Superb Books for Empowering Women
Many of us have been home more, and it can feel like a sanctuary and a prison in this place we live in. It’s easy to spend this time stressed, bored, and worrying about things outside of our control.
We can breathe. Learn. And continue moving in the right direction. Even if it’s the tiniest step.
So, today, check out this amazing list of empowering books for women that will inspire you to do that.
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Reading is a way for me to expand my mind, open my eyes, and fill up my heart.”Oprah Winfrey
I specifically chose books written BY and FOR women. These uplifting books address the specific challenges that WE women face. Especially if you have kids, the obstacles that moms face are quite different than those of most men. It’s important to acknowledge that and dig a little deeper to grow.
❤️ Now, if you’re in a hurry (or just curious), here are the 3 MOST popular books overall:
Now, let’s get to the FULL female empowerment list!
It’s split into: motivational books for women, inspiring books for mental health, and best books for women in business.
Inspirational Books for Women
1. Untamed by Glennon Doyle
“Filled with hopeful messages . . . encourag[ing] women to reject the status quo and follow their intuition . . . This testament to female empowerment and self-love, with an endearing coming-out story at the center, will delight readers.”—Publishers Weekly
*Of all the empowering books for women, this one was the winner for me! Doyle encourages readers to question what’s beautiful and true for them.
2. That’s What She Said: Wise Words From Influential Women by Kimothy Joy
“A stunning book that celebrates a diverse group of inspirational women, from Maya Angelou to Malala Yousafzai. The book features illustrations and quotes with illuminating biographies to inspire women of all ages and backgrounds.” – Hello Sunshine
3. The Moment of Lift by Melinda Gates
“The Moment of Lift is an urgent call to courage. It changed how I think about myself, my family, my work, and what’s possible in the world.
Melinda weaves together vulnerable, brave storytelling and compelling data to make this one of those rare books that you carry in your heart and mind long after the last page.”― Brené Brown, Ph.D., author of the New York Times #1 bestseller Dare to Lead
For ways to lift someone up, read: How to Spread Positivity in Today’s World
4. Grit by Angela Duckworth
“If you have recently bumped into that word, grit, Duckworth is the reason…In education and parenting circles, her research has provided a much needed antipode to hovering, by which children are systematically deprived of the opportunity to experience setbacks, much less overcome them…
What sticks with you [in Grit] are the testimonials, collected from sources as disparate as Will Smith, William James, and Jeff Bezos’s mom, that relentlessly deflate the myth of the natural.”
To help build your grit, check out these fierce quotes about overcoming adversity!
5. Year of Yes by Shonda Rhimes
“Rhimes guides the reader through her transformative yearlong experiment, each chapter dealing with a different personal challenge for herself, and she lets us deep inside her brain, carefully laying out all of her fears and self-doubt…candid and friendly, almost as if the two of you were catching up over drinks.” — Slate.com
6. The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You’re Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are by Brene Brown
“This book is an invitation to join a wholehearted revolution. A small, quiet, grassroots movement that starts with each of us saying, ‘My story matters because I matter.’ Revolution might sound a little dramatic, but in this world, choosing authenticity and worthiness is an absolute act of resistance.” – Brene Brown
7. Becoming by Michelle Obama
*4.8/5 Star Amazon Review
“In her memoir, a work of deep reflection and mesmerizing storytelling, Michelle Obama invites readers into her world, chronicling the experiences that have shaped her—from her childhood on the South Side of Chicago to her years as an executive balancing the demands of motherhood and work, to her time spent at the world’s most famous address.” – Amazon
“Your story is what you have, what you will always have. It is something to own.”–Michelle Obama
8. Very Good Lives by J.K. Rowling
“In 2008, J.K. Rowling delivered a deeply affecting commencement speech at Harvard University. Now published for the first time in book form, VERY GOOD LIVES presents J.K. Rowling’s words of wisdom for anyone at a turning point in life. How can we embrace failure? And how can we use our imagination to better both ourselves and others?” – Amazon
9. Bare: A 7-Week Program to Transform Your Body, Get More Energy, Feel Amazing… by Susan Hyatt
“Bare flips the broken cultural norm—we must starve ourselves to fit into a patriarchal norm of desirability—and focuses instead on strengthening the love, power, and beauty we have inside us. Susan will help you nurture and love the body you are in, choosing health on your terms and in your time.”—Pamela Slim, author of Body of Work
See: Easy Ways to Be Healthier This Year for a great health related read!
