Let’s be real — adulting is hard. We are taught everything since birth, and once we become adults, we are expected to know and learn everything else. It’s a really sink or swim mentality that can leave a lot of us anxious, confused, and depressed. Once we reach adulthood, the resources available to us for life guidance seem to dwindle and we are conditioned to believe that asking for help is immature, weak, and unnecessary.
But that’s not true. Every day we are learning, and we need guidance every step of the way during our life journey. We may not want to talk to someone face to face all the time about our life concerns, but advice is always appreciated. This is where the well-written self-help book comes in. It’s all the information you need to reset your life’s vision, path, and mindset, all in one handy, portable book. The following are 40 great books whose goal is to help you get your life together, m’ijas.
Self Made: Becoming Empowered, Self Reliant, and Rich in Every Way by Nely Galán
We all want to be self-made success stories. Nely Galán was generous enough to help us out with a guide. Self Made: Becoming Empowered, Self-Reliant, and Rich in Every Way is the Latina entrepreneur and first Latina president of Telemundo’s book on how to change your mindset from short-term happiness to going after long-term goals. Some chapters include “Don’t buy shoes, buy buildings!,” “Think like an immigrant,” and “There is no Prince Charming.”
Girl Wash Your Face: Stop Believing the Lies About Who You Are So You Can Become Who You Were Meant to Be by Rachel Hollis
There are many instances where we stand in our own way. During those times, we could use another woman supporting us and telling us to cut it out. Rachel Hollis is that friend, sharing important and empowering messages in her #1 New York Times bestseller Girl Wash Your Face: Stop Believing the Lies About Who You Are So You Can Become Who You Were Meant to Be. She details 20 lies we need to stop believing, so we can get on with being our awesome selves.
How to Make Sh*t Happen: Make more money, get in better shape, create epic relationships and control your life! by Sean Whalen
It’s true that many of us live long lives. But that doesn’t mean life is for procrastinating on what you want to achieve. All we really have is now. That’s why we are intrigued by this book: How to Make Sh*t Happen: Make more money, get in better shape, create epic relationships and control your life! Author Sean Whalen separates life into four categories (CORE 4,) and then helps you win in those areas, in this short, straightforward read (only 108 pages).
The Body Is Not an Apology: The Power of Radical Self-Love by Sonya Renee Taylor
With a title like The Body is Not an Apology: The Power of Radical Self-Love, how could we not recommend this book?! Author, poet, educator, and activist Sonya Renee Taylor shows readers how the world has made women dislike themselves, and how we have to learn to love ourselves first, in spite of that, in order to positively change the world.
The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck: A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life by Mark Manson
Sometimes — well a lot of the time — we find ourselves caring way too much about the little things. We’ll obsess over what others think about us, about constantly being positive all the time, about trying to be “perfect.” In the book The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck: A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life, author Mark Manson is here to be brutally honest, readjust our expectations, and help us be ok with adversity.
Declutter Your Mind: How to Stop Worrying, Relieve Anxiety, and Eliminate Negative Thinking by S.J. Scott and Barrie Davenport
Another thing that holds us back from success is anxiety, a cluttered mind, stress, and negative thinking. Luckily, S.J. Scott and Barrie Davenport’s book aims to help us with these roadblocks. Their book, Declutter Your Mind: How to Stop Worrying, Relieve Anxiety, and Eliminate Negative Thinking explains what causes mental clutter, and shows specific ways to clean it up.
The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You’re Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are, by Brené Brown
The Happiness Project (Revised Edition): Or, Why I Spent a Year Trying to Sing in the Morning, Clean My Closets, Fight Right, Read Aristotle, and Generally Have More Fun by Gretchen Rubin
In regards to what you can control, happiness is a constant choice — every day and in every moment. But you also have to make an effort doing the things that actually make you happy. In the book The Happiness Project, Gretchen Rubin makes it a point to spend an entire year experiencing happiness, after she realized time was passing her by.
