🎁 50 Ways to Worry Less Now by Gigi Langer PhD

Reviewed Oct. 2019

Narrator: Robin Waters
Length: 5 hours 24 minutes
Publisher: Possum Hill Press⎮2019

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Summary

Winner of the 2018 Indie Excellence Award.

Do you want to stop dreading the future or reliving past disappointments?

Thirty years ago, Gigi Langer was a prisoner of her worries who used alcohol, romance, and professional accomplishments to soothe her frayed nerves. When she stopped drinking, she began applying tools from therapy, recovery programs, scientific research, and a variety of philosophical and spiritual teachings to overcome her anxieties and stress.

50 Ways to Worry Less Now offers four life strategies and 50 eclectic tools to dissolve the whispered lies of negative self-talk. Although many books address negative thinking, very few give the listener step-by-step directions on how to defeat it. Others simply advocate a single approach. With candor and humor, Langer describes a wide variety of strategies that helped her, and others, defeat dysfunctional relationships, perfectionism, addiction, and worry about loved ones.

As an award-winning writer and professor, Langer skillfully shares compelling stories and exercises that empower listeners to:

  • Manage life's most difficult challenges with calm wisdom
  • Create relationships that blossom and thrive
  • Fulfill your dreams without limitations
  • Serve others in their personal growth

Regardless of the situation, you'll be able to gain peace, clarity, and wisdom.

"Langer’s frank and empathetic tone will comfort readers, as will the practical steps she teaches.” (Publishers Weekly)

This audiobook was graciously gifted to me by its author, Gigi Langer, in exchange for a review containing my honest thoughts and opinions. Thanks, Gigi!

The Audiobookworm's Review

Rating: 4.25 Stars

I requested a review copy of 50 Ways to Worry Less Now during a particularly stressful and anxiety ridden time in my life. By the end of the first chapter, I had already recommended it to three people. There aren't many times when I will actually stop a book to call someone and recommend they hear it, but this book was definitely worth it.

In fairness, I haven't heard many personal development/self-help audiobooks, but not for lack of trying. They always put me off for some reason or another. With 50 ways, I found myself thinking "Yes!" more times than I can count. I felt like Gigi Langer was speaking directly to me and only me. Moreover, it was like she already knew me. I talk a lot about relating to fictional characters and connecting with them personally, but this was the first time a nonfiction book has created this sort of connection. It was almost eerie.

What struck me first was the amount of professionalism with which 50 Ways is written. Because of my background in psychology, I'm wary of most psychologically-based texts and given the number of pop psychology works (i.e. anything written by a "life coach"), I'd begun to avoid this type of book entirely. But I knew right away that 50 Ways was different and not just because I had already researched Dr. Langer's credentials. It quickly became apparent that Langer knew exactly what she was saying, not only because she had studied it, but also because she had lived it.

I was particularly moved by the efficacy of Langer's self-disclosure. Knowing how and when to disclose personal experiences is an important part of being a therapist. When done properly, it can be an incredibly effective technique within the therapeutic relationship. Langer struck a wonderful balance by disclosing relevant and appropriate information about her past, especially regarding substance abuse, personal relationships, and previous therapeutic experiences (from both sides of "the couch"). This decreased the amount of anxiety I was feeling regarding vulnerability and simultaneously forged a bond between Langer and I (or the audiobook and I). I was simply amazed at the efficacy of this approach conducted via audiobook.

It was a warm, enlightening, and engaging experience. Listening to 50 Ways to Worry Less Now was not a passive activity. Dr. Langer makes a concerted effort to actively engage the listener by asking thought-provoking questions and especially by including a PDF work book with the audiobook. Throughout the audiobook, the listener must reference the PDF workbook and perform coordinating tasks for each chapter. This makes it impossible to zone out while listening and forces the listener to take an active part in the experience. However, it also makes it impossible to listen while driving. This wasn't a drawback for me, but I know that a lot of listeners like to multitask, so it's just something to keep in mind.

I also appreciated that Langer made an effort to provide a spiritually inclusive experience. Something else that usually puts me off of personal development books is the inevitable inclusion of spirituality and/or religion, to varying degrees. To Langer's credit, she allows the listener to insert the name of their preferred deity (or "positive power") and doesn't overtly lean toward any certain religion. She does, however, take for granted that the listener has a preferred deity/"positive power". This was a moderately-sized hang up for me while listening to this audiobook, because I am not a spiritual person. I have no deity, nor do I want one, yet the majority of exercises in this audiobook seemed to hinge on the listener relying on their "positive power". For the first few exercises that called for a positive power, high thought "Well, I guess this one isn't for me". But after a while of sitting them out, I decided to jokingly adopt Elvis as my "positive power" just so I could participate to a fuller degree. This got a little funny when I came to parts about "letting your positive power guide you". I realize that I am in the minority here, so this hangup wouldn't (and didn't) prevent me from recommending 50 ways to anyone else.

50 Ways to Worry Less Now and Dr. Langer helped me through a tremendously difficult time in my life. It gave me a number of useful tools that I have begun to implement in my day-to-day life. This audiobook has become the newest addition in my "mental health toolbox" and I will no doubt be putting it to use again in the future.

Narration review: Robin Waters was the absolute perfect person to narrate this audiobook. Her soothing and reassuring tone had an instantaneous calming effect on me and provided an immediate inner stillness. More than that, her narration was perfectly paste to allow for the absorption of the material. The content of this audiobook is something that should be pondered and reflected upon. Waters facilitated such reflection and added a great deal to the overall listening experience. ♣︎

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