Do I Feel Better Yet?
Questionable Attempts at Self-Care and Existing in General
by Madeleine Trebenski
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Pub Date 07 Jun 2022 | Archive Date 06 Jun 2022
Chronicle Books, Chronicle Prism
A collection of stories, questionable advice, and essays on all of the things that people say will make you feel better.
If you’ve ever expressed even the slightest bit of dissatisfaction with the current state of your life, you’ve inevitably gotten the response, “Have you tried meditation? A 12-step skin care routine? Nature bathing? This very specific currently trending herbal supplement? Exercise? Joining a cult? Joining an exercise cult?” And a variety of other helpful suggestions. This book explores these topics with intellectual essays like “I’m Moving to the Woods to Live in a Nightmare Shack” and “Please Try Our Irresponsibly Expensive Makeup Stick.” It also features some incredibly important guides like, “How to Tell if Your Underwear Is Expensive Enough” and “Do You Want a Snack or Are You Just Horny?” As well as some weird stories about fictional men who may or may not have ruined the author’s chances of ever having a functional relationship. But, most importantly, if you learn anything from this book, it’s that a $72 ceramic mug made by a Portland artisan is not going to change your life.
Available on NetGalley
Average rating from 38 members
Do I Feel Better Yet? by Madeleine Trebenski is the anti-self help self help book. I laughed and rolled my eyes but I also kind of want some of my own $70 hand crafted cups and I'm not sure if my underwear is expensive enough. Do you think if I buy more expensive underwear it could help reduce inflammation? What if I sip homemade bone broth and burn incense while wearing them?
This book is for anyone who has occasionally (or routinely) fallen prey to the consumerism culture that pushes us to be thinner, prettier, smarter, and just better through buying things. And self care. Lots and lots of self care.
I think I will go take a bubble bath now. Thank you to Madeleine Trebenski, Chronicle Books, and NetGalley for the opportunity to read this free e-arc in exchange for an honest review.
Every time I tried to write a review for this book I ended up with a grumpy, sour dis of all the bad humor books currently out there. I'll save you the trouble of reading any of those rants. Rather, I'm just delighted to emphasize, without reservation, that this book is funny, engaging, and remarkably authentic. I had no idea who Madeleine Trebenski is before I came across this volume, but I liked everything about her attitude, her sense of humor, and her insight. There is a fair amount of pointed and edgy material here, but it is balanced by a generous and forgiving approach that makes the material even more effective. This was reminiscent of authors like Jenny Lawson, (though less confessional), and that is high praise. This is a happy find, well suited to browsing when a little cheerful bucking up is in order.
(Please note that I received a free advance ecopy of this book without a review requirement, or any influence regarding review content should I choose to post a review. Apart from that I have no connection at all to either the author or the publisher of this book.)
Well. This is a very funny book, however, this type of sex humor is no longer for me.
I spent some time with strippers in my life. I've worked in firehouse. I watched porn when I was younger. I've become wiser.
This book relies on sex for shock and laughs, and, maybe if I was still in that phase of my life, I'd love it.
Now I look for humor that doesn't use a gimmick to get laughs, which I feel the author could totally leave out the sex and probably have a better book.
Three stars for the talent of the author.
"Do I Feel Better Yet" is a series of essays talking about the silly advice people give you when you're struggling with your mental health (or just struggling in general). I really loved Trebenski's writing style, as it was the perfect balance of humor and seriousness, and the variety of essays featured in the different sections. Of course some essays were better or more enjoyable than others, but that stems from a place of personal preference and connection with the subject matters. I found this book very relatable and refreshing in-between my fiction reads, so it was perfect to read an essay here or there on my phone when I needed a break. I think this is the kind of book that's best read bit by bit so that you can really digest the essays and not get tired of the humor/overall subject of feeling better and making fun of society and yourself. I would say this is more of a 3.75 star read since I got a bit bored midway through (that's a me problem), but I think depending on the person more of the essays could be relatable and thus more enjoyable. A fun time and a great commentary on our silly ways of trying to feel better!
