‘The Subtle Art Of Not Giving A Fuck’ by Mark Manson [Mini Book Review + Quotes]

I don’t know where to start in explaining how much I loved this book and how much I resonated with the theories… but Mark Manson himself describes this book as “a guide to suffering and how to do it better, more meaningfully, with more compassion and more humility” and I think it’s spot on. I found this book quotable, meaningful, thought-provoking and it tells it exactly how it is – no sugar coating.

From discussing how to embrace pain, to taking responsibility for your life, to accepting our death in order to truly live our lives, there is so much valuable insight amongst these pages, and it really got me questioning my own thought process and the way I live my life – because we all have progress to make, much of which is hidden in our subconscious.

I’d like to share a few of my favourite quotes from the book that really got me thinking and that might provide some interesting thinking time or discussions for you too:

“The more you pursue feeling better all the time, the less satisfied you become, as pursuing something only reinforces the fact that you lack it in the first place.”

“We shouldn’t always trust our emotions… we should make a habit of questioning them.”

“As a rule, people who are terrified of what others think about them are actually terrified of all the shitty things they think about themselves being reflected back at them.”

“We don’t always control what happens to us. But we always control how we interpret what happens to us, as well as how we respond.”

“The only way to solve our problems is to first admit that our actions and beliefs up to this point have been wrong and are not working. This openness to being wrong must exist for any real change or growth to take place.”

“If it feels like it’s you versus the world, chances are it’s really just you versus yourself.”

“We can be truly successful only at something we’re willing to fail at. If we’re unwilling to fail, then we’re unwilling to succeed.”

“Our proudest achievements come in the face of the greatest adversity.”

“Life is about not knowing and then doing something anyway. All of life is like this.”

“Don’t just sit there. Do something. The answers will follow.”

I will definitely be re-reading this book whenever I feel stuck in life, whenever I feel I need a helping hand making a change, whenever I feel like I’m falling or losing my sense of direction. And I’d recommend it for anyone in this situation too.

Self development is more than just being positive; it’s taking responsibility and learning to handle adversity with acceptance and strength. And I believe we all have the potential to do that – this book is definitely a start in reminding us that we can, every single one of us, and it acts as a brutally honest but supportive helping hand.

Have you read this book? Or did a particular quote from above speak to you?

I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.

Sound of Metal. [Film Review]

Sound of Metal may start with the crash of drums, the buzzing atmosphere of a concert jumping out of the room it inhabits, but this immersive experience of a film is much more than the sound that is or isn’t present; it is a meditation on what it means to truly embrace peace.

Following the life of Ruben, a heavy-metal drummer, Sound of Metal drills into the terrifying experience of losing the ability to hear. As Ruben shoves his way through the backdoor of the concert stage, falling into an alleyway, he enters a world so different than the one he inhabited only moments before. And he has to learn what it means to live in it.

Awarded Oscars for Best Film Editing and Best Sound, it is no surprise that this film utilises sound to its advantage to place the viewer within the character of Ruben, as our own eardrums tackle the high, piercing sound of his damaged hearing and the faint, bumbling commotion of a life he can’t quite hear, can’t quite pinpoint. It is extraordinarily uncomfortable, feeling his initial panic as my own, checking my ears once, twice, three times to remind myself that this is a story on a screen. But for many it isn’t.

I can’t begin to comprehend the life of someone losing their hearing, but this film pays a quietly powerful tribute to all those suffering. I didn’t know much going into it, and it’s clear that it’s all about the “sound of metal” as a drummer within a metal band, but as the viewer weaves in and out of the hearing world and the frazzled, uncomfortable sounds of a man isolated from it, “metal” becomes more than music; it becomes Ruben’s reliance. Stuck with the hope of a metal implant, he seeks a different kind of noise – artificial yet real, different yet life-saving.

From the initial confusion, to anger and frustration, to figuring out how to move forward… Ruben spends so much time searching for this metal solution for his physical impairment, not yet realising the true solution lies in his capability to sit in the stillness, the peace, the silence. His solution lies in a sad, weird, wonderful, heart-breaking sense of acceptance, aside from any kind of device.

Ending this film felt like ending an era – if that could ever be fathomable. Accumulating all these snapshots into Ruben’s life and his impact on those around him, it built up to a moment in time that felt like, rather than an ending, a beginning. Perhaps even a middle, more than anything. And yet it was perfect.

