Book Review: Mindset Medicine by Mari L. McCarthy

One year ago, I wrote a review for Mari L. McCarthy’s book, Journaling Power, and I stand by my statement that journaling has changed my life. This author is a true example of how journaling can heal the mind, body and soul. If you didn’t check out my last review, you can access it here:

In Mari’s latest book, Mindset Medicine, we learn how self-love can have a positive impact on our health, mindset, and relationships. As I began reading this book, I was certain it was written just for me. I could relate with most every example of feeling unworthy and undeserving of the life I have, and not believing in myself or demanding respect from others. 

Some of the strategies Mari teaches us seem simple, but when put to the test, can be challenging. Through journaling prompts and exercises at the end of each chapter, you’ll discover your hidden gifts and talents, learn to focus on joy and laughter, and most of all, begin to love yourself. This means setting boundaries with those who may have discouraged you from being your true self and finding your purpose. I’m learning to think for myself and nurture my soul, tuning out hate and fear spewed out from toxic people and TV shows. Instead, I sit in the serenity of my home, experiencing gratitude for the peace and quiet, the sounds of nature, and the speed of my pen. I try not to focus on past mistakes or worry about tomorrow, but to appreciate this very moment.  

Each reading session with Mindset Medicine is like a therapy session. As the author has written, “Establishing firm boundaries with people is incredibly vital to living a happy and joyous life.” What I wouldn’t give to have learned that lesson decades ago! Without firm boundaries, others can lead us down paths we didn’t choose to take. They’ll take advantage of those of us who will do almost anything to keep the peace and avoid conflict. But as the book points out, once you establish firm boundaries, the people in your life will begin to respect them. 

One of the most impactful takeaways from this book, for me, is losing the word should from my vocabulary and replacing it with could. From here on out, I will commit never to tell my children or grandchildren what they should do. Instead, when confronted with life choices, I’ll think of all the things they could do!

Through journaling, writing has become a key part of my life, which has led me to engage with a community of like-minded people, who lift me up rather than bring me down. These people share my passion. They understand me. And best of all, they expect nothing but the authentic me. Find Mari’s writing community at

The title, Mindset Medicine, is just that. Journaling is medicine, or therapy, that can change your mindset to focus on the people and things that make you happy. Those that bring you joy and laughter. For me it’s simple. It’s my kids, grandkids, pets, and writing. These are the priorities in my life, and I will no longer clutter my brain with drama, conflict and noise from toxic people. 

In her book, Mari tells us to ask ourselves two simple but life-transforming questions:

  1. What’s funny about the situation I’m in right now?
  2. How can I make the situation I’m in right now a 10?

She says this encourages us to make light of most any dramatic situation and shift our focus and mindset to something positive. I love this, and I’ve found that it works!

Another point this author makes is that most of our time throughout life is spent trying to get to a certain destination, whether it’s a career, a certain lifestyle, an academic achievement, or finding love. And that once we reach our destination, we begin a new journey, looking for the next destination or shiny object. Well folks, I’ve arrived at my destination, and I’m not going anywhere for a while. I’ve learned it’s never too late to achieve a self-love mindset medicine mission. It’s simple, it’s free, and all it takes is picking up a pen, putting it to paper and journaling your way to a life of freedom and peace, joy and laughter. I challenge you to take Mari’s advice and give this a try!

Author: Leslie J. Cox

Leslie Cox is a writer of creative non-fiction, focusing on personal essay and memoir. Her essay “My Favorite Chair” was a runner up in the WOW! Women on Writing Q1 2020 Creative Nonfiction Contest, and she published two essays in “Her Vase” in 2020. Her essay "Distracted" appeared in the Pure Slush anthology: "Love, Lifespan," and she has enjoyed contributing to guest blogs and book reviews. Prior to semi-retiring from health care administration in 2019, Leslie wrote and published trade articles and a guidebook for health care professionals for HCPro. When she’s not writing, Leslie tutors students K-12 in the craft of writing, and that fills her up!

2 thoughts on “Book Review: Mindset Medicine by Mari L. McCarthy”

  1. Leslie,
    Thank you for your awesome review! I’d love your 1000 word Journaling Power Journey guest blog post anytime. #JustWriteON!


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