Book Review: This is Your Brain on Joy by Dr. Earl Henslin


Using language for the average person, Dr. Henslin introduces the reader to the geography of the human brain, five different area’s relationships to moods and behaviors, and how to “fix” problems one might be experiencing.

The book is an abundant resource of knowledge. It would be of value to anyone, Christian or otherwise, in understanding our brains and how to live a more joyful life controlling them with resources available to us. I also believe there’s a value here in knowing that not all of human behavior is from the heart. That “head” mistakes exist and therefore grace can and should be given.

The book contains photo imaging of brains so the reader can see which area of the brain is being discussed and what hyperactivity looks like in a scan. Dr Henslin also includes a 101 question survey to take. Based on the answers you can self-diagnose…somewhat. Early on he states that he’ll be oversimplifying and attempting to explain in down-to-earth ways. I appreciated his approach to dumb it down to make it accessible to everyone and I believe he achieved what he sought out to do.

I was drawn to the title and concept of the book because of my interest in helping people; helping them become all they can be and all that God created them to be. The more people I interact with people the more I see the human condition and its fallen nature. I see it in others and in myself. I appreciated the doctor’s tone upfront when he communicated that there’s no such thing as a “normal brain”. He tells the reader that there is a correlation between certain brain activity and certain behavioral traits. With that being case, it may be within our power to control brain activity, thus controlling thoughts & feelings which results in changed behavior.

In his book, Dr. Henslin identifies five major areas of the brain and how one’s moods and behavior goes awry when something is ‘wrong’ with that area. For each section he makes recommendations for improvement through the use of pharmaceuticals, nutrition, nutritional supplements, therapies (music, aroma, relaxation, etc.), meditation, exercise, scripture reading, and others.

As a Christian I also enjoyed section three, Joy Everlasting. In this section his format changed from explanation > problem > solution to teaching about achieving joy through the use of scripture and more specifically, the life of Paul and his letter to the Philippians.

I believe this book contains information valuable to anyone. It does contain recommendations around health and medication, which some could find ‘dangerous’ to follow without personal consultation.

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One comment

  1. Fascinating post. I've been reading through your posts because I am also writing reviews for BookSneeze (http://sharonhenning.blogspot.com)and the genre of books you review are the books I'm interested in reading. I like your thorough analysis, rather than just a quick blurb.

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