Latino Success: Insights from 100 of America’s Most Powerful Latino Business Professionals by Agusto Failde and William Doyle
When we see Latinxs winning and succeeding in their careers, of course we want to know how they did it. Someone should write a book, no? Well someone did! Agusto Failde and William Doyle asked 100 of the country’s biggest Latinx professionals for their book, Latino Success. Various inspiring stories show how these different business people achieved their goals in the face of adversity.
Unfu*k Yourself: Get Out of Your Head and into Your Life, by Gary John Bishop
Several of these empowering books have strong words in their titles, but it’s to drive the point home, in a straightforward, no BS kind of way. This book is called Unfu*k Yourself: Get Out of Your Head and into Your Life, but the messages contained in it seem to have struck a chord. The work by Gary John Bishop was a New York Times‘ bestseller. One such message is this: “The only difference between you and the person who is living the life you want is that they’re doing it. They’ve built that life, and they’re living it.”
I Am That Girl: How to Speak Your Truth, Discover Your Purpose, and #bethatgirl, by Alexis Jones
We all need encouragement, from as many places as possible. We want to hear inspiring words and validation that we got this. Alexis Jones’ book I Am That Girl: How to Speak Your Truth, Discover Your Purpose and #bethatgirl aims to be that encouragement for women, with the advice being shared in the tone of a BFF who cares.
The Road Less Traveled, Timeless Edition: A New Psychology of Love, Traditional Values and Spiritual Growth by M. Scott Peck
The Road Less Traveled is a classic with over 7 million copies sold. The book by M. Scott Peck was first released in 1978 and addresses psychology, faith, suffering, love, and other profound topics regarding life. Many have regarded it as a life-changing read, and the original publication has led to other The Road Less Traveled books.
You Have the Right to Remain Fat by Virgie Tovar
Women are conditioned from a young age to think that they have to look a certain way, weigh a certain amount, and never get fat. Author-activist and expert on body image and fat discrimination, Virgie Tovar says no mas to the whole thing and penned the fabulous book, You Have the Right to Remain Fat. It takes a look at fatphobia, racism, misogyny, diet culture, and includes her own personal stories living as a plus size woman, and deciding to live the life she wants.
The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing Hardcover by Marie Kondo
You may have heard of uber-organizer Marie Kondo, seen her on Netflix (Tidying Up with Marie Kondo), or read her book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing. She has become a star, by encouraging us to pare down and keep only the things that “spark joy” within us. Her best-selling book will inspire you to live more simply, with proven steps on how to declutter successfully and happily.
Latina Power!: Using 7 Strengths You Already Have to Create the Success You Deserve by Dr. Ana Nogales with Laura Golden Bellotti
We are all about harnessing our fabulous Latina power, and now, there is a book that can help us all do it. In the book Latina Power!, Dr. Ana Nogales and Laura Golden Bellotti share with us seven traits that we already have, by virtue of being Latinx (and how those traits can work in our favor in our careers):
– Espíritu Creativo (Creative Spirit)
– The Aguantadora’s (Survivor’s) Passionate Determination
– The Comadre’s (Girlfriend’s) Networking Ability
– The Diplomática’s (Diplomat’s) Discretion
– The Atrevida’s (Risktaker’s) Courage
– The Malabarista’s (Multitasker’s) Balance
– La Reina’s (A Diva’s) Confidence
In Praise of Difficult Women: Life Lessons From 29 Heroines Who Dared to Break the Rules by Karen Karbo
Women are often chastised for being difficult, but that trait is also what gets us ahead in life. It’s what makes women resilient. Difficult usually just means non-conforming, and we are ok with that! Karen Karbo’s book, In Praise of Difficult Women: Life Lessons From 29 Heroines Who Dared to Break the Rules, celebrates several ladies who chose not to travel the easy route in life, and succeeded because of it.
