Book Review: I Really Needed This Today by Hoda Kotb

By Anne Peters, LMFT

Is there anything better than finding a book you really connect with? I’ve talked before about the benefits of reading. Reading has been shown to put our brains in a similar state to meditation. I received the book I Really Needed This Today by Hoda Kotb as a gift from my mom last year at Christmas. It has provided some great insight over the last couple of months as we go through some challenging and anxiety-producing times with the COVID-19 pandemic. Let’s dive into it!

The author, Hoda Kotb, prefaces this book by saying “If you’ve ever read a quote, nodded your head, and thought, ‘I am not alone’ . . . this book is for you.” One of my favorite parts of this book is the layout, because it allows for you to read it at whatever pace feels right to you, bookworms and occasional readers alike. Hoda starts with an introduction, then it is followed by 365 sayings and quotes, a quote for each day of the year. Hoda then offers a small interpretation of what the quote means to her. Most entries are less than a page long, so it’s such an easy read.

Here’s my recommendation and what I plan to do for the rest of 2020 and into 2021. Each day, read the assigned quote for the date, Hoda’s response, then do some self-reflection. We could all use a little motivation, reassurance, and just acknowledgment that we are not alone in what we feel. Here’s an excerpt from the book:

“In optimism there is magic. In pessimism there is nothing.” – Esther Hicks

Hoda states “I like the endless sparkle in that first –ism. I’ve been exposed to optimism my whole life because of my mom. I could share a thousand examples, but the beach comes to mind. If she’s describing bad weather during a trip to Rehoboth, she’ll say ‘It was rainy, but you can’t believe how much I needed a break from the sun.’ She’s like that about everything, every day! If the weather forecast is bad for an upcoming trip, she’s not having it. ‘Oh, please. They always say it’s going to be cloudy until it’s sunny.’ And you know what? My mom is usually right.”

I don’t know about you, but I totally resonated with this quote. Has anyone else fallen into more pessimistic thoughts than usual with the COVID-19 stress around us? I typically pride myself on being a “glass half full” kind of person, but this worldwide pandemic and all the worries that come with it have made it harder. I’m going to challenge myself to find the positives every day and work towards returning to my typical optimistic point of view. Also, I totally resonated with the “My mom is usually right” statement. She did buy me this book after all! What did you take away from this entry?

Let us know if you give this book a try! We can have a virtual book club that again, helps us to know we are not alone. I also saw Hoda is releasing a new book of the same format in October! Even more quotes coming for us to continue some self-reflection. Take care, everyone! We are here with you.

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