Fear Illusions: How Your Brain Gets Hacked Every Day

Neil StraussNeil

I’ve spent the last three months researching fear and anxiety, and how they work on a psychological and neurobiological level, for a big Rolling Stone article. In this time of pre-election hysteria and fear-mongering in the U.S., and so many other places around the world, I thought I’d write an email sharing some of the findings here. The goal is … Read More

Ten Truths To Overcome Social Anxiety

Neil StraussNeil41 Comments

Recently, I did a small project based on experiments from the book the Game. It involved walking up to strangers and asking them to write down their vision for the world. I was with a couple other people in a food court area, and we saw a thin, poorly dressed, angry-looking man in his thirties sitting alone at a table. No … Read More

My Last Conversation With Prince, R.I.P.

Neil StraussNeil79 Comments

I just heard moments ago the tragic news that Prince, one of the greatest recording and live artists of our time, passed away. Over the years of writing about music, I’ve interviewed him, seen him perform big and small shows,  and even run afoul of him. The following obituary of sorts is from my last encounter with him, when the tables … Read More

Goodbye Merle Haggard: The Last Interview

Neil StraussNeil, Uncategorized5 Comments

Today, the world lost one of the greatest country musicians of all time. Merle Haggard, who died on the day he turned 79 today, is the American dream personified. Born to a hardscrabble family, he lost his father at age nine, was in juvenile detention homes by the time he was thirteen for shoplifting from a lingerie store, and was … Read More

The Year in Top Fiction Recommendations

Neil StraussBooks, Neil16 Comments

On New Year’s Day, 2016, I looked at my bookshelf and thought it was time to read the stack of books that was piling up, most of them top fiction recommendations from others. It was time to re-enter the world that had inspired me to write in the first place: The intersection of imagination, craft, and storytelling. So I committed to emptying … Read More

Love In The Age of Hyperbole: Our Culture vs. Love

Neil StraussNeil39 Comments

According to Billboard magazine, the greatest love song of all time is the Diana Ross and Lionel Richie duet “Endless Love,” in which she sings, “You’re every breath that I take/You’re every step that I make.” Spotify reports the most popular wedding song is John Legend’s “All of Me,” in which he proclaims, “Give your all to me/I’ll give my … Read More

“It Is Always Better to Go to Bed With a Mystery”: An Existentialist Take on The Game

Neil StraussNeil8 Comments

In 1956, French philosopher, author, and Nobel Prize winner Albert Camus wrote his last complete work of fiction, The Fall.  Set in Amsterdam, The Fall is a series of monologues by wealthy Parisian defense lawyer, Jean-Baptiste Clamence, as he reflects upon his life and reveals his transgressions to a stranger. As I was reading it after having published The Game, I was … Read More

The Quick-Start Guide to Healing Trauma and Psychological Wounds

Neil StraussBooks, Neil, Public, The Truth42 Comments

healing trauma

A  Framework For Transformation Over the course of writing The Truth, I came to develop a very specific take on healing trauma, specifically developmental trauma, as I slowly but surely reduced my own. As an overall framework for psychological healing, think of the childhood pain and shame we store—and the dysfunctional behaviors and thoughts created by them—as cancerous tumors attached to the heart … Read More

Why You Need a Ulysses Strategy for 2016

Neil StraussNeil278 Comments

Too many people I’ve met this week are telling me something like this: Me: So what are your resolutions this year? Them: I’m not making any this year. Me: Why not? Them: Well, I would just make the same resolutions I made last year. And it’s depressing to know I didn’t do them. Others making resolutions confessed that deep down, they … Read More

How to Survive Family Holidays

Neil StraussNeil28 Comments

Note: The “private” link wasn’t working for all Inner Circle subscribers. So I will be making this post more accessible for a short amount of time while troubleshooting the issue.  During college, after returning from winter break, I griped to a friend: “It was great being home…for about two hours. But then my mom started pushing all my buttons and I … Read More