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The Craving Mind

From Cigarettes to Smartphones to Love - Why We Get Hooked and How We Can Break Bad Habits
Narrated by: P. J. Ochlan
Length: 8 hrs and 19 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (244 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

We are all vulnerable to addiction. Whether it's a compulsion to constantly check social media, binge eating, smoking, excessive drinking, or any other behaviors, we may find ourselves uncontrollably repeating. Why are bad habits so hard to overcome? Is there a key to conquering the cravings we know are unhealthy for us?

This book provides groundbreaking answers to the most important questions about addiction. Dr. Judson Brewer, a psychiatrist and neuroscientist who has studied the science of addictions for 20 years, reveals how we can tap into the very processes that encourage addictive behaviors in order to step out of them. He describes the mechanisms of habit and addiction formation, then explains how the practice of mindfulness can interrupt these habits.

Weaving together patient stories, his own experience with mindfulness practice, and current scientific findings from his own lab and others, Dr. Brewer offers a path for moving beyond our cravings, reducing stress, and ultimately living a fuller life.

©2017 Judson Brewer (P)2017 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

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Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Excellent content, narrator hindered my enjoyment

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

No. I feel the narrator did not capture the proper tone of the author. I would recommend the written book instead. The narrator was too unnatural in his tone and delivery.

19 of 19 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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Hard to listen to

This would have been better if the author had read it himself! Good content hard to listen to.

18 of 18 people found this review helpful

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Narrarator ruins the book.

What would have made The Craving Mind better?

Bummed out that I used a credit, I can't listen to this man's monotone speaking. It's weird.

8 of 8 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Hear the reason why mindfulness works

Would you listen to The Craving Mind again? Why?

Yes its an interesting listen and I don't think anyone can get all the points it brings up with just one time through

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Everyone needs to read this book!

We all have vices. Chances are most of us weren’t taught great coping skills. This book has helped me tremendously understand my addiction better and how I need to approach treating it differently. Even if you don’t have an addiction, mindfulness is so important for helping you cope with stress or anxiety or boredom or really any emotion.

The most impactful part of the book for me was when he said to the smoker “What do you do when you crave a cigarette on a plane and can’t have one” and the smoker said he just has to get through it and the craving passes. Such a common sense answer but powerful as we can do that every time we have a craving.

Rarely do you hear about mindfulness from doctors or experts on TV who talk about addiction. It’s always medication or therapy. While these methods can be useful, those of us who’ve had addiction know they aren’t curative and sometimes create added problems or are expensive. Mindfulness is free! Just loved this book so much. Many aha moments!

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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Uncanny valley narration

I am pretty certain this was read by a robot. Don't know if it's a good book or not because I can't get past the unsettling voice.

19 of 24 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Wonderful Book

I really enjoyed this book and how Judson lays out the current scientific understanding of Mindfulness. It is fascinating to see how science and what was once the esoteric realm are steadily merging as we gain deeper understanding of who and what we are and what potential may lie just beneath the surface.

I highly recommend this book!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Interesting findings. Could be more short and straightforward

Honestly I like the theories and finding in the book. But I just wish he could have added less of his personal B.S in the book. I really don’t care where he went to school and how good student he was/ hi being competitive mind or his breakup story. It’s even kinda to a degree of annoying to use those boring examples. He really could just use his clients or more obvious cases to elaborate his theories

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    2 out of 5 stars
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lots of form low on substance - selling something?

very dissatisfied that the potentially valuable mindfulness messages were undermined and diluted by the author's hubris, hawking his apps. . . and bragging about his Lab at Yale

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Understanding is Half the Battle

Brewer's thoroughly researched and thoughtfully presented ideas, on how and why we get caught in craving loops, will help just about anyone suffering from the ill-effects of a mind that craves, or, knows someone who is.

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  • Hypatia
  • 08-31-17

Terrible narrator

Would you try another book written by Judson Brewer and Jon Kabat-Zinn - foreward or narrated by P. J. Ochlan?

Nope

What didn’t you like about P. J. Ochlan’s performance?

Everything! The narrator sounded like a computer. I could only manage a few minutes before having to turn it off.

You didn’t love this book--but did it have any redeeming qualities?

No idea since I couldn't listen to it!

6 of 7 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Jacqui Barnett
  • 09-07-17

A life changing book

This is a wise and enjoyable meeting of ancient wisdom and cutting edge science. An outstanding insight into the practical ways of how mindfulness works and how this practice can be applied in everyday life. The author is a world leading expert in the clinical research mindfulness, neuroscience and is also an addiction psychiatrist - you get a lot of knowledge in one book. Highly recommend!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Amazon Customer
  • 03-19-19

Disappointing

If you are interested in neuroscience this is a thought provoking book(this is why it gets a 3* from me and not lower). The title is very misleading as it gives the impression that the book will give instruction on how to break bad habits. This is not the case. The title would be more accurate if it was called ‘Judson Brewer’s Experiences of Mindfulness and Meditation’. If you are very interested in Judson Brewer and his own work and his own accomplishments, etc., then this is the book for you. If you are looking for a mindfulness guidebook, you will be very disappointed.

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • sheeprustler
  • 11-28-18

Interesting research / style too reductive

Not much focus on positives of mindfulness / just negatives of thinking. If you are new to mindfulness or meditation I would recommend something else as his points can easily be misinterpreted by a novice.

The style is reductionist in that everything is presented through the lens of reward based learning. The book can feel biased and unbalanced.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 10-15-18

8 hours of my life I can never get back

from the minute I started listening I couldn't stand the narrator... cross between a robot and a computer voice... but I persevered to try to find the interesting parts - the book was all over the place so i struggled with the relevance of a lot of it. I skipped a lot to even finish it... I never write reviews but this was so awful. ultimately I don't think there were even any take away tools from this as another reader promised... I will be returning it - listening for as long as I did was like pulling teeth

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Sue Aston
  • 03-17-17

Life changing

This book contains the tools you need to understand why you do the things you do, even when you know they are not good for you. Whether it's shopping, substances, relationships or just bad habits, if you continue to repeat things that you know are causing you pain then you are an addict. I now feel empowered to break the cycle.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 06-05-19

Excellent content but painful narrator

I discovered Judson Brewer on a Michael Gervais podcast and was so impressed I then devoured everything I could find of him on YouTube while I waited for the printed version of this book. I struggled to find the time at home to read so bought the audible subscription for my long work commute. I was so excited to finally be able to get into this book but unfortunately I found the guy narrating it excruciating to listen to. I never got used to it so it was like nails on a blackboard for the entire book. His reading style is stilted and wooden. The person who gave him the job needs to be put in a room and made to listen to all the books he's narrated back to back as punishment. The fact that I stuck with the book is testament to the content. If you struggle with addiction in any form please, please, please get this book. Dr Brewer doesn't disappoint. Its such a shame his narrator does.