Paperback Books by The School of Life

The School of Life is the author of The School of Life: Relationships (2022), How Modern Media Destroys Our Minds (2022), Art Against Despair (2022), A More Loving World (2022) and other 104 books.

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The School of Life: Relationships

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release date: Sep 06, 2022

How Modern Media Destroys Our Minds

release date: Jul 07, 2022
How Modern Media Destroys Our Minds
A guide to navigating modern media and staying sane in a world that does not turn off. Navigating the onslaught of media is overwhelming, to say the least. We are so used to living in a media-saturated world that we are numb to the onslaught of news, images, and posts that batter us daily. As we scroll on our devices, many of us are anxious, sleep deprived, disheartened, and afraid. In this reassuring guide we learn to understand and combat what media does to our minds. It looks at the many peculiarities of modern media: its obsession with scandal, its emphasis on novelty, its capacity to fuel envy and self-hatred, its ever shorter attention span, its obsession with fame, and its proliferation across platforms and mediums. The goal of the book is to free readers from the media''s tentacles in order to reach a calmer, more generous, and imaginative state of mind. Modern media is, too often, an illness; this is a cure. MEDIA AND MENTAL HEALTH considers the link between media and mental illness and looks at how we can reduce our media intake to relieve anxiety and stress. CRITICAL EYE helps us to think more critically about the media and the messages we are receiving through the news and online. "USEFUL PESSIMISM" and other chapters, including "This is not the whole world," "Think like a tragedian", and "Know who you are."

Art Against Despair

release date: Oct 11, 2022

A More Loving World

release date: May 05, 2022

A Simpler Life

release date: Feb 08, 2022
A Simpler Life
This book explores ideas around minimalism, simplicity and how to live comfortably with less. The modern world can be a complicated, frenzied, and noisy place, filled with too many options, products, ideas and opinions. That explains why what many of us long for is simplicity: a life that can be more pared down, peaceful, and focused on the essentials. But finding simplicity is not always easy; it isn''t just a case of emptying out our closets or trimming back commitments in our diaries. True simplicity requires that we understand the roots of our distractions - and develop a canny respect for the stubborn reasons why things can grow complex and overwhelming. This book is a guide to the simpler lives we crave and deserve. It considers how we might achieve simplicity across a range of areas. Along the way, we learn about Zen Buddhism, modernist architecture, monasteries, psychoanalysis, and why we probably don''t need more than three good friends or a few treasured belongings. It isn''t enough that our lives should look simple; they need to be simple from the inside. This book takes a psychological approach, guiding us towards less contorted hearts and minds. We have for too long been drowning in excess and clutter from a confusion about our aspirations; A Simpler Life helps us tune out the static and focus on what properly matters to us.

Bold Truths

release date: Oct 21, 2021
Bold Truths
20 unique prints encapsulating the most important lessons The School of Life has to teach. Art is never merely decoration. From cave paintings to modern sculpture, our species has always used pictures and images to express our most important ideas: encapsulating the messages we deem necessary to remember in order to live better lives. Far from simply being objects of beauty, art is a reminder of what truly matters. Bold Truths is a collection of wise statements immortalised as art: 20 philosophical prints encapsulating the most important lessons The School of Life has to teach. Brought to life by leading artists and designers, they’re ready-made prints that can be lifted out and displayed in your home or place of work as a permanent reminder of how to live well. They’re a perfect marriage of beauty and utility: exquisite illustrations of essential ideas.

How to Survive the Modern World: Making sense of, and finding calm in, unsteady times

release date: Oct 07, 2021
How to Survive the Modern World: Making sense of, and finding calm in, unsteady times
A guide to modern times that explores the challenges living in the 21st century can pose to our mental wellbeing. The modern world has brought us a range of extraordinary benefits and joys, including technology, medicine and transport. But it can also feel as though modern times have plunged us ever deeper into greed, despair and agitation. Seldom has the world felt more privileged and resource-rich yet also worried, blinkered, furious, panicked and self-absorbed. How to Survive the Modern World is the ultimate guide to navigating our unusual times. It identifies a range of themes that present acute challenges to our mental wellbeing. The book tackles our relationship to the news media, our ideas of love and sex, our assumptions about money and our careers, our attitudes to animals and the natural world, our admiration for science and technology, our belief in individualism and secularism – and our suspicion of quiet and solitude. In all cases, the book helps us to understand how we got to where we are, digging deeply and fascinatingly into the history of ideas, while pointing us towards a saner individual and collective future. The emphasis isn’t just on understanding modern times but also on knowing how we can best relate to the difficulties these present. The book helps us to form a calmer, more authentic, more resilient and sometimes more light-hearted relationship to the follies and obsessions of our age. If modern times are (in part) something of a disease, this is both the diagnostic and the soothing, hope-filled cure.

