I Used to Be a Miserable F*ck

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Sometimes it takes a trauma for a man to experience a rebirth. Most times a man is just merely living his life, busy making money, raising a family, traveling, and so on. In the case of John Kim, he experienced his rebirth after going through his divorce. John Kim is a therapist today, otherwise also known as The Angry Therapist, and pioneered the online life coaching movement seven years ago.


All of us are born in our families and are brought up with what our parents have learned in their lives. We follow the family traditions, grow up with beliefs that our parents have, pick up on skills that we see in our parents and so we essentially become the product of our own circumstances. It is that point in our lives when we break away from all that we’ve learned, unlearn that and come out with the best version of yourselves. You may not shun everything that you’ve picked up while growing up, but you will have a mind of your own and be more comfortable in your skin. That is what we call rebirth.

We may have been conditioned and brought up in a certain way by our families and society at large, but as adults, it becomes our responsibility to figure out how to make a better version of ourselves, even if that means shunning our conditioned learned experience.

The book is split into the following categories: Self, Health, Love and Relationships, Career and Success, Communication¬† and Everything Else (which includes tips like keeping your bathroom clean, don’t wear skinny jeans and don’t be creepy among others!)

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The book serves a great springboard to bring forth a discussion on what it means to be a man. Kim doesn’t aim to throw his version on to the readers but rather wants us to think about our manhood. Do we need to eliminate toxic masculinity? Is it really healthy to portray a macho image all the time? Is it ok for men to act strong all the time?

An important point he makes in his book is how he realized a “common thread in over 95% of his male clients being treated for addiction was an absent father.” So these young male teens grow up with an absent male role model, and in most cases substitute other men, such as celebrities, actors, sportsperson, as their ideal male role model. This, in turn, feeds in the wrong concept of what it means to be a man.

The Book

It is actually a very refreshing and unique book because it’s written by a man who is now looking back at his own marriage and reflecting upon what he could have done better to save his marriage because it’s not always the woman’s fault. Sometimes,¬† the man needs to take the blame for a failing marriage. It’s his own experience that shines through the book and proves to be beneficial at large.

There’s actually a lot of information, and I wish I could share all of it with you. Little things like owning up to your responsibility, calming down, do things that make you feel alive, don’t just Netflix and chill, among so many other insights. It’s a great book to have by your bedside which you can just flick through any random page and learn something new.

John Kim is an unconventional therapist. He thinks outside the box in the way he treats his clients. They will go for walks, have a coffee, or even have a session at a gym. He also takes the time out to share his personal story with his clients, something we therapists are taught not to. It is his attitude towards his clients that make John Kim a very popular therapist with a huge following.

Highly recommended reading, not just for the men who want to understand themselves better, but women can also pick up some great ideas to help them understand their men.

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