• A Really Good Day

  • How Microdosing Made a Mega Difference in My Mood, My Marriage, and My Life
  • By: Ayelet Waldman
  • Narrated by: Ayelet Waldman
  • Length: 7 hrs and 37 mins
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars (1,311 ratings)

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A Really Good Day

By: Ayelet Waldman
Narrated by: Ayelet Waldman
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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 listeners say about A Really Good Day

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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.

103 people found this 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!

72 people found this 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!)

39 people found this 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.

38 people found this 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.

31 people found this 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.

16 people found this helpful

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Wish she had not written a textbook on drugs .

When I read the sub-title, I really expected more personal history before she started taking the lsd. There was very little anecdotal family life and way too much history of the drug culture which anyone could easily look up. Did not really give the reader a good clear reason why she needed to go to that extreme of remedy (the micro dosing).
On a positive note , she is easy to listen to.

16 people found this helpful

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An exhausting read

If you are already open minded about the study of illicit substances to determine their potential medical use, you will find this a frustrating read.

The author devotes a significant amount of time to convincing the audience that she does not fit an antiquated idea of what a stereotypical drug user looks like. (I'm the lady behind you in line ordering a Starbucks skinny vanilla latte, Pilates, basic chick, nerdy, four children, making lunches for the kids, I'm a mom, did I mention I'm a mom?) She goes off on frustrating tangents about all of her neurotic imaginings like dying of a heart attack after using a barely perceptible amount of LSD, ordering kits to test the vial she was sent, and fretting endlessly between readings of what sounds like a mildly interesting book report on the history of LSD.

She opens with a daily readout on the quality of her sleep the night before, her mood, how her shoulder feels and a description of the petty fights she has with her spouse, all in excruciating detail. I apparently bought this book to hear her complain about a sofa her husband bought her.

Listening to this book is like spending eight hours drinking coffee with a woman whose fear, worry, self indulgence, whining and indecisive behavior will leave you needing a day off to recover from all of the energy that was sapped out of you.

15 people found this helpful

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A little too medically detailed

I wanted to hear more about the writer's personal life story instead of such extreme medical detail. It felt more like I was reading a book for a college pharmaceutical course.

15 people found this 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.

14 people found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 11-17-22

Loved it

Enjoyable - honest - intelligent. Left me wishing we had a more progressive attitude in society instead of being treated like naughty children

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  • Jim Vaughan
  • 10-10-22

Funny, Informative, Intelligent, Honest!

I loved the self-deprecating humour of this book. Ayelet Waldman paints a vivid picture of herself as she struggles with the emotional turmoil of her inner life. That’s BEFORE she started microdosing on LSD. As an ex law professor, the absurdity of the “War on Drugs” and the illegality of what she is doing is a central theme. Above all, this is a book about gradual transformation to a more joyous existence, through awareness. Narrated by the author, it is by turns witty, informative, challenging and above all honest.

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  • Miss A. Walker
  • 09-17-22

Cannot recommend highly enough!

I loved this book from the moment it began. Ayelet is an engaging narrator and her writing is phenomenal. I listened to 3 hours straight in the first sitting.
I found the book by searching for literature about PMDD and psychedelics as I did myself at the end of what Western medicine can offer me to treat the debilitation that comes after I ovulate.
this was a fascinating look into the use of psychedelics and microdosing.
Ayelets honesty and candour really carry the book. At the end she talks about not having faith in her own worth, especially with regards to writing. She should. She's really exceptional at her craft.

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  • Tom Lidström
  • 08-10-21

Wonderful, inspiring and touching

I loved this book. It is well researched and personal at the same time. Also delivered in a fun, engaging and sometimes whimsical manner. I love the authors honesty and humor, and her engaging narration. One of my favorite books this year for sure!

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  • R. Gower
  • 06-16-21

An endearing, entertaining and informative book

An easy listen and the best narration I've heard on audible. Intelligent and likeable, I would highly recommend.

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  • JohnF
  • 01-09-21

Loved the book, well written and narrated!

Well worth a read but the take aways are that it helps mood and productivity plus pain management. Unfortunately it's still breaking the law but hopefully that will change in the bear future fingers crossed!

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Gizmo
  • 11-30-20

Dull story, excellent narrator.

Found it dull and uneventful. It's a strong history lesson on drug policy/legislation that some might enjoy.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Amazon Customer
  • 06-16-20

Astonishingly familiar, felt it right through

I found this book very enlightening, a very honest evaluation of the author's experience and a broad review of psychedelics

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • LC
  • 05-03-20

Useful and interesting record of this experiment

Provided a really interesting record of this 30 day experiment, as well as providing some history and background to the micro-dosing approach.
Interspersed with that were various mini-essays on various related subjects, usually related to something that came up during this experiment, or some relevant history related to psychedelic usage or other drug usage or other mood medication.

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  • R. Gabriella
  • 01-01-20

A must read/listen for women in their 40's & 50's

Amazing content in an absolutely entertaing and fun presentation. Especially if you have perimenopausal symptoms.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 09-29-22

great insightful and inspiring

easy to listen to, concise and relate able. i thoroughly enjoyed the book and the background info that was given in reference

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  • Anonymous User
  • 09-21-22

Enjoyable Reading of Sometimes Heavy Subject

I'm really glad Ayelet read this herself. The subject matter goes between an objective evaluation of her 30 day microdosing experiment, her past and current life experience, stories and information from her interviews with experts on psychedelics and drug policy, and stories and information from her research on the history of drugs and drug policy.

It covers a lot of ground and sometimes heavy stuff. Ayelet reads it in a way I found entertaining and engaging.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 04-22-21

not bad

wanted more psychedelic anecdotes etc. kind of enjoyed that it wasnt all psychedelic though, would be a great way to introduce somebody green to the idea of microdosing, particularly women.

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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.