The Book of Me

release date: Jul 01, 2021
The Book of Me
Children love to explore, born with a boundless desire to understand the world around them. While most of the outside world has already been mapped, there’s a whole other world that has yet to be discovered, one that’s accessible only to them: their own minds. The Book of Me is a guided journal of self-discovery. It takes readers on a journey inside themselves, helping them explore their mind, their moods, their imagination, their conscience, and how they determine the course of their lives. Alongside wise and engaging explanations of ideas, each chapter contains a wealth of interactive exercises that together help to create a rich and unique self-portrait. Through writing, drawing, cutting out and colouring in, children can begin to untangle the mysteries of existence and work out who they really are (and who they might become...). Combining psychology, philosophy and sheer fun, The Book of Me is an introduction to the vital art of self-knowledge, showing how it can help us grow into calmer, wiser and more rounded human beings.

The Good Enough Parent: How to raise contented, interesting and resilient children

release date: Sep 09, 2021
The Good Enough Parent: How to raise contented, interesting and resilient children
Raising a child to be an authentic and mentally robust adult is one of life’s great challenges. It is also, fortunately, not a matter of luck. There are many things to understand about how children’s minds operate and what they need from those who look after them so they can develop into the best version of themselves. The Good Enough Parent is a compendium of lessons, including ideas on how to say ‘no’ to a child one adores, how to look beneath the surface of ‘bad’ behaviour to work out what might really be going on, how to encourage a child to be genuinely kind, how to encourage open self expression, and how to handle the moods and gloom of adolescence. Importantly, this is a book that knows that perfection is not required – and could indeed be unhelpful, because a key job of any parent is to induct a child gently into the imperfect nature of everything. Written in a tone that is encouraging, wry and soaked in years of experience, The Good Enough Parent is an intelligent guide to raising a child who will one day look back on their childhood with just the right mixture of gratitude, humour and love.

Mind & Body

release date: Nov 02, 2021
Mind & Body
A practical and playful guide to balancing and maintaining physical and mental harmony.

The Calm Workbook

release date: May 25, 2021
The Calm Workbook
A therapeutic and consoling workbook with exercises to soothe anxiety and create a state of calm. Most of us long to be a little calmer: too many of our days are lost to agitation and worry, stress and discord. Yet we know that we are at our best when we can manage not to panic and take challenges in our stride. Fortunately, a calm state of mind is not a divine gift. Even those of us starting from a more agitated position can systematically understand and lay claim to it. Too many books on this subject simply explain what it would be like to be calm. This is a workbook that takes us through the practical steps required to actually become calm. It is filled with exercises and prompts that deliver the self-understanding and self-compassion on which true serenity depends. Furthermore, the book invites us to build calming routines into our daily lives so that what we learn can stick with us and change us for the long term. Based on years of The School of Life''s work in the area of anxiety and calm, this is a landmark workbook guaranteed to bring about the calmer state of mind we long for and deserve.

How to Find the Right Words

release date: Mar 09, 2021
How to Find the Right Words
Twenty case studies explaining how to gently deliver a range of life''s most awkward messages while causing minimal harm. Life constantly requires us to give other people some hugely awkward messages: that we don''t love them anymore; that we do love them (though we''re not meant to); that they smell a bit; that they''re fired; that we''re furious with them (though we adore them) or that their music is too loud... Often, out of embarrassment, we just stay quiet. Occasionally we explode. And typically, we stumble about, looking for the right words - dreading that we didn''t find them and thereby causing more hurt than we should. This is a book to help us locate the best possible words to get across a range of life''s most difficult messages. With twenty case studies drawn from relationships, friendships, work, our families, and social situations, we are gently shown what we might - in an ideal world - find ourselves saying to make our intentions known while causing minimal harm. We are guided, among other topics, to how best to end a relationship, how to make it up with a child, and how gently to let down a friend who wants more. We laugh, we recognize our troubles - and we''re introduced to a range of deeply empathetic ways to navigate some of our most acute social dilemmas.

