90 Self-Esteem Resources for Girls

In the age of social media and mixed-messages about how girls are supposed to look, act and learn, girls can face significant self-esteem issues during adolescence—a crucial period for forming and developing one’s identity, according to the Child Mind Institute. 

Even within the few years of adolescence, messaging and appropriate strategies can vary widely depending on girls’ ages.

View the available resources that are geared toward unique age groups using the links below: 

The following resources are for informational purposes only; individuals should consult with a clinician before making decisions about mental health.

Self Esteem Resources for Young Girls
(Ages 5–11)

Web Pages

  1. Self-Esteem Worksheets for Children, Therapist Aid: series of worksheets with prompts for gratitude, self-esteem and other feelings for counselors to use with young clients. 
  2. Free Self-Esteem Resources For Kids, Kiddie Matters: worksheets about self-love and personal boundaries created by Yanique S. Chambers, LCSW, for counselors to use with young clients.
  3. Encouraging Children To Have Healthy Self-Esteem, Mosswood Connections: activities and mantras that build confidence and promote positive self-image for kids.
  4. Building Your Child’s Self-Esteem, Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh: tips for parents of young children for encouraging positive identity development and independence.
  5. How to Empower Young Girls and Build Confidence, Special Ed Resource: ideas and resources about confidence-building for girls with special needs. 
  6. 5 Important Ways to Help Build Self-Esteem In Girls Your Teen Magazine: ideas for teaching young girls about self-love and how to express it.
  7. How to Build Positive Self-Esteem Understood: slideshow of quick tips for teaching children about self-esteem, including deep dives and next steps for identity development and growth.

Books

  1. Being Me: A Kid’s Guide to Boosting Confidence and Self-Esteem by Wendy L. Moss, PhD: guided book for kids to explore their strengths and identities.  
  2. I Am Enough by Grace Byers: illustrated story about “loving who you are, respecting others, and being kind to one another.”
  3. Curlee Girlee by Atara Twersky: illustrated story about a young girl who learns to accept and love the way she looks.
  4. Books for Smart, Confident, and Courageous Girls A Mighty Girl: catalog of books for girls organized by genre, age and price.
  5. I Like Myself! by Karen Beaumont: illustrated, rhyming story of a young girl who encourages kids to appreciate themselves.
  6. Becoming Me: A Work in Progress by Andrea Pippins: interactive journal for girls to creatively visualize and explore their identities. 
  7. Meet Danitra Brown by Nikki Grimes: collection of poems about friendship between two young Black girls who explore self-assurance and pride in their heritage.
  8. Girls Think of Everything: Stories of Ingenious Inventions by Women by Catherine Thimmesch: stories about innovative women to encourage readers to think creatively in the face of adversity.
  9. Dancing in the Wings by Debbie Allen: story of a young girl who pursues her dream of becoming a dancer. 
  10. speak up by Miranda Paul: vibrant picture book that encourages kids to be outspoken.

Podcasts and Videos

  1. Girl Tales—Feminist Stories for a New Generation: fairytales reimagined through an empowering lens.
  2. Peace Out: short stories that help kids wind down and relax through breathing and mindfulness activities. 
  3. Dream Big: mom-and-daughter duo interview experts, entrepreneurs and award-winners to encourage kids to dream big.
  4. But Why: podcast led by kids seeking answers to questions about how the world works.  
  5. Fierce Girls: stories about adventurous girls for kids of all ages; parental guidance recommended for listening.
  6. Molly of Denali: ten-minute episodes that set up the backstory for the PBS cartoon of the same name about an Alaska native growing up with her parents and community.
  7. Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls: stories about influential women told for young listeners.
  8. Calm Kids Podcast: stories told by two sisters, ages 8 and 11, to help other young kids fall asleep at night.
  9. Henry & Leslie (A Children’s Story About Confidence and Self-Love): story for children about self-love and building confidence.
  10. Building Self-Esteem on Sesame Street’s YouTube channel: video series for kids to learn about appreciating themselves and building confidence.

Apps

  1. ‎HappiMe for Children: promotes self-esteem through the power of positive thinking.
  2. Breathe, Think, Do With Sesame: resource to help kids and their parents with emotional vocabulary, personalized encouragements and breathing activities.
  3. Avokiddo Emotions: animal characters embody different emotions to help kids learn about their own feelings.
  4. Headspace for Kids: guided meditations organized by feelings of calmness, kindness and emotional well-being.

Events/Programs

  1. Confident Girls: workshops, events, after school programs and camps for girls in grades K–5 to learn about positive friendships, self-esteem and leadership. 
  2. Book Club through Girls Leadership: book recommendations and toolkits for starting a book club for young girls.
  3. Girls Rock Camp Alliance: network of communities to facilitate summer camps for young girls to learn how to play music and build confidence.
  4. Sole Girls: running programs to empower girls ages 6 to 12. 
  5. REALgirl: workshops to teach girls life skills and self-esteem before they mature and grow into their teen years.

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Self-Esteem Resources for Teen Girls
(Ages 12–18)

Web Pages

  1. How Can I Improve My Self-Esteem? (for Teens), Nemours TeensHealth: Explanations and recommendations for teens of where self-esteem comes from and how to build it. 
  2. 18 Self-Esteem Worksheets and Activities for Teens and Adults. Positive Psychology: printable worksheets of exercises for counselors to use with teens.
  3. Confidence (for Teens), Nemours TeensHealth: explanation of confidence and ideas for building self-esteem.
  4. Self-Esteem Worksheets for Adolescents, Therapist Aid: downloadable activities for teens to practice gratitude exercises, stress-reduction techniques and more. 
  5. 13 Ways to Boost Your Daughter’s Self-Esteem, Child Mind Institute: 13 ways to encourage tween and teenage girls to build confidence and practice self-love.
  6. How To Stop the Tween Confidence Drop by Helping Girls Take on Toxic Thinking, A Mighty Girl: article about supporting teen girls with additional resources and book recommendations curated by the organization.
  7. How To Help Your High-Schooler Handle School Cliques, Understood: ideas for understanding and supporting the unique social circumstances of teen girls.
  8. Empowering Tween Girls: The Five Super Powers Every Girl Needs, Your Teen Magazine: recommendations from the founder of an educational mentoring service for pre-adolescent girls.
  9. Five Ways To Help Teens Build a Sense of Self-Worth, Mindful: activities that teens can practice and complete on their own to develop and increase their self-worth.
  10. 15 Tips To Build Self-Esteem and Confidence in Teens, Big Life Journal: ideas for parents of teens to encourage a growth mindset, including a free printable worksheet.

Books

  1. Confidence Code for Girls by Katty Kay, Claire Shipman and JillEllyn Riley: guide for tween girls who want to build confidence and fearlessness. 
  2. A Strong Girls’ Guide To Being: Exercises and Inspiration for Becoming a Braver, Kinder, Healthier You by Lani Silversides: part journal, part workbook for teen girls to explore confidence, bravery and kindness.
  3. The Self-Esteem Workbook for Teens by Lisa M. Schab: activity book for teens to practice self-acceptance and shedding insecurities. 
  4. Love for Imperfect Things by Haemin Sunim: ideas from a Buddhist monk about accepting yourself and your flaws.
  5. Chocolate for a Teen’s Soul by Kay Allenbaugh: true stories about the challenges and experiences of being a teenager.
  6. Holding Up the Universe by Jennifer Niven: story of a teen girl navigating grief and body image issues.
  7. you are enough: a tale of healing and self-love by vp wright: poetry about healing and self-love written by the author to her younger self.
  8. Well-Read Black Girl by Glory Edim: collection of original essays by Black women writers about the importance of seeing oneself represented in literature. 
  9. Celebrate Your Body (And Its Changes, Too!) The Ultimate Puberty Book for Girls by Sonya Renee Taylor: body-positive guide to puberty for girls ages 8 and up.
  10. Brave by Sissy Goff MEd, LPC-MHSP: guide to understanding one’s own emotions better, including a companion book for parents of teens.
  11. The Ultimate Self-Esteem Workbook for Teens: Overcome Insecurity, Defeat Your Inner Critic, and Live Confidently by Megan MacCutcheon, LPC: practical tools, stories and resources for understanding one’s own self-esteem, insecurities and more.
  12. Badass Black Girl by M.J. Fievre: journal designed for teenage Black girls to explore their creativity, body image, aspirations and more. 
  13. Feeling Better: CBT Workbook for Teens by Rachel Hutt: workbook for cognitive behavioral therapy strategies for overcoming obstacles and addressing mental health.
  14. A Girl’s Guide to Epic Outdoor Adventures, Girls Leadership & REI: toolkit for girls in grades 5 and up to explore their aspirations and self-expression. 