Year of Yes: How to Dance It Out, Stand In the Sun and Be Your Own Person by Shonda Rhimes
When a wildly successful woman like television producer, TV and film writer, and author Shonda Rhimes writes a book, you take notice, as well as notes. She penned the book Year of Yes: How to Dance It Out, Stand In the Sun and Be Your Own Person, and in it, describes how she chose “yes” in many situations and how that changed her life.
Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear by Elizabeth Gilbert
Being a creative person is a gift, a special life experience, but it is also scary. You are taught from a young age to enjoy art, but not to take it too seriously as a career. That even entertaining it is risky, irresponsible, and absurd. And then there are all the things you already tell yourself. But creators should create, even if it is for zero profit because it is who they are. Elizabeth Gilbert tackles the negative thinking surrounding creativity in her inspiring book Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear.
Adulting 101: #Wisdom4Life by Josh Burnette and Pete Hardesty
Adulting is hard, and there should be a manual for it. Josh Burnette and Pete Hardesty figured the same and penned the book, Adulting 101: #Wisdom4Life. In it, they show graduates (and anyone else who can use the advice) how to successfully be an adult, including how to:
– Find a job and be wildly successful at work
– Buy the items you need as an adult (apartment, car, insurance)
– Set goals, prioritize, and get work done
– Communicate professionally and effectively
– Save and invest wisely
– Navigate personal and professional relationships
– Avoid the common mistakes of being out on your own
How to Stop Feeling Like Sh*t: 14 Habits that Are Holding You Back from Happiness by Andrea Owen
One of the basic, universal things that bind all human beings is our innate desire to be happy. But being happy is sometimes easier said than done, especially when we stand in our own way of it. Author Andrea Owen helps us get out of this self-sabotaging behavior with her no-nonsense book, How to Stop Feeling Like Sh*t: 14 Habits that Are Holding You Back from Happiness.
The Babe Bible: Every Woman’s BFF – Love Letters to Guide You Through Life’s Toughest Lessons, Soothe Your Heart, and Sparkle Your Soul by Shani Jay
Another thing we all need is to feel heard and understood. Especially when we are going through rough times. And we can also use encouraging words to see us through. BFFs are great for this, but if you don’t have your BFF around, don’t have one, or just could use the extra encouragement, then you have to read Shani Jay’s The Babe Bible: Every Woman’s BFF – Love Letters to Guide You Through Life’s Toughest Lessons, Soothe Your Heart, and Sparkle Your Soul. In it, she has written a letters to the reader within seven sections:
The Path Made Clear: Discovering Your Life’s Direction and Purpose by Oprah Winfrey
Oprah just doles out knowledge, that’s been proven. So when we saw this book of hers, we just had to share. The Path Made Clear: Discovering Your Life’s Direction and Purpose, is all about taking the time to find your life purpose and honoring that. It’s filled with quotes by Winfrey, as well as several others (Lin-Manuel Miranda, Jay-Z, Elizabeth Gilbert, Eckhart Tolle, etc.), by people who found their calling.
Who Moved My Cheese?: An A-Mazing Way to Deal with Change in Your Work and in Your Life by Dr. Spencer Johnson
It is hard to like change. It is often unexpected, confusing, and unsettling. It’s only when we shift our perspective of change that everything changes. The book, Who Moved My Cheese?: An A-Mazing Way to Deal with Change in Your Work and in Your Life, by Dr. Spencer Johnson, helps teach us how to predict change, embrace it, and deal with it in a better, more positive manner.
Bloom: A Gift For The Girl Learning To Love Her Beautiful Soul by Shani Jay
Shani Jay writes books that are inspiring, motivating, and so positive! Another book of hers we thought you should check out is Bloom: A Gift For The Girl Learning To Love Her Beautiful Soul. It is all about inspiring self-love and self-worth, all packed into a short, yet powerful, read.
Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff . . . and It’s All Small Stuff: Simple Ways to Keep the Little Things from Taking Over Your Life by Richard Carlson
Classic books are such because they are timeless, important, and add something to your life. Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff…and it’s all small stuff is a helpful guide, first published in 1997, that shares 100 ways to stop stressing and start living! The best seller spawned a whole slew of Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff books, each focusing on love, work, family, money, and more.