Stay Or Leave

release date: Jan 01, 2021
Stay Or Leave
Whether we should stay in or leave a relationship is one of the most consequential and painful decisions we are ever likely to confront: few other issues will have such power to trouble us.What makes the issue so hard is that there are no fixed rules for judgement. How can we tell whether a relationship is ''good enough'' or plain wrong? How do we draw the line between justified longing and naivety? Is sex vital or could it be foregone? Does someone ''better'' actually exist? How much should the feelings of children be counted (and what might they be in the long term)? Could one''s partner change, perhaps with therapy, or should one assume that who they are now is who they will always be?All these questions typically haunt our minds as we weigh up whether to stay or go. With no axe to grind or ideology to promote, this book walks the reader gently through their options and opens their mind to perspectives they might not have considered. The goal is to help clarify what the reader wants deep down so the answer that emerges will be properly attuned to their unique circumstances and (often very private) aspirations. Here is a tool that carries the promise of the clearer and less compromised future we deserve.This book aims to take the reader towards a time, presently hard to imagine, when the choice will no longer feel so agonising. Using its lessons, we can understand ourselves deeply, consider our options, minimise our regrets and find the way ahead.

A More Exciting Life

release date: Nov 05, 2020
A More Exciting Life
One of the things we all deeply crave, and all richly deserve, is a more exciting life. We know well enough that many things have to be routine, hard and a little bit boring. But we also rightly sense that, if only we can find a way, our lives could be rendered intermittently more joyful, intense, thrilling and beautiful.This is a guide to the more exciting life we know could be ours. It isn''t about the outward things we might do: travel, parachute out of airplanes or learn a foreign language. This is a book of psychology and about how we can nurture a sense of inner liberation, accept our desires and aspirations and then have the courage to set ourselves free. Perhaps for too long we have resigned ourselves to things that aren''t fair or necessary, we have felt too constricted (and perhaps unloved) to communicate well with others and the proper expansion of our characters has been sacrificed for the sake of compliance.Now is a chance to recover some of our spirit, and to become open to the full intensity, beauty and mystery of life and to the richness of our own possibilities. Here is a guide to that more exciting life we know should - and can - be ours.

What They Forgot to Teach You at School

release date: Apr 27, 2021
What They Forgot to Teach You at School
A collection of the essential emotional lessons we need in order to thrive.

Emotional Menagerie - Feelings from a to Z

release date: Apr 06, 2021
Emotional Menagerie - Feelings from a to Z
"Children experience all sorts of emotions: sometimes going through several very different ones before breakfast. Yet they can struggle to put these feelings into words. An inability to understand and communicate their moods can lead to bad behaviour, deep frustration and a whole host of difficulties further down the line. An Emotional Menagerie is an emotional glossary for children. A book of 26 rhyming poems, arranged alphabetically, that bring our feelings to life - Anger, Boredom, Curiosity, Dreaminess, Embarrassment, Fear, Guilt, and more. Filled with wise, therapeutic advice, brought to life through musical language and beautiful illustrations, An Emotional Menagerie is an imaginative and universally appealing way of increasing emotional literacy"--Back cover.

What Adults Don't Know about Art

release date: Aug 06, 2020
What Adults Don't Know about Art
A fresh perspective on a guide to art for children, exploring its import and meaning through artworks from around the world. Children are often told that art matters--but the truth is that very often it''s hard to know why it really does. Museum visits can feel like a chore as does having to learn the names of the big artists we''re all meant to love (but perhaps don''t quite in the way we''re supposed to). This is a huge pity because--grasped the right way--art has a deep capacity to improve our lives and offer us a sense of joy and mental well-being. Here is a guide to art for children with a difference: in a tone that''s kindly, informative, unstuffy, and at times rightly irreverent, this book explains how art can fit into our lives. We learn where the impulse to make art comes from, what art to look at in certain moods, how to go around a museum without getting bored, and why--without even realizing it--we all become experts in art by decorating our first bedrooms. This is an innovative guide to the importance of art, written in a way that will enchant children and, along the way, teach their favorite adults one or two vital things as well.