Cue the credits and the most beautiful song filtered out the speakers and you can’t help but feel all the pain repressed into the screen leak out in the subtle cries of a song – one that speaks the honest words of so many in a similar situation to Ruben. And you can’t help but be truly grateful – to be able to hear, to be able to truly experience the world.

Sound of Metal tells a story that is often heard but not truly understood. It made its impact – in so many ways – and I don’t think any words could do justice to the exceptional acting, editing, sound and production that went into making this a truly immersive experience.

Have you seen Sound of Metal?

Let me know what you thought below.

Strange(r) Conversations #1 – Creative Writing Series

I’d like to introduce my new blog series: Strange(r) Conversations!

I was inspired when I took a walk recently, realising how much I’ve missed being out of lockdown and seeing other people, even if not speaking to them, and how you can pick up the most interesting and out of context dialogue simply from walking past people mid-conversation. And I thought – why not start writing about it?

I used to share a lot of creative writing on this blog, and then I stopped for a while, focusing a little more on book reviews and lifestyle content. So, it’s making a comeback.

Can you guess what inspired this short flash fiction piece? (Reveal at the bottom of this post!)

Wish There’d Been More For Me

He remembered the time he would sit there, hair slicked back with that greasy old hair gel – the kind that got forgotten about. His feet would tap tap tap away at the base of the opposite booth, his arms stretched across the table to mark his territory. But his head hung low, drained.

“Omelette, sir.”

The waitress with kind eyes would place the plate on the table and he’d think, oh that’s awfully nice of her, that nice waitress with the kind eyes. But that’s the thing about waitresses – they’re all nice and they all have kind eyes if that’s who they choose to be. He wasn’t any different from any other customer. Tap tap tapping away at the base of the booth. At his thoughts. As the omelette dropped into his hollow stomach.

And he’d leave with the chime of the bell like he did every week because you can’t leave without it. And the wind would dare break his hair slicked back with that greasy old hair gel but it was too strong. He was too strong. He told himself that as he trudged down the road leading endlessly down the side length of the weeping forest.

I just wish there’d been more for me, he thought.

He was thinking about the food. The menu. The combinations of plates that could have been slung in front of him. But it was more than that.

He pushed a hand through his hair. Not that he needed to. Not that he really needed to do anything, but walk on.

The overheard conversation that inspired this piece:

I was walking past a park where a guy on a picnic mat was telling his friends:

“Restaurants have definitely got better at serving vegetarian food. You used to go to restaurants and ask for vegetarian food and they’d be like “oh do you want an omelette?” But now they’re really good.”

I hope you enjoyed reading the first post in my new series.

Let me know your thoughts in the comments below, or even share your own short creative writing piece using the same prompt!

Daisy Jones & The Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid [Book Review]

Did I get roped into buying this from all the beautiful photos and wonderful reviews over on bookstagram?

Yes, yes I did.

But I don’t regret it.


Daisy Jones & The Six is one of the most unique books I’ve read in a very long time. Set in the 1970’s, amidst the height of rock ‘n’ roll, it follows the journey of six bandmates (The Six) and the singer Daisy Jones. It’s written purely in dialogue – the truth lies only in the words which have been spoken – as the reader is thrown into a world of music, heartbreak, desire and ambition. Tell me it’s not real, I dare you. These characters light up the stage of the page in a way that really does make you believe in their souls.

My Thoughts

One of the most disappointing feelings as a reader is going into a book with such high expectations and then having them fall flat. I half expected this to happen with Daisy Jones & The Six but it really did take me by surprise.

I’ve never read a book written purely in dialogue and I think naturally I had some questions going into it. Would I feel too detached from the inner worlds of the characters? How is the plot going to formulate? Would I simply get bored? However, as soon as I started reading, none of these questions even mattered – I didn’t need to think about them at all.

Daisy Jones & The Six is a success, I think, because it doesn’t try to be something its not. It allows itself to be character-driven without trying too hard to make a plot out of it. And it’s believable – so believable. From the very first page I felt like I was watching a documentary play out before my eyes. Dialogue was interspersed cleverly to keep everything relevant, and yet each character had its own style, its own life and its own sub-plot.

