The 8 Best Self-Help Books for Women in 2019

Strategies and wisdom to help manage your anxiety and depression

Our editors independently research, test, and recommend the best products; you can learn more about our review process here. We may receive commissions on purchases made from our chosen links.

First Look

"Daring Greatly"

"Vulnerability is what leads us to engage and connects with others."

"Girl, Stop Apologizing"

"The author's kick-butt attitude will help you get unstuck."

"You Are a Badass"

"Create an action plan that will pull out your inner badass."

"Mind Over Mood"

"Teaches you how to rewire your thoughts."

"Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead"

"Helps you tap into your potential to make a change."

"Maybe You Should Talk to Someone"

"This book helps you see your own issues with new eyes."

"How to Be Single and Happy"

"Teaches strategies to overcome loneliness."

"Good Moms Have Scary Thoughts"

"Provides an action plan to help new mothers cope with anxiety."

Our Top Picks

"Daring Greatly"

Daring Greatly

COurtesy of Amazon 

Brené Brown is an absolute icon (her TED talk is one of the most viewed ever, and she has a popular Netflix special) when it comes to embracing your own vulnerability and living an authentic life. If there’s one takeaway or lesson learned, let it be this: “we must dare to show up and let ourselves be seen,” says Brown.

Through messiness and perfection, Brown says that it’s vulnerability that will lead you to truly engage and connect with others, which brings contentment. It’s scary! It may not feel right! But revealing who you are at your core and sharing your truth with others will change your life.

Looking for more reviews? Check out our guide to the best self-help books.

"Girl, Stop Apologizing"

In this follow-up from the mega-popular "Girl, Wash Your Face," Rachel Hollis takes her she’s-your-bff style of writing to a new level. She’s blunt and your number one fan at the same time, so her kick-your-butt attitude will help you get unstuck and go for what you want. One-by-one, Hollis busts the excuses (read: lies) you’ve been feeding yourself that have kept you from achieving big things and gives you a solid plan for what you have to do to help you realize your goals and ambitions.

If you feel like you’re drowning in people-pleasing, unable to say no, and are having a hard time finding your talents and then singing them at the top of your lungs, Hollis will help you shed what’s holding you back. Ready to embrace your what if?

"You Are a Badass"

If you ever needed a more straight-to-the-point pep talk, let "You Are a Badass" be it. Jen Sincero is honest in her approach: you don’t have to wait for a life-changing event to actually change your life. “You’re going to have to let go of old, limiting beliefs and cling to your decision to create the life you desire like your life depends on it,” she writes.

Whether you want your romantic life to change or find career success, you can decide to start making the shifts needed to cultivate a full, happy life you want right now, Sincero urges. And you know what? It’s easy to believe her and then march forth with gusto to unravel the untruths your head’s been spinning, and create an action plan that will pull out your inner badass. Because she’s in there.

"Mind Over Mood, Second Edition"

Using CBT (cognitive-behavioral therapy), the authors teach you the exact steps you need to follow to rewire your thoughts, resolve your problems, and overcome depression and anxiety.

The book is great as a stand-alone resource or one that you use to supplement your time in therapy, the authors note. In fact, it’s so highly regarded that therapists use it as a guide to teach their patients. But to help yourself, you’ve got to put in the work, and they’ve supplied a slew of worksheets, including practicing gratitude and acts of kindness, to logging your activity, brainstorming relaxation activities, rating your mood, and writing a forgiveness letter (and more). They warn that it may not feel comfortable going through it, but the outcome will be worth it.

Need some more help finding what you're looking for? Read through our best books on meditation article.

"Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead"

This book created a frenzy among working women when it came out in 2013—and it continues to change women’s lives today. Sheryl Sandberg acknowledges the challenges women face in the workplace but asserts that it doesn’t leave you powerless. Women are natural leaders, she says, and you can tap into your potential to create a seismic shift in your professional life—and excel in work and family.

Today, six years after the bestselling book came out, we all know what the phrase “lean in” means. And, it’s still hugely popular for helping women remove the internal obstacles and self-limiting beliefs that may be holding them back.

"Maybe You Should Talk to Someone"

Lori Gottlieb, a psychotherapist and New York Times bestselling author, is enraptured by stories. Stories of her patients and how those stories tell the larger one about what it means to be human (and all the wants and desires and problems that arise from that).

This book, which often reads as fiction but is nonfiction—and is based on her patients with permission—will help you understand your fellow humans better, the emotions that tie us together, and our yearning for connection. With that, you’ll be able to see your own issues with new eyes, dust off what’s holding you back, and begin to move forward refreshed and with a little bit more compassion.

Interested in reading more reviews? Take a look at our selection of the best light therapy lamps.

"How to Be Single and Happy"

The last thing you need is someone else telling you to hurry up and couple up. That’s why Dr. Taitz is so refreshing here. A clinical instructor in the department of psychiatry at UCLA, she’s working overtime to help you leave behind the dating junk in your past and then go on to live it up. It’s about embracing your best life now and doing the things that make you feel fulfilled and align with your values without worrying about when Mr. or Ms. Right is going to show up. Because, as she says, if you worry continuously that you’ll end up alone, you’ll lose your mind.

She approaches the topic with compassion and understanding, giving you strategies for overcoming loneliness and thinking clearer about your circumstances and relationships so you can be happy.

"Good Moms Have Scary Thoughts"

Karen Kleiman is a maternal mental health expert, and she has such a depth of knowledge for what new moms are going through. “Perhaps most unsettling and without cause, you find yourself waiting for something horrendous to happen, at every turn,” she writes. Covering the innermost thoughts that moms aren’t supposed to share—but many feel—she takes on the taboo, and reading about postpartum distress and anxiety (far more common than women talk about) will help you realize that you’re not alone.

More than that, she sets out an action plan. For example, worksheets to identify your support system and activities to help distract you during a bad day. Most of all: the illustrations are amazing—you’ll relate, laugh, and cry.

Our Process

Our writers spent 5 hours researching the most popular self-help books for women on the market. Before making their final recommendations, they considered more than 40 self-help books overall and read over 400 user reviews (both positive and negative).

Was this page helpful?