There’s a moment at the end of every day, where the world falls away and you are left alone with your thoughts. A reckoning. When the things you have been pushing to the background come forward and demand your attention.”
Daniel Howell puts his soul on display in his new book, You Will Get Through This Night. It’s an easy-to-read, funny, relatable mental health guide written in tandem with Dr. Heather Bolton (who helped make sure the information was accurate). I was so excited to read this book as both a long-time fan of Dan Howell and as someone who struggles with mental health. This book explains the science behind certain scenarios and supplies easy, quick exercises to improve your mood and thoughts in a dark moment. I laughed, I cried, I dog-eared pages for later use.
This book provides you with the tools you need to maintain your mental health, because even if you think you’re totally fine, sometimes things can change instantaneously. You are in charge of your life, and you need to know how to take care of yourself–mental health needs just as much attention as physical health, so there’s no shame in needing help. This book aims to do just that, and will hopefully make you smile or exhale through your nose at some of the jokes along the way.
Daniel Howell is better known as YouTube personality Danisnotonfire, or as one half of the duo Dan and Phil. Dan’s YouTube career started in 2009, when he uploaded his very first video, HELLO INTERNET. He created funny, random, relatable content on his own and with his roommate and friend Phil Lester, known online as AmazingPhil. In October of 2017, Dan uploaded a video entitled Daniel and Depression, in which he opened up about his journey and the importance of taking mental health seriously. In June of 2019, Dan uploaded his masterpiece of a coming-out video–Basically I’m Gay. For forty-five minutes, Dan recounted coming to terms with his sexuality and the depression that surrounded it during his teenage years. After uploading this video, Dan took a two-year break from uploading to YouTube and only posted on his Instagram and Twitter very minimally.
Dan finally reappeared in early 2021 in a video on Phil’s channel, called Something we want to tell you!, where the two discussed what Dan has been doing during his break, their new app, their new house, the holiday season, and Dan made the exciting announcement about his book. He voiced his opinion on how a lot of mental health books are either people just sharing their stories, or they’re scientific self-help books that have good information but no one reads them, and he felt like he had a duty to write this book after sharing so much of his struggle online. The book is meant to be funny, so the reader can laugh at his pain while learning something about themselves. After reading the book myself, I can certainly say this goal was achieved.
So why are we talking about it here at the Gaygenda? Firstly, to support Dan Howell as an LGBTQ+ creator who has acted as a safe space in the community for many, many years. I remember being a closeted teenager and finding solace in his self-deprecating humor and cynical sarcasm about life, and his fanbase is full of thousands of people just like me. If you feel you can relate to that in any way, I recommend you head over to YouTube and check out his channel.
Secondly, at the border of Mental Health Awareness Month and Pride Month, the LGBTQ+ community has to be mindful of those out there who live every day in unsafe situations because of their sexuality or gender identity. It takes a major toll on your mental health to live in the closet or to not be accepted by the people in your life. Fortunately, we live in the age of the Internet, and there are dozens of resources if you’re feeling alone or depressed–reach out to someone, find an online community, and please remember that you’re not alone.
You Will Get Through This Night is a humorous, engaging book of advice and exercises to aid you in the management of your mental health. The best part about this book is that if you struggle and feel alone, Dan Howell will remind you that you’re not. It’s like getting advice from someone you trust because it’s not judgemental, nor are the expectations too high–Dan describes these feelings of depression as someone who has lived it, so he understands what you’re going through and gently nudges you in the right direction while reminding you that it’s okay to not be okay now and then. But it doesn’t have to be like that. You can be happy.
As a fan of Daniel Howell, I’m happy to see how far he has come. He’s living proof that it can get better, and so can you.