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Publisher's Summary

A revealing, courageous, fascinating, and funny account of the author's experiment with microdoses of LSD in an effort to treat a debilitating mood disorder, of her quest to understand a misunderstood drug, and of her search for a really good day.

When a small vial arrives in her mailbox from "Lewis Carroll", Ayelet Waldman is at a low point. Her mood storms have become intolerably severe; she has tried nearly every medication possible; her husband and children are suffering with her. So she opens the vial, places two drops on her tongue, and joins the ranks of an underground but increasingly vocal group of scientists and civilians successfully using therapeutic microdoses of LSD. As Waldman charts her experience over the course of a month - bursts of productivity, sleepless nights, a newfound sense of equanimity - she also explores the history and mythology of LSD, the cutting-edge research into the drug, and the byzantine policies that control it. Drawing on her experience as a federal public defender and as the mother of teenagers and her research into the therapeutic value of psychedelics, Waldman has produced a book that is eye-opening, often hilarious, and utterly enthralling.

©2017 Ayelet Waldman (P)2017 Recorded Books

Critic Reviews

"Ayelet Waldman gives an animated performance.... The audiobook blends history, science, and memoir, and, as narrator, Waldman displays enthusiasm for all of it. She uses pacing, pauses, and changes in tone to enliven even the most mundane details.... Her story will appeal to listeners who enjoy quirky memoirs." ( AudioFile)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Ilana
  • Montreal, Quebec, Canada
  • 01-15-17

A Radically Different Approach to Self-Medication

This book came to my attention a few months before its release, when a caring friend mentioned that it might be of interest to me. This friend, along with most people who know me, was aware that I struggle daily with my mood disorder, and she was right in thinking I'd be curious to learn about a radically different approach to 'self-medication'.

Ayelet Waldman also suffers from mood disorders and according to her, she has taken just about every pharmaceutical drug available on the market, AND suffered all the accompanying side-effects. Treating a mood disorder such as bipolar disorder is complicated business and usually involves a whole drug cocktail to stabilize both the highs and lows. Approaching menopause, Waldman found that she was becoming more and more out of control, and the feeling she was putting her marriage at risk with repeated angry outbursts along with suicidal thoughts prompted her to seek a solution.

Having studied a book on the subject of microdosing which provided helpful guidelines, and not least of all, having procured a small vial of LSD from a mysterious source, she decided to become her own research subject for a month-long trial which involved taking minute amounts of LSD every three days and journaled any changes she was able to perceive over this period. At the kind of doses she was taking (about one-tenth of a standard hallucinogenic dose), the user experiences no hallucinatory effects whatsoever. Instead, she describes the overall effect of the experience as providing a feeling that one is more focused, more in control and with the general impression that one is just having... a really good day.

Waldman makes it very clear that she is by no means a typical drug user and that in fact, with her background as a Federal public defender, she is probably more cautious than most. She did a lot of reading and research on LSD to discover that it is actually a relatively safe drug and that one is unlikely to ever overdose on it. Furthermore, she was very much against the idea of 'tripping out' or getting high in any way. The doses she was taking did not produce psychotropic effects, which leads Waldman to make some very good points on the merits of legalization of drugs, which might be beneficial for treating individual who do not respond to other pharmaceutical drug regimens. She makes good points on why there is a need replace the ineffective and ultimately racist 'war on drugs', and develop a more practical approach to drug use, to, among other things, allow for more clinical trials and ultimately to give adults a right to decide for themselves whether they would like to alter their consciousness with drugs or not.

I would not say this is a 'general interest' book. I had a keen interest in it because it treats on a subject that is very close to me, but I can imagine that someone expecting to read about someone's wild experiences with LSD will be sorely disappointed.

92 of 92 people found this review helpful

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Disagree with other reviews....

I disagree with the other reviews that didn't care for the medical and historical content in the book. I found it very necessary and enjoyable. If you're looking for a light-hearted fiction novel about a happy go lucky "really good day", this is not what you want. If you want an informative experience on the curious topic of micro dosing from a relatable narrator, this is what you want!

67 of 67 people found this review helpful

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Mind-blowing, informative, daring

This book meets two of my favorite criteria: 1) it is filled with information, 2) it is read by the author.
Her candor is breath-taking. Her information is powerful and thought-provoking. The themes of this book are controversial but she defends them brilliantly. What a pleasure to listen to! Thank you Ayelet.
I loved it so much I bought the hardcover to savor her ideas. (Which brings me to a suggestion for Audible - make the chapters in the audiobook the same as those in the printed book so we who read the READ the book can find what we are looking for more readily!)