Thanks to NetGalley for allowing me to read this in exchange for my honest opinion.
This was a relatable and funny look at all the different “self care” remedies out there, some more helpful than others. Some of the essays were too silly for me but others were entertaining. A fun read.
Madeline Trebenski hit the nail on the head here! For anyone who has EVER been given HeLpFuL unsolicited advice concerning their mental or psychical heath/wellbeing- and beyond. It’s a snarky little mood and I looourrrved it. I feel like having multiple copies in my purse for moments when people ask if I have tried Keto to help me lose weight. I can pass them out like prayer cards given to me in parking lots.
I feel like this type of satire can be absolutely lost on some people, which probably why I love it even more! I chortled multiple times. MANY TIMES.
Examples of the type of good things you will experience within:
“WELCOME. MY NAME IS ARNICA CELESTIALBODY, AND I’ll be your yoga instructor today.”
Karen had then audibly whispered, “Stacy, you KNOW how I feel about squares.” We stood there, baffled, until my partner spoke up, “How does she feel about squares?” The project manager shook her head and said, “Not good. She does not feel good about squares.”
Have You Tried a Duke? (This one exposed me, but damnit I still love my romance novels)
The essays also dip into everything from le toxic man to outdoor IG culture to raising chickens.
Writing in my gratitude journal about how happy this book made me. 😇
This book was such a great book on the author’s experiences with people suggesting advice. But she put such a fun satirical spin on it.
This book was laugh out loud funny! If you’ve ever sealed with any mental health issues you can 100% related to this book. I think I’ve heard all these suggestions at some point, even from my drs. Worth the read to know someone else sees you and just to get a laugh.
Do I Feel Better Yet? will have you falling to the floor cracking up. It's an anti-self help book and it is so entertaining! It takes a look at self-help remedies and how much they help the author. There's also some very funny essays. I enjoyed this book and getting to laugh at the ways we try to feel good. It is a fun read.
First of all, thank you so much for a eArc, I appreciate it, because I am new to this reviewing game. "Do I Feel Better Yet" is a series of essays about people who give unwanted advice because if you dare admit to struggling at something, someone for sure knows the answer to all your problems. Each essay had its own story, I found that some where more relatable than others. However, it was still engaging to say the least. I loved the snarky humor and it really opened my eyes that not only am I guilty of buying extravagant things in order to defeat my insecurities but that I have also fallen victim to the pressure of society to look flawless.
Overall, this was a humorous way to look into the "Self care routines" suggested not only can get expensive but also isn't all that helpful to someone who truly is struggling
P.S. I still buy candles, bubble baths and skincare, because why now .
Do I Feel Better Yet? is a fast paced. witty collection of essays tackling mental health, and more simply, just being in your twenties/thirties. It is definitely geared towards that audience, but I can see how women of all ages would be able to relate to most of the stories included. The format and style was perfect, and complemented the essays perfectly. The book is funny, raw, honest, quite frankly everything you want in a “self help” book (it feels less like self help and more like entertainment the more you read). Each essay works well together as a whole, and forms a cohesive piece that is laugh out loud funny. Each story doesn’t hold an equivalent message, but all are entertaining and offer helpful advice.
Mental health doesn’t have to be taboo or all that extremely serious, and Trebenski prices you can take the unexpected route and still hit the nail on the head. It is a comforting read, as it is nice to know you are not alone in your personal struggle with mental health. I look forward to reading more from Melanie Trebenski in the future!
I enjoyed this book, but felt like it fell somewhat flat because it wasn't what I expected. I can see purchasing this book as a talking piece or something funny to read, but it is not something I would recommend for a book club, unless the specific topic is a funny take on self care or the way women are viewed in society, but in a very lighthearted way.
