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Stuff That Sucks: A Book Review

Stuff That Sucks: A Teenʻs Guide to Accepting What You Canʻt Change and Committing to What You Can

When facing challenges, we’re often told such phrases as “get over it,” “youʻll be fine, “itʻs going to be ok.” While those things become true with time, sometimes things honestly just suck. This self-help book for teens, written by Ben Sedley, takes a practical yet compassionate approach to acknowledging and accepting feelings. Mindset is more than just being resilient. To have a clear mindset, itʻs important to accept how you are feeling and making a commitment to yourself to move past the difficulties.

The book uses acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT). It starts with calling feelings by name: worry, sadness, loneliness, anger, and shame. It also addresses trauma, labels, and negative self talk. By acknowledging these feelings and calling them out, we begin to accept all the stuff that sucks and not allow them to hold us back.

It moves teens to make a commitment to themselves by examining what really matters to them, like special moments, people, and their values. Values are really the base for all the decisions we make, whether itʻs what friends they keep or opportunities they say yes to. Ben Sedley also gives ways to move past the awful things by reexamining thoughts and feelings, doing self care activities, or even getting professional help.

Stuff That Sucks introduces brain research and the evolution development of our brains to understanding mindset. Instead of using daunting medical terminology, it references cavemen and purple cows, which makes brain research easy to understand. In general, it reads like a workbook and contains lots of pictures and graphics. There are journal prompts and lists to fill out. It makes the thinking process visible. Itʻs easy to see what people value by what they write down.

We highly recommend this book for teens and anyone who wants to learn how to accept the stuff that sucks and make a commitment to not let them hold you down. Acceptance rather than resilience and powering through. Itʻs such an empowering practice to be able to acknowledge how you are feeling and to then know that you can continue on through your goals.

To help teens and young adults through this COVID-19 pandemic, we developed a workshop, Quran-TEEN Fatigue. We have been living in a pandemic for a year now. Many of our teens faced incredibly sucky things this past year. We will be using this book, Stuff That Sucks, to help teens and young adults accept the trouble that COVID-19 has presented – missed proms, ruined college experiences, untaken trips, or people being sick or passing away. We will help them through activities to accept what has come and move forward into their future.

The Quran-TEEN virtual workshop will be held on Saturday, March 27, 2021 from 10-12pm. Check it out on our booking page:

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