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Book approaches mental health with humor

The idea for the book spurred from doodles author Brett Newski would share on the internet. #newdaynw

Talking about mental health can be really difficult for some people, but approaching it with humor and creativity can be a way to cope.

In his new book "It's Hard to Be a Person," author Brett Newski does just that with his humous approach to anxiety and depression.

Newski joined the show to talk about the book and how anxiety and depression have impacted him.


“I love how easy Brett Newski makes it to plow through the dark stuff with some well placed humor and grit.” -Stelth Ulvang (of the Lumineers) on "It's Hard to be a Person."

Blending humor with mental health struggles, alternative songwriter/illustrator/podcaster Brett Newski makes fun of his own anxieties by offering mental health boosts in his first book " It's Hard to be a Person: Defeating Anxiety, Surviving the World, and Having More Fun."

Brett Newski is an alternative songwriter, illustrator, and podcaster based in Milwaukee, WI. He has been featured on Rolling Stone, NPR, American Songwriter, SiriusXM, Boston Globe, and Paste. Newski has played alongside acts like Pixies, Violent Femmes, Courtney Barnett, Manchester Orchestra, Better than Ezra, and New Pornographers. He continues to tour over 100 dates per year.

Newski's podcast Dirt from the Road also dives into mental health boosts. Guests include The Lumineers, All American Rejects, Dashboard Confessional, Guster, Heartless Bastards, Verve Pipe, Toad the Wet Sprocket, and Frank Turner.


Years ago, somewhere on the Internet, I posted a few dumb drawings making fun of my own anxiety and depression. The response to them was warmer than anticipated, and people kept asking for more.

Blending humor with pure depression seemed to strike a chord with a decent amount of people. So I kept going, and after about three years of drawing, I had enough dumb drawings for a book. Humor has always been a primary mode of therapy for me. I still make fun of my own anxiety and “depresh” as catharsis. I sing about it on tour, talk about it on my podcast, and draw pictures of it here in this book. Putting my formerly-private-feelings out into the world has been tremendous therapy for me, and I wish I would’ve done it sooner.

Over the span of many years, I’ve been illustrating the “hacks”, “strategies”, or “exercises” that have worked best.

Segment Producer Joseph Suttner. Watch New Day Northwest 11 AM weekdays on KING 5 and streaming live on KING5.com. Contact New Day.