The best form of self-help is a healthy dose of unhappiness | Tim Lott

Were more likely to find solace by accepting reality rather than in positive thinking, says author Tim Lott Booksellers have announced that sales of self-help books are at Blink, or The Power of Now, or A Course in Miracles)? Or a combination of both (The Road Less Travelled)? Is it about success (The Seven Secrets of Successful People) or accumulating money (Mindful Money, or Think and Grow Rich)? Is Caitlin Morans The Secret, You Can Heal Your Life and Robin Skynner in the 1980s, and Depression: The Way out of Your Prison by How to Win Friends and Influence People through to The Power of Positive Thinking and Who Moved My Cheese?, positive thinking seems to be the unifying principle …

Reality check: life behind Insta-glam image of social media influencers

Online they feature in glossy posts as the epitome of cool. But that is often worlds apart from how they live their lives Standing amid the reeds and staring pensively into the distance, Jordan Bunker looks every part the moody model, dressed head to toe in black in a direct contrast with the setting. Another image from his portfolio shows him in industrial environs, sporting a minimalist brown trench coat as he looks directly at the camera. However, the reality for the 24-year-old is far from the glamour associated with the fashion world. In his pyjamas in bed hes fighting a cold at the home he shares with his parents in Leicester, Bunker says his set-up is worlds apart from …

Feminism with no human warmth leaves me cold | Zoe Williams

Im a fan of the acclaimed young writer known as the Slumflower. But her sexual creed of exploitation appals me, says Guardian columnist Zoe Williams A couple of years ago, the feminist society of Deptford Green secondary school convened a conference. It was there that I met Chidera Eggerue: aka the Slumflower, author of #saggyboobsmatter movement. She was a remarkable woman. I dont want to call her a remarkable young woman, even though she was 23 at the time: young is such a modifier and she would have been remarkable at any age. Her broad message was one of body positivity: if you love yourself and your shape, nobody can shame you. She built what I thought was a brisk, …

Is porn making young men impotent?

Up to a third of young men now experience erectile dysfunction. Some are turning to extreme measures such as penile implants but is kicking their pornography habit the only solution? There is an ad campaign adorning the tunnels of the London Underground bearing the slogan ED IS DEAD next to a photograph of a wholesome-looking man in his prime. Dont worry, it says in smaller writing beneath. Eds not a guy. Its a guy thing. Its short for erectile dysfunction. The posters are promoting Reward Foundation, an educational charity focusing on love, sex and the internet. Until 2002, the incidence of men under 40 with ED was around 2-3%. Since 2008, when free-streaming, high-definition porn became so readily available, it …

Excellence is overrated. Lets embrace being good enough instead | Andr Spicer

Schools, bodies, workplaces, relationships this quest to be outstanding can be damaging, says academic Andr Spicer We live in a society obsessed with being exceptional. Whether it is as workers, parents, students, lovers or cooks, we are expected to be outstanding. We must strive to be the best employee, craft an outstanding body, have an amazing relationship, all while being exceptionally happy. Even the most ordinary institutions also are expected to be nothing less than excellent. Companies want to be world class, schools have become academies of excellence, and humble local GP surgeries strive to be outstanding. Being good enough is seen as simply not good enough. Our quest to be excellent has many positive consequences, but it also can …