Self-love is an essential concept with which many people struggle. In the modern era, when social media allows us to get curated glimpses of other people’s lives, it’s easy to feel like you don’t measure up. The truth is many of us struggle with confidence and self-acceptance. Even the people who seem most assured often grapple with feelings of self-doubt.
Overview: Our Top Picks
Books for Adults
- The Gifts of Imperfection by Brené Brown ($13.14)
- Good Vibes, Good Life by Vex King ($13.04)
- The Self-Love Workbook by Shainna Ali Ph.D. ($15.95)
Books for Children
- I Am Enough by Grace Byers ($9.88)
- I Like Me! by Nancy Carlson ($7.99)
- My Magical Choices by Becky Cummings ($13.13)
Books for Young Adults
- Everything a Band-Aid Can't Fix by Nicole Russell ($18.95)
- Just As You Are by Michelle Skeen PsyD and Kelly Skeen ($13.99)
- The Self-Love Workbook for Teens by Shainna Ali Ph.D. ($15.95)
Books for Death, Breakup, and Loss
- After the Breakup by Lindsey Dortch Brock LCSW ($13.49)
- Love Yourself First by Krystal Laughter ($17.87)
- After the Rain by Alexandra Elle ($13.23)
Jump ahead to these sections:
- Popular Books About Self Love for Adults
- Popular Books About Self Love for Children
- Popular Books About Self Love for Young Adults
- Popular Books About Self Love After a Death, Breakup, or Other Loss
Many people turn to therapy to help them gain confidence and learn self-love. But therapy isn’t always accessible to everyone. We’ve compiled a list of helpful books on the topic of self-love for people of all ages and stages.
Popular Books About Self Love for Adults
It seems like times are changing more rapidly than ever. Just a few decades ago, the idea of self-love was a relatively foreign concept. As a result, we have a whole generation of adults riddled with anxiety and doubt. These books can help even the most cynical adult realize the value of self-love.
1. The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You’re Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are by Brené Brown
Brené Brown is a beloved self-help author known for her heartfelt writing style. The Gifts of Imperfection encourages people to love themselves despite their perceived flaws and shortcomings.
2. Good Vibes, Good Life: How Self-Love Is the Key to Unlocking Your Greatness by Vex King
Author Vex King overcame his difficult childhood thanks mainly to his positive attitude. He built up a large social media following thanks to his emphasis on “good vibes.” Good Vibes, Good Life lays out a plan for people who want to cultivate positive lifestyle habits and embrace self-love.
3. The Self-Love Workbook: A Life-Changing Guide to Boost Self-Esteem, Recognize Your Worth and Find Genuine Happiness by Shainna Ali Ph.D.
This helpful workbook is packed with tools to help you on your journey to self-love. Helpful advice, interactive activities, and reflection prompts help readers to build confidence and self-esteem.
4. Let That Sh*t Go: A Journal for Leaving Your Bullsh*t Behind and Creating a Happy Life by Monica Sweeney
Who says self-love has to be serious? This cheeky journal takes a humorous approach to self-care.
5. Be Unapologetically You: A Self Love Guide for Women of Color by Adeline Bird
Self-love is difficult for everyone. But it can be even more challenging for members of marginalized groups who face bias from external sources daily. This book is written for women of color to help them quiet those outside voices and truly love themselves.
Popular Books About Self Love for Children
When children are young, they are still trying to figure out where they fit into the world, emotionally speaking. It’s so important to provide them with a healthy foundation. Teaching your kids about self-love when they’re young can help them grow into more confident and resourceful adults. These books are a great introduction to self-love in the early years.
6. I Am Enough by Grace Byers
This beautifully-illustrated story by actress and activist Grace Byers was inspired by bullying the author endured during her childhood. This New York Times bestselling book is a powerful yet gently told story about the importance of kindness and self-confidence.
7. I Like Me! by Nancy Carlson
Carlson, an accomplished author and illustrator, has published over forty books for young children. She intends to help kids feel good about themselves as well as other people. In this book, a perky piglet enumerates all the good feelings she has about herself and provides a powerful role model for preschool-aged kids.
8. My Magical Choices by Becky Cummings
Young children are still learning about the world. When some children encounter new experiences or tasks, they often get bogged down in negative feelings like fear. If your child shuts down in the face of something new, My Magical Choices can help guide them into making more confident choices instead of deciding they can’t do something new to them.
9. Train Your Dragon to Love Himself: A Dragon Book to Give Children Positive Affirmations by Steve Herman
This book is part of a comprehensive series designed to help children process their feelings. In it, a child has an anxiety-ridden pet dragon who fears he’s not good enough. The child teaches the dragon to love himself for his exceptional and unique qualities.
10. Listening with My Heart: A Story of Kindness and Self-Compassion by Gabi Garcia
The protagonist of this book, a young girl named Esperanza, loves to spread joy and positivity in the world by being kind to others. But when things don’t go her way, she has a harder time being kind to herself. She uses a heart-shaped rock as a token to remind herself that kindness always matters.
