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So Sad Today: Personal Essays

3.84  ·  Rating details ·  9,964 ratings  ·  1,164 reviews
Melissa Broder always struggled with anxiety. In the fall of 2012, she went through a harrowing cycle of panic attacks and dread that wouldn't abate for months. So she began @sosadtoday, an anonymous Twitter feed that allowed her to express her darkest feelings, and which quickly gained a dedicated following. In So Sad Today, Broder delves deeper into the existential theme ...more
Paperback, 203 pages
Published March 15th 2016 by Grand Central Publishing
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Michelle High School/College level-- due to subject matter. However, an inquisitive bright student could pick it up as early as the 6th grade.
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Average rating 3.84  · 
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 ·  9,964 ratings  ·  1,164 reviews

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Jul 26, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: essays, memoir, nonfiction
This book started out with something that’s been on my mind for months now, and I was so relieved to see someone else share the same belief:

“Bringing a child into the world without its consent seems unethical.”

While reading this book I discovered that there's simply no subject that Broder is afraid to write about, and no shortage of readers who can relate.

So sad today? Many are. Melissa Broder is too. How and why did she get to be so sad? And should she stay sad?
She asks herself these questions
I want to have actual sex with this book. I just love it so much. Melissa Broder elevates vulnerability to another level: she writes about her vomit fetish, getting high off of people, her anxiety and depression, and more. This essay collection captures what I appreciate most about creative nonfiction - through exposing her deepest and darkest doubts and dismays with unrelenting self-absorption and style, Broder highlights that it is okay to be human, to be fucked up and to keep on living anyway ...more
Apr 24, 2016 rated it it was ok
I need to review this book so I can stop thinking about it.

Initially I thought the author was very young but the more I read, the more I think she might be closer to my age. Maybe I'm old, a prude, a stuffy New Englander but to me these essays do not "...reveal so much about what it is to live in this world, right now." -Roxane Gay, as printed on the cover. I understand that we live in a world where everything is fair game for publication on social media. I know the younger generation thinks no
May 31, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: essays, ebooks
I guess everyone has their own line between ‘honesty’ and ‘oversharing’. Mine, it turns out, is where Melissa Broder goes into the details of her vomiting fetish. It's nice to have that nailed down, as a kind of reference point.

I went through quite a journey with this book. At first, I really hated it. I found it grotesquely narcissistic and melodramatic, and I was baffled by the central role of social media in the author's life. I imagined writing a very unkind review. Though I sympathise with
Jun 13, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: memoir, non-fiction
I love the way Melissa Broder writes. There is something mesmerizing in the way she structures her sentences and her essays. I read her debut novel The Pisces earlier this year and fell so much in love that I more or less immediately went out and bought this one. And I am so very glad I did.

My favourite essay in this collection is "I want to be a whole person but really thin" - it's repeating sentences and sentence structures hammered home a point so painful and real that all the other essays th
Brandon Forsyth
Nov 24, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Vain. Self-absorbed. Vulgar. Poetic. Beautiful. Brave.

I was supposed to read other things for work this weekend, but I couldn't stop thinking about (and then picking back up) this little book of essays by Melissa Broder. There is a raw power to her prose, unmatched by anything I've read recently. She will infuriate and disgust you in one sentence and then lift you gracefully into the sky in the next. It's a virtuoso act of stunning confidence, especially given that the book is about her cripplin
May 11, 2019 rated it really liked it
As she proved in her invigorating novel The Pisces, Melissa Broder is nothing if not candid. Her essay collection So Sad Today makes an interesting companion read, especially due to a main criticism you'll often hear of The Pisces: that Lucy (the main character) isn't 'likable' enough. I hadn't known much about Melissa Broder's personal life before reading So Sad Today, but I understandably came away from it with the strong impression that Broder modeled Lucy after herself; in which case, can we ...more
Jun 05, 2016 rated it it was ok
Apparently I need to start a new shelf for 'fucking weird books'.

"I had this weird intuition that if I could just make it to my Bat Mitzvah I could both prevent the Holocaust from happening again and also get all my friends back.
Strangely, my intuition was right."

*Long dramatic sigh* Where do I start? At the part where I bought this book because I see it at The Strand everyday? Or the part where I fell asleep 70% of the way in?

So Sad Today is book of short stories about Melissa's life. WEI
Paquita Maria Sanchez
"When you have low self-esteem, to be embraced at your most vile is a marvel."

