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Oh, My Aching Mind! Pick Me Up Understands

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Ever had a day that, if it were a fish, you would throw it back? Most of us have those days and experience emotions such as sadness, irritability, anger, and soul-sucking, carb-eating lethargy. Lethargy might be the worst emotion because we know we should do something to help ourselves but don’t know where to start.

Artist and author Adam J. Kurtz’ Pick Me Up: A Pep Talk for Now and Later is a cleverly-written and illustrated paperback that doubles as a balm for emotional pain. The front cover has the title among colorful star-like shapes and looks homemade, in a good way that encourages touch. That positive tactile sensation is the first among many good aspects of this funny, winsome, and life-affirming book.

Pick Me Up is packed with simple and fun thinking, writing, and drawing exercises that could be a crucial first step toward a more healthful mindscape. So, wipe the Chee-tos dust off your fingers, grab a pencil, and “Describe Your Mood In 1 Word Every Time You Visit This Page,” the book’s first exercise with sixteen lines to record how you feel. That exercise and others, like “Apologize To Yourself” and “Draw Something Remarkable. Next Time Give It Some Magic!” keeps you busy, visibly tracks your state of mind, and with some work, encourages feeling better.

Besides the exercises, Kurtz has included practical advice such as “Hey! Here’s An Idea: Maybe Try To Lower Your Expectations and Enjoy What You Have??” A hashtag for social media sharing rounds out the hip and useful nature of the book.

Paired with colorful markers, Pick Me Up could turn a difficult time into a chronicle of better mental health. With the dark days of winter approaching, this book will be part of my Seasonal Affective Disorder toolkit.