35 of 35 people found this review helpful

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Must read for nuanced arguments on drug policy

A thoroughly researched literature review, told alongside anecdotal evidence from a former lawyer and professor. If you think you know anything about the drug war, modern pharmacology, or mental illness, be prepared to be shown, with plenty of peer reviewed evidence, that you were wrong.

35 of 36 people found this review helpful

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Excellent!

What made the experience of listening to A Really Good Day the most enjoyable?

While not entirely what I was expecting I really enjoyed everything she put in this book. At times I got a little bored with the war on drugs/ pharma talk but I liked how she would always use that stuff to tie into her story and so I only had to hang on a bit through that stuff and it was well worth it when she got to the next part. I am starting a microdose course and it was very insightful to hear this from her perspective and how it affected all the different little parts of her life that you wouldn't hear about or understand from some generic article on the subject. I really liked how she talked about her relationships in such detail and all the little things that went on in her mind as she encountered different situations in life and how all of those things changed through microdosing. Also as a younger male it was interesting to hear this from a middle aged mothers perspective, not your normal source for psychedelic research! At times this was annoying because it felt like I was listening to my overbearing mom, but still very insightful and eerily relatable and I enjoyed her perspectives. I strongly think more research needs to be done/ allowed and people sticking their neck out there like this is going to be what it will take for society to eventually realize the benefit in these controversial and mis-understood drugs.

15 of 15 people found this review helpful

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Fantastic!

What made the experience of listening to A Really Good Day the most enjoyable?

I liked everything about the protocol, the HUGE insight into the war on drugs, the personal struggle the author reveals, and the performance was excellent. Ayelet is very intelligent, quick witted, no nonsense woman. I am thankful to know that women of her kind are taking risks and writing to tell about it.

12 of 12 people found this review helpful

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Woh.

Woh. Went into this book for a brief view of microdosing and ended up with a brutally honest look inside a life, a history of drugs, a new found understanding​ for "the dangerous" drugs, and a new hatred for the war on drugs.

Was I supposed to tear up? Cause I did. Like 3 times.

30 of 32 people found this review helpful

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Insightful, Candid, and Brilliantly Researched

This is the kind of book that changes minds through solid research and honest, personal anecdotes. If you have any interest in the war on the drugs, mental health, or parenting, don't waste any more time and start listening.

11 of 13 people found this review helpful

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Self Case Study by an Articulate, Credible Subject

It will be interesting to see where this goes. I'm glad Ayelet wrote about her experience, and appreciate that she is obviously intelligent and did her homework. This is a well-narrated, forthright account that was convincing in removing much of my initial skepticism.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Wow!

I don't usually write text reviews (usually I just do the star rating), but I had to comment on this one, in case anyone is sitting on the fence. I was captivated by this book. Usually medical or legal nonfictions tend to be padded with so much extra information that I grow bored, it was not the case with this one.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • dean
  • 07-25-18

Not really about micrdosing

wonderful story, well written and very well performed. However, this is not for you if you are looking to learn about microdosing. 99% biography and history of drugs 1% microdosing

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  • CTA
  • 07-04-18

Beautifully written and spoken

Thank you for writing such a brutally honest version of being a mother who is also struggling with mental health issues. I’ve found this insightful catalogue of observations both familiar and empowering. I feel like it’s not “just me”. Rare is there a book that makes me laugh and cry; this did both. I can’t thank you enough.

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  • Yusuf (Smiley) Yearwood
  • 06-29-18

Very informative, engaging first person account

informative and engaging account of microdose with LSD that does much to dispel myths on the subject.

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  • stefan
  • 06-05-18

this taught me a lot

thanks this was very useful, and I appreciate the research and effort put into it

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  • Martin C.
  • 01-07-18

Really Good Book :)

I really enjoyed listening to this book it was a very insightful account of microdosing

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  • John Richardson
  • 01-17-17

Highly enjoyable and arguably very important book

I enjoyed this immensely.

Entertainingly read and backed up with some extremely valid points about the crazy prescription and illegal drug industry in the US (and to a lesser extent in the UK)

Highly recommended.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 08-19-18

Such a wonderful book.

I thoroughly enjoy listening to this audiobook spoken beautifully by the author herself.
Ayelet made me laugh out loud on many occasions and I could relate to her personality in many ways. The premise behind the book is A truely fascinating concept and something that seems to carry many positive outcomes.
I highly recommend reading or listening to this book.