A comprehensive list of easy-to-implement mental health tips.




In this motivational guide, Sylvester (The Land of Blue, 2017) offers advice on coping with anxiety and depression.

For those who are anxious or depressed, life can be a daily struggle, and the management strategies that work for some people don’t always work for others. Here, mental health counselor Sylvester provides 100 different approaches to banishing anxious and depressive thoughts in a single volume, providing numerous options for those who have yet to find methods that work for them. She suggests that those who feel mentally “stuck” should physically “get up and move. Literally, stand up and move out of the space.” One can experiment with dressing differently, she says, in order to show a more confident vision of oneself to the world—and to oneself. A harmless, leisurely “escape” can also help, she asserts, such as an addictive TV show, a hot shower, or an immersive hobby. No matter what method one chooses, she writes, the key is to be proactive: “The only way out of those difficult feelings,” writes Sylvester in her introduction, “is to make the choice to move through those feelings—to learn more about yourself in the process, coming to understand that when you do the work, you become better able to serve.” Sylvester describes herself as a “licensed mental health counselor with a holistic and alternative bent,” and this bent comes through in a number of suggestions. No. 62, for example, is “Get to Know Your Guides,” and these guides are spiritual in nature: “If you’re curious, start asking who guides you. What do they look like? What’s their name? Is your guide an ancestor or an even higher form of being?” This may strike some readers as a bit “out there,” as the author herself notes, but the inclusion of such unorthodox tips alongside more standard psychological fare feels appropriate. After all, Sylvester isn’t offering a one-size-fits-all hat, but rather 100 hats for 100 differently sized readers. Those in need of fresh ideas to tackle their anxiety or depression will likely find at least one or two helpful ideas here, which may be all they need.

A comprehensive list of easy-to-implement mental health tips.

Pub Date: May 29, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-9989775-6-0

Page Count: 218

Publisher: Old Tree House Publishing

Review Posted Online: Oct. 21, 2019

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Possibly inspired by the letters Cleary has received as a children's author, this begins with second-grader Leigh Botts' misspelled fan letter to Mr. Henshaw, whose fictitious book itself derives from the old take-off title Forty Ways W. Amuse a Dog. Soon Leigh is in sixth grade and bombarding his still-favorite author with a list of questions to be answered and returned by "next Friday," the day his author report is due. Leigh is disgruntled when Mr. Henshaw's answer comes late, and accompanied by a set of questions for Leigh to answer. He threatens not to, but as "Mom keeps nagging me about your dumb old questions" he finally gets the job done—and through his answers Mr. Henshaw and readers learn that Leigh considers himself "the mediumest boy in school," that his parents have split up, and that he dreams of his truck-driver dad driving him to school "hauling a forty-foot reefer, which would make his outfit add up to eighteen wheels altogether. . . . I guess I wouldn't seem so medium then." Soon Mr. Henshaw recommends keeping a diary (at least partly to get Leigh off his own back) and so the real letters to Mr. Henshaw taper off, with "pretend," unmailed letters (the diary) taking over. . . until Leigh can write "I don't have to pretend to write to Mr. Henshaw anymore. I have learned to say what I think on a piece of paper." Meanwhile Mr. Henshaw offers writing tips, and Leigh, struggling with a story for a school contest, concludes "I think you're right. Maybe I am not ready to write a story." Instead he writes a "true story" about a truck haul with his father in Leigh's real past, and this wins praise from "a real live author" Leigh meets through the school program. Mr. Henshaw has also advised that "a character in a story should solve a problem or change in some way," a standard juvenile-fiction dictum which Cleary herself applies modestly by having Leigh solve his disappearing lunch problem with a burglar-alarmed lunch box—and, more seriously, come to recognize and accept that his father can't be counted on. All of this, in Leigh's simple words, is capably and unobtrusively structured as well as valid and realistic. From the writing tips to the divorced-kid blues, however, it tends to substitute prevailing wisdom for the little jolts of recognition that made the Ramona books so rewarding.

Pub Date: Aug. 22, 1983

ISBN: 143511096X

Page Count: 133

Publisher: Morrow/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Oct. 16, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 1983

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Noted jazz and pop record producer Thiele offers a chatty autobiography. Aided by record-business colleague Golden, Thiele traces his career from his start as a ``pubescent, novice jazz record producer'' in the 1940s through the '50s, when he headed Coral, Dot, and Roulette Records, and the '60s, when he worked for ABC and ran the famous Impulse! jazz label. At Coral, Thiele championed the work of ``hillbilly'' singer Buddy Holly, although the only sessions he produced with Holly were marred by saccharine strings. The producer specialized in more mainstream popsters like the irrepressibly perky Teresa Brewer (who later became his fourth wife) and the bubble-machine muzak-meister Lawrence Welk. At Dot, Thiele was instrumental in recording Jack Kerouac's famous beat- generation ramblings to jazz accompaniment (recordings that Dot's president found ``pornographic''), while also overseeing a steady stream of pop hits. He then moved to the Mafia-controlled Roulette label, where he observed the ``silk-suited, pinky-ringed'' entourage who frequented the label's offices. Incredibly, however, Thiele remembers the famously hard-nosed Morris Levy, who ran the label and was eventually convicted of extortion, as ``one of the kindest, most warm-hearted, and classiest music men I have ever known.'' At ABC/Impulse!, Thiele oversaw the classic recordings of John Coltrane, although he is the first to admit that Coltrane essentially produced his own sessions. Like many producers of the day, Thiele participated in the ownership of publishing rights to some of the songs he recorded; he makes no apology for this practice, which he calls ``entirely appropriate and without any ethical conflicts.'' A pleasant, if not exactly riveting, memoir that will be of most interest to those with a thirst for cocktail-hour stories of the record biz. (25 halftones, not seen)

Pub Date: May 1, 1995

ISBN: 0-19-508629-4

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Oxford Univ.

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 1995

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