A somewhat depressing article on how an $11 billion industry emerged that ultimately focuses on keeping you coming back for more. Thought-provoking, though I step back for a moment and reflect that approaching the day with gratitude, thanks and appreciation does more for my wellbeing than any self-help book I’ve plowed through so far (and admittedly, there have been many over the years!).
Despite the abundance of material wealth, the idealism of democratic values, and flashy new iPhones, most people are suffering. And the brutal truth is that several industries–including the self-industry–are profiting off of the emotional pain of people seeking quick fixes.
Back in 2008, the self help industry was valued at 11 billion dollars each year. That’s a lot of books and motivational speeches that failed to help the 40 million people suffering from anxiety, the 14.8 million suffering from depression, and the 7.7 million people suffering from post traumatic stress disorder. And in 2016 alone the US spent 446 billion dollars on medications–almost half of the global market. These astonishing numbers point to one very important fact: that unhappy people make companies a lot of money. […]