Oh man, I knew this book was going to be good right from the very first sentence: “I initially wanted to call this book The Voice in My Head Is an Asshole.“ I love it. This guy speaks my language. Seriously…I often refer to that inner voice as an asshole when I’m discussing it with clients! This book literally had me laughing out loud – not like quiet, shoulder shaking laughter, but genuine (probably loud) guffaws on the Skytrain. Much like the client who suggested this book to me, I quickly went out and purchased this book after reading the library version.
Ok, so what’s it all about? Well, it’s about Dan Harris’ experiences with anxiety, panic, drug use, and eventually meditation. Harris is an ABC news anchor who had a panic attack on air and this book chronicles his journey of self-change and increased wellness. Because of his super cool job, Harris meets lots of well known self-help/wellness gurus (the Dalai Lama, Eckhart Tolle, and Deepak Chopra to name a few) and he gives his very candid opinion on what they preach. Stigma, Eastern vs. Western medicine, and the support of others are all themes that appear consistently throughout the book.
Even though this isn’t a science based book or a book dedicated to giving readers specific strategies to overcome anxiety, it is an extremely useful and important book. Having dealt with my own anxiety in the past, I found Harris’s words to be familiar. So many of those thoughts went through my own mind! I wish I could’ve read this book back then – I would have known that someone else really understood and I think that would have been quite reassuring. Also, Harris brings the topic of stigma to the forefront. It seems like all of my clients encounter stigma in some way, so having a public figure discuss it openly is pretty important. Lastly, and perhaps most practically, Harris includes an appendix at the end of the book that gives simple instructions on how to meditate and answers all the skeptical and practical questions that may come to mind for readers. He is also pretty open about his own journey with skepticism throughout the book.
I recommend this book to everyone! Seriously – I talk about this book all the time…
 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. (HarperCollins, 2014), p. xiii.