Review of the Upside of Your Dark Side: Why Being Your Whole Self – Not Just Your “Good” Self – Drives Success and Fulfillment, by Todd Kashdan and Robert Biswas-Diener


  • Acacia C. Parks Reed College


Emotions, Positive psychology


The Upside of Your Dark Side is the result of collaboration between Todd Kashdan, a research powerhouse and vocal critic from within the positive psychology movement, and Robert Biswas-Diener, an accomplished author, coach, consultant, and researcher in his own right. The resulting product gives readers the best of both authors’ strengths: outstanding empirical rigor, vibrant writing, and groundbreaking ideas. The central thesis of Upside is to turn on its head the common wisdom that negative emotions are bad and should be avoided; they show how in moderation, in the right situations, three key negative emotions (anger, guilt, and anxiety) can be tremendously beneficial. They also argue that happiness and mindfulness, two constructs often thought to be universally beneficial, are not all good. They close with the proposition that a person who avoids negativity misses out on the benefits of being “whole” – a person who experiences both positive and negative emotions and harnesses each to their full potential.


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Author Biography

Acacia C. Parks, Reed College

Assistant Professor, Reed College, Department of Psychology






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