The Comfort Crisis: Embrace Discomfort to Reclaim Your Wild, Happy, Healthy Self

Rodale. May 2021. 304p. ISBN 9780593138762. $28. HEALTH
Journalist Easter (cofounder and co-director, Public Communications Inst., Univ. of Nevada, Las Vegas) takes readers along for his personal, limit-testing journey into the Alaskan wilderness, where he explores the human need for environmental stressors. The author surveys a range of scientists, writers, and entrepreneurs on modern lifestyles’ negative effects on physical and mental health. Although his account is interesting and engaging, Easter is speaking primarily from his own point of view, as a white man with a career that gives him both the income and flexibility to travel in search of environmental stress. In Easter’s view, the comforts of modern living are themselves stressors; by way of example he describes the abundance of convenience stores and fast-food chains in the United States, and modern reliance on social media and electronic distraction. However, one must consider whether this book’s perspective and research are applicable for people of color, people living from paycheck to paycheck, people living in food deserts, or people who are gender non-conforming.
VERDICT Despite some flaws, this is an engaging read, recommended for those who enjoy outdoor writing, as well as for armchair (therefore very comfortable) critics of the modern lifestyle.
Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.



We are currently offering this content for free. Sign up now to activate your personal profile, where you can save articles for future viewing