The Best of Forge 2019

The Most Helpful Self-Help Stories We Published in 2019

Forge’s editors pick the stories that will stay with us long after the new year

Ross McCammon
Published in
6 min readDec 23, 2019


Illustration: Reza Hasni. Originally appeared in Confessions of a Spiritual Dickhead.

AtAt Forge, we publish a lot of tips and guides, offering specific ways of improving your life—a toolbox of research- and expert-backed strategies that will help you be more productive, inspired, and whole. But personal growth is bigger than that. It’s a massive (and growing) industry, full of brilliant minds, but also charlatans.

This list of stories that Forge’s editors are most proud to have published reflects the richness of the world we cover.

How to Think Without Googling by Jacqueline Detwiler

Recommended by Sam Zabell, senior audience development manager

I read to make myself smarter, but I also read to be entertained. This is one of those great pieces that does both. It reminds us that we can unplug our brains (and still live) and it makes me laugh. It also very subtly but lovingly drags me for how often I turn to Google Maps to direct me somewhere I definitely know how to get to.

Welcome to the New Midlife Crisis by Corinne Purtill

Recommended by Siobhan O’Connor, vice president, editorial

There was a period of time this summer when every person I talk to regularly— my best friends, my boss, my husband, my team—was reading Taffy Brodesser-Akner’s Fleishman Is In Trouble. I’d walk into the office, book in hand, and be greeted by another editor’s pained look that said she’d finished the second part and it was all feeling way too real. I’d fall asleep and wake up to text messages that said things like “Oh my god,” or “I can’t.” The book gave us a kind of shorthand for expressing things we didn’t want to name.

We all think we’ll be spared a midlife crisis until we’re six months into our 40th year (give or take) and we realize we’ve kind of lost the plot. It’s not all sports cars and sexy affairs—though, hey!—but rather a quietness that sets in when we realize everything we thought we’d figured out is in fact ephemeral. This piece, and the book that inspired it…



Ross McCammon
Writer for

Author, Works Well With Others: Crucial Skills in Business No One Ever Teaches You // writing about creativity, work, and human behavior, in a useful way