You Will Get Through This Night by Daniel Howell
Book and Audiobook review
“Mental health is something we all have. Whether you know you’re going through a tough time, or feel like you are fine – it’s always there, invisible, but influencing what you feel, how you react. Sometimes it can feel like a fog you’re powerless to navigate through, but that’s not true. You can be your own light.”
YOU WILL GET THROUGH THIS NIGHT
There’s a moment at the end of every day, where the world falls away, and you are left alone with your thoughts. A reckoning, when the things you have been pushing to the background, come forward and demand your attention.
Written by Daniel Howell, in conjunction with a qualified psychologist, in an entertaining and personal way from the perspective of someone who has been through it all—this no-nonsense book gives you the tools to understand your mind, so you can be in control and really live.
You will laugh and learn—but most of all, this book will assure you that even in your darkest times, there is always hope.
I came across this book on the New York Times bestseller list and instantly felt drawn to it. It’s no secret that I struggle with mental health since I talk about it often on this blog. And I’ll be honest, sometimes I worry that I won’t make it through the night.
There are certain nights when I lie awake and contemplate everything. I let the darkness take over, and I don’t see the possibility of light, or the forthcoming sunrise. These moments spent alone staring at the ceiling, or creeping around my apartment deep in thought hoping not to wake anyone up, can be terrifying at times. That’s another reason I found this book so compelling.
Daniel states at the beginning, “This is not a memoir. It’s not spiritual self-help. It is a practical guide, founded on science, that can help you understand and manage your mental health.” He also shares some of his story in the book. Daniel initially came out and talked about his struggles with mental health about four years ago in a YouTube video, which you can watch below.
Something Howell says in the book, that I had never heard before, was the term ‘internalized homophobia.’ He uses it in relation to his coming out as gay, and states “I’d never been homophobic, or any kind of hateful toward others in life, but society’s ‘gay is bad’ brainwashing that I was subjected to directed all of it inwards,” he continues, “I thought I was broken. I hated myself.”
I really related to this part of the book, having shared many of the same experiences as Daniel did at his all-boys school, and I still struggle with this ‘internalized homophobia,’ which Howell gives advice on. He goes on to say, “The moment I felt comfortable actually acknowledging and accepting my sexuality, and that I was ready to be honest with the world, felt like the beginning of my life.”
I read the e-book edition and also purchased the audiobook to accompany it, wanting to review both, and hoping to get the full experience. The book and the audiobook, are split into three separate sections: this night for when you need an immediate change, no matter how small, tomorrow for when you feel stable and can make changes to the world around you, and the days after that which is about addressing what’s going on in your mind, and learning to make it a better place to be.
Before diving into the book’s main content, Daniel gives the reader an opportunity to learn more about mental health in a section called Understanding Mental Health. In this part, he talks about what mental health is, environmental factors, biological and genetic predispositions, psychology, and the horrible feelings that many who struggle with mental health, feel.
The audiobook is a separate experience entirely. It’s narrated by Howell himself, and includes more than the actual book. It’s also fun, since Daniel's humorous personality really shines through. The audio edition includes audio only exercises, soundscapes, and a bonus section filled with content to bring a smile to your face. It most definitely brought a smile, and a laugh, to my face. I really enjoyed the additional content in the audiobook and felt it enhanced the entire experience. It felt well paced, and hearing Daniel's upbeat tone helped to keep me more engaged.
The best thing about this book, in my opinion, was the days after that section, in which Howell does a deep dive into unhelpful thinking patterns such as catastrophizing, mind reading, and all-or-nothing thinking, to name a few. Daniel includes an exercise on challenging those thoughts, and as someone who has done a lot of therapy, these exercises are eye-opening.
I found the book brutally honest, frighteningly relatable, and very amusing, which I really appreciated. The humour sheds some light on what can be a very dark topic to discuss. I was inspired by Daniel's vulnerability and courage throughout. He’s literally an open book, sharing his entire self in You Will Get Through This Night.
This book is filled with information, advice, and exercises. If you struggle with any kind of mental health issues or a diagnosed mental illness, this is a good book to have on your shelf. It’s important to note, this book is not a cure, and that you should have the right supports in place for when you need them (therapist, mental health treatment team, etc). You Will Get Through This Night is a great additional tool to have in combination with other kinds of supports.
If you ever feel you are a danger to yourself, or to anyone else, please call 911 or go to your nearest emergency room. You can also connect with the Canada Suicide Prevention Services 24/7/365 by calling 1-833-456-4566. Visit their website for more information.
About the author
|Photo by Sarah M. Lee|
Daniel Howell is one of the world’s most popular and celebrated entertainers. For 10 years he has written and produced comedy videos on YouTube that have gained over 1 billion views and millions of followers, along with an award-winning BBC Radio 1 show, #1 New York Times bestselling books and two stage shows with sellout world tours. He is getting better at giving himself a break.