Review: Furiously Happy

Rating: 5 / 5

352 pages; Flatiron Books; 2017

In Furiously Happy, a humor memoir tinged with just enough tragedy and pathos to make it worthwhile, Jenny Lawson examines her own experience with severe depression and a host of other conditions, and explains how it has led her to live life to the fullest:

“I’ve often thought that people with severe depression have developed such a well for experiencing extreme emotion that they might be able to experience extreme joy in a way that ‘normal people’ also might never understand. And that’s what Furiously Happy is all about.”

This is a brave, unapologetically funny book that had us alternatively laughing until our sides ached and crying at some parts that struck close to home. The audiobook is even better. Narrated by Jenny herself, and it feels like having a conversation with an old friend.

Lawson uses her life and experiences as a vehicle to explain – in her own way – mental illness, specifically anxiety and depression. Her anecdotes range from the heartfelt to the downside bizarre but just when you think that she’s making something up, she surprises you with photographic evidence.

One quote that struck us, especially as we’re all still struggling with pandemic life and everything else that’s happening in the world: “I AM GOING TO BE FURIOUSLY HAPPY, OUT OF SHEER SPITE.”

This is a good motto to live by and we plan to plaster it everywhere to remind us to find moments of happiness, especially on really tough days.

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