8 Best Books For Personal Development

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Are you interested in reading the best books for personal development?

I’ve been obsessed with personal development ever since I was a little kid, so it’s safe to say I have read plenty of books on the topic.

This post encompasses the best books for personal development that I have read in the last 5 years or so.

These books are sure to make you believe in yourself, inspire you, change the way you think and act, and ultimately make you a better person.


This post is all about the best books for personal development. 

self improvement books


1. The Defining Decade by Meg Jay

“Any recent college grad mired in a quarter-life crisis or merely dazed by the freedom of post-collegiate existence should consider it required reading.”

If you are in your 20s, you need to read this book. It’s kind of a like a big wake up call for this decade – it really makes you realize just how important your 20s are and how the choices that you make at this point in your life really do impact how the rest of your life plays out.

Written from a real-life therapist’s perspective, the author Meg Jay dives into the common stories and themes that she has seen after working with thousands of clients and students. Then, she gives her best wisdom and advice for 20-somethings which really comes down to: take this decade seriously.

I absolutely love this book, and if you feel even the slightest bit directionless as a 20-something, I think you’d really benefit from and love this book.

best personal development books to read


2. Atomic Habits by James Clear

Atomic Habits is probably my favorite personal development book.

There are plenty of books out there about habits, but James Clear has a way of making it feel so possible for you to master your behavior so you can finally become the person you want to be.

The anecdotes he uses throughout his book are very convincing, and they are the kind of stories and paragraphs that you never forget; they truly leave an imprint on your mind.

Perhaps one of his most popular interpretations of the power of consistency is the one that has to do with an ice cube:

Imagine an ice cube in a very cold room. Then, imagine that the room starts to get warmer and warmer, rising 1 degree at a time.

Nothing happens to the ice cube because the temperature in the room is still below freezing — the ice cube is still frozen solid.

Those watching this ice cube begin to wonder if it will ever melt; if it’s even possible that the rising temperature ever gets above 32.

But eventually, the temperature finally hits above freezing and the ice cube begins to melt.

The idea behind this comparison is that you may think your consistent efforts are useless because you’re not seeing any change, but you shouldn’t give up – you have no idea how close you are to finally seeing change/progress/success (or getting that ice cube to finally melt).

best personal development books to read


3. Untamed by Glennon Doyle

“Packed with incredible insight about what it means to be a woman today.”

— Reese Witherspoon

Untamed is a quick, enticing read full of short stories and chapters that you can’t get enough of.

This book will make you laugh, cry, challenge societal norms, embrace who you really are, and ultimately encourage you to go after what you want in this life.

best personal development books to read


4. You Are A Badass by Jen Sincero

If you are unfamiliar with manifestation, this is a book you want to read.

While the book is all about YOU being the badass that you are, Jen Sincero shows you how she went from an unsuccessful 40 year old living in a garage to an incredibly successful writer and coach – all because she decided to finally start believing in herself.

If you want to be inspired, or encouraged, no matter how unsuccessful you may feel at this point in your life, this is the book for you.

Also, I love Jen Sincero’s audiobooks on Audible. Her personality shines through and makes the audio books even more rich. If audiobooks are your thing, I would definitely check that out.

best personal development books for women


5. You Are A Badass At Making Money by Jen Sincero

Jen Sincero also wrote a book about making money, and it’s fantastic.

This is a book that you will want to come back to again and again.

This book will completely fire you up and inspire you to start making your own money. It will also help you realize that you are perfectly capable of making, and keeping, the money that you believe you deserve.

Again, Jen Sincero came from having barely any money at all to being incredibly successful. She harnessed the power of manifestation.

This book is a must read if you have a complicated relationship with money, because it will teach you that you are worthy of having it and that you don’t have to feel shame around wanting money to begin with if that’s your current reality.

best personal development books to read


6. The Power Of Now by Eckhart Tolle

Do you have trouble being present? If so, you need to read this book.

Now, this book can get really woo-woo and hard to follow at times (lol) but if you can get through those points in the book, you will find that it is very powerful.

This book will show you why it is so important that you be present in your life. It will also teach you about your ego and how important it is to keep it tame.

There is so much to be learned from this book, and everyone should read it at least once in their lives.

On second thought, it might be better to get the audio book version of this one, too!

best personal development books to read


7. Don’t Wear Shoes You Can’t Walk In by Michelle Douglas

This is a book that every early to mid 20-something should read!

This book is jam-packed with bite-sized, powerful and valuable lessons that will make your twenties so much easier to navigate.

In this book, Michelle Douglas speaks from her experience, letting you know all of the little, and big, lessons that she learned in her twenties.

It’s kind of like a short-cut through various trials and tribulations that you might experience as a twenty-something.

If you like to write and reflect on your life, this book is also filled with journal prompts.

The prompts will encourage you to think about how the lessons in this book can be applied to your own life.

This book is a great, quick read for anyone who wants to learn a little more about how to navigate life as a twentysomething.

best-selling personal development books for women

8. Girl Up by Laura Bates

Lastly is Girl Up by Laura Bates. If you are the least bit interested in feminism, or want to learn more about it, I highly encourage you to pick up this book.

Throughout the book, there are chapters on things like school dress-code hypocrisy, tips for staying safe online, and challenging sexism.

But be warned – this book has a LOT of information about what it means to be a woman today – so it gets very deep and personal very quickly. Just make sure you read the summary online before taking my word for it, just in case : )

However, if you decide to buy this book, I think you’ll find that it’ll make you feel so much stronger in your own skin, and really open your eyes up to the pressures and BS that women face every day.

It’ll show you what sexism is, empower you to stop putting up with it, and teach you to be your true self despite so much societal pressure to fit in a box.

best book for personal development


This post was all about the 8 best books for personal development. 


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A few years after graduating college, Taylor made it her mission to become debt free. After paying off all $60k of debt, she began to blog about what she's really passionate about: personal development. Nowadays, Taylor blogs about the topics of Mindset, Money, Health, and Career for women. Read more about Taylor here.

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