This book is hilarious and totally worth the time and money. You might not like every chapter but the ones you do like make it so dang worth it!
I was especially fond of the water section. I went around my home and read it to anyone who'd listen— everyone was dying of laughter.
This book is absolutely mood boosting. Being sad does not coexist with reading this. Full of laughter.
You might not relate to it all. But there is so much, you have to relate to something. Even the chapters I didn't relate to I found pleasure in the humor.
Rating: 5/5 stars
Thank you to NetGalley for allowing me to read and review this book.
Do I Feel Better Yet? is presented in the form of a self-help book, but this is humorously deceptive. Through a series of short essays, Madeleine Trebenski explains how her many attempts at bettering herself have either ultimately failed or did not live up to the expected results. Throughout this book, she stresses the idea that even though self-care is important, the cure to mental health issues cannot be found in practices such as trying a new yoga studio, taking an expensive probiotic your friend recommended, or anything similar. While touching on serious topics, such as religion and harassment, Trebenski relays her message humorously and sarcastically, while still being tasteful. The writing is simple, as if she and the reader were best friends chatting and telling silly stories on a coffee date. It is very personal but not to an uncomfortable degree.
This is a very relatable story to a “childless person in her twenties,” as Trebenski shares in this book. There is a lot of talk about the sexism women face today and how self-care is not exempt from female oppression. From skin-tightening facial creams to sketchy weight loss techniques to casual sex, she covers almost every way a woman is targeted to “better herself.” I love how down-to-earth she relays the information, while being straightforward and not sugar-coating anything. The difficult topics are easy to digest and understand, so I was not left numb after reading the whole 204 pages in two reading sessions.
Although this is seemingly an anti-self-help book, there is a lot to learn from her experiences. The author’s attitude toward self-care may come off as negative at first glance, but the book truly brought me hope. I laughed out loud so many times, and I mean a hearty laugh, not just a chuckle. The chapter and heading titles are hilariously specific, and they grabbed my attention instantly and made me keep reading. How could I stop after coming across the heading “My Life Has No Meaning, but Have You Tried the New Toaster”?
The book was truly one-of-a-kind, and I could not think of a better nonfiction book to start off the new year than this one.
Thanks to Netgalley for an advanced copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. This collection of essays set in the hellscape of late capitalism was written by a Millennial and for Millennials. I wasn't sure if as a Gen X-er, I had aged myself out of this book or not. It's still pretty relatable though for anyone still trying to survive and thrive in a work driven, plague-ridden society. As she ruminates over what we could do or she has done to care for ourselves in the short run-trying to unclench your jaw- or the more drastic option of running away to become a shepherd, Trebenskii criticizes elements of this Feel Better industry because it's so very easy for the vulnerable to become even more ill from the medicine. I prefer her writing when she provides more direct insights, such as "We watch old episodes of 80s and 90s television every night to mentally transport myself to a time and place where I feel safe enough to fall asleep." OMG, so *that's* why the Millennials love Friends, even after Joey and Rachel hooked up. She gets super annoyed when exercise is the one thing she doesn't feel like doing, and it's the one thing that has the best odds of being effective. Meh. Sometimes, she writes more hyperbolic satire, which doesn't work for me, but that's more a personal taste issue. Even when she's over-the-top, she's clever. Nor does she provide a pat, trite solution at the end. This book is more of a gentle reminder that we need to take care of ourselves when we're trying to take care of ourselves.
Truly self-help for people who hate self-help!
This is the funniest and most entertaining “self-help” book I’ve ever laid eyes upon. The cover drew me in, it’s beautiful and I love skincare products so that caught my eye immediately along with the color and minimalist style.. and I knew it was going to crack some jokes at self-help and the toxic positivity and gym-obsessed movement but I had no idea how far.