10. Dare Greatly by Brene Brown
*4.8/5 Star Amazon Review
“The brilliantly insightful Brené Brown draws upon extensive research and personal experience to explore the paradoxes of courage: we become strong by embracing vulnerability, we dare more greatly when we acknowledge our fear. I can’t stop thinking about this book.” —Gretchen Rubin, author of The Happiness Project
11. I Really Needed This Today: Words to Live By by Hoda Kotb
In I Really Needed This Today, Hoda not only shares 365 sayings and quotes, she writes about the people and experiences that have pushed her to challenge boundaries, embrace change, and explore relationships to their fullest. Written with her signature wit and warmth, this book is the ideal companion to tuck beside your bed or to bring with you on-the-go to keep you motivated, recharged, and inspired each day.” – Amazon
12. The Last Black Unicorn by Tiffany Haddish
“From stand-up comedian and actress Tiffany Haddish comes The Last Black Unicorn, a hilarious, edgy, and heart-wrenching collection of autobiographical essays that will leave you laughing through tears.” – Amazon
13. Own Your Everyday: Overcome the Pressure to Prove and Show Up for What You Were Made to Do by Jordan Lee Doodley
*4.8/5 Star Amazon Review
“As a struggling perfectionist myself, I related so much to the idea of the internal pressure we put on ourselves to perform and achieve. Own Your Everyday gave me the greatest encouragement to be myself.”—Lauren Scruggs Kennedy, in influencer, author, entrepreneur
14. Only Love Today: Reminders to Breathe More, Stress Less, and Choose Love by Rachel Macy Stafford
“In these conversational essays, Stafford (Hands Free Mama) urges readers to set aside the world’s distractions and put love at the top of their to-do lists. Stafford, who describes herself as a “recovering perfectionist, reformed rusher, and multi-tasker,” admits this is no easy task.
With a voice that is equal measures poetry and best-friend-over-coffee, she draws from her own life as a special education teacher and mother to encourage women to seek out a less stressful, more people-focused way of living…Broken into easy-to-read chunks, this book meets today’s busy moms where they live.” –Publishers Weekly
15. You are a Badass by Jen Sincero
“If touchy-feely self-help tomes make you feel, shall we say, less than inspired, this no-nonsense manifesto to awesomeness might be just what you’re looking for.
Filled with blunt and sassy advice, do-it-yourself exercises in personal transformation, and a whole lot of hilarity, You Are a Badass will silence your inner critic, and help you build a life worthy of the kind of Facebook news feed that others envy. Take a day off from looking for your inner goddess, and spending some time cultivating your outer badass instead.”
Best Books for Women’s Mental Health
These uplifting books will inspire you to take care of yourself in new, profound ways.
16. It’s Not Supposed to Be This Way: Finding Unexpected Strength by Lysa TerKeurst
*4.8/5 Star Amazon Review
“Have you ever struggled with the fact that your life doesn’t look the way you thought it would? Maybe you have this feeling that circumstances, relationships, and finances should be better than they are.
