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Book Recommendation- Atlas of the Heart by Brenè Brown

“If we want to find the way back to ourselves and one another, we need language and the grounded confidence to both tell our stories and be stewards of the stories that we hear. This is the framework for meaningful connection,” Brenè Brown writes in Atlas of the Heart, her latest novel released in 2021. Sharing your story, when comfortable, can be instrumental in an individual’s mental health recovery. This book helps put words to the emotions we are experiencing.

Brown explores eighty-seven emotions and experiences (thoughts that lead to emotions). Some key ones include: stress, vulnerability, envy, curiosity, grief and joy. All our emotions and experiences are based on biology, biography, behavior and backstory. This got me thinking about how to define “emotion”. According to Merriam-Webster it is “a conscious mental reaction (such as anger or fear) subjectively experienced as a strong feeling usually directed toward a specific object and typically accompanied by physiological and behavioral changes in the body”. Ok, that may or may not be helpful. Atlas of the Heart breaks down those mental reactions into language that will resonate. Giving real life examples of the difference between “stressed” and “overwhelmed”.

I loved the format of this book. The emotions/experiences that are similar are put in the same chapter, but each of the emotions/experiences has their own section. The contents at the beginning of the book can guide you to which you are most interested in reading about. You don’t have to read the chapters in order. All the definitions, research, and relatable situations in this book are meant to give the reader the skills to foster meaningful relationships.

Let us know your thoughts on the book in the comments.


Want more?

Watch Brenè Brown discuss Atlas of the Heart on NBC News Now

View a trailer for her HBO Max series based on the book-

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