The Antidote: Happiness for People Who Can't Stand Positive Thinking

Just wrapped up another Audiobook, this time it’s "The Antidote: Happiness for People Who Can’t Stand Positive Thinking". It’s a 6-hour and change book written and narrated by Oliver Burkeman, who has lots of similar books.

In short, it’s a book about the trappings of the "Cult of Positive Thinking" and references lots of psychological studies that demonstrate that Positive Thinking can actually make us less happy, because things rarely turn out as happy as we can imagine. Instead, he proposes a moderate amount of negative thinking, imagining just how bad things can get, which can then make you a bit more relieved when you realize that basically never happens. Along the way he links this to the ancient teachings of the stoics, buddha, and various other religions.

It’s an interesting listen, and makes reference to Ernest Becker’s The Denial of Death, just like "The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck".

I enjoyed the first half of it. The latter half gets a bit slow, since it’s mostly more evidence for reinforcing the first half, so it felt a bit repetitive and dry.

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