Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Try Softer: A Fresh Approach to Move Us out of Anxiety, Stress, and Survival Mode--and into a Life of Connection and Joy” as Want to Read:
Try Softer: A Fresh Approach to Move Us out of Anxiety, Stress, and Survival Mode--and into a Life of Connection and Joy
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Try Softer: A Fresh Approach to Move Us out of Anxiety, Stress, and Survival Mode--and into a Life of Connection and Joy

4.50  ·  Rating details ·  1,434 ratings  ·  285 reviews
In the wise and soulful tradition of teachers like Shauna Niequist and Brene Brown, therapist Aundi Kolber debuts with Try Softer, helping us align our mind, body, and soul to live the life God created for us.

In a world that preaches a “try harder” gospel—just keep going, keep hustling, keep pretending we’re all fine—we’re left exhausted, overwhelmed, and so numb to our li
Kindle Edition, 256 pages
Published January 7th 2020 by Tyndale Momentum
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Try Softer, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Try Softer

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 4.50  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,434 ratings  ·  285 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Try Softer: A Fresh Approach to Move Us out of Anxiety, Stress, and Survival Mode--and into a Life of Connection and Joy
Megan Byrd
Dec 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2019-books-read
This book feels like an in-depth therapy session from a knowledgeable counselor. The first part is informational, talking about parts of your brain and how they process trauma, overwhelming or uncomfortable situations, and triggers. It talks about our Window of Tolerance and the importance and benefit of boundaries. The second part contains exercises to help us connect with our bodies, brains, and emotions. They can help keep us in tune with ourselves and find growth and healing in our lives. I ...more
May 25, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Rarely have I ever felt the tangible care and compassion of the author for the reader emanate through the pages as I experienced with Try Softer. That's the lasting impression that stayed with me even as I finished the final pages. I didn't know that I needed this book until I heard Aundi speak on a podcast. A lot of what she said about white knuckling through life, and coming from a broken home resonated deeply with my own experiences. I'd recommend this book to anyone who has experienced traum ...more
Allison Pickett
Jan 08, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Try Softer is filled to the brim with practical and gentle ways to learn about yourself, your relationships, and possibly trauma that affects how you relate to the world.
Aundi Kolber is a licensed professional counselor who knows the pain of past trauma. Her expertise on the subject let’s us know we can trust her and her studies and research show us the science and psychology behind her approach.
I would recommend this book to anyone who is trying to move through the world in a healthier and mo
Jonathan Puddle
Jan 14, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recently I had a day when I felt deeply unmotivated and tired. I wasn't depressed or anxious, just lacking the drive to do anything much other than watch TV.

In the past, I would have been unkind to myself on days like this. I would have pushed hard, knuckled down, ignored whatever my body and soul were trying to tell me, and forced myself to just get things done.

That day, however, I decided to be gentle to myself instead and I moved slowly, only working on those things that I felt enough natura
Mar 20, 2020 rated it it was amazing
For me, this was the perfect book at the perfect time. Such practical, loving advice backed up by science and enriched by scripture. I’m almost glad the library is closed, so I have lots of time to re-read, savor, and copy my favorite passages into my journal. If you struggle with self-criticism, dealing with difficult emotions, and self-compassion and want both a spiritual and scientific lens, this may also be the perfect book for you.
Jan 20, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Incredibly powerful text about faith and white knuckling it. This work spoke to me deeply. Highly recommend.
Jan 14, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Friends, this is a beautiful read and well-worth your attention. Before I even finished the book, I was recommending it to friends who I thought would especially benefit. Whether you are tired of trying to “white knuckle” your way through life, had traumatic experiences that still affect your mind and body, or if you had a difficult relationship with one of your parents, this book is for you. Aundi shows how to gently, sensitively, address those hard places in your life so that you can thrive.
Dec 31, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
“Once we are out of survival mode, our bodies, minds, and spirits can finally bear to consider our stories and the reason we are so emotionally dysregulated.” — Try Softer

