Looking for help beyond self-help?
This is a book for you!

Stop chasing down your symptoms and focus on truly healing the root causes of your struggles, patterns and anxiety. I Cried All The Way To Happy Hour is your roadmap to profound healing and personal transformation.


I Cried All the Way to Happy Hour

What to do when self help or talk therapy haven't really helped

Why This Book Matters & Should
Be On Your Reading List

If self-help hasn't fully helped or you’ve talked about your problems, until you were blue in the face, to little or no avail, then this book is exactly what you need. Stop chasing down your symptoms and focus on truly healing the root causes of your struggles, patterns and anxiety: trauma, the trauma of Shame and unconscious limiting beliefs.

This book is for trauma survivors—especially those who aren’t aware that they are trauma survivors. The 'little t' traumas, like Shame, are more dysregulating over a lifetime than the 'Big T' traumas, like an accident, act of violence or loss. More than you may realize, most of your beliefs, much of your personality and many of your life-long patterns and behaviors were forged by traumatic experiences.

If you've tried EVERYTHING for your emotional pain and nothing has worked GET THIS BOOK!

"Let me state at the outset I am am a medical doctor and neuroscientist that helps people recover from anxiety and I read about 3-4 books a month on the topic of healing trauma. By far and away, the people who experienced trauma first hand (especially in childhood) and have recovered seem to have the most wisdom on the subject. I find Brian D Mahan's book is no exception to that observation. 

Personal, engaging, very well written, and ultimately informative I CRIED ALL THE WAY TO HAPPY HOUR provides a well studied way out for people who have tried everything traditional therapy has to offer and are still suffering. Traditional cognitive, "talk" therapies have been heralded as the standard for healing emotional disorders and it is clear that this type of "thinking based" therapy is failing many, many people. In my practice treating people with anxiety, I consistently find many people feel because traditional therapy hasn't provided relief for them, that they are unfixable and they are destined to suffer forever. 

What is missing, and what I believe Brian's book so clearly shows, is that a more body centered, feeling based, "somatic" approach provides considerable advantages that the "talking cure" just can't rival. Brian quotes research showing that the more clearly people can describe their emotions via sensations in the body, the more likely they will ultimately overcome those painful feelings. As a physician and neuroscientist, this makes so much sense to me because the parts of the brain that relate to sensation and movement in the body are often also the very same parts that are engaged with emotion, especially painful emotion.

Further, as Brian so aptly points out, shame is a considerable factor in painful emotion —and shame is an emotion he has spent considerable time and energy studying and resolving in himself using a somatic focus. Again, just talking about shame (as in traditional therapies) does little to resolve this powerful negative emotion. I have had over 100,000 patient encounters in my career and I believe to truly heal, I completely agree with Brian's premise that the shame must be felt through the body to be processed and resolved. Just thinking and changing the attitude cognitively towards shame is simply not enough. 

As Brian so astutely points out in this book, when toxic shame is integrated into "healthy" shame, a great deal of painful emotion is resolved. This revolutionary book goes a very long way to show a different approach to healing called SOMATIC EXPERIENCING that Brian is highly trained and experienced in. So, as the title says, if Self Help or Talk Therapy hasn't really helped, you're not broken, you just haven't been exposed to the right approach and I CRIED ALL THE WAY TO HAPPY HOUR may well show you the true path to healing —ESPECIALLY when everything else has failed."

radio feature for "i cried all the way to happy hour" book
what people are saying

Praise for the Book

“Brian is a profoundly talented practitioner and deeply committed to helping people heal from trauma. I’m proud to call him a teacher and a friend.”

Gabby Bernstein

#1 New York Times bestselling author of The Universe has Your Back

“Simply a must-read. Brian’s compassion, wisdom, and humor leap off the page guiding us onto a path of profound healing and transformation.”

Marie Forleo

#1 New York Times bestselling author of Everything is Figureoutable

“Brian creates a safe space to start with the “facts” of your traumas. At first glance, it seems like you’re just helplessly looking at the pain. And then you realize—it’s an unfailing tool that masterfully releases it.”

Nicole Ari Parke

Actor, Producer and Parent

"Brian took the physical manifestation of my trauma and healed it. His work and his teachings are game changing."

