“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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Happiness Is A Skill is 10 weeks old today! Such a wee milestone in the grand scheme of life, but in internet years, HIAS is entering its awkward teenage years. I’ve been at it just long enough to know it needs some tweaks, but not so long that I know what those tweaks are. And…

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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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My mother always told me that I was born to do something big. This idea sprouted just a few months after I was born, when my parents took me to an astrologist my father had been working with for years. According to the planets and the stars, the astrologer said, it would never be enough…

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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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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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