Popular Books About Self Love for Young Adults
The teenage years can be incredibly fraught. Even the most self-possessed child can quickly flounder when teenage hormones and school social structures come into play. These books are a great way to help teens and young adults ground themselves and rediscover their confidence.
11. Everything a Band-Aid Can’t Fix: A Teen’s Guide to Healing and Dealing With Life by Nicole Russell
While Everything a Band-Aid Can't Fix isn’t solely about self-love, it does deal with both the internal and external pressures that teenagers face today. It provides practical guidelines to help teens cope with new experiences and the feelings that may accompany them. Most importantly, it teaches teenagers that you can’t just slap a band-aid on a problem and hope it goes away—you have to dig deep.
12. Just As You Are: A Teen’s Guide to Self-Acceptance and Lasting Self-Esteem by Michelle Skeen PsyD and Kelly Skeen
People of all ages tend to compare themselves to their peers—often unfavorably. These comparisons are especially prevalent in the teenage years. Teenagers can also develop unrealistic expectations about how they should look and behave from the media and pop culture. Just As You Are helps teens free themselves from the standards that fuel their inner critics.
13. The Self-Love Workbook for Teens: A Transformative Guide to Boost Self-Esteem, Build a Healthy Mindset, and Embrace Your True Self by Shainna Ali Ph.D.
This helpful workbook provides several valuable tools to help teens embark on their self-acceptance journey. It includes activities, reflective exercises, practical advice, and journaling prompts. Its ultimate goal is to help teens banish self-doubt and develop a healthy mindset that will serve them as they grow into adulthood.
14. The Ultimate Self-Esteem Workbook for Teens: Overcome Insecurity, Defeat Your Inner Critic, and Live Confidently by Megan MacCutcheon LPC
This supportive workbook provides many useful resources, including journal prompts, quizzes, and checklists. All of which are designed to help teens set goals to improve their mental health. It also contains real-life anecdotes from other teens to help the reader feel more connected.
15. Badass Black Girl: Quotes, Questions, and Affirmations for Teens by M.J. Fievre
Books about self-love for teenagers are usually geared toward a general audience. As such, they don’t often delve into the challenges faced by teens who are members of marginalized communities. However, young black women are at high risk for depression and anxiety and don’t always have their mental health needs met. Badass Black Girl is specifically for empowering young black women who struggle with self-love.
Popular Books About Self Love After a Death, Breakup, or Other Loss
Major life events can shake up even the most self-assured people. A bad breakup or a death in the family can make you feel like your very foundation is unsteady. It’s crucial to practice self-care while grieving a loss. These books can help you love yourself even during your worst hour.
16. After the Breakup: A Self-Love Journal: Prompts and Practices to Help You Get Over Your Ex by Lindsey Dortch Brock LCSW
Many self-help books are geared toward a particular gender. This one is intended for anyone going through a breakup, regardless of gender or relationship type. Whether you initiated a breakup or were on the receiving end, After the Breakup can help you rediscover your inner strength.
17. Love Yourself First: How to Heal from Toxic People, Create Healthy Relationships & Become a Confident Woman by Krystle Laughter
If you’ve endured multiple painful breakups, it’s often worthwhile to step back and see if you can identify any patterns. Many women end up in toxic relationships because they don’t value themselves. This book helps people learn the value of healing and self-love.
18. After the Rain: Gentle Reminders for Healing, Courage, and Self-Love by Alexandra Elle
If you’ve endured multiple painful breakups, it’s often worthwhile to step back and see if you can identify any patterns. Many women end up in toxic relationships because they don’t value themselves. This book helps women learn the value of healing and self-love.
19. Rise Up: A Widow’s Journal: A Place To Gather and Reflect On Your Journey by Paula Harris
The loss of a spouse is an incredibly challenging and personal life event. This journal is split into ten chapters that guide the reader through this uniquely painful process. It’s full of helpful quotes and writing prompts to help widows process their grief and rediscover how to love themselves along the way.
20. It’s OK That You’re Not OK: Meeting Grief and Loss in a Culture That Doesn’t Understand by Megan Devine
Many self-help books encourage you to let go of your painful past in order to move on. Devine, a therapist who has also experienced profound personal loss, takes a different approach. In It's OK That You're Not OK, she makes room for the possibility of practicing self-love and rebuilding your life while grieving at your own pace instead of rushing to overcome it.
The Inherent Value in Self Love
Learning to love yourself is easier said than done. But it is still a worthy goal to strive for. There’s a famous quotation by RuPaul that goes, “If you can’t love yourself, how in the hell are you gonna love somebody else?” Not everyone agrees that self-love is the first step to loving other people, but valuing and caring for yourself is still incredibly important. Not only can self-love help you build stronger and healthier relationships with other people, but it can also improve your quality of life and emotional well-being.