The Naked Roommate: And 107 Other Issues You Might Run Into in College by Harlan Cohen
Just like there should be a manual (or several) on mastering the art of adulting, there should be books on what to expect when you go to college. Luckily, author Harlan Cohen penned The Naked Roommate: And 107 Other Issues You Might Run Into in College. Success in college is about being prepared and this book shares tips on important topics, like bad roommates, dating, parties, money, managing stress, and more.
Secrets of Six-Figure Women: Surprising Strategies to Up Your Earnings and Change Your Life by Barbara Stanny
Women deserve to get paid well for the great work that they do in their careers. But a lot of times, ladies are underpaid and underappreciated. We want you to earn what you should, so we are recommending the book, Secrets of Six-Figure Women: Surprising Strategies to Up Your Earnings and Change Your Life, by Barbara Stanny. The author interviewed several women who earn $100,000 or more and found things that they all had in common, that we can all learn from.
Be Unapologetically You: A Self Love Guide for Women of Color by Adeline Bird
A lot of self-help books are great and helpful, but often not told from a WOC perspective. We experience things that may not get addressed in a lot of these books, and therefore we can feel left out and not represented, or that the book is not even relevant to our lives. That’s why we need motivating books written by WOC, from WOC perspectives, and which include WOC experiences, like Adeline Bird’s Be Unapologetically You: A Self Love Guide for Women of Color.
The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle
More often than not, we are depressed because we are constantly thinking about the past, and/or anxious, since we are dwelling on a future that hasn’t happened yet. In order to remedy this, we have to learn to live in the now. Eckhart Tolle’s book, The Power of Now helps us to shift the focus, not to what was or what may be, but what is.
The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz
A classic self-help book to read is The Four Agreements, by Don Miguel Ruiz. It is based on Toltec wisdom and looks at four important tips on life:
- Be Impeccable with Your Word
- Don’t Take Anything Seriously
- Don’t Make Assumptions
- Always Do Your Best
The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron
Published over 25 years ago, The Artist’s Way is still helping creatives feel understood, and providing guidance for those who live an artist’s way of life. You will learn effective tips to get out of ruts and organize your life for maximum creativity.
Now more than ever, people are picking up books that inform on the topics of racism, civil rights, and how to create lasting change towards equality. One of the books that many are picking up is Layla Saad’s Me and White Supremacy. It teaches white people, including white Latinxs, to recognize their white privilege and take the correct and necessary steps to combat racism.
The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman
A classic book on love and relationships is Gary Chapman’s The Five Love Languages. By reading it, you will learn about and understand the various ways in which people like to show and receive love. These are:
- Words of affirmation
- Acts of Service
- Receiving Gifts
- Quality Time
- Physical Touch
Get Out of Your Head by Jennie Allen
We are our own worst enemies, and can constantly pay attention to the negative self-doubt that we breed in our own minds. We get stuck in our head, and need a reset in order to live the life we want to. Jennie Allen’s Get Out of Your Head joins tips on ending toxic thoughts and a focus on faith in order to help us live our best, positivity-filled lives.
The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey
Some self-help books remain classics for their helpful messages and ability to help the masses. One such book is The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. Published 30 years ago, it teaches and delves into such timeless lessons as:
- Be Proactive
- Seek First to Understand, Then to Be Understood
You may have a great idea for starting your own business, but may feel apprehensive about finally taking the plunge with your dream. Books like Crushing It! give you guidance and tips for making the transition a more seamless one. Learning from the success of others can only bolster your own, as you benefit from their trials and triumphs, and the knowledge that comes from that.
So You Want to Talk About Race by Ijeoma Oluo
Another great, and popular book on educating ourselves about race and racism is Ijeoma Oluo’s So You Want to Talk About Race. Full of “honest conversations,” which a reviewer from Salon also deemed “empathetic yet usefully blunt,” it’s exactly what we all should be reading right now for better understanding and lasting change.