Book Review: 10% Happier

Title: 10% Happier – How I Tamed the Voice in My Head, Reduced Stress Without Losing My Edge, and Found Self-Help That Actually Works
Author: Dan Harris, ABC news correspondent and anchor for Nightline
Year: 2014
Length: 256 pages
Topics: panic attacks, drug addictions, adrenaline rushes, trauma, voice in our head, internet addictions, American fringe spiritualism, neuroscience, meditation, calm, focus, happiness 
Narrative style: Non-fiction, personal relating
Availability: book ( and audiobook (

A prominent public figure, Dan Harris relates the journey that led him to integrating mindfulness practices into his life, starting with a panic attack that happened live on air. I liked how personal the writing was as he embarks on this odyssey to understanding the incessant voice in his head. For example, he talks with candor about his struggle with substance abuse and the anxieties fueled by his hyper-competitive field. As he meets numerous sham gurus, spiritual leaders, and neuroscientists, he gives us his honest opinions and doubts. I found this to be a very enjoyable read. It’s written as a smart, clear-eyed, and funny memoir. I would recommend it to anyone who is curious about meditation but has reservations regarding its legitimacy. Perhaps Harris’ insights as an investigative journalist will be useful to you! – Handsun

This review was written by Handsun Xiao, a first year medical resident at McGill University.

© Illustration by Yukyung Kang

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