30 Motivational Books for Women

Look no further for the greatest motivational books for women. We carefully selected a wide spectrum of topics that cover the female experience, so you can find the right book that speaks to you.

Syndromes, diseases, and emotional struggles are personal. Especially when you’re going through something by yourself, books can provide so much relief, support, and healing. 

Everyone needs a bit of inspiration sometimes. Take a look at titles that address issues women face in their 20s, 30s, 40s, and beyond. Each generation faces its own problems, and women of all ages write about them. 

 

Best Motivational Books for Women

1. Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear

After “Eat Pray Love,” Elizabeth Gilbert wrote another gem. “Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear” instantly became the number-one New York Times bestseller. Essentially, the book revolves around whether we have the courage to explore ourselves.

The author shows just how much power resides within. A little courage is all we need to find it and make it visible. It’s one of those books every woman should read to awaken curiosity and live a joyous life.

1. Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear

Best For

Women of all ages
Gaining inspiration
Channeling creativity into everyday life

2. The Midnight Library

Women who have had a few experiences in their lives will appreciate the opportunity to stop for a second and think about the crucial moments.

“The Midnight Library” exposes the beauty of ordinary life. Simultaneously, it makes the reader wonder what makes life worth living. As one of the best-selling motivational books for women in the world, this book takes women on a restless journey of the self.

The heroine has two options: She can live her life as it is, or retrace the steps and make a different choice at any point in her life to change the outcome.

2. The Midnight Library

Best For

Women in their 30s
Gaining a new perspective
Learning how to make the right decisions

3. It Ends With Us

“It Ends With Us” might not look like part of the list of motivational books for young women at first, but it shouldn’t be mistaken for a cheesy love story either. On the surface, it’s a love triangle where the girl has to pick one of the boys, but true love is rarely ever easy. 

In the real world, love takes time and effort. Lily, the protagonist, will learn that in a hard way. Atlas, her first love, and Ryle, the lovable neurosurgeon, challenge Lily’s emotional strength and explore issues of love, lust, and following your heart.

3. It Ends With Us

Best For

Self-possessed girls who know what to look for in a man
Fans of realistic romance books
Mastering how to be mature in a relationship

4. When We Believed in Mermaids

Personal development books for women like “When We Believed in Mermaids” typically leave a long-lasting impression. 

Kit has always thought that her sister, Josie, was killed in a terrorist attack. The second she sees a glimpse of her on TV, Kit decides to look for her. During her trip to New Zealand, the main character embarks on a spiritual journey, finding herself and her sister. 

Both sisters reveal old family secrets and upsetting truths while trying to reunite.Overall, Kit and Josie become overwhelmed by emotions, including resentment and anger. Barbara O’Neal is one of those inspirational female authors insisting on sisterhood and mutual female empowerment.

4. When We Believed in Mermaids

Best For

People who understand sister love
Facing lost
Healing family wounds

5. Becoming

Michelle Obama’s memoir encompasses her entire life. Praising her parents, she believes that they taught her the most important things in life. According to her, she wouldn’t have succeeded without those values they instilled in her.

Michelle Obama has influenced many women worldwide, but we can safely say “Becoming” qualifies as one of the most influential motivational books for black women. As the first African American First Lady of the US, this author has had a tremendous impact on all women in America.

Becoming

Best For

African American women of all ages
Female leaders
Learning to own yourself

6. Year of Yes: How to Dance It Out, Stand in the Sun, and Be Your Own Person

Anyone who has watched Grey’s Anatomy knows how to dance it out, but standing in the sun and being your own person are more abstract. Shonda illustrates her approach, using herself as an example.

The truth is, even the best motivational books for women don’t portray initially confident women. That’s how Shonda Rhimes started: as an introvert who experienced panic attacks before public appearances.

The “Year of Yes” shows Shonda’s gradual transformation into a brave woman embracing everything coming her way.

6. Year of Yes: How to Dance It Out, Stand in the Sun, and Be Your Own Person

Best For

Introverts
Fans of Grey’s Anatomy
Turning your “flaws” into virtues

7. Tiny Beautiful Things: Advice on Love and Life from Dear Sugar

Cheryl Strayed replied to thousands of people as Dear Sugar on The Rumpus. Her comforting answers comprise one of the most frequently recommended books for women: “Tiny Beautiful Things.”

Unfortunately, many women wrote to her about their abusive relationships and it turns out that loveless marriages weren’t the only problem, but brother relationships, as well.

Dear Sugar has addressed a vast number of people with this collection of essays. They are intimate, compassionate, and full of empathy, unlike many other self-help books.

