Jodie Eckleberry-Hunt is the author of the new book Move On Motherf*cker: Live, Laugh, and Let Sh*t Go. A psychologist, she lives in Michigan.
Q: How did you come up with the idea for this book?
A: It was my own emotional pain. I was working in a toxic environment, and nothing was working to counteract how terrible I felt. I tried cognitive-behavioral and mindfulness strategies, and they were useful but didn't work for long. A colleague and I started trying to outdo one another in who could come up with new descriptors for the insanity using profanity. (Profanity for insanity! - I like that!)
Anyway, one day, I blurted out "You need to move on Motherfucker!" because he was going over the same negative conversation we'd just had the day before. He looked at me and laughed and said "you're right." In that moment, we both felt a release of pain with laughter.
Move on Motherfucker (MOMF) symbolizes the process of identifying the negative things we say to ourselves, being mindful of how it is affecting us, holding ourselves accountable for change, and choosing something different. I found the technique so helpful that I decided to write the book, Move on Motherf*cker: Live, Laugh, and Let Sh*t Go.
Q: What role do you see profanity playing in affecting someone's mood?
A: Bona fide research shows that in physically painful situations, when people release a profane word, it reduces physical pain (like yelling "shit" when you stub your toe).
I believe that targeted profanity also works for releasing
emotional pain. This is because we store profanity differently in the brain
than other languages. It is more taboo and emphatic. All of this assumes,
however, that you don't cuss as part of everyday conversation. It must be
Q: When is MOMF appropriate and when is it not?
A: MOMF is appropriate for stressful situations when we are
playing a role in maintaining our own suffering. MOMF is not appropriate for
primary treatment of depression, anxiety or trauma, It is not appropriate for
grief or abuse.
Q: What do you hope readers take away from your book?
A: I hope that readers feel empowered. I want readers to see that even in bad circumstances, we have some influence over our reactions and self-created suffering. There are very effective psychological techniques that ease pain and suffering.
I also hope readers feel empowered to laugh at themselves
sometimes because none of us are perfect. We're all in this together, and if
given the choice of whether to laugh or cry, I prefer laughter. Laughter is
very healing (although there is also a place for crying for sure).
Q: What are you working on now?
A: I have lots of book ideas. One idea in the works is how
to recover from a relationship breakup. This is something people consult me for
regularly, and there is a real science to it so that we remain whole. I am also
working on the science of success, what that means, and how to achieve it.
Q: Anything else we should know?
A: My main goal was to take the science of psychology and make it accessible to people who might not otherwise access it. I want to make it applicable, understandable, and usable in everyday situations. I also want it to be fun and interesting. Finally, I want others to know they aren't alone. We are all motherfuckers in the shitshow of life, and that is okay.
--Interview with Deborah Kalb