When I’m happy, I read books. When I’m stressed out, I turn to books. When I need extra motivation to get off the sofa and get to work… yeah, I read books then too.
So much of my growth over the last few years has been inspired and influenced by the books I’ve been reading.
Some of these have been fiction, but I also love reading great non-fiction books to guide me on my path forwards.
In this post, I’ve curated some of the best self-help books for women in 2023 that have inspired, encouraged, and guided me – both recently and in the last few years.
Most of these books are motivational reads about self-improvement, growth, and self-help, but I’ve also included some honest and moving accounts of authors’ journeys.
Browse through the list and take your pick of the best self-help books to inspire and guide you in 2023…
The best self-help books for women to read in 2023
You Are Only Just Beginning: Lessons for the Journey Ahead by Morgan Harper Nichols
Read You Are Only Just Beginning for… a wonderfully empowering book to embrace your next adventure with grace and confidence.
I adore Morgan Harper Nichols’ books and their trademark blend of soothing poetic words and delightfully vibrant illustrations.
Escape into her new book for 2023, You Are Only Just Beginning, to reimagine the classic heroine’s journey and draw on lessons found in nature to inspire your most courageous and honest path forwards.
Speak: How to Find Your Voice, Trust Your Gut, and Get from Where You Are to Where You Want to Be by Tunde Oyeneyin
Read Speak for… a memoir-manifesto full of loving, gentle inspiration that shows it’s possible to wake up to an entirely different life in the near future.
Offering an accessible blueprint for anyone looking to make a positive change in their lives, Speak is an empowering self-help guide from Tunde Oyeneyin, the popular Peloton instructor.
This is her story of how she transformed grief and setbacks into growth and self-confidence, showing fans and readers everywhere how to step closer to living a life of purpose, on purpose.
Notes to Mindfulness Journal by Intelligent Change
Choose the Notes to Mindfulness Journal for… a gorgeous, introspective notebook for nurturing creative self-expression, gratitude, and inner peace every day.
Intelligent Change is one of my favourite publishers of beautifully well-made and wonderfully insightful journals.
Notes to Mindfulness, the stunning result of a collaboration with Chelsea Kauai, is probably their most beautiful book yet.
I love this notebook for daily journaling and introspection, both as a hardcover and a digital version (I use it on a Remarkable 2, but you can also use it on an iPad or any other tablet).
Why Has Nobody Told Me This Before? by Julie Smith
Read Why Has Nobody Told Me This Before? for… an empathetic guide to nurturing your mental health with proven tools and strategies from clinical psychologist Dr. Julie Smith.
Why don’t we talk more openly about mental health? And why aren’t we more equipped to deal with mental health challenges when they surface?
Think of this book as an archive of a therapist’s best secrets, advice, and powerful techniques to help you manage anxiety, build confidence, find motivation, and more.
The Myth of Normal: Trauma, Illness, and Healing in a Toxic Culture by Gabor Maté
Read The Myth of Normal for… a comforting look at just how normal it is to “not be normal” when it comes to mental health.
You might recognise Gabor Maté’s name from his international bestseller When the Body Says No, a groundbreaking exploration of how trauma is held in the body.
His book released in 2022, The Myth of Normal, is just as important. It’s a much-needed guide to healing from trauma and illness in a world that doesn’t always make that easy.
The Good Enough Job: Reclaiming Life from Work by Simone Stolzoff
Read The Good Enough Job for… a refreshing look at the alternatives to being chained to our jobs, working long hours, and putting work ahead of life.
What would it take to reframe work as a part of life, rather than the centre of existence? What could we gain if we strive for a “good enough” job? Is it even possible?
That’s what Simone Stolzoff asks in this new non-fiction book for 2023, looking closely at Wall Street bankers, overwhelmed teachers, and others to expose what we lose when we expect work to be more than a job – and to show how things can be different.
Playing Big: Practical Wisdom for Women Who Want to Speak Up, Create, and Lead by Tara Mohr
Written by a fellow quiet person, Playing Big is one of the best books I read during my early twenties when trying to find my place in a company. But it also helped me a few years later, when I quit and unexpectedly started my own business.
As Tara Mohr describes so beautifully in this book, you choose how you show up and speak up. What matters is that you do, whatever your own way looks like.
The Anti-Anxiety Notebook by Therapy Notebooks
Choose The Anti-Anxiety Notebook for… a grounding and gently transformative self-help notebook that’s worth every penny if you have anxiety.
As someone who’s had therapy for anxiety and now has it mostly under control, this book was such a good investment. It feels like a therapy top-up in a book.
In this beautiful journal that’s developed by experts, you can work through your anxieties and become aware of the relationship between your thoughts and feelings, empowering you to challenge and adjust them over time.
Healing Through Words by Rupi Kaur
Read Healing Through Words for… a cathartic guided tour back to yourself by Rupi Kaur, the Instagram poet loved by millions.
With vulnerability and mindfulness, retreat into the pages of this book for healing writing exercises to help you explore themes of loss, love, healing, and self-discovery.
The Resilience Workbook: Essential Skills to Recover from Stress, Trauma, and Adversity
Read The Resilience Workbook for… a step-by-step workbook to help you learn how to stay calm under pressure, build your self-esteem, and get through difficult situations.
How would your life change if you had better tools and knowledge to overcome adversity?
This valuable workbook offers an evidence-backed, step-by-step approach to building resilience and learning to thrive, no matter what life throws at you.
How to Survive the Modern World by The School of Life
Read How to Survive the Modern World for… a reassuring and insightful guide to making sense of and finding calm in unsteady times.
The School of Life publishes some of the best books about self-knowledge and growth, offering a perfect destination if you’re stuck in a rut, struggling with big questions, or not sure what to do with life.
Pick up How to Survive the Modern World for an excellent antidote to despair and agitation. In its pages, you’ll find a philosophical perspective on our identities, careers, relationship to the news, and suspicion of quiet, solitude, and introspection.
Think Big: Take Small Steps and Build the Future You Want by Dr Grace Lordan
Read Think Big for… a motivating book full of practical inspiration to think bigger and take bolder leaps in 2023.
If you’ve caught yourself dimming your light and playing small lately, this book is for you.
With Dr. Grace Lordan’s guidance, you can dream bigger dreams, set bigger goals, and take actionable steps to build the future you want.
You Are a Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life by Jen Sincero
Read You Are a Badass for… the push you need to shake up your life, find your courage, and create a life you love.
I read this self-improvement book at the start of my twenties, just before quitting my job, starting my own business, and achieving more than I thought was possible.
This book showed me that things could be so different. I hope the same can be true for you. Read this to quell your self-doubt and remind yourself that you are capable of so much.
Stolen Focus: Why You Can’t Pay Attention – and How to Think Deeply Again by Johann Hari
Read Stolen Focus if you want… learn how to win back your focus in a world that wants to distract you.
Have you also lost your ability to pay attention? In Stolen Focus, Johann Hari examines why this is happening to so many of us – and most importantly, how to overcome distraction to re-train your focus and think deeply again.
For more of the best self-help books to inspire you in 2023, you might also like reading…
- 15 life-changing books that will stay with you forever (fiction + non-fiction)
- The books I think every woman should read in their twenties and thirties
- 15 best self-improvement books for 2023 that will change your life
- 15 of the best books for women to read in 2023
If you adore books, need a bit of a boost, and would love some gentle comfort and guidance, check out The Sanctuary, a seven-day course from Tolstoy Therapy.