What Adults Don't Know about Architecture

release date: Sep 01, 2020
What Adults Don't Know about Architecture
This insightful title explores children''s relationship with and understanding of architecture and its impact on their world. Children are rarely introduced properly to architecture, but there are in fact few subjects more important--because the quality of the architecture that surrounds us has such an impact on our mood and sense of well-being. The bitter truth is that in modern times we''ve built a world that''s far too often ugly or charmless--and we''ve done so because very few people ever feel they have the right to comment on what gets built around them. This is a chance for the next generation to develop the tools to talk about architecture with confidence, knowledge, and passion. It tells us about what a satisfying building is, what makes a street enticing (or not), why some cities are charming and others repel us--and how we might build going forward in a way that will reliably delight and uplift us. This engaging guide is designed to help children (and their favorite adults) to understand how buildings work and how we might create the better looking world we all crave and deserve.

Happy, Healthy Minds

release date: May 12, 2020
Happy, Healthy Minds
An essential guide to emotional wellbeing for children; tackling everyday issues to facilitate happier, healthier lives.

The School of Life Guide to Modern Manners

release date: Sep 01, 2019
The School of Life Guide to Modern Manners
An essential guide to modern etiquette; putting good manners back at the center of our priorities.

Heartbreak

release date: May 14, 2019
Heartbreak
A book to offer comfort and guidance to those dealing with the sorrows of heartbreak.

Anxiety

release date: May 12, 2020
Anxiety
A guide to our anxious minds; offering a route to calm, self-compassion, and mental well-being.

Affairs

release date: Aug 01, 2019
Affairs
A thoughtful exploration of the complex motivations and emotions behind affairs.Our societies are remarkably confident on the matter: Affairs are terrible things and only fools, monsters and knaves would ever be involved in them. Those who are their victims deserve unending sympathy and access to a good lawyer. This stance may be clear, but it is not especially helpful or productive-given that, in reality, 1 in 4 of us are going to end up involved in an affair during our lifetime.This is a book written to increase our understanding of what is really at stake in affairs: it looks at why affairs happen and ventures beyond black and white caricatures. It delves into the question of what unfaithful sex means and why, despite the risks, it happens so often. Most importantly, the book seeks to help us through affairs, offering couples a better understanding of each other''s motivations and moods-and, where desirable, a way to save a relationship. We have for too long either openly condemned or secretly lusted after affairs: this, finally, is a chance to understand them. "An affair is rarely a symptom of a mean-minded desire to exit the relationship; it is usually a dangerously garbled plea for intimacy and reconnection-an attempt, however wrongly enacted, by one partner to remember and communicate what they so desperately want and need from love."

The Couple's Workbook

release date: Feb 06, 2020
The Couple's Workbook
Therapeutic exercises to help couples nurture patience, forgiveness and humour. Here is a workbook containing the very best exercises that any couple can undertake to help their relationship function optimally; exercises to foster understanding, patience, forgiveness, humour and resilience in the face of the many hurdles that invariably arise when you try to live with someone else for the long term. Couples are guided to have particular conversations, analyse their feelings, explain parts of themselves to one another and undertake rituals that clear the air and help recover hope and passion. The goal is always to unblock channels of feeling and improve communication. Not least, doing exercises together is – at points – simply a lot of fun.

Dating

release date: Jul 01, 2019
Dating
This book helps us navigate the dating process and guide us through the joys and anxieties of finding a partner.

How to Think More Effectively

release date: Jan 23, 2020
How to Think More Effectively
A guide to identifying, nurturing and growing our insight and creativity for more effective thinking.

How to Get Along with Your Colleagues

release date: Jan 23, 2020
How to Get Along with Your Colleagues
An essential guide to navigating the complexities of professional relationships in the office.