And underneath it all, you’re disappointed. Yes, disappointment is a feeling we all have but few of us know how to process it or find God’s goodness in the midst of it.” -Lysa TerKeurst
17. Get Out of Your Head: Stopping the Spiral of Toxic Thoughts by Jennie Allen
*Best Pick for Women’s Mental Health
“I know from personal experience just how easily our thoughts try to hijack our faith and throw us into a negative spiral. Get Out of Your Head will equip you with practical biblical tools to take control of your thoughts so they don’t control you.”—Christine Caine, best-selling author and founder of A21 and Propel Women
18. A Year of Positive Thinking by Cyndie Spiegel
#1 Bestseller in Devotionals
“A Year of Positive Thinking is a beautiful, accessible book for engineering positivity. Cyndie’s voice is powerful because of its honesty and earnestness―she’s walked where I’ve walked, she’s stood where I stand. Full of inspiring wisdom and encouraging call to action, this book is more than simple comfort on a rough day―it’s a way to change your entire way of thinking.”―Meera Lee Patel, author of MADE OUT OF STARS: A Journal for Self-Realization
Related Post: Inspirational Quotes That Will Motivate You
19. The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin
“Happiness is contagious. And so is The Happiness Project. Once you’ve read Gretchen Rubin’s tale of a year searching for satisfaction, you’ll want to start your own happiness project and get your friends and family to join you. This is the rare book that will make you both smile and think—often on the same page.” -Daniel H. Pink, author of A Whole New Mind
Related Post: 9 Easy Habits to Create More Happiness
20. The Self Love Experiment by Shannon Keiser
“[A] profound book and a must-read for anyone that prioritizes happiness. . . . This is the playbook for making small changes and shifts that will yield you large results in your happiness.” — Kristine Carlson, author of Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff for Women
21. Zen as F*ck by Monica Sweeney (A Journal)
“The road to serenity is ahead, and it’s paved with a f*ck-ton of profanity. When quiet meditation and peaceful mantras aren’t enough to cut through the bullsh*t and brighten your day―hold close the pages of this journal.
On each and every page, you can give the good around you a warm hug and kick the bad on its ass. Journal your way through positive affirmations and cathartic-as-f*ck activities on your liberating journey toward something pretty close to happiness.” -Amazon
*This pick is unusual but boasts THOUSANDS of glowing five-star reviews. If you’re good with profanity, it’s too sensational to pass up.
22. Women Who Think Too Much by Susan Nolen-Hoeksema
“A must-read for any woman who has ever felt stuck in her life, and any man who has been confused by why the women they love get so ‘caught up thinking’ they can’t enjoy life. Nolen-Hoeksema offers practical methods to self-diagnose and pathways toward greater emotional freedom.” ―William S. Pollack, Ph.D., author of Real Boys, Assistant Clinical Professor, Department of Psychiatry, Harvard University
Related Post: How to Do a Mind Dump (+ free printable!)
23. You Do You by Sarah Knight
“Hilarious, irreverent, and no-nonsense… You Do You is all about being yourself, putting your own happiness first, rejecting any social contracts that aren’t working for you, and living life from your own place of power. Get it girl.”―Bustle
24. Uninvited: Living Loved When You Feel Less Than, Left Out, and Lonely by Lysa TerKeurst
“TerKeurst doesn’t just share empathetic anecdotes for readers in a rut; she focuses on digging down to the roots of anxiety and providing tools for overcoming self-doubt and handling the pain of rejection.” – Publisher’s Weekly
25. The Self Care Prescription: Powerful Solutions to Manage Stress, Reduce Anxiety & Increase Wellbeing by Robyn Gobin PhD
“Although it focuses on self-care, The Self-Care Prescription is really a comprehensive guide to creating a full, vibrant, and healthy life. The book is structured so that each reader can create a personalized self-care plan, choosing the areas of life that matter most to them. I highly recommend this book to anyone who is ready to invest even a little bit of time and energy in themselves, and would like a supportive guide along the way.”―Melissa Platt, PhD
Related Self Care posts:
Best Women Books for Business
This section of books is empowering women to be confident and courageous at work.
26. The Confidence Code by Katty Kay & Claire Shipman
“Kay and Shipman shine a perceptive light on the crucial role that confidence plays in the ability of women to succeed. They offer women practical advice and the vision of a more hopeful future.” -Sheryl Sandberg, COO of Facebook, and author of Lean In
Related Post: Self-Love Affirmations to Build Confidence
27. Your Next Level Life: 7 Rules of Power, Confidence, and Opportunity for Black Women in America by Karen Arrington
“This book is a must-read for every woman out there, regardless of age. The ins and outs of self care, handling your money, and living your best life is what Karen covers and this book is so inspiring.” – Ask Away
28. Ask for It by Linda Babcock & Sara Laschever
“Combining sophisticated strategy with down-to-earth action, Ask for It gives women a groundbreaking gift: the means to ask for what they’re worth.