I don’t often give books 5 stars – only if I feel I connected to the book in some way. And when I’m reading a book about rock ‘n’ roll in the 1970’s, before I was even born, it’s easy to think, well, how can I relate to any of this? But there were so many stripped back, beautiful moments in this book, which felt like those vulnerable moments in a documentary when a singular person is talking to the camera and they just bare their soul. And in those moments, as a reader, you see these characters as flawed human beings – behind the parties, the drugs and the commotion, they are facing a universal struggle.

As someone who loves both music and writing, I was particularly interested in the way these two elements were brought together for the songwriting scenes of the book. The power of music, of writing, of putting a chunk of your own heart and soul into these art forms is what this book is all about – and how sometimes the most important of words are never spoken, or never needed to be. Whilst I couldn’t relate to the characters on a surface-level, their deeper thoughts, the way they placed themselves within their art, resonated with me. I so wanted the band to be real. Honestly. I still do. I wish the songs were real.

Daisy Jones & The Six may look like an exciting, thrill of a ride – and it is, most definitely. But it also places a much deeper emphasis on relationships, art, choices and trust. It has that extra layer that any reader surely looks for in a book. And that’s what makes it so great.

If these wonderful quotes (my favourite quotes from the book) are anything to go by…

“These people from a different country, people I’d never met in my life, I felt connected to them in a way that I hadn’t felt connected to anyone before. It is what I have always loved about music. Not the sounds or the crowds or the good times as much as the words – the emotions, and the stories, the truth – that you can let flow right out of your mouth. Music can dig, you know? It can take a shovel to your chest and just start digging until it hits something.”

Daisy Jones

“She had written something that felt like I could have written it, except I knew I couldn’t have. I wouldn’t have come up with something like that. Which is what we all want from art, isn’t it? When someone pins down something that feels like it lives inside us? Takes a piece of your heart out and shows it to you? It’s like they are introducing you to a part of yourself.”


Have you read Daisy Jones & The Six?

I’d love to know what you thought in the comments below!

5 Things I’m Grateful For This March (2021)

For some reason, the last month has seemed to stretch out for eternity. It feels like more than a month ago I was here writing about my February gratitude! I’m convinced it’s a lockdown thing, but I’m super excited as things are starting to open up now in the UK.

So, let’s get started on the positivity!

Summer-Like Days

Or should I say day?

Just in time for the end of the month, yesterday was one of the warmest days we’ve had in March in the UK for 53 years – crazy! So I knew I had to make the most of it. This meant spending almost the entire day outdoors – working on the patio, playing table tennis, yoga on the grass, the lot! It felt really good to switch up my routine and get lots of fresh air, especially after the year we’ve all had. Here’s hoping to more days like this in April (once the weather forecast stops predicting snow…)

Freedom On The Horizon

As dramatic as it sounds (but I’m sure we’re all thinking it), we can now actually see people in the flesh! Of course, there are still many covid restrictions still in place, but I’m really looking forward to meeting up with friends and family outdoors. I think in lockdown my way of coping was to just shut out the possibility of these things happening so that it would be easier to cope, but now things are opening up I’ve realised just how much I missed simply going out to see people. I hope you all enjoy the freedom of the Easter weekend too!

New Work Space

This month I’ve moved to a different area of the house for work and, although I’ve only spent a few days here so far, I much prefer it! I’ve moved things around a little so that the desk faces the window, with lots of natural light, which I think has really improved my mood. It’s nice to also have a proper desk that I can organise with notebooks, pens etc. rather than a curved dining room table, where there was limited space. Sometimes it’s nice to simply have a different perspective, especially when working from home for long periods of time. Has anyone else changed their work space too?

Endless Tea

If you know me well, you’ll know I’m a bit obsessed with herbal tea. During lockdown especially, it’s a constant cycle between working and getting tea and working and getting food. I’m making my way through my herbal tea collection, and even tried a new Twinings tea called Heart Tea this month, with blackcurrants, rosemary, honey and hibiscus. I’m grateful to have stumbled across all these wonderful teas to keep me feeling warm and comfy. If you’re also a tea-lover, let me know your favourite one in the comments below!


