Stuff to Read and Watch that will make you Feel Better

Since having a surprise stroke four years ago at the relatively tender age of 32 (at least, tender for a stroke) I’ve had to deal with some anxiety issues. Mostly this anxiety is a low-grade hyper-awareness, if that makes sense. I am very aware of how I am feeling and quick to over-analyze each little twinge and ache.

Sometimes small events kick that anxiety into crazy-making overdrive. Last Sunday I bent over to tie my shoe, straightened up and had a head rush that kicked my panic settings into Defcon Freak-Out. I was dizzy for several moments and nauseous. Never mind that I intellectually knew that I had run six and a half miles two hours beforehand: I was clearly have another bleed in my brain.

Not surprisingly these exciting little episodes have piqued my interest in regaining a bit of equanimity. Like most Americans I have a healthy distrust/fascination with self-help. “10% Happier” is not really self-help in the sense that it doesn’t offer an easy recipe for immediate realization of all the reader’s ridiculous fantasies. It’s a memoir of the author’s struggles with anxiety and addiction, and how he came to make some kind of peace with himself. It’s also funny, smart and not too long (hey, we’re all busy!).

Also there’s this:

Daredevil is usually subtitled “The Man Without Fear” which should explain his appeal to me at this particular juncture. I haven’t watched the whole series yet, but so far it is gritty and dark. It takes it’s time revealing the extent of Daredevil’s powers, which are subtle but extensive. The Catholic themes of guilt, punishment and struggle run throughout. It’s not for the faint of heart: the fight scenes are brutal and bone-crunching, literally.

Hey, at least you can take comfort in the fact that someone’s having a worse day than you.


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