The Meaning of Life

release date: Jan 07, 2020
The Meaning of Life
A thought-provoking guide to one of the greatest questions we will ever face--what is the meaning of life? To wonder too openly or intensely about the meaning of life can seem a peculiar, ill-fated and faintly ridiculous pastime. It can seem like a topic on which ordinary mortals cannot make much progress. In truth, it is for all of us to wonder about, define and work towards a more meaningful existence. This book presents a range of areas in which we might seek the meaning of life, including love, family, friendship, work, self-knowledge and nature. We learn why certain things feel meaningful while others don''t, and consider how we might introduce more meaning into our activities.

A Replacement for Religion

release date: Oct 17, 2019
A Replacement for Religion
Many of us find ourselves in the odd situation of not believing in religion – but nevertheless being interested in it, moved by it and sympathetic to some of its aims. We may enjoy religious art and architecture, music and community, and even some of the rituals – while being unable to believe in angels, divine commandments or stories about the afterlife. This book is about those feelings and what we might do about them. The School of Life is a secular organisation fascinated by the gaps left in modern society by the gradual disappearance of religion. We’re interested in how hard it is to find a sense of community, how rituals are dying out and how much we sometimes crave the solemn quiet you find in religious buildings. This book lays out how we might absorb the best lessons of religion, update them for our times and incorporate them into our daily lives and societies – without taking on the supernatural or doctrinaire elements. This book tries to rescue some of what remains wise and useful from all that no longer seems (to many of us) to be quite true.

How to Overcome Your Childhood

release date: Jun 27, 2019
How to Overcome Your Childhood
When trying to deal with our current troubles and anxieties, it can be deeply irritating to be asked to consider our childhoods. They happened so long ago; we can probably barely remember, let alone relate to, the little person we once were. But one of the most powerful explanations for why we may, as adults, be struggling, is that we were denied the opportunity to fully be ourselves in our earliest years. Perhaps we were over-disciplined and cowed, not allowed to be wilful or difficult – and so learnt to tell white lies and people-please. Or perhaps our caregivers were preoccupied or fragile and so we had to assume the role of parent, burying our true needs and desires deep underground. When we thoroughly examine our upbringings, the larger implications for our adult selves are clear to see. Once we understand the roots from which our flaws stem, we can set about correcting the harmful behaviours we mistakenly believe to be innate. This book is a guide to better understanding our younger selves in order to shape who we wish to be in the future. It explores to what extent we can pin our actions in the present to our experiences in the past, and how we might then break free from the learnt patterns of our childhoods.

Thinking and Eating

release date: Feb 11, 2020
Thinking and Eating
Examining the psychological impact of the way we eat food, this thought-provoking book explores nutrition for the mind and body.

Arguments

release date: Aug 01, 2019
Arguments
A practical and definitive guide to arguments in love, teaching us how to argue more effectively.

What Is Psychotherapy?

release date: Jan 01, 2018
What Is Psychotherapy?
An in-depth look at a much misunderstood practice, offering a fresh viewpoint on how this science can be a universally effective route to our better selves.

How to Get Married

release date: May 07, 2019
How to Get Married
A bold rethinking of the wedding ceremony - and what comes before and after - designed to prepare us for modern marriage.

Who Am I?

release date: Aug 04, 2020
Who Am I?
A guided journal for self-knowledge with which we can study the most elusive and interesting parts of our complex inner selves.One of the trickiest tasks we ever face is that of working out who we really are. If we''re asked directly to describe ourselves, our minds tend to go blank. We can''t just sum ourselves up. We need prompts and suggestions and more detailed enquiries that help tease out and organize our picture of ourselves.This guided journal is designed to help us create a psychological portrait of ourselves with the use of some far more unusual, oblique, entertaining, and playful prompts. The questions are designed to help us cumulatively appreciate how rich our identities are and how complicated, beautiful, and sometimes painful our experiences have been. If self-knowledge is central to a wise and fulfilled life, it is because it teaches us which of our many-often contradictory-feelings and plans we might trust, in order that we can be a little more skeptical around our first impulses and less puzzled by the ebb and flow of our moods. We can understand where some of our feelings have come from and what might be driving our convictions and our longings.

Screen-Free Fun: 80 Alternatives to Screen Time

release date: Jan 01, 2021
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