7. Tiny Beautiful Things: Advice on Love and Life from Dear Sugar

Best For

Women seeking advice on love and life
Realizing other people’s struggles
Getting secondary advice

8. Untamed

Cheryl Strayed replied to thousands of people as Dear Sugar on The Rumpus. Her comforting answers comprise one of the most frequently recommended books for women: “Tiny Beautiful Things.”

Unfortunately, many women wrote to her about their abusive relationships and it turns out that loveless marriages weren’t the only problem, but brother relationships, as well.

Dear Sugar has addressed a vast number of people with this collection of essays. They are intimate, compassionate, and full of empathy, unlike many other self-help books.

Untamed

Best For

Divorced mothers reconstructing their lives
Following your intuition
Challenging conformity

9. Love and Other Words

The story of a friendship evolving into a romance plays itself out well in “Love and Other Words.” Macy and Elliot meet as teenagers and become inseparable friends. Soon, they fall in love. Due to the circumstances and Elliot’s infidelity, their relationship falls apart.

Years later, it’s Elliot who saves Macy from making a terrible mistake.

Now, this is not a fairytale where the prince saves the princess. After all, we don’t expect men to save powerful women in books. It’s Macy’s decision to be true to herself that saves her from wasting her life.

9. Love and Other Words

Best For

Enthusiasts of uplifting books for women
Young women disappointed in love
Knowing how to be good to yourself

10. Wuthering Heights

Every woman dreams of a wild love that burns forever. The love so consuming that it destroys the lovers is pretty alluring, despite its cautionary tale. “Wuthering Heights” is especially appealing to 21st-century female readers.

From our perspective, the immortal love between Catherine and Heathcliff is impossible today. Even the most popular books for women can’t come close to the chaos this couple goes through.

After he leaves the moors, Catherine can’t just follow him or DM him on Instagram. So, the struggle is real.

10. Wuthering Heights

Best For

Young and passionate women
Exploring the notion of love
Taking control of your emotions

11. Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead

The belief that women aren’t competent enough for top positions in companies is fading. Sadly, women still face various obstacles in the workplace because of their gender. 

Empowering books for females often lack the specific steps for achieving professional fulfillment. As the chief operating officer of Meta Platforms, Sheryl Sandberg recognized this difficulty. She wrote “Lean In” as a guidebook for professional women.

The book contains explicit negotiation techniques and advice on mentorship. Interestingly, the book mentions how men can benefit by supporting female coworkers.

11. Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead

Best For

Women pursuing a career
Addressing bias in the workplace
Learning that both men and women can support female coworkers

12. Regretting You

“Regretting You” is a family drama packed with guilt. It ranks high among the book recommendations for women because of the characters, Morgan and her daughter Clara and their struggling relationship that worsens even further once Clara’s father dies.

Morgan is left alone with a teenage daughter who doesn’t like her very much. Morgan herself was a teenage mom and faces new challenges when Clara finds a boyfriend.

Once again, Morgan has to put her dreams on hold. The story tells of how only women who are mothers understand how much they need to sacrifice for their children.

12. Regretting You

Best For

Understanding mother-daughter relationships
Dealing with teenage daughters
Coming to terms with the past

13. A Thousand Splendid Suns

Life-changing books for women are not necessarily shiny self-help reads. This novel is about two Afghanistan women ultimately learning the key to their survival. Mariam and Laila belong to two different generations. Once their lives start depending on each other, both women disregard those differences, and they form a bond based on love and friendship that only women can understand.

At the time of the story, Kabul was a dangerous place. To survive the war, Mariam and Laila hang on to the love they have for their family. It’s hard to imagine a list of the best inspirational books for women without Hosseini’s “A Thousand Splendid Suns.”

13. A Thousand Splendid Suns

Best For

Strong and resilient women
Finding the key to survival
Reading during hard times

14. The Confidence Code: The Science and Art of Self-Assurance — What Women Should Know

“The Confidence Code” offers a formula for achieving confidence. The authors emphasize that women’s lack of confidence puts them in an inferior position in a male-dominated world.

In a way, the book is a report of extensive research on the topic. Such self-confidence books for women convey a strong message to readers thanks to reliable sources.

14. The Confidence Code: The Science and Art of Self-Assurance — What Women Should Know

Best For

Working women
Women of all ages at all stages of their career
Gaining confidence in the corporate world

15. The Scarlet Letter

“The Scarlet Letter” is about the position of women in Puritan America. Nevertheless, underneath the tale of sin and punishment lies a deeper message about passion. Yes, the main female character is an adulteress.

The red A letter on Hester’s chest and the boy with a drum signify the burden of her adultery and the daughter she conceives as an outcome of a passionate relationship.

“The Scarlet Letter” is one of the best books every woman should read because it shows women as whole beings with human flaws.

