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Summary

A humorous and insightful look into what advice works, what doesn't, and what it means to transform yourself, by the co-hosts of the popular By the Book podcast.

In each episode of their podcast By the Book, Jolenta Greenberg and Kristen Meinzer take a deep dive into a different self-help book, following its specific instructions, rules, and advice to the letter. From diet and productivity to decorating to social interactions, they try it all, record themselves along the way, then share what they’ve learned with their devoted and growing audience of fans who tune in.

Before they began their podcast, Jolenta wanted to believe the promises of self-help books, while Kristen was very much the skeptic. They embraced their differences of opinion, hoping they’d be good for laughs and downloads. But in the years since launching the By the Book, they’ve come to realize their show is about much more than humor. In fact, reading and following each book’s advice has actually changed and improved their lives. Thanks to the show, Kristen penned the Amish romance novel she’d always joked about writing, traveled back to her past lives, and she broached some difficult conversations with her husband about their marriage. Jolenta finally memorized her husband’s phone number, began tracking her finances, and fell in love with cutting clutter. 

In How to Be Fine, Jolenta and Kristen synthesize the lessons and insights they’ve learned and share their experiences with everyone. How to Be Fine is a thoughtful look at the books and practices that have worked, real talk on those that didn’t, and a list of philosophies they want to see explored in-depth. The topics they cover include:

  • Getting off your device
  • Engaging in positive self-talk
  • Downsizing
  • Admitting you're a liar
  • Meditation
  • Going outside
  • Getting in touch with your emotions
  • Seeing a therapist

Part memoir, part prescriptive handbook, this honest, funny, and heartfelt guide is like a warm soul-baring conversation with your closest and smartest friends.

Supplemental enhancement PDF accompanies the audiobook.

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying PDF will be available in your Audible Library along with the audio.

©2020 Jolenta Greenberg and Kristen Meinzer (P)2020 HarperAudio

What listeners say about How to Be Fine

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Like 100 self help books in one

Love the authors and the structure of each chapter. I always find that self help books could be summed up very easily and am put off buying them so this was also a huge money saver.

Also, the chapter about undiagnosed adhd in girls made me start crying because I related so much to every symptom... Definitely have a doctors appointment to book.

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  • LizzToon
  • 14-06-20

Wonderful words from lovely ladies

A no nonsense look at popular self help tropes and themes, distilled based on experience and common sense. You don’t have to by a fan of the podcast to get some good nuggets and be entertained by this book (but you should also totally go listen to the podcast).

3 people found this helpful

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  • Milt
  • 20-05-20

Good overview of books

This book was good. It had a lot of insight reminding me of books that I have read and peaking my interest in other books. The only downside is the repeated “white male” bashing that seems to be a recurring theme throughout the book. That just got a bit distracting after a while.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Reham F.
  • 25-04-20

Nothing new

They just review a number of self help books which are best sellers and say how horrible they are

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  • Anonymous User
  • 07-09-20

Easy to relate

Thank you for sharing your insight on these (at times obnoxious) books. You put it all layman’s terms - easy to relate. Love the injected sarcasm and humor. Can’t wait for the next How to Be Fine!

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 25-05-20

Love it

I love this book. I listen to personal development regularly but really felt like they were talking to me on this one. I loved hearing what they took from each book and the confirmation that it was normal to think some books were full of BS! I connected with these ladies so much. If you’re looking for new PD, read this book!!

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  • The Oily Yogini
  • 29-01-21

A Book I Could Finally Relate To

I am someone who is always reading self help books but I could never seem to relate to them. Being a female Mexican/American I find it hard to relate to a lot of self help books. This one was relatable and I felt I was having a conversation with friends, feeling good rather than thinking someone was wrong with me. Thanks Jolenta & Kristen!

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  • Erin
  • 07-01-21

The only self help book you need

I’m a big fan of their podcast so I was excited for this audiobook. Lots of new content and I love the way the synthesized the books they read in a way that didn’t feel redundant for a podcast listener.

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  • Taylor
  • 28-11-20

Real People with Real Thoughts

This was a nice book about real people living by a number of self help books, and how they did, or didn’t, help them. I found both of the authors very down to earth and they had fair criticisms for issues that some self help books have that I’d never considered before, as well as surprisingly good results from other tidbits from self help books. I did find their voices very distinctive and at first had some trouble listening to them because I unfortunately found one of them a little grating, but I quickly adjusted to them and didn’t have any issues!

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  • SchimL
  • 05-11-20

Made me happy

Such a light hearted way of makiing this listen fun and helpful! Thank you. You ladies are awesome.

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  • doughswan
  • 23-10-20

Disappointed

I found this book disappointing. I felt like the authors were playing at arm chair psychology without the eduction to do so. Seemed like a LOT of male bashing and lumping people into categories that they espoused to hate.