Self-Help Book Review: The Life-Changing Magic of Not Giving a F*ck by Sarah Knight

Is this popular self-help book worth giving a f*ck about?

I am a self-professed, unashamed self-help book junkie.

There, I said it.

I read my first self-help book when I was 16.  I didn’t fully realize at the time, but this was my introduction to Cognitive Behavioral Therapy–now a therapeutic approach I use with most clients.  I’ve been hooked ever since.

It makes sense, actually.  I love reading and I love psychology.  Self-help books blend the two (and are more palatable than text books.)  Self-help books tend to have a personal component that is not found in your traditional reference books.

I wanted to start offering reviews of the self-help books I’ve read so 1) you can decide which are worth your time and which are not  2) I can justify reading more self-help books.

Prepare yourself.

 Review Of:

The Life-Changing Magic of Not Giving a F*ck By Sarah Knight

How I Learned About This Book:  A kindred spirit recommended it to me when I mentioned having just read this book by Jen Sincero.

You Might Like This Book If:

  • You approach self-help books with heavy cynicism but are open to some kind of mental shift.
  • You enjoy well-done parodies. (Although nothing can be compared to this Twilight Parody.  Yes, I’ve read it, but only because it was on an 18 hour road trip. Don’t judge.)
  • You enjoy practical advice mixed with prolific expletives.
  • You are a chronic people pleaser (and want to change that).
  • You want to learn how to not allocate so much time, energy, and money to things which aren’t important to you (and, most importantly, do it without being a jerk).

Don’t Read This Book If: 

  • You don’t enjoy an inane amount of profanity when reading. (As if the title didn’t make this obvious.)
  • You want to just cut to the chase.
  • You would prefer a more gentle approach which does not involve self-deprecating humor or strong opinions which may clash with yours.
  • You are related to Marie Kondo.

What I Liked (as a Human and Mental Health Professional):

  • While not always my therapeutic approach, there is something about profanity mixed with self-help advice I can appreciate. It can provide some shock value which helps to view yourself and your beliefs, attitudes, and actions in a different way.
  • It’s undoubtedly entertaining.  The author shares many personal examples and stories that are hilarious, uncomfortable, helpful–or all three.
  • It does offer some sound advice. For example, the author teaches readers about setting boundaries in an honest and polite way (she even uses a cool matrix to help visualize the concept.)  She focuses on differentiating between caring about other people’s thoughts vs. opinions, and why that matters.

My Main Critique:  

  • The book is redundant. I found I got the perspective I needed after the first half of the book. I finished it just because it was entertaining and had some great visuals and stories near the end of the book.

My Overall Rating: 6.75.  (0 = Don’t bother, 10= I’m enlightened)

Bottom Line: Worth the read for the entertainment value, unique visuals, and practical tips, but may be a bit much for those with gentle constitutions.

Have you read this book?  What are your general thoughts on self-help books? Comment below!

Quiet Moon Counseling

Arianna Smith, MA, LPC

3 thoughts on “Self-Help Book Review: The Life-Changing Magic of Not Giving a F*ck by Sarah Knight

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