Happiness Is A Skill

By Brooke Siem

After 15 years of depression and antidepressants, my mission is to help people find hope in the name of healing. HAPPINESS IS A SKILL a newsletter for people who are ready to dig deep and do the self-work required to create a beautiful life. You can learn more about my story at www.brookesiem.com.

After 15 years of depression and antidepressants, my mission is to help people find hope in the name of healing. HAPPINESS IS A SKILL a newsletter for people who are ready to dig deep and do the self-work required to create a beautiful life. You can learn more about my story at www.brookesiem.com.

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650

subscribers

64

issues

#64・

Happiness Is A Skill - Issue #63 - Ask Brooke: What advice would you give to young people about grief?

Because so many people reach out to me with questions about depression, antidepressants, and recovery, I decided to make those questions part of the Happiness Is A Skill repertoire.If you would like to Ask Brooke a question, you can do so here.Today's questio…

 
#63・

Happiness Is A Skill - Issue #65 - My interview with Restoring Innate Health

Hi everyone,Popping in for a moment with a few updates. I'm currently in monk mode digging into the 7th draft of my forthcoming memoir, MAY CAUSE SIDE EFFECTS. This round of edits has been extremely rough on me. Not only is the process exhausting and the floo…

 
#62・

Happiness Is A Skill - Issue #62 - MAY CAUSE SIDE EFFECTS coming 2022

When I started Happiness Is A Skill, I did it for two reasons. First, I wanted to have an outlet to talk about mental/emotional health and antidepressant withdrawal without enmeshing myself in social media. The topography of those niches on Twitter is a night…

 
#61・

Happiness Is A Skill - Issue #61 - The 51% Theory, or, Factual Optimism

How do we find happiness when we are still depressed or in antidepressant withdrawal? We don't. At least, we don't aim for big changes. Instead, we go for getting it right 51% of the time.If we quantify happiness onto a scale that ranges from 0% happy to 100%…

 
#60・

Happiness Is A Skill - Issue #60 - Where to find mental health research (and how to tell if it's legit)

For most of my life, I struggled with the assumption that people with letters after their name were not only smarter, more powerful, and more successful than me, but that the research they create is gospel. I’m not sure when or how this seed was planted, but …

 
#59・

Happiness Is A Skill - Issue #59 - Three Science-Backed Apps for Better Emotional Health

SuperBetterCreated by game designer Jane McGonigal, SuperBetter is an app that builds resilience. Born after a traumatic brain injury left McGonigal suicidal, SuperBetter brings the concepts of gaming into real life. For McGonigal, this meant accomplishing Po…

 
#58・

Happiness Is A Skill - Issue #58 - How your vision affects stress and anxiety

This week, I wanted to draw attention to the work of Andrew Huberman, an American neuroscientist and tenured professor in the Department of Neurobiology at the Stanford University School of Medicine.Huberman specializes in the visual system and how it affects…

 
#57・

Happiness Is A Skill - Issue #57 - Why happiness practice matters.

I find myself writing to you today from a rather odd place. There is pressure surrounding a particular issue in my personal life, and I can feel my inner world preparing for the earth to crack open. This isn't unexpected, and the details don't matter. But it …

 
#56・

Happiness Is A Skill - Issue #56 - You aren't in traffic. You are the traffic.

As I was taking my car to get serviced at 7:30 this morning, I pulled onto the highway and was met with a line of cars backed up for miles. I cursed myself for a moment, annoyed that I chose to take the highway at peak rush hour instead of taking the back roa…

 
#55・

Happiness Is A Skill - Issue #55 - Publication Bias & the Chemical Imbalance Theory

With social media at the forefront of 21st-century communication, there is a tendency for non-experts to argue with one another via evidence-based research. Having an opinion is dangerous when a single Tweet can get you fired, but making a statement that begi…

 
#54・

Happiness Is A Skill - Issue #54 - Debunking the Chemical Imbalance Theory, Part IV

At this point in our journey, you're probably coming around to the idea that the chemical imbalance theory is flawed at best and an outright lie at worst. Although it's been disproven over and over again and that patients who think a chemical imbalance is the…

 
#53・

Happiness Is A Skill - Issue #53 - Debunking the Chemical Imbalance Theory, Part III

Antidepressants are a $26.25 billion dollar industry. If the industry as a whole was a person, it would be the 66th wealthiest individual on the planet. Zoloft, Lexapro, Xanax, Wellbutrin, Celexa, Prozac, Klonopin, Effexor, and Cymbalta all crack the top 50 m…

 
#52・

Happiness Is A Skill - Issue #52 - One Year of Happiness Is A Skill

One year ago, filled with cabin-fever thanks to the early months of the pandemic, I began Happiness Is A Skill in an effort to consolidate the strategies and techniques I've used over the years in order to overcome a decade and a half of depression and a year…

#51・

Happiness Is A Skill - Issue #51 - Debunking the Chemical Imbalance Theory, Part II

Psychiatry, like most hard sciences, suffers as research trickle down from laboratories to the mainstream. Take our friend from Part I, Harvard neuropsychopharmacologist Joseph Schildkraut, who said in 1965 that the chemical imbalance theory was “at best a re…

 
#50・

Happiness Is A Skill - Issue #50 - Debunking the Chemical Imbalance Theory, Part I

The first antidepressant was discovered by accident. In 1952, a drug designed to treat tuberculosis, iproniazid, had a surprising side effect: patients in the sanatorium became euphoric when treated with this drug. Researchers experimented with the mood-alter…

 
#49・

Happiness Is A Skill - Issue #49 - "Depression isn't a choice," and other lies I believed.

During my decade and a half of deep depression, my mother often said to me, "Honey, you can choose not to be depressed." To which I responded, seething, "Depression isn't a choice. Why would I choose this? I can't just turn it on and off."And then I'd huff ou…

 
#48・

Happiness Is A Skill - Issue #48 - The Birder

I'm off the grid this week taking a much needed break, so I'm leaving with you with this stunning short documentary, The Birder.The description reads:"Birds are constantly calling us to attention...but are we listening?" In The Birder, we dive into the practi…

 
#47・

Happiness Is A Skill - Issue #47 - The Lighter Path

In a recent interview with Tim Ferriss, author and business strategist Greg McKeown talked about a concept he called, "The Lighter Path." The Lighter Path, in essence, is the ability to cultivate a spirit of hope and ease even in the most difficult of times. …

 
#46・

Happiness Is A Skill - Issue #46 - Symmetry with Taylor Somerville

In 2018, two years after I'd taken my last antidepressant, I found myself still struggling to remain steady in an unmedicated world. After fifteen years of relying on antidepressants and anti-anxiety drugs to do all the coping work for me, I didn't have any s…

 
#45・

Happiness Is A Skill - Issue #45 - You do have time. It's just not your priority.

One of the most underrated and useful techniques in creating a steady life is to understand the purpose of priority. And yet, like most things in our hustle harder society, "priority" is a word that only comes up around work. We instinctively know that when i…