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Published: 14 years ago

When You Need a Lift

Joy Behar

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly:

Behar, cohost of ABC's The View, doesn't have any advice of her own to dispense. Instead, she offers brief personal essays from more than 100 of her best friends (children's author David A. Adler and comedian Anne Meara among them). These mood boosters include I look at my friend Chip deMatteo's eighth grade picture (Bruce Hornsby) and My remedy is my ukulele. I sit and strum my blues away (Tony Danza). Danielle Broussard is a big believer in the idea that there is very little that a new pair of shoes and a Klondike bar can't fix. At best, those like Regis Philbin remind us that exercise reduces stress and releases endorphins. In the end, perhaps the best advice comes from actor Richard Anderson, The world is imperfect. Be cognitive. Work hard. Stay out of politics. But you might have figured that one out on your own. (Sept.) Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Book Description
Life is full of ups and downs. And while keeping your chin up may hide a double chin, it won’t improve your mood. Looking on the bright side will make you squint, which will lead to crow’s feet, and there is nothing cheerful about crow’s feet.

Listen, if you’re feeling down, it’s going to take a lot more to set things right than insipid platitudes about a cloud with a silver lining. (What is that anyway? Acid rain, or what?) In When You Need a Lift, comedienne Joy Behar and a host of her friends share the simple, silly, profound, and personal things they turn to for comfort when life gets hard.

For Joy, it’s her sense of humor and handbags. Not surprisingly, music legend Burt Bacharach turns to songwriting and performing. Kaye Ballard indulges with a big bowl of pasta. Beau Bridges counts his blessings. Former First Lady Barbara Bush finds solace in the work of Jane Austen. Tony Danza plays the ukulele. Larry King recommends laughter—tell a joke, read a funny book; every time you laugh, a little sadness slips away.

And that’s some advice you can actually use.


Just reading the front page of the newspaper these days is enough to put even the relentlessly cheerful von Trapp family into a serious state of melancholy. Maybe the world has always been riddled with disasters and misery, but that doesn't mean that I can't enjoy a double mocha
latte with whipped cream. Too fattening, you say. I agree.

It's getting more and more difficult to eat my way out of my mood swings. When I was a child, my mother would get into a funk over things that I didn't understand, but I noticed that she could always snap herself out of it by putting on an aria from Madama Butterfly. The next thing I knew, she'd be singing along and having a wonderful time, even though she was crying for poor Butterfly. It was her way of cheering herself up. I realized then that it was up to me to monitor
my ups and downs, and her opera collection.

These days, when the doldrums hit, I head for a department store. I find that loitering near the handbags has a calming effect on me. The smell of a Gucci bag is like a trip to Siena in June.

My second-favorite mood elevator is a manicure and pedicure, with a neck massage thrown in. Lately, I've discovered that the little nail salons that are popping up all over the city where I live offer a reflexology treatment between pedicures. I think I'll just move into one these shops.

If all else fails, I get on the phone with my girlfriends and start marathon blabbing. After two or three hours of nonstop analysis of our issues, I feel completely liberated from any threat of the blues.

In the spirit of group participation, I've asked a hundred and one of my friends, associates, and role models what they do when they're feeling down. I'm happy to say that their responses have been as varied and helpful as they have been interesting and original.

This is not a "how-to" book. I don't like how-to books. Just because Dr. So-and-So does it one way does not mean that I'm going to want to do it that way. I like to get a variety of answers on the big questions in life. Sigmund Freud was smart and probably right about a lot of things,
but "penis envy"? I don't think so.

So, when you're in the doldrums and a hot fudge sundae isn't doing it for you, check out this book. Not everyone's ideas will appeal to you. If repeating a mantra makes you anxious, don't meditate. Personally, I find fishing tedious, but if that's your hook, go for it. And by all means, stay away from anything that Sylvia Plath wrote.


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