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I Wanna Be Well: How a Punk Found Peace and You Can Too

4.28  ·  Rating details ·  116 ratings  ·  22 reviews
A punk rocker’s guide to grow, learn, and appreciate the present moment—in short, to live a life that doesn’t totally suck.

All Miguel Chen ever wanted was to be happy. Just like everyone else.

But—also like everyone else—he’s suffered. A lot. Running from difficult personal losses—like the deaths of loved ones—was something he did for years, and it got the best of him. Ev
Paperback, 192 pages
Published February 20th 2018 by Wisdom Publications
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I am an complete sucker for books that talk about punk and Buddhism at the same time, so when “I Wanna Be Well” came out, there was no way I wasn’t getting a copy: it’s a book about meditation named after a Ramones song. Here’s my money.

Now did I get my money’s worth?

Well, I noticed very quickly that I am not this book’s target audience: this book is really aimed at people who have never meditated or done yoga before, and to be honest, it’s the most self-help-y book about meditation and Buddhism
Nick Spacek
Apr 12, 2018 rated it liked it
Bassist Miguel Chen, of Teenage Bottlerocket, is now an author with the publication of his new book, I Wanna Be Well: How a Punk Found Peace and You Can Too, from Wisdom Publications. Part meditation and yoga instructional, part self-help book, part autobiography, Chen’s book was co-written with Rod Meade Sperry, the editor of A Beginner’s Guide to Meditation and deputy editor of Lion’s Roar magazine.

Strangely, the nearest thing I can compare it to is Alice Cooper’s autobiography and golf manual
Nancy McQueen
Dec 21, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: yoga
Enlightening book with personal anecdotes with enough pithy, punk, real life humor to keep me going. Less of a spiritual book and more of day to day practices to unload the baggage we're carrying around in our heads.
Oct 26, 2018 rated it really liked it
Originally posted at

Interesting reading, if a bit sweary.

TL;DR – Bite sized chunks of wisdom, spiritual insights and self-help guidance from the punk perspective.

Ragdoll Rating: 4/5 Buttons

Recommended For: People with a more sceptical view of spirituality, who want to dip their toes in the water

About the Book…

I Wanna Be Well is sort of spiritual smorgasbord, in a good way. Drawing from a range of sources from Buddhism, yoga, the 12-Step program and others, Miguel Chen provide
Apr 14, 2020 rated it really liked it
While I’ve always enjoyed reading self help books, I bought this book because I love Teenage Bottlerocket. If you’ve ever seen Teenage Bottlerocket live, you know how energetic and fun Miguel, their bassist is to watch on stage so when I heard that he wrote a book on spiritual healing, I was immediately interested.