Women learn how to change their fear of negotiating into confidence that they’ll gain more if they ask for more—more pay, more status, more resources, more equitable treatment. Required reading for working women.”—Evelyn Murphy, President, The WAGE Project, Inc.; author of Getting Even: Why Women Don’t Get Paid Like Men and What To Do About It
29. Secrets of Six-Figure Women: Surprising Strategies to Up Your Earnings and Change Your Life by Barbara Stanny
“Secrets of Six Figure Women will be a groundbreaking book for high earners who want to ensure their wealth, enhance their success, and learn from others who are in the same boat. It will also offer inspiration, guidance, and motivation to those who aspire to make more.” – Amazon
30. Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert (author of Eat Pray Love)
“Big Magic will resonate with writers and artists who find the process of producing work to be particularly painful…Through anecdotes about her creative failures and resourcefulness, as well as those other artists, Gilbert encourages readers to pursue a creative life ‘that is driven more strongly by curiosity than by fear.” —Daily Beast
Related Post: Easy Ways to Find Motivation on Hard Days
31. Mind Your Business: A Workbook to Grow Your Creative Passion Into a Full-time Gig by Ilana Griffo
“Mind Your Business is the ONLY book that teaches you everything you need to know about how to build a successful business from scratch. From developing your brand to designing products to identifying your legal and tax needs, this comprehensive guide will take you through every step of the process and help you create a unique and customized roadmap for your business.” – Amazon
32. The Big Life by Ann Shoket
*Best book for women in their 20s and 30s
“The Big Life is a guide for women in their 20s and 30s who are hungry for a job they love, a supportive network of friends, respect from their bosses, and partners who want all those things for them as badly as they do.” —The New York Times
Related Post: How to Break Out of Your Comfort Zone
33. Girl On Fire: How to Choose Yourself, Burn the Rule Book, and Blaze Your Own Trail by Cara Alwill Leyba
“As an early voice in the female-driven movement, Cara continues to be a leader in the space, liberating women to trust their intuition and create their own opportunities. She empowers her readers to stop waiting for their big break and, instead, to publish their own books, start their own podcasts, host their own panels and design their own clothing lines; whatever their desires are.” – Amazon
34. Badass Affirmations: The Wit and Wisdom of Wild Women (Inspirational Quotes and Daily Affirmations for Women)
“Read Badass Affirmations and:
• Learn the habit of affirming yourself daily
• Experience a life filled with love, joy, fulfillment and satisfaction
• Take control of your destiny
• Strengthen your self-esteem” – Amazon
If you love affirmations, check out the free ebook below!
35. Unapologetically Ambitious: Take Risks, Break Barriers, and Create Success on Your Own Terms
**Named a Best Business Book of 2020 by Fortune and Bloomberg
“Through a compelling story about her own journey, Shellye offers powerful tips for how to live life courageously and go after what you want. From investing in your financial health to integrating work, marriage, parenthood and self-care–each chapter lays out actionable strategies to help you achieve your goals. A must read for anyone looking for ways to grow and live their best life.”―ThasundaBrown Duckett, CEO, ChaseConsumer Banking
Thirsty for more?
Read my absolute favorite personal development books HERE!
To Consider With Inspiring Books for Women
If you pick up just one of these motivational books in the next few months, you may find that your perception of the world is not what it seems. So, give yourself the chance to grow and become a stronger, wiser, and more purposeful woman.
Finally, I’ll be adding several of these books to my self care kit! Have you read any of these empowering books for women?
And are there other inspirational books you love for women? Let me know and I’ll add them to the list!
If you’re looking for some incredible fiction books too, check out THIS LIST.
Other popular self help articles to enjoy….
- Beautiful Quotes to Develop an Attitude of Gratitude – and don’t miss the free wall art!
- 11 Things to do at Night for Daytime Success – easy nighttime actions to be more rested and productive.
- How to Wake Up Early & Triple Your Self Care – why getting up early will change your life.