At Men’s Health, we’ve always been committed to a definition of wellness that includes your brain. Take, for example, friendship, which research has long touted for its happiness-stoking, anxiety-alleviating, and even life-extending abilities. In our very first issue, we called for a male friendship revival. At the time, male institutions like the local Elks/Masonic/Raccoon lodge did not resonate with the younger generations, and men needed new ways to connect or risk isolation. (Sound familiar?)

In that same issue, Los Angeles psychologist Herb Goldberg, Ph.D., identified the hazards of toxic masculinity before the term was even coined. And then went on to lay out a vision for “the ‘new male’ as being playful, much more capable of sensitive, close relationships . . . able to strip away his mask…someone who is self-caring rather than self-destructive.” (Also familiar?)

Over the years, Jimmy the Bartender helped us manage awkward friends and money situations, out-of-touch managers, and, basically, us. A craving for more of all of this, plus the growing awareness that it’s okay to not be okay all the time, brought on a whole mind-centric section of the magazine (this one). That expanded onto Instagram with Friday Sessions—an IGL show (Fridays, 1:30 p.m.) about male mental wellness. Along the way, so many smart men have dropped serious wisdom on all these topics and more. Here are just a few favorite quotes.

On Humility

Gregg DeGuire//Getty Images

Somehow there is some innate feeling of happiness you get from picking up a room or doing some laundry. It makes you feel great. Like you really did something. When I first became famous, I thought you should hire people to do these things. Today, I still want to be Bruce Wayne—but I want to wash my own cape.

—Jim Carrey, September 2001


If you start rooting against someone, it’s the law of game shows that they’re going to win. I think this may be a law of life, too.

—Pat Sajak, January/February 2005


If you don’t have kids, you might not know that to have them is to be confronted daily with the knowledge that you will fail. There is no great parenting; there is only good enough.

—Timothy Simons, June 2019


On Integrity

a man sitting in a chair

Jeff Hutchens

When you see something that is not right, not fair, not just, it’s my philosophy that you have a moral obligation to get in trouble, to make some noise, to point people in a different direction.

—Congressman John Lewis, May 2020


If I’m true to myself and keep that integrity, everything else should fall into place. The people I don’t win over, I’m not supposed to.

—Ice Cube, September 2006


On Connecting

31st annual producers guild awards arrivals

Frazer Harrison//Getty Images

Today, when I want to know what’s going on, I watch CNN, I watch Fox News for entertainment, I read the usual papers. But when I really want to know what’s happening in the world, I talk to my friends who work in politics, in education, in business or medicine, and I try to shut up and listen.

—Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, September 2020


I recently realized that the people I’d call in an emergency aren’t the people I talk to regularly. That seemed broken. I’m now making a bigger effort to be deliberate about spending social time—whether that’s on the phone or in real life—with the people who really light me up and matter to me most.

—Tim Kendall, former leader at Facebook and Pinterest, October 2019


Having a discussion about depression might seem worse than living with it. There’s a risk that when we divulge personal information, the conversation won’t go well…Depression is constantly telling you to stay quiet…Men don’t know where to start the conversation, even when they come into my office. The truth is, these conversations start anywhere.

—Psychiatrist Gregory Scott Brown, M.D., September 2019


On Acceptance

great british swim

Luke Walker//Getty Images

Sucking it up won’t make you resilient. In fact, it’ll break you. If you have a stone in your shoe during the first mile of a marathon, bearing it doesn’t do anything for you except make you miserable. So often, when I see athletes and military recruits grimacing during training, I ask them, “How is this helping you?”

—Ross Edgley, July/August 2021


Anything can happen to anybody in life, and it generally does.

—Mike Wallace, Fall 1989


Meditation practice is like being on a downward escalator when what you want to do is go up. It’s a struggle, but it gets easier—reps matter.

—Officer Jose L. Cabrera Jr., a participant in the Hillsboro, Oregon, police department’s mindfulness-meditation program, July/August 2018


Nothing is definite, nothing is foreseeable, and only a few things are in our control.

—Anthony Hopkins, June 2017


No matter how bad I feel or how bad the news is, if i can go out and run, i always feel better.

—Bill Clinton, November/December 1992


On Growth

10th annual shorty awards arrivals  pre show

Noam Galai//Getty Images

I define success as any kind of barrier you break down in your life.

—Aydian Dowling, the first trans man to appear on a Men’s Health cover, November 2015


To excel you need to act with a clear mind and be totally focused. The secret is not thinking.

—Phil Jackson, June 1996


Rigidity is the enemy of growth.

—Steven C. Hayes, Ph.D., an emeritus professor of psychology at the University of Nevada, Reno, December 2011


Let yourself settle on being good enough in some areas so you can be great in one.

—Ben Wallace, March 2006


Nothing happens for the worst if you keep living.

—George Foreman, April 1995


On Knowing What’s Important

You are the master of your environment. You’ve got your own head, your own mind. So once you figure out what you want for yourself, you have to create the proper environment to make sure you can live out all the things you want.

—Tyrese Gibson, June 2009


Don’t cross the street without looking both ways, because you could get hit by a car and then somebody else gets all the candy.

—Charlie, age five, when asked to offer life advice, January/February 2017


Best Advice on the Basics

Drinking Better

There are many reasons to stop drinking, either temporarily or altogether. For me, the reason is this: I need to check with myself that, while I love drinking, I do not need it.

—Amos Barshad, writer, January/February 2020


Sleeping Better

I always encounter this type, the Silicon Valley dude who’s killing it financially, has kids, is trying to do a triathlon. He goes to bed at midnight and wakes up at 4:00 a.m. He says he’s doing great and needs four hours. But just because you can doesn’t mean you should.

—Sleep expert and MH advisor W. Christopher Winter, M.D., November 2019


Working out Better

Don’t be stupid enough to try to get two days better in one day.

—Andre Agassi, October 2003

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