Podcasts and Videos

  1. Let’s Be Real With Sammy Jae: unfiltered conversations hosted by the youngest person to have an iHeartRadio podcast, at just 18 years old.
  2. Teen Girl Talk: podcast of two adult siblings who discuss media made for teens and their own life experiences.
  3. Eleanor Amplified: podcast stories about a daring journalist who goes on adventures looking for her next story. 
  4. How Girls’ Self-Esteem Drops When They Turn 13, The Confidence Project: video about self-esteem featuring girls who were previously interviewed about confidence when they were pre-teens. 
  5. Girls Ages 5–18 Talk About Hair and Self Esteem, Allure: video of girls explaining their connection between self-esteem, body image and hair. 
  6. 3 Tips To Boost Your Confidence, TED-Ed: animated video explaining where confidence comes from and three tips for teens to build self-esteem.

Apps

  1. ‎HappiMe for Young People: app to promote the power of positive thinking and encouragement for teens.
  2. Pacifica: psychologist-designed app for mindfulness, meditation and mood tracking. 
  3. Stop, Breathe, & Think: app to help young people find peace of mind and develop the emotional well-being to face the challenges of everyday life.
  4. Unique Daily Affirmations: app that provides daily affirmations for young people to read, say out loud and think about during each day.
  5. MindShift™ CBT: free exercises for addressing anxiety, nervousness and self-consciousness.
  6. moodgym: interactive app to help young people boost their mood and keep track of what makes them feel better.
  7. SuperBetter: app designed for young people to stay optimistic, motivated and resilient. 

Programs

  1. Girls With Leadership: summer camps, workshop series and volunteer opportunities for girls in fifth through 12th grade to learn leadership skills.
  2. Girls Support Group Palantine, New Transitions: group therapy sessions for teen girls to navigate self-esteem, emotional support and conflict-resolution.
  3. The Butterfly Effect, Enlighten Education: resilience workshops and courses for teen girls to explore self-esteem and understand their impact on their peers.
  4. Girls GLOW Program: workshops designed by a teacher to empower girls to build confidence and support each other.

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Self-Esteem Resources for Adults
Who Work With Girls

Web Pages

  1. Positive Affirmations for Kids: 189 Positive Things to Say to Your Child, Meraki Lane: list of positive statements to say to children to help boost their confidence and mood.
  2. Self-Esteem Activity Guide for Youth Leaders, Dove: resources and tips to encourage mindfulness and positivity among young people.
  3. Self-Esteem: Everything Parents Need To Know, The Center for Parenting Education: guide for parents including basic concepts, history and strategies for encouraging self-esteem.
  4. How To Praise Children, Understood: explanation of different types of praise and when to use them to encourage growth for children.
  5. A Mighty Girl: collection of books, toys, movies and music for parents, teachers and others dedicated to raising smart, confident and courageous girls, and there are, of course, resources for girls themselves.
  6. Sidestep a Confidence Slump: Building Confidence in Tween Girls, Your Teen Magazine: supportive recommendations from a school counselor for any adults that spend time with teen girls.

Books

  1. Kid Confidence: Help Your Child Make Friends, Build Resilience, and Develop Real Self-Esteem by Eileen Kennedy-Moore: collection of evidence-based recommendations for parenting young children ages 6–12 and encouraging high self-esteem.
  2. Full of Ourselves: A Wellness Program To Advance Girl Power, Health, and Leadership by Catherine Steiner-Adair and Lisa Sjostrom: health-and-wellness education program designed to address disordered eating and body preoccupation for girls in grades 3 through 8. 
  3. Beyond the Gender Binary by Alok Vaid-Menon: book that explores non-binary genders and the freedom of self-expression.

Podcasts and Videos

  1. How To Raise Girls’ Self-Esteem, Jodi Aman: video of recommendations from a counselor for parents who want to support their daughters’ body image and self-worth. 
  2. Raising Daughters: podcast for parents of teen and adolescent girls about how to build relationships based in trust instead of fear.
  3. One Mom. One Girl. Together We Rise.: podcast hosted by a certified parenting coach about raising girls with kindness, resilience and bravery.  

Programs and Organizations

  1. Girl & Grown-up Workshops Girls Leadership: family-based online workshops for parents and daughters to attend together to learn about leadership, confidence and self-esteem.  

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