15. The Scarlet Letter

Best For

Married women
Women in their 20s
Acknowledging women’s flaws

16. Very Good Lives: The Fringe Benefits of Failure and the Importance of Imagination

J.K. Rowling gave a moving commencement speech at Harvard University. It was rather long but well-received, spurring “Very Good Lives” to be born. As a prolific writer, J.K. Rowling talks about the importance of imagination.

For this reason, we can say it matches other self-motivation books for women. She never gave up on her own overactive imagination, as her parents called it. Instead, she used it in the best way possible.

J.K. Rowling also says that she feared failure the most when she was a college student. According to her, the fear of failure is actually the road to success. She let herself fail at everything but her truest desire.

16. Very Good Lives: The Fringe Benefits of Failure and the Importance of Imagination

Best For

Women at a turning point in their lives
Employing imagination to improve yourself
Embracing failure

17. Everything Is Figureoutable

“Everything Is Figureoutable” is another pick for motivational self-help books for women. It’s similar to J.K. Rowling’s “Very Good Lives” because it insists on creativity. Marlie Forleo went one step further.

She based her book on her mother’s saying that you can do anything if you apply yourself. Simply put, women are supposed to comprehend that they are the force that dictates their lives.

This optimism affects every part of daily existence.

17. Everything Is Figureoutable

Best For

Inexperienced women
Figuring out how to deal with important things in life
Learning how to deal with criticism

18. Pride and Prejudice

“Pride and Prejudice” counts as one of the empowering and motivational books for college women due to its main theme. Contrary to the widely accepted representation of this classic novel as a romance, it’s actually a satire.

Jane Austin endlessly mocks silly girls chasing rich guys. College girls are typically emotionally vulnerable. The novel helps the reader to discern between the right guy and the guy that only seems right because he is rich and handsome.

18. Pride and Prejudice

Best For

College girls
Thinking about love and attraction
Debunking the myth of the rich and popular guy

19. In The Time of the Butterflies

Encouraging books for women based on true stories are often cruel. “The Time of The Butterflies” is an unforgettable story about four sisters that defied political oppression in the Dominican Republic in the 1960s.

Only one of the sisters survived, whereas three of them were beaten to death by Rafael Trujillo’s men. Nevertheless, the butterflies’ deaths and previous deeds provoked a chain of events leading to the dictator’s overthrow.

This book is a powerful tool for lifting up anyone’s spirit.

19. In The Time of the Butterflies

Best For

Smart and powerful women
Elevating your spirit
Learning about women in the history of the Dominican Republic

20. Flying Angels

Danielle Steel has written many must-read motivational books for women, and “Flying Angels” is certainly one of them. The courageous women portrayed in this book celebrate female WWII participants worldwide.

The story revolves around Pearl Harbor and the events following it.

Six young and enthusiastic nursing school graduates decide to do everything in their power to help wounded soldiers. By flying into dangerous territories as part of the Medical Air Evacuation Transport Squadron, they have become known as the flying angels.

20. Flying Angels

Best For

Former female war participants
Women with a nursing or medical school degree
Freedom lovers

21. Girl, Wash Your Face: Stop Believing the Lies About Who You Are So You Can Become Who You Were Meant to Be

This book is the second in Rachel Hollis’ series of books. She did her best to tell women that they are good and smart enough. She tried to address their inner voice shaped by outside factors.

“I’ll start tomorrow,” “I should be further along by now” are some of the intrusive thoughts that every woman has had at least once. This book offers women a potent weapon for chasing away their insecurities.

21. Girl, Wash Your Face: Stop Believing the Lies About Who You Are So You Can Become Who You Were Meant to Be

Best For

Readers of personal development books for women
Women who want to flourish
Brave but constrained souls

22. How To Build The Female Fitness Model Body: 6 Week 16:8 Fasting

There are women who still prefer books as fitness guidelines. “How To Build The Female Fitness Model Body: 6 Week 16:8 Fasting” was published in 2016. Nevertheless, it’s more than valuable nowadays when everybody is talking about intermittent fasting.

The book combines the 16:8 intermittent fasting, a six-week weight program, a diet plan, and an intense cardio regime. Everything is explained thoroughly to prevent setbacks and encourage ultimate results.

22. How To Build The Female Fitness Model Body: 6 Week 16:8 Fasting

Best For

Lovers of motivational fitness books for women
Understanding intermittent fasting
Females wishing to burn fat and tone muscles

23. The Bell Jar

Top-rated books for women include dark ones like “The Bell Jar.” Esther is successful, brilliant, and beautiful. Yet somehow, she ends up in a mental institution.

