Unf*ck your Genre, Self-Help Books for The Modern Age

Move over Chicken Soup for the Soul, there is a Psychiatrist who has effectively changed the state of self-help


Avery Nowicki (They/Them) // Communities Editor

Illustration: Freya Emery (She/her) // Editor-in-Chief


To those who have spent enough years scouring the self-help section to know all the big players, you’ve likely seen a little pastel covered collection of vulgar books titled “Unf*ck your ____.” Most of us know the big ones, but there are way more than most of us have ever seen. Let’s do a little fill in the blank game. 

Q: Finish the name of this popular self help book: ‘Unf*ck Your ______’

Is it…

  1. Brain
  2. Friendships
  3. Boundaries
  4. Intimacy
  5. Masculinity
  6. Sex Toys
  7. Anger
  8. Body
  9. Anxiety
  10. Adulting
  11. Stress
  12. Depression
  13. Consent
  14. Writing
  15. Cunnilingus
  16. Grief
  17. Blow Jobs
  18. Worth
  19. Burnout
  20. Addiction
  21. Fear
  22. Kink
  23. Dating
  24. Year
  25. Business
  26. Shame????

P.S. that’s to the whole alphabet!

A: The correct answer is all of the above.

That’s a lot to cover. Author Dr. Faith G Harper is a counselor, certified sexologist, applied clinical nutritionist and consultant. She is also a TEDx presenter, and a self described “badass, funny lady with a PhD”. Her series Un F*ck your ___ made her a Wall Street Journal bestselling author. Many of us have found these on the bookshelves of our parents, of a corporate bookstore or sent unprompted to your P.O. box in your freshman year of college by a family member. These books have served as cheap counseling, free sex-ed, and relationship advice for years. Today, I’d like us to unpack the way Harper uses casual language with an all-knowing tone to soothe their often panicked consumer. To do so, we’ll be comparing two passages from entirely different subjects—Sex toys and Grief. 

Sex Toys: An excerpt from the back synopsis.

“Sex toys, sex tools, sexual aids—whatever you call them, they have the potential to revolutionize your sex life. […] But damn, they can be expensive if you buy them now. Sexologist and therapist Dr. Faith is all about making sure you know how to get off safely and on a budget”. 

Now, let’s compare this to her book: Unf*ck your Grief

Grief: An excerpt from her back synopsis.

“When we lose someone or something close to us—a loved person or animal, a relationship, our health, our dream, our idea of who we are—it hurts. A lot. Dr. Faith […] brings us a counseling, and a neuroscience perspective on grieving”.

There is clearly a massive difference in tone throughout these books, and that difference is echoed all throughout her collection. This is perhaps what makes Dr. Faith so universal. She does not have the professional, work-friendly voice of a Chicken Soup for the Soul, yet seems to offer a softer approach. Especially compared to a similarly named and even more famous ‘The Suble Art of Not Giving a Fuck.’ 

Dr. Faith understands the line of a helpful hand and a non-chalant bystander, and walks it perfectly. She gives you humor, candidness, and vulgarity to the length of in-depth tutorials on homemade sex toys and a book-length guide dedicated only to “Unf*ck[ing] your Blowjobs.’ This open voice is also used to explain grief, depression, loneliness and some of the most difficult topics. Although her methods may not be conventional, her efforts have paid off, and we can only hope that more self-help writers will follow in her approach. 

It is seen now more than ever that readers do not want to read a novel-length doctor’s visit, but they also aren’t interested in a ‘girl-bossified’ version of the genre. We want honesty, and we want the truth without having to spend thousands of hours and dollars on a therapist’s couch. This is why I believe Dr. Faith succeeds in showing us what we need as we progress into the genre of self-help.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *