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Healthy Deviance

Ian Martin

It's hard to be healthy when you're living in an unhealthy world. That's the premise of Pilar Gerasimo’s latest book, The Healthy Deviant.

Don't let the title deter you. Gerasimo's definition of a deviant isn't a troublemaker or outcast, it's simply someone with enough personal oomph not to stay stuck in the status quo.

At its heart, healthy deviance is about being willing to break a few social 'rules' instead of breaking yourself. Gerasimo urges readers to challenge social conventions as she unpacks the mismatch between our genetic evolution as human beings and the unhealthy social realities constructed around us.

The book is written in a conversational manner, with plenty of evidence-based scientific underpinning, which you would expect from a seasoned health journalist. Gerasimo doesn't offer any magic-bullet solutions – they are part of the problem the author argues –  so this is not your typical prescriptive self-help manual. However, for the intelligent and curious, there's plenty of practical advice to implement within these 300+ pages. Suggestions for daily "renegade rituals" and a 14-day Healthy Deviant Adventure program allow you to structure your long-term behaviour change efforts in the ways that will work for you. There's even a downloadable workbook available for free if you should need it too.

Approach this as a "Choose Your Own Adventure" book, and The Healthy Deviant will equip you with a strong set of tools and techniques to wrest back your health and your life.

Suggested follow-up reading

If you enjoy The Healthy Deviant you may also be interested in these other books which can help you break free from the Matrix-like realities that rule our lives.

Weapons of automatic - powers of persuasion to - Influence: The Power of Persuasion by Robert Cialdini 1980  

and Pre-suasion by Robert Cialdini

Learned helplessness - Seligman and Pilar

Some ideas for preempting “learned helplessness”

Forging meaning and building identity..