Top "Turning Straw Into Gold" Pieces from the Past 6 Years

Here are my "most-read" pieces from each year I've written for Psychology Today.

Posted Mar 21, 2017

Source: Pixabay

I always celebrate my anniversary of writing for Psychology Today with a post that offers some of my past pieces for reading. This year, I thought I’d list the most-read piece from each of those six years, along with a few thoughts about each one.

I put their names into links that you can click on. I hope you’ll find something interesting to read here!


Four Qualities of Mind that Alleviate Suffering

I love that one of my own personal favorites happens to be my second most-read piece. I’m not sure how this happened, since almost all of my popular pieces are about chronic pain and illness. This one is a favorite because it covers four qualities of mind that are essential to our well-being: kindness, compassion, joy in the joy of others, and equanimity. In my book, How to Wake Up, I refer to them as the awakened states.


What Those with Chronic Illness DO Want to Hear

This piece was the follow-up to one on what we DON’T want to hear. Both pieces were well-read, but I like that the one with the more positive title won out!


Six Common Misconceptions about the Chronically Ill

I’m so glad this is one of my most-read pieces because it reminds me why I write: to educate others and to help those with chronic pain and illness feel less isolated and alone. I treasure the comments I’ve received on this piece because so many people have said that reading it made them feel that at least somebody understood the challenges they face every day.


Three Things the Chronically Ill Wish Their Loved Ones Knew

This is now my most-read piece of the 205 I’ve posted in the past six years. Almost 300,000 people have read it.


Ten Indispensables for Those with Chronic Pain and Illness

People loved this piece because it gave them the chance to compare their “indispensables” with mine and with others who left comments. I think all of us were surprised at how many indispensables we shared. Reading everyone’s comments made me certain that my own indispensables are entirely reasonable! I hope the article still serves that function for others.


Ten Things to Try When You’re Feeling Lonely

This is the last piece I wrote in 2016 so it still feels new to me. I had no idea it would be so well-received. I was feeling lonely one day and wrote this from my bed, using my laptop. I’m so grateful that my suggestions were helpful.

© 2017 Toni Bernhard. Thank you for reading my work. I’m the author of three books:

How to Be Sick: A Buddhist-Inspired Guide for the Chronically Ill and Their Caregivers (Second Edition) 2018

How to Live Well with Chronic Pain and Illness: A Mindful Guide (2015)

How to Wake Up: A Buddhist-Inspired Guide to Navigating Joy and Sorrow (2013)

Visit for more information.

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