Maria Menounos

2x New York Times best selling author and host of “Better Together with Maria Menounos”

"Brian Mahan writes like a force of nature. Both laugh-out-loud funny and terrifying—Brian weaves personal experience with his deep knowledge of Somatic Experiencing to bring you a road map for healing your most profound traumas.”

Matthew Carnahan

Creator of Emmy Award-winning series HOUSE OF LIES and author of SERPENT GIRL.

“Brian has the profound ability to lead me towards the truth. Always.“

Annabelle Dexter Jones

(HBO ‘Succession’) Actor, Director

“Traditional therapy made me relive my trauma by having to tell the same story again and again, without seeing any improvement. Brian takes you to the core issues in a whole new way so that you actually heal!”

Tamar Geller

New Your Times bestselling author of The Loved Dog and as Oprah says “A Life Coach for dogs and their people”

"Brian has been a bright light illuminating the path of my personal healing journey. From an internal and external view it appears this world needs levels of healing from perspectives we haven’t explored before. Brian has been exploring these levels of healing for years. It shows in his work.
Fleming’s work healed the world 100 years ago, and my gut tells me that Mahan is doing that very same thing for the emotional body.
Thank you Brian, not just for helping me, but for all you do for this world."

- Michael Magness

meet the author

About Brian D. Mahan

Brian D. Mahan, SEP is not a traditional talk therapist. He is a Somatic Experiencing Practitioner, specializing in working with anxiety, PTSD, developmental trauma, shock trauma and shame. Brian once struggled with the life long impact of developmental trauma and shame, not realizing it was the root cause of so many of his problems. After years of fruitless efforts to change, he discovered the missing links to profound and long lasting healing. He is now an internationally renown expert on healing trauma and the trauma of shame. His life’s mission is to help 1,000,000 heal from trauma.

ARE YOU READY for Profound Healing and Personal Transformation?

Order your copy of the book today!

A breathe of fresh air in healing from trauma-induced conditions - Highly Recommended

“I Cried All The Way To Happy Hour” is a breathe of fresh air in the struggle to find healing from trauma-induced conditions. I suffered trauma from my father, hazing at two all-male boarding schools, and combat zone in Vietnam. I found triggering sources wherever I went. I entered traditional talk therapy in 1990 and thence for 29 years - obviously not finding healing. Like many trauma survivors, I read many books and tried other modalities toward healing.
Brian’s book may be the pinnacle of all the modalities and treatments I tried. So have hope. I am certain most who read this book and practice its techniques will find much relief and many will finding healing.
As a devoted and Bible-believing Christian, I find that if indeed this book has any shortcomings in offering hope and healing for trauma survivors, it may lie in selling short what Brian labels the Spiritual Bypass.
Nevertheless, I highly recommend “I Cried All The Way To Happy Hour” as the next and perhaps final stepping stone on your path to permanent recovery. Read it. You won’t regret it."

Jerry Adams Amazon Book Reviewer

Highly recommend this book!!

"Everyone faces some form of trauma or feels a form of shame that can affect aspects of their life up to the present moment, After reading Brian’s book I was able to become aware of how mine affected my belief system which hindered aspects of my life. Trauma can come at any moment and Brian’s book has given me the awareness and tools needed to healthily process these moments without judgement, so I can show up as the best version of myself. I highly recommend reading this and thank you Brian for writing this well written easy to read book. It is definitely a game changer!"

D Parmar Amazon Book Reviewer

Somatic Experiencing - healing trauma is possible!

"The book is a compelling read. From the first page to the last, Brain Mahan’s personal story kept me captivated and absorbed. Brian was also able to weave an easy to understand explanation of shame and trauma and how a body up approach is needed to heal both! I highly recommend it to anyone on a healing journey!"

Elizabeth Burton Amazon Book Reviewer

A Self-Help book like no other

"This is one book that I started reading as soon as I received it. I can't put it down. It speaks to me so clearly and I relate to so much of his writing. I have been waiting for a book like this."

Amazon Customer Amazon Book Reviewer

Life changing!

"Like Brian’s work, this book gets deep into your bones and wounds and starts to help you truly heal. Brian’s heartbreaking, honest account of his own journey with healing toxic shame and trauma is the perfect anchor for this book that is full of helpful anecdotes and seeds for lasting change. Until I started working with Brian, I had never heard someone put such clear words to what shame is, how it feels, and how to actually start healing it, and I had several breakthrough moments while reading this book. It feels like having a session with him — funny, deep, all-seeing, all-is-welcome, vulnerable, and transformative. I will be re-reading this and buying copies for my friends for years and years to come."