I just finished this book, and man, what a way to end 2019. They feel more than just informational for me — they feel relevant and personal as I’ve spent a larger portion of 2019 in therapy for extreme trauma. Aundi’s words are a good reminder that even though the last year of therapy has been really hard, the reason it’s been
Anne Rulo
Dec 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is a breath of fresh air in the world of pairing mindful practices, therapeutic reflection and Christian perspective. Aundi's approach is thoughtful, patient, gracious and also backed with a number of scientific realities of brain development and mind-body connection. This is not a book to be taken in one sip. As the title reads, you should read it "softer", taking the time to let your mind and your soul absorb what you need at the time. Don't push too fast.
While Aundi's expertise is i
Jan 07, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I started following Aundi's a few years ago during a incredibly difficult season of my life. There were so many days that felt so heavy and I felt so discouraged, and Aundi's posts were always perfectly timed and full of wisdom. Her book is no different. Once again, it is perfectly timed in my life to be full of the reminders I need for the journey I'm on. I'm naturally really hard on myself, and to have Aundi's voice present in my life as I learn what it means to be kind to myself, to cultivate ...more
Dec 31, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
if I had to choose one book to recommend to anyone wanting to heal and grow into a truer version of themselves, it would be Try Softer. I’ve felt such relief reading the book. It’s ok to be gentle and compassionate with myself. “ Trying softer is the path that leads to true connection and joy. It begins when we mindfully listen to what’s on the inside of us and let that influence how we look and act on the outside. It’s an intentional shift toward paying compassionate attention to our own experi ...more
Gina Brenna
Dec 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is one of the best books I’ve read in a long time. Aundi writes in such an authentic way as someone who has personally found her way to the gentleness she invites us to. She’s like a wilderness guide, speaking from experience but also with the authority she carries as a therapist. She offers so many helpful practices for growing in mindfulness and compassion toward ourselves. I have already found them incredibly beneficial as I walk through a stressful season. I don’t know anyone who wouldn ...more
Casey Bottono
Dec 31, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
If you’ve ever struggled in the act of being yourself - and who hasn't? Try Softer is essential reading. Aundi Kolber’s insights as a person of faith and a mental health professional emerge from intense study of self-compassion and years of personal experience.

The exercises contained within the book provide useful jumping off points for exploration of our attitudes towards ourselves and our relationships with others. As Aundi Kolber writes – trying softer is not a one-time event, it is a lifeti
Dec 31, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is excellent! Aundi has created a beautiful work that will be a tool for healing for so many. She has woven together an honest dialogue about how our bodies hold on to trauma and how through work and Jesus we can find wholeness and healing.
Jan 25, 2020 rated it really liked it
Disclaimer: I listened to this book on audio while exercising. Much of the experiential portion of the book I was unable to do because I was in the middle of a bench press or sweating on an elliptical. Please pour grains of salt on these words.

Twitter was aflutter with all sorts of people reading, loving, and being transformed by Aundi Kolber's TRY SOFTER. Though I decided to only read more academic religious works in 2020 I have no hesitance in listening to their audio.

I also had a special at
Apr 11, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I really liked this book. I also think the middle of the coronavirus pandemic was a great time to read it! I actually liked the first half of the book (the science and neurobiology stuff) better than the second half (the practical stuff). Although I think everyone can benefit from this book, I don’t know that I’m exactly the target audience. My childhood was quite positive and had very little “little t trauma” or wounds to heal from. The main trauma I’ve experienced in my life has happened in th ...more
Andrea Humphries
Jan 04, 2020 rated it it was amazing
In Try Softer, Aundi Kolber comes alongside her reader, like a kind and gentle friend, saying, "Hey, this white-knuckling through life thing that we've all been doing? It isn't working. I know, because I've been doing it, too." Then she proceeds to not only explain why it's not working - we're fighting against our physiology - but also how to recognize when we're white-knuckling without realizing it. Finally, she shows us a better way - a way to work with our minds, hearts, and bodies as they've ...more
Jan 04, 2021 rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
Try Softer was a book I had seen before but I didn't really know what it was about, but the title appealed to me. Right now, I am dealing with a lot of anxiety! It was a reminder to deal with it, but not the way I would like to - which is to ignore it. There were some ideas that I am already incorporating into my everyday life, and there were terms explained in the first part of the book that I found helpful. I was already doing some but it encouraged me to continue what I was doing. Trying Soft ...more
Dec 31, 2019 rated it it was amazing
On this last day of 2019, Try Softer has brought more healing to my soul.

"I hope you’ll feel encouraged
to know that the practice of trying softer is a way to
integrate into your whole self what your brain, in part, may
already know: You are phenomenally loved by the One
who created you, so take heart."

Aundi has the ability to connect with the reader in a gentle way weaving together stories of pain and trauma while offering hope and reminding us that we are beloved.

You must read this book on your
May 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I’m used to reading books that remind me of what I already know is true. This book, however, exposed ways of unhealthy thinking that I’d developed, and actually helped me challenge things that I thought were true. For example, Chapter 6 on “Try Softer with your Attention” literally blew my mind. I truly never knew that when Jesus said “treats others as you treat yourself,” that it doesn’t mean “treat others better than yourself.” It doesn’t mean treat yourself better than others, either. I found ...more
Jennifer Malech
Jun 30, 2020 rated it it was amazing
If you have experienced emotional trauma, this is a MUST READ! This is a guidebook that you can use to help re-wire your brain and become healthier in your relationships and in your own walk through the things that you feel that you cannot change. As a therapist, Aundi walks her readers through steps of processes and practices that are easy to use and help re-center you not only in your identity as a child of God, but in the truth that we weren't meant to live in survival mode. Highly highly rec ...more
Aug 06, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This book will now be one of my most cherished books. The amount of compassion, comfort and permission in these pages allowed for me to sit with ideas in new ways and practice them easily. Aundi not only wrote a beautiful book but delivers each word as if you were sitting there with her. I cannot explain how good this book was to me- please don’t hesitate & purchase!
Ann Gemmel
Sep 26, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I rarely offer 5 stars. But Aundi Kolber has offered a tremendous resource in her book. The one hitch I have is the title ‘Try softer” just isn’t clear. Personally I think the longer title is helpful - but I would have chosen “Be Kind to yourself ....”.
This book is about showing grace, kindness and gentleness to ourselves. Each chapter is an honest reflection of how Aundi has experienced growth and transformation from her own ongoing wounds from a painful childhood and upbringing. Each chapter
Nov 02, 2020 rated it really liked it
This has some solid psychology in here: attachment theory, discovering your window of tolerance, creating boundaries and listening to you body and emotions. If scripture, etc. isn't so helpful for you (like it's not for me), you can easily skip over it here as it's more tacked on to chapters instead of weaved into the solid advice on how to get away from white-knuckling it. ...more
Jordan H
Nov 26, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This is definitely going to have to be a re-read. I was so interested in everything Kolber taught that I just kept reading and reading. I’ll definitely want to go back and apply the lessons to my life, as well as pick up on things I may have missed. I would recommend it to anyone struggling with work, friends, family, etc.
May 13, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2020
Read as audiobook.

