The Art of Happiness (His Holiness The Dalai Lama and Howard C. Cutler)

This book makes an important distinction between happiness and joy indicating that the latter creates a more positive state of mind than the former. This is the example used by his holiness: "The feeling of happiness is similar to a high, that can be felt during an event or when achieving a specific goal that we are pursuing, and therefore, happiness can feel like it is constantly eluding us. Thus the search for happiness can lead to long periods of resentment, frustration and low self esteem." Click on the title to read the full review.

Big Mouth (2017-2020)

This show looks like a teenager sex ed animated comedy. However, the writing is peppered with layers of complexity. It has quickly grown to be one of my favorite shows on Netflix. While I agree with my friend's assessment that the show is "Sex Positive," I also think that is a lot more than that, sort of overall emotion positive. Somehow, the writers managed to sneak in the topic of mental illnesses and even politics into the story while making us laugh and reflect about our own hang ups. Click on the title to read the full review.

Fight Club (1999)

Cornelius (the protagonist) lives a relative stable but very lonely life. The film employs many metaphors to describe the journey of a man dealing with onset depression. The denial of his own need for deeper connections pushes him to exchange one addiction for another. Toxic masculinity is the glue that keeps the story together and moves it forward. Click on the title to read the full article.

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