“The calmer and quieter you breathe, the larger your blood vessels open, enabling better circulation and distribution of oxygen throughout the body, including the brain. Oxygenate the brain—breathe less.” – Patrick McKeown, author of The Oxygen Advantage In 2018, two years after I’d taken my last antidepressant, I found myself still struggling to remain steady in an…

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A parable, borrowed from the religious but relevant for the atheists: A man is alone in his home when the storm comes. The local news channel tells him to evacuate, to move to higher ground, but instead, he shakes his head and says, “I will pray to my God and he is going to save…

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Happiness Is A Skill was created as an outlet for me to reach the kind of people who email me every day. Ever since my Washington Post Article, “I spent half my life on antidepressants. Today, I’m off the medication and feel all right” became the #1 read piece on WaPo National the day it…

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Over the past six months, I have watched a curious trend develop amongst the people in my circle. Faced with a clear threat — COVID-19 — two courses have emerged. First is the group that follows whatever rules and precautions that exist where they live but who also generally accept that COVID is a part of life. These are…

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Gratitude. Oh how I loathed that word for so many years. Throughout the depths of my depression, gratitude taunted me like a schoolyard bully sniggering at the poor kid’s hand-me-downs. What was there to be grateful for when my world was nothing but darkness and pain? Why be grateful for the basics of life — food, water,…

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After three months of closure, my gym in Vancouver re-opened on June 1st. Even though I’ve been a gym rat since 2013, the pandemic took a huge toll on my physical performance. Six weeks later, my workout capacity hovers around 40% of what it once was. I see this deficit most clearly on an indoor…

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Summer months in Vancouver mean endless hours of daylight. At its peak, light emerges around 4 am and does not wane until well past 10 pm. Earplugs, sleep masks, and blackout shades are the only defense against a bungled circadian rhythm, and some mornings—like this morning—it’s particularly hard to get moving. I stumbled out of…

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Yesterday, I was listening to a podcast with renowned couple’s therapist Esther Perel. She was talking about how couples were coping with the pandemic and said, “You can’t be feeling great in this moment. You can feel relieved. You can feel thankful. You can feel appreciative for what you have. You can feel humble. You can feel thankful to things, but you…

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The following was originally published in my newsletter, Happiness Is A Skill, Issue #01.  — The past few months have gifted us with an opportunity for deep reflection. While the world changes at a breakneck pace, we’ve all been stuck inside, left with nothing but the life we’ve created for ourselves and the emotions that…

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It’s hard to celebrate anything right now. Yesterday, after a much needed few days entirely off the grid, I came back to a digital shitstorm. The specifics are irrelevant, but what was important was that in the middle of getting real mad and doing a whole hell of a lot of ugly crying, I realized…

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