For some reason, I’ve struggled a bit with sleep this month. A few nights of not falling asleep well and the brain automatically associates the bed with staying awake, which is never helpful! However, I think it’s reinforced how important sleep really is for me (and for anyone!). Even after one night’s good sleep, I feel calmer, less anxious, happier, and of course have more energy. Often I think one thing is the cause of something (e.g. anxiety causing me to not sleep well), when actually the opposite is the case (the not sleeping well is causing more anxiety). The mind and body is so complicated, but so so interesting! Long story short: I’m truly grateful for sleep.

What are you grateful for this March?

Let me know in the comments below!

Us. [Film Review + Analysis]

I wouldn’t say I’m a huge fan of horror films, but Us is so different to your usual jump-scare-and-predictable-plot horror films. Written and directed by Jordan Peele, who is known initially for his comedy sketches, I knew it was a film I had to see – especially since I watched his first film Get Out last year and absolutely loved it.

Jordan Peele’s film writing is clever, intricate and draws upon the mundane aspects of life to produce something of psychological horror. Us was no exception. It follows the journey of a family who are on holiday, suddenly finding four figures in red standing outside their house late at night. It is only when they get closer, they realise they are exact replicas of themselves.

Peele explains in various interviews that the film was inspired by his own anxieties surrounding doppelgangers. He chooses striking colours and objects to take this everyday phenomenon into an unsettling piece of horrific action. Red outfits. Scissors as weapons. White rabbits. There are always symbolic objects and phrases in Peele’s films which he places intricately and intentionally throughout, only to reveal the greater meaning later on. For that reason, his films are brilliant for analysis. With so many interpretations up for grabs, I always love to sit back and have a think about what I got out of it. And I thought I’d share a little of that with all of you here!

*Spoilers ahead*

The main question many of us have at the end of a film as complex as Us is: What does the ending mean? I had no idea where the film would end up, despite my many guesses, but I certainly didn’t expect it to end up where it did. And that was definitely a good thing!

The overall concept of the film reveals the dichotomy between the living world and the Tethered, who live in underground corridors – two sides of a world that act in accordance with one another, yet only one half are aware of its strength. It is only by the end that we see the underground Tethered as puppets of the people above, falling into step behind them and copying what they do but with no understanding of why they’re doing it and therefore no meaning. An experiment gone wrong, still malfunctioning as time moves on.

One of my favourite scenes was near the end – the attack between Adelaide and her doppelganger “puppet”. It cleverly flicks between the past and the present – the influential dance routine and the present rage. It is like ballet reimagined. Whilst the weapon of the scissors throughout the film clearly represents a sense of duality (two parts making a whole, but that can’t be separated), I also noticed that the ballet move, as the legs snap together, also aligns with the motion of scissors in this scene. It is as if the characters themselves have inhabited the brutality of the scissors. The dance is no longer a dance but an unsettling attack waiting to happen.

Us wasn’t made just to scare, and I think that’s what makes a good horror film. Its interesting interactions between the living and the Tethered aren’t far off many societal differences in our current world; the notion of “them” and “us” can easily be read as subtle commentary on societal inequalities and “The Other” – the idea that we “fight” those we don’t understand.

I read an interesting article online that made a very good point: if “them” and “us” can do the same (since Adelaide and her underground shadow puppet make the same moves), what makes them any different? The only difference is that one has the autonomy to live it out. But why shouldn’t they both?

Us is an unsettling, thought-provoking, original creation and I think it deserves a lot more praise than it’s received. I can’t end this without making a small comment on the plot twist at the end: I can’t believe I didn’t figure it out sooner! Very cleverly executed, and I can’t wait to go back and watch it again, with added hindsight ready to pick up on even finer details.

Have you seen the film Us?

Or Jordan Peele’s former film Get Out?

Let me know in the comments below – always up for a film discussion!

What Matters More: The Journey Or The Result?

When you sit back and think about your life, what has been driving you forward? Is it something you have chosen? Is it society’s system? And do you wish it was any different?

Recently I had a discussion with a friend about the impact of the education system and a world where results and achievements are considered the “be all and end all”. We live in a society, particularly as we are growing up, where we are constantly taught to think about the end result – the grade, the next school and the move to college, university or work. We are looking ahead because we are told that’s how we make a life for ourselves. But what about our life in the present moment?