Sometimes I had to take a break from laughing. I have chronic pain so “have you tried..” is a part of my regular life and so often I’ve wanted to say to them what she says in this book. I wish I could hit my dad and brother over the head with this. We need more realistic things like this out there. I roll my eyes at most of the nonfiction books out there claiming to help people but really just criticizing.
It’s not that I’m a negative person but I don’t like the fake positivity movement. It isn’t real and I’m not the kind of person who can make myself believe something that isn’t real by telling it to myself enough times.
Aside from the jokes and commiserating, I did actually learn some valuable things and would recommend to other sarcastic people like myself and especially the chronic illness community.
Thank you for the EARC. “Do I Feel Better Yet?” Takes us through the world of “self care” and the collectives advice for what will cure what ails us. I thought this book was hilarious the first half of the way through but then things seemed to bog down. Some of the sections ran on a little too long and I found myself skipping pages just to get through the chapter. Mostly enjoyable and a good lesson to just do what works for you and stop listening to all the MSM BS about what will fix you.
Madeleine Trebenski started this book by sharing that she is extremely open to try everything that people suggest her mostly because she's also very open to complain about the things that are not going her way. As someone that also loves to complain, but is highly skeptical of advices, this book was great to know more about all the things I'm saying no to and ease my potential fear-of-missing-out.
The book is divided in sections, including Diets, Exercise, Buying Things, Working, Relaxing, Religion, and even Love. My favorite was probably the whole ordeal surrounding Nature - I'm a big adept of long walks in green locations as a way to make me feel better.
I liked the writing style and the personal anecdotes at the beginning of every chapter. The only thing that started to wear me down were the cynical/sarcastic long examples - after the first 3 or 4 I was already hoping for more personal stories or even some general content on why people believe that particular thing would make them feel better. The book veered more towards humor than biography or self-help in the traditional sense. This did not made it worse, just made it a bit tiring for me.
"Do I feel better yet?" made me laugh and I did actually feel better after reading it - there were some very funny parts that made me laugh out loud even. The interesting thing is that reading funny books did not feature the list of things that people suggest to other, so there is that. I'd recommend reading this book if you have tried many things to feel better - this might just be it.
Thanks NetGalley and Chronicle Books for the Advanced Reader Copy of this book, given in exchange of my honest review.
Wow! I rarely give anything five stars. This was such a great read. Truly funny and so relatable. Trebenski has found a new fan in me. I will definitely purchase this title for my library and recommend it to patrons. I would recommend this to any woman over 25, and fans of Nora Ephron. So many of her experiences and observations made me laugh out loud that it’s hard to choose a favorite. At the same time she’s pointing out the more ridiculous aspects of our society. I identified with so much here. and absolutely loved her conclusion!
"Lately, I've started to feel like the call for people to practice self-care is just another version of telling people to pull themselves up by their bootstraps."
In a culture full of fad diets, miracle cures, and get rich quick schemes, Madeline Trebenski gets real about everything she's tried on her own self-care journey.
Full of snark amd wit, I found this one deeply relatable. Who among us hasn't tried something silly in order to try to improve our lives? Who isn't tired of hearing "oh just try this [insert pill, exercise, diet, class here] it will TOTALLY change your life".
This is the self-help book for everyone who's sick of hearing about self-help. It's a fun, easy read.
Cross-posted to goodreads at: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/4622452532
Over the last few years it seems that each time I mention that I am struggling with work, or sleep, or I just feel off the answer I get from everyone is “you should try some self care.” Or, when I am sitting in a work meeting at 7AM trying to remember if I packed enough food to keep me full through the after school basketball game and the admin wraps up the meeting by saying “make sure you practice self care”……I’ve never been more inclined to punch a wall. This book perfectly wraps up all of the insane “have you tried this” hacks that people tend to share when they think someone needs help. Trebenski adds humor and wit to the world of exercise, diets, spa days, and dream grocery stores. This is the book for the semi burned out Millenial or Gen Z employee who is sick of hearing work meetings that end with “don’t forget to practice self care” each week. I really hope Trebenski does a bit of a book tour and makes an appearance on the Diet Starts Tomorrow podcast because I think she has uncovered a niche in the 20-30 something market that is exceptionally relatable.
Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for this ARC.
This book cracked me up, I loved the author’s humor and observations about trends in self care, it really struck home with me, especially the observations about promoted instagram ads references to Kylo Ren and plants
I really liked and enjoyed this book! I feel like a better person for reading it, and it’s something that’s going to stick with me for a long time.
Thank you to NetGalley and Chronicle Books for the opportunity to read and review an e-ARC of this book. I am absolutely the target demographic and audience for this title, and so much of it resonated with me. I'm a millennial and have my fair share of chronic illnesses, so it's definitely a common occurrence for well-meaning folks to wholeheartedly recommend some combination of yoga, scented candles, exercise equipment, an all-soup diet (or was it a no-soup diet?), juice cleanse, bath bomb, face cream etc etc etc that will completely change my life and heal me. And while I enjoy (most of) those things and find that they do actually improve my overall well-being, we know they're not cure-alls and it gets frustrating to be constantly presented with this idea that all our physical, emotional, and spiritual ails are a few small self-care purchases away from being solved. I liked the portions of this book that played with the ridiculousness of this notion. (It is a lot to expect from a humble piece of wax that an expensive candle can turn my life around!) It also captured the endlessness of this cycle. (Oh, you'd feel way better if you did yoga. Ah, you do practice yoga? Well, you're probably using the wrong mat. The toxic material is killing you slowly. You still feel terrible? Is it perhaps because you eat GRAINS?)
Ultimately, my takeaway is that we're all searching for things to make our lives incrementally better - little treats we purchase for ourselves to brighten a bad day, or big lifestyle changes that force us to look at the choices we've been making thus far.
This glorious, quick read is a self help book full of short essays that made me feel so seen! Talk about hitting the nail right on the head with most of these, omg I was laughing out loud during some (most) parts- and I literally love a book that can make me actually laugh! 🤣 From start to finish, this makes you think about all the previous attempts you’ve made at your own self care and makes you laugh along with how amazing it seemed but then how silly it probably turned out. I could tell from the start this book was going to get me- it totally did! Definitely recommend, especially if you’re into self-care types of books!
The formatting of the book itself was difficult to read, but I tried to ignore it. I still found the concept of the book interesting and I love the author's writing style. I'm looking forward to buying this book for all of my fellow McSweeney buffs. I found this book a welcome respite in a sea of self-care books, and laughed out loud often.
If you are a person who is trying to find happiness in our increasingly insane world (and of course you are, you exist), you will likely identify with some (or all) of Do I Feel Better Yet? This book takes a look at a lot of the trends sweeping the millenial/Gen Z world to see if any of this ceaseless advice is actually helpful.
As someone who battles my anxiety and depression constantly, I identified deeply with the idea of all of the different things or activities people tell you will magically fix you. From fad diets to yoga to exercise to the great outdoors to alien romance novels to rampant consumerism to possibly sketchy "wellness cults", this book takes a comical look at the lengths we will go to to try to feel better - instead of, you know, dealing with it responsibly with a therapist.
I greatly enjoyed these essays and found the entire book to be very approachable and funny. Anyone at all aware of today's culture will be all too familiar with the subjects, which are addressed in a variety of essay formats, from personal anecdotes to "brochures" explaining why the MLM wellness group you are interested in definitely isn't a weird sex cult, to a letter to the parents explaining that your boyfriend - who happens to be cursed to be a monster for going on three centuries now - is coming to dinner, and may or may not destroy the house and/or drink grandma's blood.
While this book probably will not be a viable substitute for therapy and/or medication, it is a diverting way to spend some time, and will likely make you feel better while reading it.
Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for an advanced copy of this book! All thoughts and opinions are my own.
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