Once in a while I’ll pop in with these non-fiction book reviews, because we can’t all always live in fiction, right?
Most of my non-fiction books are self-help books, and I always try to incorporate whatever takeaways I get from the books with my podcast channel (Kristine’s Voice: The Podcast). Oh, the podcast is actually on break right now but if you aren’t following yet, please consider subscribing. Old episodes–including the one for today’s review are still up on the channel. You can find the podcast on any of your favorite podcast streaming sites. Thank you! 🙂 I’ll also add the link below, so you’ll have no excuse not finding it. HAHA, just kidding. So you can save time looking for it 😉
For today’s review, we are going with Andrea Owen’s How To Stop Feeling Like Shit. Like some of the other self-help books out there, this one gives a vibe of less caring, more doing–very similar to Mark Manson’s best-selling books. Which reminds me, I’ll do one for Mark Manson next time. Anyway, the main difference I can pinpoint for Andrea Owen’s book is that on the outset she specifically targets women readers. That most of her examples, if not all, are from women who wrote to her through her blog or spoke to her during her motivational speech events. This is not saying the book cannot apply to male readers, no. But I think the ladies will be able to relate more because we are the target audience.
One of my favorite parts of the book is probably the one on “zero f*cks mentality”. Where other authors would tell us to stop caring about what other people might think or say about us, Andrea Owen is firm in saying that that kind of mentality only perpetuates cynicism at best–which makes a lot of sense. As humans, we live interdependently and are created to sharing our lives with others. If we are to become individuals who refuse to give a care in the world, then we might as well destroy the world we are living in. Of course, we care. That’s just how we are made. The point is: you consider not the opinion of the world about you, but the opinions of people that matter to you. As the saying goes, “You cannot please everybody”, so stop doing that and put more value on the people that matter to you because they are the ones that know you best. Never mind that some random stranger online is spouting unnecessary comments about your personality and well-being, he/she doesn’t know the real you. They only see whatever it is you want them to see. Their comments are not you.
Another one of my favorites would be managing your inner critic. It’s one of those easier said than done things, if you think about it. Without being fully aware of it, sometimes we become our selves’ most disapproving critic. It’s not healthy. I realized I go through this when I compared how I talk to other people to how I regard myself, how easy it was for me to provide others with words of comfort, support, and encouragement but can never really say the same things to myself. It’s a striking realization–one that I acknowledge as harmful to my mental health. So through this book I’ve learned to be kinder to myself. To give myself the very same consideration I extend to others, because why not? You deserve to be kind to yourself, too.
The author talks about many personal issues you may or may not relate to, but what’s good is that she tries to give sensible explanations to some of these problems and provide a breathing space for self-reflection. You can always skip chapters that are not useful for you–that is fine, but I can say you won’t ever leave empty-handed. There’s always a thing or two to learn from this read.
I give this book 3.5 stars. Looking at my copy I see a lot of sticky notes coming out of corners, so that indicates I relate to many of the things the author discussed. However, I can only recall a few at this time. It’s been a while since I finished this book, so forgive me for not remembering a lot of details. But I hope with this short review and the podcast episode you get glimpses of important life lessons and become intrigued enough to consider picking up this book.
- Title: How To Stop Feeling Like Shit
- Author: Andrea Owen
- Year published: 2018
- Publisher: Seal Press
- Total number of pages: 224
- ISBN-13: 978-1-580-05679-3