Wow. This book wasn’t what I thought it was going to be. It was so much better! Well worth listening to, although I think I am also going to read a print version, just to wring every last drop of wisdom out of this book. Highly recommend!
Nov 19, 2020 rated it really liked it
This book has been sooo helpful to my healing. I'm learning how to hold space for my own wounds, grief, and trauma. I'm learning to accept myself with compassion. And because of that, I'm beginning to be more compassionate toward others, being able to set aside my own hurt in order to extend the love of Christ.

I'm listening to the audiobook free on Hoopla, narrated by the author. I've kind of stalled but I will probably come back to it later. That's not the author's fault; I can almost never fin
Jun 07, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Aundi has done excellent work here. So much that I had to start and restart this book three times. It’s not something to rush through and she had so many profound statements and practical tips on connecting one’s body to emotions. Also I grew up with her and hearing her story felt special as she referenced our hometown.
Georgia Scott
Jan 31, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: listened-to
Excellent book about small and big trauma and practical help for handling anxiety and overwhelm as they present themselves in your life. I will read this again!!
sonya ables
May 27, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An intelligent and helpful book of insight and, so good on so many levels.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Goodreads Librari...: linking paperback and kindle editions 2 18 Nov 19, 2019 07:03AM  

Readers also enjoyed

  • The Book of Waking Up: Experiencing the Divine Love That Reorders a Life
  • This Too Shall Last: Finding Grace When Suffering Lingers
  • Catch and Kill: Lies, Spies, and a Conspiracy to Protect Predators
  • That Sounds Fun: The Joys of Being an Amateur, the Power of Falling in Love, and Why You Need a Hobby
  • Prayer in the Night: For Those Who Work or Watch or Weep
  • Be the Bridge: Pursuing God's Heart for Racial Reconciliation
  • A Rhythm of Prayer: A Collection of Meditations for Renewal
  • Boundaries for Your Soul: How to Turn Your Overwhelming Thoughts and Feelings into Your Greatest Allies
  • Chasing Vines: Finding Your Way to an Immensely Fruitful Life
  • The Ruthless Elimination of Hurry: How to Stay Emotionally Healthy and Spiritually Alive in the Chaos of the Modern World
  • Share Your Stuff. I'll Go First.: 10 Questions to Take Your Friendships to the Next Level
  • Trauma and Recovery: The Aftermath of Violence - From Domestic Abuse to Political Terror
  • Third Culture Kids: Growing Up Among Worlds
  • Beyond Authority and Submission: Women and Men in Marriage, Church, and Society
  • When Helping Hurts: How to Alleviate Poverty without Hurting the Poor...and Yourself
  • A Praying Life: Connecting with God in a Distracting World
  • The Prodigal God: Recovering the Heart of the Christian Faith
  • Bouncing Back: Rewiring Your Brain for Maximum Resilience and Well-Being
See similar books…
Hi there, I’m Aundi.

Here are some things that might be helpful for you to know about me:

I am a deep thinker and deep feeler. Sometimes I get bored with small talk. I love stories, people, counseling, theology and my precious family. I find myself constantly amazed by God’s faithfulness in my life. I write, think, and chew on this often. I believe that Jesus is my ultimate hope and healer.

I am a

Related Articles

  Luvvie Ajayi Jones—author, cultural critic, digital entrepreneur—might be best described as a professional truthteller. Her crazily popular...
53 likes · 0 comments
“The work of paying compassionate attention is, in a sense, learning to steward for ourselves what God already believes about us—that we’re valuable and loved.” 3 likes
“As the body of Christ in particular, we are invited to participate in this holy work of holding space. The apostle Paul speaks to this idea when he says,

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.
2 Corinthians 1:3-4

Paradoxically, as we engage in our own deep emotional work, we love each other in the most alive, empathic ways. We do not see the people in front of us as tasks of obligations – they are the imago Dei, and we see and feel with them.”
More quotes…