In my opinion, the education system never placed enough emphasis on learning for learning’s sake. It felt like every piece of content thrown our way was there to simply learn and regurgitate. And yes, many of us did enjoy certain aspects of school, perhaps because we found our own way to find meaning in what was given to us. However, why not teach children how to find that meaning? Instead of driving end results that tear down those who haven’t yet found their passion, why not teach them how to enjoy the ride?

The problem with focusing too much on the end result, such as achieving a grade or securing a job, is that the moment is fleeting. The emotions associated with success and fulfillment don’t last forever, because if we tie our self-worth to one single end goal, what will we then be without it? As much as an end result or goal may motivate us to get up in the morning and do what we need to do to succeed, it teaches us that there is nothing else out there for us if we can’t do it – or even if we can. Why work solely towards something that is impermanent – an end result simply for achievements sake? Why not appreciate a journey that is filled with permanent meaning, regardless of the outcome?

I think it’s interesting to ask others what they believe is more important: The journey or the result. It’s interesting because I think most people would say journey, but whether this reflects in their lives is a whole different matter. Do we really appreciate the journey if we let failure destroy our sense of self? Do we really appreciate the journey if we are getting impatient towards our goals? It is easy to forget that the present moment is often valuable in itself. As much as the future holds meaning and value for many of us, it doesn’t exist yet. It is only what we do now, in the present, that even makes it an eventual reality.

So, next time you find yourself working towards an end result, take a step back and reflect on your emotions. Are you placing too much of your sense of self in the outcome, or do you know you are valuable, regardless? Are you getting agitated at the steps you need to reach a goal, or are you feeling gratitude towards what you are learning along the way?

We all get wrapped up in results – it’s inevitable. In many ways, results is what keeps the world moving. But we must remember to detach our self-worth from it. We are more than what we have to show.

What matters more to you: the journey or the result?

I would love to hear your perspective on this topic in the comments.

‘Feel The Fear And Do It Anyway’ by Susan Jeffers [Book Review]

Feel The Fear And Do It Anyway is a truly powerful book and its lessons are enough to change any person’s life if they’re willing to take that uncomfortable and fearful step forwards. 

For this reason, I don’t think it’s surprising that there are a couple bad reviews floating around Goodreads – only because this book doesn’t mess around; it tells it how it is, and it tells you to take responsibility for your life. Many of us don’t like hearing it! 

Feel The Fear And Do It Anyway touches upon many important life topics, but overall it promotes a positive mindset, how to face decisions in your life, and how to ultimately trust in your ability to handle whatever life throws at you. But what makes this book even greater is that it’s actionable. It doesn’t just tell you the end goal, it tells you how to get there. All you have to do is be willing to sign up for the journey.

This is the kind of book I will always keep on my shelf and reread in times when I feel stuck and need a positivity boost. I think if you go into this with an open mind, it can become significantly important to anyone. With many different sections, and the ability to underline important phrases (it’s very quotable!), it is easy to dip in and out of. I already find myself wanting to go back and give a few of the exercises a go.

I think even the prospect of this book might instil a little fear in some people – just because as a reader we know that reading it may encourage us to go out and do all those things we’ve been too scared to do – but, as I’ve said to myself over the past year or so, feeling fear is even more reason to go out and do it!

I think it’s impossible to always feel the fear and do it anyway, because fear is a powerful thing, but we can all make that one extra step each and everyday. And I hope by keeping this book by my side that I can keep reminding myself of this.

So, as Jeffers mentions in the book, say YES to the opportunity! Read the book and promote personal growth. Good things happen when we say YES, and who doesn’t need a bit more good in their life? 

When was the last time you felt the fear but did it anyway?

I’ve love to hear your inspiring stories in the comments!

5 Things I’m Grateful For This February (2021)

As usual, here’s my monthly gratitude reflection!


This month (well, halfway through the month), I set myself the goal of going for a daily walk at lunchtime. It’s a good way to get myself out of the house during the week, plus it drags me away from screens for some much-needed nature time. I’ve been really enjoying these 30 minute walks because I put in earphones and motivate myself with upbeat music. I feel like it brings back a bit of my independence that I feel I have lost since lockdown and moving back home, so it’s nice to get out there by myself and just bask in the fresh air.