P.S. I embrace her. She's crude and sex-centric and self-obsessed and admittedly often shallow and I fucking love her, even at her most vile. Marginally related: the most intimate thing I ever heard was from this junkie punk couple at a party when I was in high school and way out of my depth: the lady had the spins and was sprawled near a bush, and the guy says "Baby, are you gonna spew? Because baby, baby, I'll hold y
Sep 25, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This is a dazzling example of how to get DEEP into your personal muck while writing an essay in today's social media-saturated world. It's simply shocking at times how nakedly honest Broder is. A couple of essays in particular (Love Like You Are Trying to Fill an Insatiable Spiritual Hole... & I Told You Not to Get the Knish) are almost painful to read for all their beauty, truth, and candor. If you just flipped through the book and felt turned off by all the Twitter and text message mentions, y ...more
Michael Seidlinger
Mar 19, 2016 rated it it was amazing
"So Sad Today" is one big erudite tome packed full and brimming with so much insight, you could essentially cut it down, sentence-for-sentence, and use each as its own tweet and they'd all trend.

Every single one would trend. Not even one would be lost to the void.
Aug 13, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Why I Recommend Bumping This UP On Your TBR: My review is #ownvoices. I know what it's like to have disordered thinking and to have substance use and mental health disorders. The best thing about this book isn't just that Broder shows what having these diagnoses is like, the best thing about these essays is that Broder is able to take a step back and describe completely disordered thoughts with a lot of insight, without perpetuating harmful ideas. She's able to say the thoughts that we neuroatyp ...more
UPDATE after re-read: I kept thinking about this book so I had to re-read a couple of essays from it. I went into this especially for the one about open marriage.
I really, really love her writing and Melissa Broder as a human being in general, and knowing what I was getting into made it 10 times more enjoyable this time around.

My favorite essays: Help Me Not Be a Human Being, I Told You Not to Get The Knish: thoughts on open marriage and illness, Under my Anxiety is Sadness but Who Would Go Unde
Sofia Banzhaf
Mar 25, 2016 rated it it was amazing
read this yesterday in one sitting under a blanket fort with my iphone flashlight during a particularly bad 24 hours of borderline nervous breakdown and it was nice to have company. i cried my way through most of the book. melissa broder is the saviour she's been looking for. ...more
Vincent Scarpa
Sep 29, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I think I went into this book with sized-to-scale expectations. I'd read a collection of Broder's poetry—Meat Heart—and didn't really care for it, but I found her tweets from the So Sad Today account wickedly funny. And so I thought, what the hell, why not give this essay collection a go. And I'm so, so glad I did, as it far exceeded my expectations and made me rethink why I'd set the bar where I had in the first place.

Because the thing is that Melissa Broder is a terrific writer and a terrific
Jessica Sullivan
Jul 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: nonfiction, 5-stars
I’m so grateful that women like Melissa Broder exist. This deeply personal and often uncomfortable essay collection is raw and fearless, unafraid to probe the most primal depths of being human: from anxiety and depression and addiction to polyamory and vomit fetishes and the unhealthiest of coping mechanisms.

Even in the times when I couldn’t relate directly to what Broder was writing about, her presence still made me feel less alone. We’re all fucked up in our own way and sometimes it’s liberati
xTx xTx
Aug 23, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015
A tribute to honesty and struggle wrapped in a tortilla of raw.
Found a lot of 'me toos' in this
May 18, 2016 rated it did not like it
Shelves: mental-illness, meh
Kate Conroy
Sep 11, 2017 rated it it was ok
This is a book that I was supposed to love. Personal essays about experiences with mental illness with a touch of humor or arguably too many touches is like 100% my thing. Even my book reviews have that style half the time. And yet, I very much did not like So Sad Today. I feel bad about disliking this book so much because it’s a real person’s deepest secrets and most intimate feelings. I can appreciate what she did. The things she shared are intense, and I related to her feelings of depersonali ...more
Feb 24, 2016 rated it did not like it
Shelves: regret-reading
I was given this book through a GoodReads giveaway.

I never knew of the twitter feed, but the book of essays sounded interesting. The back was about Melissa and how she struggles with panic attacks and used twitter to express her dark feelings that she probably could not share with anyone. Themes she explores are death, addiction, love, and many others, but mostly sex. Sex seemed to be more prevalent than the other themes. I felt bad for not liking this collection, it sounded like a collection th
Nov 21, 2017 rated it did not like it
I had actually been looking forward to reading this book. And I really wanted to like it - I tried SO HARD to like it.

The opening was great. It was funny and I was optimistic.

But it just went downhill from there.

I was actively searching for the depression aspect (outside of the whole "woe is me," spiel), but I never found it. Instead, it just sounded like some desperate-for-attention floozy, who wanted to make sure that everyone knew that she does indeed have sex... and lots of it!

