If it feels good, it must be bad for me…and other fairy tales

Hedonic self-care involves activities that we find pleasurable. A massage or a nap or time spent with dear friends. 

Eudaimonic self-care includes those things we do not necessarily because they are pleasurable in the moment, but because they support our goals and objectives.  Things like getting our teeth cleaned, or doing meal prep ahead of a busy week, or spending time and money on a therapist or hiring a health coach. 

You could easily get the impression that eudaimonic self-care is better or more virtuous than hedonic self-care. But this is not the case. And I don’t want you to forsake hedonic self-care as lesser than. 

Key Takeaways

  1. Try to maintain a balance between those things you do because they make you feel good in the moment and those things you do because they contribute to your long term well-being. Both are important to a fulfilling life.
  2. Cramming in a lot of peak experiences doesn’t guarantee that you’ll look back on your life and feel it was well-lived.
  3. One way to waste time is to spend it doing things that don’t really matter. But another way to waste time is to spend it living for an imaginary future.
  4. Whether hedonic or eudaimonic, if it comes at the expense of your mental, physical, or financial wellbeing, it doesn’t qualify as true self-care.


Episode 80: Rescuing Self-care from Consumer Culture

4000 Weeks, by Oliver Burkeman

30 Day Nutrition Upgrade