Amazon Customer Amazon Book Reviewer

A relatable explanation of things you wished you had known

"It's nice to read a book about some of the hardest things in life that isn't filled with citations, and which is relatable in so many ways. I can look up the clinical background later. Rather, this book is from the perspective of an expert in the field and his own personal journey in the first half, which then makes the second half of concrete, often challenging but incredible advice, easier to understand and digest. You realize that you're not alone in your journey, you're not crazy, and there are 15 terms that you will now always recite to your friends as if they too such understand a cognitive disconnect and the fact that "beliefs always win." But on a more serious note, this book is once for reading for a first pass, and a second time to remember the 17 things you wanted to underline along the way, mark down, and remember. It made me understand not just the baseline of somatic therapy (or a tiny part of the baseline), but also ask myself a lot of questions about how and why I do things, and what it even means to feel life again. Oh and the single fact alone that you can reframe anger on a spectrum, where it can sometimes be helpful, is worth the price of purchase."

Craig G. Amazon Book Reviewer

Genuine, Compassionate and Original

"This book addresses the root of trauma. It brings to light the cause of so much of our suffering. It's obvious that the author poured his heart and soul into the work. Grateful I came across this work!"

Michael Amazon Book Reviewer


"What can I say? Brian Mahan’s book is truly thought-provoking. I wasn’t able to put it down. I will read this amazing book over and over. It made me laugh, it made me sad. We all go through struggles and traumas over our lifetime. This book has given me a new perspective on Profound Healing and Personal Transformation. Thank you Brian Mahan."

Katharine Gies Amazon Book Reviewer

I cried as I read this book

"Buy this book if years of therapy of done you no good. I cried as I read it, learning of Brian's own struggles with anxiety, depression and panic attacks. I cried for myself and my lost childhood. I gave up on therapy years ago, as Brian states in his book, it felt like picking scabs and any relief I felt was only momentary. Now I'm crying because I know that at the age of 62, there is light, there is hope, there is a way for me to heal. Thank you Brian!"

Andrea Amazon Book Reviewer

Insight at its best

"Reassurance and clarity are at the heart of Brian's approach to living well with and without our woes. He will touch you deeply with his authentic healing methods."

Amazon Customer Amazon Book Reviewer

Compelling reading

"Surprisingly this book was a better read than I expected, a real page turner which i read more than halfway through at my first sitting. This is a record for me as I tend to read only if have to for work. This book is way ahead of the norm and I thoroughly recommend to those who are troubled or not. In this day and age very few of us have escaped unscathed so i recommend this book to that percentage of the population wholeheartedly. Well done to the author for his literary debut. I look forward to reading more."

Polly. Lawyer UK

Pollyoxo Amazon Book Reviewer

A must read to understand pain, healing and shame.

"This book is a gift: nurturing, enlightening, and healing. This is a remarkable treatment of pain and healing. This book is full of human examples and is characterized by a good ideal of personal charm and wit. I found it the kind of book that one can enjoy reading and rereading because it generates association to one's own life and experiences. I highly recommend this book to therapists and any reader who has an interest in understanding pain, healing and shame."

JANICE BRIEVA A. Amazon Book Reviewer

Clear and hopeful.

"The personal anecdotes made the explanation of trauma as a body-based reaction come to life. Instead of getting intellectualized insight, the reader is invited to feel the truth of it through empathy."

Caroline Amazon Book Reviewer

Healing trauma and shame w somatic experiencing

"This timely book defines trauma and the trauma from shame as physiological rather than psychological. Here Mahan offers an autobiographical account of growing up with trauma and toxic shame and the dissociation he felt through much of his life up to a tragic car accident that left him with PTSD. At first he became a client then a practitioner and now an authority on healing trauma and toxic shame. It’s a compelling read."

Annie Jubb Amazon Book Reviewer


"This book is amazing! I've talked to several counselors over the years about my depression and PTSD and traumas and it feels like they only just give me medication but nobody's really ever tried to get to the root of the problem. This book really gave me a lot to think about and to reevaluate how I thought about my depression and TBI. I've recommended the book to four of my friends already. Would love to read more books from Brian."