Embracing Relaxation

As you may have seen in my post a couple weeks ago, I used to feel guilty about relaxing. This month I’ve really let myself enjoy the weekends and not feel bad for just sitting on the sofa and watching TV! I’ve been laughing over Parks and Recreation, which I can’t believe I haven’t watched until now. Plus, I’ve been loving Emily in Paris and This Is Us. Let me know what you’ve been watching in the comments!


This month I started a 30 day yoga challenge with my Mum. It’s from the YouTuber Yoga with Adrienne and each episode is titled with a different theme, all aiming to focus on the breath. Although we have, admittedly, missed quite a few days, it’s been amazing to get some good stretches in almost everyday and it’s helped me enter relaxation mode after work.

Starting A New Job

This month I started a new job which is always a new learning curve, especially in the current lockdown environment! I’m really grateful to have the opportunity to work in a completely different industry and to challenge myself to take on more responsibility. It’s always interesting translating skills from past tasks to the new situation at hand.

Interesting Books

Although I haven’t read as many books in February as in January, I’ve read a really interesting self-development book. It’s called Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway by Susan Jeffers and I’ve been reading a bit each day for a bit of positivity! It’s a really enlightening piece of work on how to overcome fear – how we can experience it from either a place of pain or power, and how that’s totally up to us to choose! I’m really grateful for books like this that change my perspective on life and encourage inner work.

What are you grateful for this February?

Let me know in the comments below.

When Will Society Stop Updating? (Lockdown Reflections)

Isn’t it crazy that we live in a world where nothing is ever stagnant? There is never a moment where everything just stops, just exists, just lives, just to be. Whether we look at other people, at our screens, at the sky, at the world spinning literally underneath our feet – even though we can’t feel the weight of its energy – it’s like something is telling us that it’s never enough. It’s never enough just to stand still. And is that perhaps where humankind have gone wrong?

When we look at phones, for example, there is always a latest edition. We are constantly on edge for the next upgrade. There is always a next. There has to be. It drives sales. But where does it end?

Perhaps a world where everything really did stand still wouldn’t be a world at all. If nothing functioned by moving forward, how would we survive? How would we live to see another day if the water we drink and the food we eat relies on so many processes that need updates, need a push and pull, need drivers? It’s inevitable.

But amidst all the chaos of an updating world, we crave that quiet. Whether we realise it or not, we need it. Our body needs it. Our mind needs it. In a society that is constantly updating, we need to remind ourselves that we, too, don’t have to constantly update with it. The world will go on, and we must go on too, but we mustn’t let ourselves be dragged down by the desire to constantly change. Sometimes we can just be. Sometimes we can just watch as the world spins around us. And sometimes that’s the greatest change we can ever make. To do nothing. And to enjoy it.

Recently, I listened to Dr Chatterjee’s podcast “Feel Better Live More”, and in one episode they were talking about digital devices. His guest speaker Adam Alter said: “Every now and again we should try spending time in a room where we don’t know what year it is.”

Wow, I found it so powerful. So inspiring. And what he means by this isn’t that we genuinely forget what year it is, but that all the devices that make it obvious that it’s 2021 (phones, ovens, TV’s, the lot) are gone. And when you really think about it, there aren’t many moments in our life where this is the case. How many minutes of every day do you spend in a space without a technological device? It’s only when we go out in nature, when we leave those devices behind, that we feel free in a way that is unexplainable. When we are no longer attached to our own era, we are no longer attached to any limitations. We can think and be whoever we choose to be, whoever we want to be. And I think that’s pretty amazing.

Amidst all of society’s updating, I think the past year has been the first time that the world has really sat down to listen to its own sound. It’s the first time we’ve looked out the window and not tried to mirror the advances of the world. We’ve let things take their course in a way that we never have before. For the wrong reasons, yes – because we haven’t had any control over it – but also because we’ve had the time and true quiet to embrace it.

I think when we sit amongst all the world’s advances, there are so many great things we can notice. Video calls have enabled us to keep in contact. Screens have helped us to share our truth to the world, much like I’m doing right now. So, no, society updating is never fully a bad thing. It’s a good thing. It’s a mighty thing. We just have to learn to carve out our space within it. Somewhere quiet. Somewhere warm. Somewhere where we can hear our hearts speak. Somewhere we can be. Simply. Somewhere where we can… just…. be.

Where is your favourite place to just be?