Review- Notes On a Nervous Planet

Notes On a Nervous Planet by Matt Haig

Notes on a Nervous Planet
The world is messing with our minds.

Rates of stress and anxiety are rising. A fast, nervous planet is creating fast and nervous lives. We are more connected, yet feel more alone. And we are encouraged to worry about everything from world politics to our body mass index.

– How can we stay sane on a planet that makes us mad?
– How do we stay human in a technological world?
– How do we feel happy when we are encouraged to be anxious?

After experiencing years of anxiety and panic attacks, these questions became urgent matters of life and death for Matt Haig. And he began to look for the link between what he felt and the world around him.

Notes on a Nervous Planet is a personal and vital look at how to feel happy, human and whole in the 21st century.


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I am not someone who loves self help books and I am often weary of them. Notes On a Nervous Planet transcends the self-help genre and almost reads like a memoir. It is a book about mental health, and Matt Haig opens up with his own struggles with anxiety and depression. I have a feeling that many readers will feel heard by this book and will feel as though Matt Haig gets them. Sometimes just knowing that someone else is experiencing the same thing you are is helpful. That is something you will definitely get from Matt Haig.

I was not surprised to find the writing was stellar, considering how much I enjoyed some of his past novels. I hope that he continues to write nonfiction and to share his personal experiences. Notes On a Nervous Planet tackles many modern day stresses and there is a focus on social media and technology. Haig acknowledges the benefits of these advances, but he also highlights the very real negatives.

It reads like a series of essays, and each one is very poignant and gets at the heart of the issues. There is one chapter called “A note from the beach” that particularly stood out to me, so much so that I snapped a photo of it and sent it to all of my friends. They also thought it was fantastic and it has become somewhat of a mantra for us. The book is worth reading for that passage alone.

I took a lot away from this book and had many aha moments. I am confident in recommending this book to everyone, and even plan on gifting copies for people in my life.

Thank you to HarperCollins Canada for sending me an copy in exchange for an honest review.


18 thoughts on “Review- Notes On a Nervous Planet

  1. I’m not one to read self-help books either, but a memoir-like book is something I’m more inclined to read—especially if it covers anxiety 😅. I’m interested to read that chapter you shared with your friends!

  2. I’m normally not a huge fan of self help, but this sounds like it includes elements of memoir in an interesting way. Thanks for the introduction!

    1. I am with you. I think this book is something more than self help. It feels more memoir because it is deeply personal and in no way preachy. Matt Haig doesn’t make you feel like he knows more than you – something I often see in self help.

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