Terri Sue Judd Amazon Book Reviewer

the real deal

"Brian was my therapist for a year during which I struggled with panic attacks, when I felt like something else had taken over the controls. It was profoundly relieving to have someone understand what that feels like from the inside and teach me from that it how to manage and decrease my response to threat, which is an instinct that breeds and escalates very quickly. I felt like someone was in the trench with me and taught me to climb out. I am profoundly grateful to him, so i awe of his skills and how he immediately reads and responds to a nervous system's many cues. It was impossible for me to even mention what had triggered me for many months - NOT talking was anathema to any other therapy I had tried. Brian's skills with somatic experiencing imparted in his hilarious and moving tale have given me much more than healing, but a truer and more authentic connection to myself and my life. He deserves all the accolades I hope will be poured upon him. Bravo!"

Mary Amazon Book Reviewer

It’s years of distilled wisdom.

"This is potent stuff. It has tools to show you how to change held embodied beliefs, and having used it for some days I already feel a shift in some areas where I have felt a block for quite a while. The tool is so effective that I actually feel like using it slowly, since it seems to make sustainable change, where I otherwise would do things with such an intensity and regularly fashion because simply most doesn’t. It’s years of distilled wisdom."

Pär Amazon Book Reviewer

This book is chock-full of wisdom that is humorous, humble, and invaluably helpful.

"Brian is so plugged into, and facile with, a subtle humor that acts as a kind of miracle-making multi-tool throughout this book. He uses it masterfully to look at trauma from a pretty novel perspective. It’s a humor that does not sacrifice sincerity for the sake of a laugh. Rather, it’s one that appears when least expected, lasts precisely as long as it should, and each time, welcomes the reader more and more into the gravity of the conversation. It’s a joy to see how the humor dazzles throughout the educating and storytelling that Brian shares so beautifully on these pages. It’s a joy to see how all of Brian’s gifts dazzle throughout his sentences. The read is fluid and easy to follow. It’s intimate. Informative. Comprehensive. I can implement what he points to without my system triggering into overwhelm. I attribute much of that to Brian’s transmission of earnestness and compassion. They sound loud and clear through every word. In my experience, this book is chock-full of wisdom that is humorous, humble, and invaluably helpful. And that’s the review that’s coming through these bones in this moment. Grateful to Brian for helping me learn how to sense more deeply into these bones, how to trust what’s coming through them. Grateful for "I Cried All the Way to Happy Hour" and its proficiency to point to a loving, right, and healthy relationship with trauma. Grateful for the opportunity to encourage you to read this book."

Kevin O. Amazon Book Reviewer

There is hope!

"When you’ve tried everything to heal your anxiety and the results are only short-lived, that’s where Brian comes in. This book provides a roadmap to the root cause, while also letting you know that anxiety doesn’t have to be a life sentence."

Natalie Amazon Book Reviewer

Substantive and incredibly helpful for understanding oneself

"This book does a great job helping to explain why simply talking about your problems can be helpful, but not necessarily go all the way for the healing process. The author highlights how trauma to the body impacts the mind in ways many of us don’t understand. I found it to be highly helpful, insightful, and relatable."

Guthrie Amazon Book Reviewer

This Book Is Amazing!

"This book is unlike any other and it will change your life (for the better)!

It is indeed a self-help book but it reads more like a memoir. Mahan weaves a compelling tale of the journey into, through and beyond the traumas that can shape our lives without us even knowing it. You won't be able to put it down because his approach is so open, so heartfelt and so personally honest. He isn't didactic, not for a second, even though you can tell that he has more than enough knowledge and experience (both professional and personal) to be be if he wanted to. Rather he is vulnerable, forthright and ultimately courageous in facing, healing and treating trauma.

You will cry. Be warned. But you will also be empowered. And by the time you are done reading you will find that your cheeks are wet because you are crying. And the tears will be the tears of joy, the joy at the person you have become once again.

Highly, highly recommended!

Joseph B Metzler Amazon Book Reviewer

An intimate look into somatic experiencing and trauma healing

"Brian Mahan's intimate literary journey of trauma healing through somatic experiencing is a breath of fresh air for those of us who have tried it all in our striving for joy. Full of humor and honesty, this book offers new ways of understanding and releasing old trauma held on to though our bodies that breaks the cycles! Thank you Brian for this deep breath, laugh, and gentle look into what is possible."

