Book reviews

Book Review: Be Kind

book cover: Be Kind by Melissa Burmeister and Jaclyn Lindsey

Be Kind: A Year of Kindness One Week at a Time is by Melissa Burmester and Jaclyn Lindsey, the founders of Kindness.org.  The book is based on their mission to “educate and inspire people to choose kindness.”

The book is divided into 52 weeks, and for each week there’s something to learn, do, and reflect on. There are quotes, research findings, Q&A’s, and stories submitted to Kindness.org, and the targets of kindness include the self, others, and the planet.

Some of the kind actions suggested were giving blood, responding with kindness to a negatve post online, and letting a stranger go ahead of you in line.  My favourite quote in the book was “if you want to lift yourself up, lift up someone else” (Booker T. Washington).  And did you know that spending money on others lowers blood pressure and brings greater happiness than spending money on yourself?

The book has beautiful watercolour backgrounds, so it’s aesthetically pleasing as well as having inspirational content.  It would make a lovely gift.

Moving on from the book but staying on the same topic, I continue to be impressed by the kindness shown by people in the blogging community.  It wasn’t something I was expecting when I started blogging, but it’s something I’ve consistently witnessed during the 2 1/2 years I’ve been on WordPress.

While there are some bloggers who aren’t community-minded, the vast majority of the bloggers I’ve interacted with have really lived up to the Booker T. Washington quote mentioned earlier.  The kindness that I’ve witnessed in this community is not a one-way street.

Sometimes the mind can lie and say that we’re not deserving of kindness.  That lie can get particularly. loud when mental illness steps up to bat.  But kindness is like food for the soul, and it’s self-regenerating; the more kindness that you give to yourself and others, the more you will have available to you.

So look around you.  Notice the kindness that’s already there, and deliberately choose to add to it.

Be Kind is available on Amazon.

I received a reviewer copy of this book from NetGalley.

You can find my other book reviews here.


book cover: Managing the Depression Puzzle by Ashley L. Peterson

My latest book, Managing the Depression Puzzle, takes a holistic look at how to put together the pieces of your unique depression puzzle.  It’s available on Amazon, other online retailers, and the MH@H Store.


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31 thoughts on “Book Review: Be Kind”

  1. This sounds like a great book! I’m interested!! I looked at it on Amazon, and it’s so pretty, like you said! Nice! I too love internet support and kindness!! We need more of that, always! Happytimes!!

  2. Yes, I am indeed grateful for the internet support I have here on WordPress. It is undeniably important for my mental health. Without my blog, I think my life could have turned really horrible. While receiving internet support, I do hope I can provide such support for others:)

  3. This book sounds incredible, and the cover is so beautiful! I really like that Booker T Washington quote, and agree with you that the blogging community is wonderfully supportive (something that continues to amaze me as well).

  4. Kindness is one of the things I’ve worked on over the past 6 months. Not just in actions but in my thoughts. Noticing if I have bitter or jealous or mean thoughts and stopping myself. Doing kind things and thinking kind thoughts has changed everything for me. At a selfish level it has brought me a peace and calm in my own mind that I haven’t experienced in a long while. I love kindness. It’s the dogs bollocks. I’ll check out this book.

      1. Ashley, this is completely off subject but do you have any good links to articles on coming off SSRI antidepressants? I’m thinking of stopping mine. I’m on lowest dose and have been taking them for almost a year. I’m wanting to do some reading around it and weigh up pros and cons and also be sensible with it. No worries if not … just thought I’d ask.

        1. This one from Harvard Medical is pretty good: https://www.health.harvard.edu/diseases-and-conditions/going-off-antidepressants

          This article snippet from The Lancet is medically-oriented, but it argues that longer and slower tapers are better. https://www.thelancet.com/article/S2215-0366(19)30032-X/fulltext

          In the end, I think it’s one of those things that you don’t know if you’re susceptible to withdrawal until you try it. At different points of time I’ve come off 2 SSRIs and 1 SNRI and didn’t have any problems, but other people have the exact opposite experience.

          1. Oh brilliant thanks. I came off them once before after being on them for 6 mths. I didn’t have withdrawal I don’t think but after a few months I was back in full blown depression. I was still drinking then and hadn’t really dealt with the underlying problems. I guess the same thing may happen again and I know that is possible. I’ll take a read if those though. Thanks so much x

  5. The more kindness you give, the more you have available to you. I love that and couldn’t agree more. The world can be a cruel little place but I’m happy to know that there are still decent humans out there trying their best to spread love and joy.

    Also, I just finished reading Man’s Search For Meaning which was very impactful in reshaping my thinking pattern, especially now that we are at home with time to ‘think’. You can read here if you are interested: https://kendikarimi.com/2020/06/03/how-to-find-a-meaning-in-life/

    Love this review. 🤗

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