5 empowering non-fiction books every woman should read in life

Throughout my life, books have been my refuge. I always turn to books when I need guidance and reassurance, which is exactly what the below titles gave me, and so much more!

I was in dire need of a confidence and happiness boost recently so I decided to put together a list of non-fiction reads that have always helped build me back up after dark periods in life.

1. How To Fail by Elizabeth Day

I adore Elizabeth Day. She is by far one of the most empowering journalists I’ve looked up to in life. Her book How To Fail has been a comfort through a breakup, losing friends and career woes. How To Fail is part memoir, part manifesto, and includes chapters on dating, work, sport, babies, families, anger and friendship, it is based on the simple premise that understanding why we fail ultimately makes us stronger. It's a book about learning from our mistakes and about not being afraid.

2. In Conclusion, Don’t Worry About It by Lauren Graham

Lauren Graham is my hero. I have idolised her from the moment Lorelai Gilmore appeared on my screen in that beloved first episode of Gilmore Girls. Not only is Graham a beautifully talented actor, she is also a phenomenal writer. She penned a tiny but powerful book after giving a commencement speech at her hometown Langley High and it is like a warm hug.

In Conclusion, Don’t Worry About It, Graham reflects on growing up, pursuing your dreams, and living in the here and now. In her hilarious, relatable voice, Graham reminds us to be curious and compassionate, no matter where life takes us or what we’ve yet to achieve. Grounded and inspiring- and illustrated throughout with drawings by Graham herself- here is a comforting road map to a happy life.

3. Reasons To Stay Alive by Matt Haig

This book simply saved my life. Matt Haig’s words are so moving, so raw and so relatable in this phenomenal best-seller. This book will always hold a special place in my heart and it is one I turn to in times of crisis. 

This is the true story of how Matt Haig came through crisis, triumphed over mental illness that almost destroyed him and learned to live again. Moving, funny and joyous, Reasons To Stay Alive is more than a memoir. It is a book about making the most of your time on earth.

4. The Insecure Girl’s Handbook by Olivia Purvis

Olivia Purvis has created a handbook that I have needed my entire life and made me feel complete once I got my hands on a copy.

At some point or another, we all feel insecure- whether it’s about our body image, friendships, workplace politics or comparison more generally, it’s something we all have in common. But we don’t have to let it rule our lives.

A reassuring hug when you’re having a bad day, The Insecure Girl’s Handbook is for anyone who wants to manage their anxiety better, stop imposter syndrome in its tracks or halt those unwelcome waves of self-doubt.

​​​​​​​5. It’s Not Ok To Feel Blue and Other Lies by Scarlett Curtis

In this beautiful collection of essays curated by the fantastic Scarlett Curtis, celebrities like Emma Thompson, Fearne Cotton, Candice Carty-Williams, Poorna Bell and Emilia Clarke write about their mental health journeys in the most honest and uplifting ways.

It's OK if everything might feel a bit overwhelming.

It's OK to talk about it.

It's OK to not want to talk about it.

It's OK to find it funny.

It's OK to be human.

Over 70 people have shared their powerful, funny and moving stories exploring their own mental health in this encouraging book that is bound to make you feel less alone.