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Self help is one of the very few book genres that tends to be stigmatized or even disregarded, despite it being an overall positive topic. The truth is that much of the disdain self help books get as a genre is due to the sheer number of books that sound helpful and uplifting, but only really deliver a light "feel good" rush that doesn't really help you do much of anything concrete.
This is doubly true about the books that are marketed towards ladies. Thankfully, there are some legitimately wisdom-filled books that allow women to improve their lives and get better.
Speaking as a critic of other self help writers, these are my picks for the best self help books for women of all backgrounds and ages.
Lift Like A Girl by Nia Shanks
Anyone who's wanted to get a better workout or just start bodybuilding probably has felt like lifting is a "guy's thing," but Nia Shanks can tell you it's anything but. Lift Like A Girl is one of the greatest fitness books for women who want to reclaim their strength, get a great bod, and also embrace fitness as a lifestyle.
As far as personal fitness goes, it's one of the best self help books for women on store shelves. That being said, fans who enjoy reading Nia Shanks's book might also enjoy learning how to eat clean from Tosca Reno's books, too.
How to Be a Person in the World by Heather Havrilesky
If you've ever read "Ask Polly," then you already might know that Heather Havrilesky's known for giving damned good advice that's both life-changing and hilarious. How to Be a Person in the World is one of the best self help books for women who want legit, actionable advice with a side of humor.
You'll crack up, you'll enjoy seeing life through her eyes, and you'll realize that actually getting through the crazy double standards of modern life doesn't have to mean living a nightmare.
The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey
Without a doubt, this classic motivational book is one of the best self help books for women and men who really just need to kick things up a notch. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People has become a required reading textbook for top corporate executives, major social personalities, and just about anyone who wants to improve their lives.
If you're having trouble getting traction in life, read this book. It will give you serious, eye-opening advice that's both actionable and brilliantly written. That's why it's been around for decades, and continues to get applause today.
Habit Stacking by S.J. Scott
Habit Stacking was not originally meant to be written to be one of the best self help books for women. Truthfully, it's not just good for women; anyone who wants to remodel their life and get better habits happening needs to check out this book.
S.J Scott uses the concept of "habit stacking" to help people chip away at problems, step by step. By parsing out issues into small, easily overcome goals, you end up getting an overall better quality of life—and are able to overcome major problems that may have held you back.
Women Who Think Too Much by Susan Nolen-Hoeksema
Almost every girl out there has had one moment where they just overthought everything. It's a terrible curse that ends up causing a lot of negative thoughts, anxiety, and self-sabotage. Women Who Think Too Much is one of the best self help books for women who tend to overthink, over-apologize, and constantly stress out, simply because it offers a solution to it.
Knowing why you overthink, and having a game plan on how to end the cycle is a great tool to have. Considering how bad overthinking is for anxiety, this book also makes a great gift for people who have anxiety, too.
How to Survive the Loss of a Love by Peter McWilliams
Throughout life, there will be moments where you end up losing someone you love, something you love, or even a lifestyle you love. That's unavoidable. How you recover from those points will determine a lot about how your life turns out.
How to Survive the Loss of a Love has been one of the best self help books for women who have trouble with grief. It's a consoling, kind friend who has gentle words for you and holds your hand throughout the process. Simply put, it's a perfect guide for anyone coping with loss.
Insecure in Love by Leslie Becker-Phelps
Leslie Becker-Phelps has been one of the most highly acclaimed experts when it comes to coping with insecurity in relationships. She explains, in very plain words, why "anxious attachment" happens and why overcoming insecurity is the key to a happier, healthier relationship.
Considering that men often complain about women being needy, it's safe to say that this is one of the best self help books for women who tend to get insecure in love.
He's Just Not That Into You by Greg Behrendt and Liz Tucillo
Yes, I'm going to call this classic one of the best self help books for women. Why? Because it's one of the most upfront, no-bullshit dating books for women ever made, and because Greg Behrendt doesn't give any leeway for excuses that men often make.
Simply put, He's Just Not That Into You is one of the only books to make dating a very straight and to-the-point endeavor. If you're wondering why he's not calling back, Greg will tell you the bitter truth why—and then give you the right advice on how to handle it, too.
That being said, He's Not That Into You's movie adaptation wasn't too good. However, this is about books, and the book was epic.
The Life-Changing Manga of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo
Marie Kondo's original book was great, but I enjoy manga. This is why I'm chosing The Life-Changing Manga of Tidying Up for my list of the best self help books for women. It's the same as the book, with some awesome artwork, to boot!
This is one of the very few books that helps hoarders overcome their issues, and also explains that it's okay to throw out things that you no longer use. Marie Kondo's book, more importantly, talks about the importance of freeing up your space to let better energy come in.
If you're a lady who feels the pressure of gilded handcuffs or who feels stuck in a rut, The Life-Changing Manga of Tidying Up will be a must-read.
Prince Charming Isn’t Coming: How Women Get Smart About Money by Barbara Stanny
Prince Charming Isn’t Coming is the wakeup call most women need when they're managing money, as well as the awesome life plan that can help them attain success. In 2017, a woman would be foolish to rely on a man for a comfortable future—and Barbara Stanny makes a point of explaining why, in depth.
Books about money management are always a great read. Women need to get a better hold on their money if they want to survive in this cruel world. That's why this is my top choice for the best self help books for women.