KK Amazon Book Reviewer


"I promised myself I'd never buy another 'self-help' book. I've read too many. But I was promised this one offered something different - and I wasn't disappointed. In fact, it's been a game-changer. It's not just talk-therapy AGAIN. It's a very real, visceral, practical guide that builds upon itself and actually teaches you how to use your BODY (not just your mind) to understand where you hold your pain - from trauma and early developmental wounds - and how to finally release that pain, and the old patterns that hold you back. It makes the mind-body connection easy to understand and unlock, in a new way. It's also funny at times, and beautifully written."

Amazon Customer Amazon Book Reviewer

Get this book! You won’t regret it!

"I can’t even believe this. Already this book has made me cry with relief. I haven’t finished reading it quite yet, which is rare for me to review a book just before the end! But this book makes you feel like someone understands, someone gets it. Brian Mahan offers a wealth of knowledge about getting through the really hard experiences in our bodies and minds. What an awesome book! I honestly didn’t know what to expect when my girlfriend suggested this book to me. I have experienced a lot of trauma in my life and I am always looking for something to help. So I thought I would give this little book a shot. I already feel like I got my money’s worth though! I just ordered two more copies! Lol! I’m hooked already! One for my sister and one for my friend who just went through a lot of loss. I know this book is going to change a lot of lives. I can see it in my own life already. Get this book! You won’t regret it!"

Magnanimous Amazon Book Reviewer

Thank you for writing this book!

"This was exactly what I needed to read at this time in my life. Mr. Mahan offers deeply moving insight to toxic shame that resonated powerful truth for me. His humor made it a pleasure to read and his experience brought it all home. I read it in two days. I had a hard time putting it down last night to go to sleep. If, like me straight up talk therapy hasn’t resolved some of your deeper core issues, you definitely need to read this book. I loved the ending! It inspired me so much I went straight to the Somatic Experiencing International website and found a practitioner near me. When that kind of ease in taking action happens, I know that’s my intuition saying YES! Mission accomplished Mr. Mahan. Thank you so much."

Ivansmom Amazon Book Reviewer

Finally a book that touches on how to truly heal your wounds rather than manage them

"First of all, I've never laughed so hard reading a book on trauma & therapy - I had no idea what I was missing out on. Brian's writing is stylish and melodic, in a way that helps the reader soak in the material effortlessly.

I've read many books on self-help, therapy, and trauma over the past 7 years as I tried to figure out "what was wrong with me". I honestly wish this book was out back when I started my process - it would've saved me so much time and cleared up so much confusion and shame. Brian touches on the two things that are overlooked by many mental health practitioners - physiology/nervous system & shame. Imo, it is incredibly difficult and at times impossible to heal the deep wounds without integrating these elements, and Brian does a lovely job in illuminating both of them.

The whole book was a delight to read, peppered in with moments of reflection and aha-moments. I felt supported by Brian's honesty and transparency that he exhibits throughout the book, allowing me to be more honest with myself and my own story. This is a must-read for anyone in the mental/healing space - clients as well as practitioners/clinicians. This will be the first book I hand over to my clients as they start their process. Who would've thought that a book on trauma could make you laugh hard and be so profound.

Daniel Kim Amazon Book Reviewer

A Brilliant book, so many epiphany’s WOW

"The author is a Somatic Therapist (I didn’t know what that was initially) who talks of the terrible accident he went through that put him in such a place of trauma when he finally found help, it was Somatic therapy that changed his life. From there, the author speaks on all types of shame and trauma and how they manifest in our lives and truly, I had no idea this might be some of the issues I was dealing with. The language is easy to understand as of being explained by a friend, a brilliant accomplished friend. I will cherish this book, I know I’ll read it again and I may seek Somatic therapy after reading this. Many thanks for this. I hope as many people read this as need help. I’m so happy I found this."

IO Amazon Book Reviewer

A must read for anyone who wants to make profound and lasting positive changes.

"If you are ready to make lasting changes in your life, this book is for you. It is so beautifully written and immensely helpful. Brian explains the way our brains, body and nervous system work in a way that is easy to understand. He explains why positive thinking and other traditional strategies don't usually work. He also provides simple, powerful techniques to heal old wounds (we all have them) at a deep and transformative level. His guidance in how to turn toward our uncomfortable sensations and emotions with curiosity is a game changer. I loved hearing about Brian's clients and his own personal, transformative journey. It gave me so much hope and I can't recommend this book enough!"

JS Amazon Book Reviewer


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