Review: Your Brain is Always Listening by Dr. Daniel Amen

First of all, I love Dr. Amen. Although he has been a controversial figure for some, I have found his books, clinics and information to be consistently solid. On four separate occasions, I have referred clients to his clinics after multiple treatment options for mental health issues have failed. On every occasion, they have been able to get a handle on the issues after visiting the Amen Clinic. The Amen Clinics use SPECT scans of the brain in order to diagnose and treat. Dr. Amen’s books outline how to have good “brain health” and he asserts that what we call “mental health” issues are really “brain health” issues. Personally, I don’t like a lot of his advice (I have to give up bread??? waaah), but I can see that his advice is based on research and solid.

My only complaint about this book is that it has so much information! It literally could be four or five books. Some of my angst about it is probably due to reading an advance reader copy on the Kindle; I suggest buying this book in hard copy, because 1. it would be great to just have handy as a reference and 2. I think it would be easier to manage the information.

This book reminds me of one of my favorite books, called “Taming Your Gremlin” by Rick Carson. Basically, it’s an externalizing technique where Dr. Amen outlines all of the “Dragons” that we might have running around in our heads, either from the past, from our experiences, or from other people. For example, you might have a “should” dragon, or an “angry” dragon. The first two sections of the book outline multiple “Dragons” you might suffer with, along with some suggestions about how you might know if you have this dragon and what you can do about it.

Next he addresses the thoughts that fuel the Dragons, and outlines them as “ANTs” – automatic negative thoughts. These are similar to the cognitive distortions we would find with CBT. It’s nice because he will say you can have an “All or Nothing” ANT, and then he will say which of the Dragons are fueled by this kind of thinking.

Next he discusses “Bad Habit Dragons”, like saying yes too much, or being disorganized. And he warns about forces outside of us that really try to get us into bad habits, like the food industry, or the internet/social media and how to cope with these “pushers”.

Lastly, he gives us a new, modified 12-step program that can help us combat all of these issues – and in this section he gives us lots of specific nutritional and supplement information based on your individual dragons and your brain type. (You can take a quiz about your brain type at I have always loved Dr. Amen’s books, but he’s really outdone himself this time.

I received this book free from Net Galley. It won’t be out until March 2. 2021, but you can pre-order now at the link below!

Disclaimer: The link above is an Amazon Affiliate link and I receive a small compensation from orders placed with this link. Summaries are NOT intended to replace the purchase of the book, but simply to save you time reading.