Podcast: Toxic Positivity & the Downside of Always Looking Up

Brave Writer Podcast

On today’s Brave Writer podcast, our guest is Whitney Goodman, the radically honest psychotherapist and owner of The Collaborative Counseling Center, a private therapy practice in Miami, Florida. Her new book, Toxic Positivity, talks about the downside of our cultural obsession with being happy – and how to better embrace and balance all of life’s emotions. 

Toxic positivity is “happiness at all costs” taken to its logical conclusion, and it paradoxically ends up making us miserable. Whitney explores the difference between optimism and toxic positivity, and how to live your life without pretending to be happy but still finding happiness.

In this episode, we also discuss:

  • how to complain effectively,
  • how positive thinking can downplay real tragedies,
  • the benefits of living a value-driven life,
  • and how to instill that in your children.

Show Notes

Happiness has been commodified. We get sold the idea that, if we do all the right things, we can be rewarded with happiness. But we don’t feel any emotion – good or bad – all the time. Happiness can be part of your experience, but it won’t be all of it. In fact, holding onto happiness so tightly can keep us from pursuing other experiences that might challenge us or force us to grow because those experiences can often be difficult.


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