I went into this book not really knowing much about Buddhism and other spiritual ways of thinking, and left with an appetite to learn more. Not only is this book just the right length,
THIS. BOOK. RULES. Honestly. If you've never tried meditation, don't know the first thing about yoga, think inner peace sounds like some hippie bullsh*t...or if you were born in lotus pose, are practically a walking bodhisattva, have read every translation of the Yoga Sutras...this book is for YOU. Miguel Chen explains why we humans suffer and how we can ease that suffering in such a down-to-earth, relatable, at times hilarious and at times heartbreaking way, that every single person in the univ ...more
Jason Duarte
Aug 14, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I thought this was great. I am biased. Miguel is an old friend of mine. Watching him and his band ascend to the point they are has been a real treat. I am late to the game on this book, but absolutely loved it. He offers yoga positions, a lot of intro-style mindfulness techniques and breaks down some ancient and sacred concepts into easily-digestible nuggets that you can take with you. I think this book is a great jumping-off point for readings in Buddhism, spirituality and yoga. He injects a lo ...more
Sean Courtney
Jun 10, 2018 rated it it was ok
This is not my kind of book at all, but was a quick read on the beach, based on a recommendation from my brother. It was enjoyable and Miguel Chen is certainly an affable, candid author. I'm not sure that I'm ready to convert to daily meditation or yoga or anything else after reading this, but I enjoyed the general sentiment of appreciating everything around you and finding time in your day to focus on nothing....just silence and breathing. I think it's an important thing to try to do. I plan on ...more
Jennifer Cox
Feb 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing
sooo, I'm not one to typically read self help/well being types of books but as a massive Teenage Bottlerocket fan I had to support Miguel Chen by not only buying but actually reading I Wanna Be Well. And it was pretty great. A lot of good stuff in here about letting go of past shit and moving forward with your life, not dwelling on the past and also not fantasizing about the future. I do think he sums it up pretty well with "Do your best and fuck the rest" Now does anybody know where I can get a ...more
Seth Mattei
Apr 02, 2020 rated it really liked it
This book is a great primer for getting into (or returning to) a life more connected to mindfulness and meditation. It contains some really great guided meditations and breathing exercises, as well as some basic yoga poses. If you’re stressed and looking to chill out a bit, I Wanna Be Well is an excellent place to start. It’s certainly helping me during this isolating and uncertain COVID-19 situation.
Tony Y
Oct 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: good
“Take what you want, leave the rest behind”. I like that Miguel wrote the book with a “this is what works for me” attitude. I’ve never cared for these types of books that act as if they’re the end all be all authority on things.
This is a good read and reminder that not everything sucks, or has to. Miguel offers practical practices to help tune in the good and tune out the crap. It’s a book that can be read quickly and also serves as one that should be studied with a highlighter in hand.
Chris Lewis
Jul 17, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great book

Miguel writes in a relatable way and makes important teachings accessible to us punks. This book is an indication of how punk rock is evolving, and is a great starting point for punk rock fans to learn about themselves and how to lead more balanced, healthy lives. Cheers, Miggy.
Tiffany Bishop
Feb 23, 2018 rated it really liked it
Miguel took some very traditional Buddhist practices and turned them into something that everyone can practice. The conversational style and casual language was a breath of fresh air that set this book apart from a lot of other self help books.
Craig J.
Mar 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
Love the sense of humor throughout and that it's written for the reader to begin meditation and some simple yoga poses wherever he or she is at right now, which is the only moment that matters anyhow.
Mar 31, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction
We don’t suffer because of the pain we feel — we suffer because we can’t accept things as they are.
Jun 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Really powerful stuff. Many useful tools and exercises, and funny too. Like an older cousin passing down some universal truths without being pushy about it.
Elizabeth Beauparlant
Oct 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is one of those books you don't want to finish right away because they are just too fucking good and you want it to last forever.
Oct 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Absolutely fantastic. Recommend to all.
Feb 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Love this book so much. This book encourages exploration of meditation and yoga practices from exactly where we are now, with acceptance and openness and laughter.
Jos Soto
Apr 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Con simpleza logra incorporar elementos de yoga a la vida común y corriente.

Excelente libro con muy buenos tips de autoayuda
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Nick Lowrie
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Ian Bowers
rated it it was amazing
Apr 28, 2018
Pri Sauma
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May 25, 2020
Sam Russo
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Apr 30, 2018
Chris Bickmore
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May 13, 2019
rated it it was amazing
Mar 14, 2020
Sarah Loggia
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Sep 08, 2018
Cristie Underwood
This is one of the best self-help books that I have read, as the other turned traditional Buddhist practices into something that anyone can understand and incorporate into their life. I also really enjoyed reading about letting go of the past and moving forward.
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Miguel Chen
has been adventuring all his life. At the age of three, he moved from his birthplace of Mexico City to the state of Wyoming. Between touring and playing bass with his band, the unstoppable Teenage Bottlerocket (Fat Wreck Chords), and journeying to master his yoga practice, Miguel has visited five continents and forty countries. When he is not on the road, he teaches at self-owned Bloss

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“We take in what helps us reconnect, and we let go of what no longer serves us. It’s a lesson our breath has been trying to show us our entire life: take in, let go, repeat.” 0 likes
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