It’s unclear whether Esther suffers from depression or some other mental disorder. One thing is for sure—it’s not genetic. Sylvia Plath, the author, had a similar destiny. All in all, “The Bell Jar” is an alarming warning to women in oppressive cultures.

23. The Bell Jar

Best For

Women who have had nervous breakdowns
Women under social pressure
Fathoming mental illnesses

24. Phenomenal Woman: Four Poems Celebrating Women

Motivational books for women after a breakup are a gentle way of healing a broken heart. There’s no better way of relieving pain after a breakup than reading Maya Angelou’s “Phenomenal Woman.”

This collection contains another three equally stimulating poems: “Still I Rise,” “Weekend Glory,” and “Our Grandmothers.” All of which provide comfort to the broken-hearted woman.

24. Phenomenal Woman: Four Poems Celebrating Women

Best For

Women recovering from a breakup
Turning pain into pleasure
Focusing on one’s virtues

25. Rising Strong: How the Ability to Reset Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead

Brené Brown’s “Rising Strong” is among the New York Times best-selling books for women. It covers almost every aspect of women’s lives—love, work, family, parenting, and more. As a social scientist, Brené Brown lends credibility to a complex topic.

She found out that people whose stories she listened to had something in common. Namely, they live without the fear of their own emotions. The author claims that vulnerability is the only path to leading a truthful life.

25. Rising Strong: How the Ability to Reset Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead

Best For

Rising from failing
Women of all ages
Showing emotions

26. In Our Prime Time: How Older Women Are Reinventing the Road Ahead

Top motivational books for women in their 40s have one chief goal—to expose the false image people have about aging women. Gender ageism is a persistent issue, making older women susceptible to stereotypes.

To put things into perspective, skin cosmetics companies target older women as someone who must stop getting older, which is just one example of the multitude of misrepresentations. This book advocates a new, all-inclusive view of older women.

26. In Our Prime Time: How Older Women Are Reinventing the Road Ahead

Best For

Women in their 40s
Fighting gender ageism
Improving the image of older women

27. Help for Women with ADHD: My Simple Strategies for Conquering Chaos

The best-selling motivational books for women with ADHD delve into everyday life with this disorder. Organizing daily tasks is hard with the chaos that the attention deficit causes. 

“Help for Women with ADHD” stores explicit strategies for overcoming typical difficulties like feeling overwhelmed or losing track of time.

27. Help for Women with ADHD: My Simple Strategies for Conquering Chaos

Best For

Women of all ages with ADHD
Raising awareness about ADHD
Improving the quality of life with ADHD

28. Pink Is The New Black: Healing the Hidden Scars of Breast Cancer: A Journey from Grief to Grace

Motivational books for women can’t avoid breast cancer as a topic. The author of “Pink Is The New Black” fought breast cancer twice herself.

If anyone is to write a motivational book about it, it’s Sarah McLean. She is brutally honest about the pain and the hardship and understands that breast cancer patients can’t beat the illness alone.

28. Pink Is The New Black: Healing the Hidden Scars of Breast Cancer: A Journey from Grief to Grace

Best For

Breast cancer survivors
Supporting women with breast cancer
Realizing the struggle

29. The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing

One of the best motivational books for women is based on Japanese culture. Traditional Japanese rooms have a lot of empty space. They even have sliding walls so that people can create larger rooms.

Marie Kondō’s idea is to simplify our homes so that we don’t have to do it ever again. She also designed a category-by-category system and implemented it into her clients’ homes.

Then, she shared her secret in this amazing book.

29. The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing

Best For

Unorganized women
Keeping your home neat
Simplifying tidying

30. Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance

“Grit” occupies a special place among the books every woman should read because it was written by a psychologist. Angela Duckworth coined the term “grit,” a blend of passion and persistence.

According to her, it’s this grit that leads undoubtedly to success. What’s more, she doesn’t limit the grit to a group of people or profession. This book is aimed at people of all ages, with or without children, teachers, business people, athletes, and everyone else.

The author interviewed a number of high achievers and shared her insights in the book.

30. Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance

Best For

Unorganized women
Keeping your home neat
Simplifying tidying

Motivational Books for Women: Conclusion

A comprehensive list of helpful books for women can come in handy when you’re looking to improve yourself. Some of the books above aren’t easy reads but can be just the right type of medicine when facing difficult life challenges. 

Apart from self-help books, novels and poem collections are comforting to many women, regardless of their age. To lighten the mood, reading satires like Jane Austin’s “Pride and Prejudice” is a hilarious way to see romance from a new perspective. If you don’t like reading, audiobooks are also a great solution.

All of these fantastic books found their way onto our list of motivational books for women. No matter your age or the pain you’re going through, books still have some answers.

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