I’m a little obsessed with self-help books. Not so much actually finishing them, but starting them with the best of intentions and inevitably becoming distracted by a new one. I guess they don’t need to be read cover to cover—you can dip in any time and potentially benefit if the book is any good. Sometimes I actually finish one, though.

Calm the F*ck Down by Sarah Knight

I’m a big fan of Sarah Knight’s books and irreverent, sweary self-help approach. On the other hand, Calm the F*ck Down didn’t shed much light on my own struggles with anxiety. Although the book purports itself to be for people exactly like me, I didn’t glean much insight from it.

The book deals mainly with generalities and my main take-away from it is the need to alter my perceptions in the face of angst or crisis. In other words, examine the situation and ask myself how much of it is within my control, then act accordingly. If this sounds pretty basic, that’s because it is. Unfortunately, I wasn’t left with much of an impression of the book other than this. There’s also a Choose Your Own Adventure (Disaster) portion of the book that provides hypotheticals and possible solutions, but I found this section both tedious and repetitive and I skimmed a lot of it.

Overall, I was disappointed with this book, especially after loving Knight’s first book, The Life Changing Magic of Not Giving a F*ck. For people who have clinical anxiety, you’d probably be better off skipping this and seeing your therapist instead, as you likely won’t gain any new insight into how to better manage your condition. For casual readers of self-help and everyone else, you might find helpful information here.

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