Self empowerment books are powerful tools. They can help you build your confidence and tap into the motivation you need to reach your goals. We’ve rallied up our favorite self empowerment books for women by female writers whose travels, endeavors, and life journeys will inspire you to find your empowered self. Add the following books to your reading list and start feeling empowered!
Self Empowerment Books Every Woman Should Know
1. One Thousand Wells by Jena Lee Nardella
Most people either want to change the world or live a peaceful yet indifferent life. However, neither of the two was the case for One Thousand Wells. It’s one of the many self-empowerment books that will make you view life from a different perspective. It tells a story of a fresh graduate who wanted to change the world by building 1,000 wells across Africa. However, despite the author wanting to build change, the book also tells people to learn to love the world instead of changing it.
2. Beauty Myth: How Images of Beauty Are Used Against Women by Naomi Wolf
The standard of beauty is subjective and has always been a debatable issue. The Beauty Myth is among the women empowerment books that tackle beauty and the false ideas revolving around it. It discusses how the false idea of beauty affects a woman’s self-worth and confidence. This book is definitely a must-read for all of us who want to combat society’s negative and twisted sense of beauty.
3. #GIRLBOSS by Sophia Amoruso
People would often assume that the corporate world is headed only by powerful men in thousand-dollar suits. However, #GIRLBOSS talks about how Sophia Amoruso, the author, never lost sight of her goals despite the challenges. The book revolves around the author’s life, her struggles, hard-earned wisdom, and how she created a multi-million dollar fashion business. The author pointed out that the book is not exactly a feminist manifesto. But it is indeed a feminist book—it simply encourages young women to be themselves and work hard for what they want.
4. Thrive by Arianna Huffington
Arianna Huffington, the president of the Huffington Post Media Group and mother of two wonderful children, shares her experience in Thrive. She tackles what it means to succeed in today’s society as shared her struggle in balancing both career and family.
5. Love, Life, and Elephants by Daphne Sheldrick
Love, Life, and Elephants tells a story about nature and our environment. This memoir narrates the beautiful journey of conservationist Daphne Sheldrick as she cares for multiple orphaned elephants across Kenya. Additionally, Daphne has played a key role in campaigning against animal poaching. The heartbreaking and touching story of this brave woman is something we can all learn from.
6. Diving Into the Wreck by Adrienne Rich
Self empowerment books from women in the mid-1900’s often talk about war and poverty. Diving Into the Wreck is a collection of stunning and inspiring poetry written by feminist and political poet Adrienne Rich. The poems were written in different times during the Vietnam War, the feminist movement, and the civil rights movement. This book is definitely a must-read for anyone who wants to take a look at history through the eyes of a woman.
7. The Freedom Writers’ Diary with Erin Gruwell
Next in this collection of top women empowerment books is The Freedom Writers’ Diary. This best-selling novel tells the story of Erin Gruwell and how she was able to change the lives of students people considered “hoodlums.” Instead of giving up on them, she used literature, creativity, and art to inspire and motivate them. This is definitely a must-read for anyone who has ever felt troubled by the daily challenges of life.
8. We Should All Be Feminists by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
In this book-length essay, award-winning writer Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie shares her unique definition of feminism in the 21st century. Adichie’s work is an adaptation of her 2012 Tedx Talk of the same title. She draws insights from her personal experiences on what it means to be a woman in contemporary times. It presents a distinctive edge on women’s empowerment because it does not only center women but also include men and society as a whole. She also explores how masculinity is built and how this affects gender divide.
9. I Am Malala by Malala Yousafzai
Malala Yousafzai, through her riveting memoir I Am Malala, tells her story of how she fought for her right to education in a place where the Taliban bans girls from going to school. Her story shows us a glimpse of a society that values boys more than girls and how, despite all that, her parents encouraged her to still get an education. It’s a story of love, hope, and bravery, a concrete example that even one, unwavering voice of a child may still influence and effect change.
10. Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg
Sheryl Sandberg in Lean In, part-memoir and part-self help book for women, shares insights and anecdotes on being a female leader in the workplace. The current chief operating officer of Facebook had held several positions of power in many other companies, which are mostly dominated by men. She explores the gender bias that is still occurring in workplaces and encourages women to forge ahead, effecting change in a universal scale, despite the challenges.
11. The Gifts of Imperfection by Brene Brown
The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You’re Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are is one of best self esteem books for women on Amazon. In this book, author Brene Brown shares empowering tips to women who want to reestablish or improve their worthiness. She also included activities that can plumb into our emotional well-being, ultimately leading us to enhance courage and compassion for ourselves.
Looking for more self-empowering tips? Watch Elizabeth Gilbert and Marie Forleo discuss how to live a creative life in this video.
There are times when we simply need to read a few great self empowerment books to get a boost of confidence and motivation. There are more novels where women from all over the world share their beautiful, heartbreaking, and life-changing stories. Read these self-improvement books to boost both your understanding of yourself and your confidence.
What are your favorite self empowerment books? Feel free to share them with us in the comments section below.
Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in November 2017 and has been updated for quality and relevancy.