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Play Your Way Sane

120 Improv-Inspired Exercises to Help You Calm Down, Stop Spiraling, and Embrace Uncertainty

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Stop negative thoughts, assuage anxiety, and live in the moment with these fun, easy games from improv expert Clay Drinko.

If you’ve been feeling lost lately, you’re not alone! Even before the Covid-19 pandemic, Americans were experiencing record levels of loneliness and anxiety. And in our current political turmoil, it’s safe to say that people are looking for new tools to help them feel more present, positive, and in sync with the world. So what better way to get there than play?

In Play Your Way Sane, Dr. Clay Drinko offers 120 low-key, accessible activities that draw on the popular principles of improv comedy to help you tackle your everyday stress and reconnect with the people around you. Divided into twelve fun sections, including “Killing Debbie Downer” and “Thou Shalt Not Be Judgy,” the games emphasize openness, reciprocation, and active listening as the keys to a mindful and satisfying life. Whether you’re looking to improve your personal relationships, find new meaning at work, or just survive our trying times, Play Your Way Sane offers serious self-help with a side of Second City sass.

Photograph by Max Flatow

Clay Drinko, PhD, is an educator and the author of Theatrical Improvisation, Consciousness, and Cognition. He writes for Psychology Today and Lifehack about the intersection of improv, science, and the everyday.

  • Publisher: Tiller Press (January 19, 2021)
  • Length: 224 pages
  • ISBN13: 9781982169237

"In Play Your Way Sane, Clay Drinko provides a needed gift for turbulent times: a set of practices that open the heart, ease the mind and provide agency and opportunity. If you're feeling stuck, tired or out of control, buy this book and play these games. You will be grateful that you did."—Kelly Leonard, Executive Director of Insights and Applied Improvisation at Second City

"This book is as informative as it is hilarious. The author is knowledgeable and authentic, with a wicked sense of humor. (The cheeky chapter titles are a personal favourite). Packed full of practical and unique activities... a must have for anyone with anxiety or panic disorder." —Claire Eastham, Author of We're All Mad Here and F**K, I Think I'm Dying