Book Review: 10% Happier by Dan Harris

10% Happier: How I Tamed the Voice in My Head, Reduced Stress Without Losing My Edge, and Found Self-Help That Actually Works--A True Story is the #1 New York Times bestseller by Dan Harris, co-anchor of ABC’s “Nightline”.

After having a panic attack on live television, Dan knew he couldn’t continue in such a way, and that he needed to make some changes. The journey that followed resulted in a book that’s helped thousands of people rewire their brains. I recently listened to the audiobook of 10% Happier, and wanted to share my thoughts about what makes it a must-read.

Tune in for many more book reviews from the ABJ team down the road, as we all keep working to read as many books as possible this year!

Video Transcript:

Kasey Jones: I recently read - actually listened to - the audiobook of 10% Happier by Dan Harris.

For those of you that don't know Dan Harris he kind of, you know, he was a well-known entity. He was an anchor on, I think it's ABC News, and you know he was a kind of war correspondent and had a pretty well-known reputation but wasn't kind of a major household name.

And then in the sort of early 2000s, he had an on-air panic attack, and what an embarrassing experience, and what a challenging one! And he - I remember when this happened, I didn't when I first read this book, I didn't know that that's who he was. I didn't remember the name of the journalist who this happened to you, but I totally remember the story coming out.

I remember watching the video of him slurring his words, and just kind of having an on-air meltdown. And this book is about what happened leading up to that, and what helped cause that, and then also how he coped afterwards. He's very honest about the fact that he wasn't dealing, he wasn’t dealing well. He had undiagnosed PTSD from all of his time spent embedded with new military units and his war correspondents and the things that he was seeing and he wasn't dealing well with that. And so he was partying, he was doing cocaine and ecstasy and not dealing with things, and those things came to a head on air and he actually wound up having a follow-up panic attack on air. He handled it better the second time around, but this was serious stuff, and so the book is really about how he learned to start meditating and taking better care of himself. It's really interesting and in most of these sort of self-help personal development books, you get the sort of “how they did it”. You don't always get the story leading up, and so he's really honest about what he went through and the struggles of what got him to this point and his struggles of figuring out how to solve it. Then it is really about his journey of digging into meditation and mindfulness and he tells a bunch of really, really funny stories.

He is hilarious. It is tons of one-liners, like I was laughing out loud during the whole thing, even the tough parts. So he's got this really just great approach of telling the story. And so I loved this book and loved his story and his message. I think we all go through really tough things and we all really struggle with being honest about and figuring out how to deal.

So if you're at all interested in mindfulness or meditation, if you've been struggling to be present, or to be the version of yourself that you want to be, or if you're just struggling to own up to some of the hard stuff that has gone on in your life and how you're dealing with it, I highly highly highly recommend this book. It's very entertaining and and enlightening and he also - I will include this link in the description here, but he also has come out with a podcast which is excellent, and I highly recommend.

Also an app called 10% Happier, about meditation and a it's a very practical kind of approach to it and there's a follow-up book which I will also review that I really enjoyed called Meditation for Fidgety Skeptics. So it's if you're intrigued, but also skeptical, this the guy that you should be focusing on because his story is really going to help you kind of peel back the layers a little bit and better understand if this is for you and short answer, tldr: It's for everybody.

So check it out, I highly recommend it and if you're at all interested in checking out the book click the link above, it'll take you right to where you can buy it or download it to listen. Thanks.

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