plan on running for senator or just want a wider social circle, you will find this book to be extremely interesting.


Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man by Steve Harvey

The first thing that catches your eye with this book is the title. Once you pick it up, you will find more than enough in it to keep your interest. Harvey covers the basic differences between men and women. His three marriages can be taken as proof that he knows the opposite gender extremely well…or a sign that you should run the other way immediately. Unless you read it, you will not know for sure which option to choose.


Memo: The Easiest Way to Improve Your Memory by Oddyorn By

Most self-help books on the market today look at gaining a heightened awareness, achieving happiness or becoming a success. Compared to your run-of-the-mill self-help book, Memo: The Easiest Way to Improve Your Memory was a refreshingly new take on the self-help market. Even better, it offers advice that we all need. In this book, you will learn the best ways to improve your memory. Apparently, memory is not a consistent talent or something only granted to geniuses. At the international memory competition, winners are often average IQ, completely normal people. They are able to memorize significant numbers, cards and details because of their techniques. By reading Memo: The Easiest Way to Improve Your Memory, you can learn these techniques and enjoy having a better memory.


Emotional Intelligence by Daniel Coleman

Daniel Coleman is a psychologist and a reporter for the New York Times who wrote this book back in the 1990s. Although this book may have aged by a couple of decades, it is still extremely useful in daily life. In it, Coleman argues for the usefulness of emotional intelligence. Instead of just focusing on IQ, humanity should try to become emotionally intelligent. If you wanted to avoid a family fight during Thanksgiving or channel your emotions, this is the book that you should read.


On Writing Well: The Classic Guide to Writing Non-Fiction by William Zinsser

Although it sounds like it ought to be listed somewhere else, Zinsser’s book is something that you must, must, must read. If you are looking for self-help books, chances are high that you want to be successful, happy or a mixture of the two. Being able to write well is an excellent way to achieve success. Studies have shown again and again that people who write and speak well are more likely to be promoted at work. A heightened vocabulary and correct grammar are the two things that you can do today to ensure a promotion tomorrow.

With this in mind, the last book on the list is a guide on writing well. On Writing Well: The Classic Guide to Writing Non-Fiction clears up some of the most common myths about writing. It instantly helps with honing your natural writing ability while teaching you which rules can be safely ignored.

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