Well, good
Jun 27, 2016 rated it liked it there were definitely aspects of this essay collection that I liked. I liked that Broder was willing to show us the worst of herself. She admits to horrible things she has done and thought, to sexual fetishes that are way outside of the box, and is open about the fact that she can sometimes be a really horrible shallow individual. Even when I found myself annoyed or even disgusted by her, I often was able to let that go because I admired her bravery in being willing to present herself ...more
Madalyn (Novel Ink)
Sep 06, 2018 rated it really liked it
I really appreciate how candidly Broder speaks on things like mental illness and substance abuse. At times I felt like she was in my brain. Did I need that much explicit detail about her sex life? No, but everything else about these essays made up for that. I love that she speaks both as someone struggling with MIs AND as someone who’s actively trying to get better.
Leo Robertson
I have most definitely spent a lot of the last year thinking that I wanted to yell "Why the hell did you bring me here?!" to my parents. Because they've both passed away already. It's like a Catch-22, but nicer, because there's no war.

It’s cathartic, then, to read Melissa Broder's thoughts on this--that bringing someone into the world without their consent is unethical.

I appreciated also when a trusted coworker told me he'd never thought about death more than after he'd had a child. "Having a ki
Dec 05, 2020 rated it it was amazing
My experience with So Sad Today brings to mind this James Baldwin quote: "You think your pain and your heartbreak are unprecedented in the history of the world, but then you read. It was books that taught me that the things that tormented me most were the very things that connected me with all the people who were alive, who had ever been alive." And what an absolute joy it is to be connected to Melissa Broder in this way. It isn't just that her particular pains and heartbreaks feel akin to my ow ...more
Jan 30, 2017 rated it it was ok
This week was just the week where I felt incredibly conflicted about books. I read So Sad Today on my lunch breaks. I was so excited about it. A book about a woman navigating the world and dealing with depression and other anxiety issues? Yes please!

Sadly, what I encountered was a series of essays that felt to me like they were trying to shock me with their use of language. Almost every other sentence discussed some graphic sex things. It felt like Broder was constantly looking for ways to talk
Amelie Florence
Apr 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I read So Sad Today by accident last week, all in one sitting, in the middle of the night. I was only planning to read the first essay, to see what it was all about for a buddy read next month, but Broder’s story was like a balm that I desperately needed at that moment, and I was propelled forward. When I say balm, I do not mean to imply that her voice is soothing, it isn’t.

There is beauty, but not in the traditional sense. The language is often basic (like in the urban dictionary sense), ugly a
Apr 18, 2016 added it
Shelves: could-not-finish
I gave up half way through, since I'm clearly missing the joke here. It reminds me of my feelings about The Toast, which I know so many people love, but I really don't get. It's like being on the edge of some inside stories and not being able to appreciate or enjoy them because you don't know any of the references/back stories/tone/anything.

Don't go in expecting thoughtful feminist pieces. It's different than that, which is okay, but it's not going to do anything you'd expect out of the latter.
Wrenchingly honest in a way I only wish I could be. I found this collection extremely relatable (her anorexia was exactly like my anorexia! we feel guilt and shame about so many of the same things!) and that's always an incredibly comforting thing to discover: you are not alone. ...more
Feb 26, 2020 rated it really liked it
the thing i adore about melissa is that she makes you uncomfortable for seeing yourself in her, because she speaks as honestly as needs to. it’s healing and refreshing in a way, because not everything has to be as polished or as pristine, and our minds aren’t really as innocent and decluttered as we hope them to be. we always want to identify ourselves with ordered people in some sort of fantasy to satisfy our inner cravings of becoming as organized ourselves... it almost is never the case and l ...more
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Melissa Broder is the author of the novels MILK FED (February 2021) and THE PISCES, the essay collection SO SAD TODAY, and five collections of poems including LAST SEXT and the forthcoming SUPERDOOM: Selected Poems.

She lives in Los Angeles.


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46 likes · 23 comments
“There aren’t many ways to find comfort in this world. We must take it where we can get it, even in the darkest, most disgusting places. Nobody asks to be born. No one signs a form that says, You have my permission to make me exist. Babies are born, because parents feel that they themselves are not enough. So, parents, never condemn us for trying to fill our existential holes, when we are but the fruit of your own vain attempts to fill yours. It’s your fault we’re here to deal with the void in the first place.” 54 likes
“I wake up scared and I'm scared all day. I'm scared of being scared. Scared of "losing it". Scared of not being able to function. Scared of being hospitalized. Scared that I am not okay. Scared of what life is and if I am wasting mine. Scared that I have no home - that even the place I call home has no bottom to it and I will just keep falling under and under and under.” 42 likes
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