My Favorite Memoir: Furiously Happy

This is the second in a series of 4 posts where I share my favorite books in different categories, including: favorite sci-fi series, favorite novel, favorite memoir (Furiously Happy, which I discuss in this post), and favorite self-help. Furiously Happy is my favorite memoir, and quite possibly the funniest book I’ve ever read.

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Content warning: This post discusses mental illness.

Furiously Happy is the funniest book I’ve ever read. It’s about living with depression, anxiety, and a host of related mental and physical illnesses.

If those two statements seem mutually exclusive, that’s because you don’t know Jenny Lawson, also known as the Bloggess.

A Summary

Jenny chronicles her adventures, from getting microdermabrasion to make herself look younger that ultimately ends in a bacterial genocide, to the time she got three dead cats in the mail. She also discusses her thoughts on life, including the need for pockets in women’s pants, and how it feels to live with depression. She provides hope for people going through dark times – hope that we can come out better, stronger, and possibly even happier.

Here’s a sample:

“My grandmother used to say, “Those are not the kind of underwear you want to get hit by a bus in,” but I don’t think the underwear has been invented that would make me want to get hit by a bus. Plus, when you get hit by a bus, your underwear is probably the last thing on your mind. In fact, when you die your bowels release and you shit yourself, so even if you were wearing clean underwear they would not be clean by the time your grandmother got there.” (p. 22)

“Whenever I start to doubt if I’m worth the eternal trouble of medication and therapy, I remember those people who let the fog win. And I push myself to stay healthy. I remind myself that I’m not fighting against me…I’m fighting against a chemical balance…a tangible thing.” (p. 58)

My Review

I’ve lived with depression and anxiety since I was a teenager. It’s not easy. Some days, just getting out of bed is a struggle. Other days, the sun shines through and it’s possible to feel normal (or at least what I imagine being normal feels like). Furiously Happy is about celebrating the good times, and surviving the bad – and when reading it, I know that I’m not alone.

If you’ve ever experienced depression, anxiety, or the feeling that you’re alone in the world and no one understands you, reading this book is like a breath of air. You realize that you’re not alone, and that it’s possible to find some semblance of happiness. By blogging and writing books, Jenny has created her tribe – and she welcomes you in, with open arms.

And if you’re lucky enough to have escaped the monster of mental illness, you might gain a better understanding of what living with it is like. You’ll become a more supportive partner, friend, or parent to someone who does live with this monster. You may even recognize that this is you, and you just didn’t know why you felt so yucky, and be able to get the help that you need.

No matter what, you’ll laugh. Don’t read this book in public if you don’t want people staring at you, because you will laugh out loud. Also, be prepared to deal with an author who breaks a lot of writing conventions. She uses run-on sentences that last an entire page, makes up words, and makes a lot of jokes about vaginas. But all of this just adds to her charm and hilarity.

You can buy the Kindle version here:

Prefer physical books? Click here for the paperback version.

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18 thoughts on “My Favorite Memoir: Furiously Happy”

  1. This seems like an interesting book. I may want to read it sometime. I, too, have struggled with depression since I was about 10 years old. I like how the author invites you into her world as a way to make readers comfortable and validate those of us who battle depression.

    1. She does a really good job of making the reader feel like part of her world, and like we’re all on this journey together. It really is nice to know that those of us with depression aren’t alone.

  2. This book is right up my alley and sounds like it would be quite an inspiring as well as hilarious read. You have to admire someone that has been through so much and still is able to produce something so worthwhile. The except you included here about underwear, a bus and her grandmother was just so funny. Must read this book for sure.

  3. I’m really interested in this! I love listening to audiobooks so this sounds like a good fit. I survived postpartum depression, so it does hit home for me!

    1. The audiobook is great too! I love that Jenny reads it herself – I wish more authors would do that with their audiobooks.

  4. I struggled with postpartum depression silently after my second. I love to read books I can connect with and will definitely give it a try.

    1. That’s the hard part of depression – so many people suffer in silence. I’m glad that there are people like Jenny who are upfront about it, and who make the rest of us feel like we’re not alone.

    1. Yes, it is both. It’s also informative about things you never, ever wondered about…like why koalas have a high rate of chlamydia (and now you need to read the book to find out!).

  5. Having experienced PTSD and some depression I think I would enjoy a lighter view of this situation. Thanks for the recommendation.

  6. Living with depression can be really tough I’m glad that you were able to overcome it the book that you mentioned seems really interesting I may have to add it to my list.

    1. It’s a daily struggle. But it’s immensely helpful to know that I’m not alone, and that there are people who I respect who are fighting the same battle, and surviving.

  7. Holy cow…I love the sample you included for this book. I, too, live with depression, and I feel like I really need to pick this book up! I also love how she’s so honest about sh*tting yourself LOL. Thank you so much for writing this!!!

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