Author and motivational speaker Mel Robbins has written a new book, full of incredible guidance on cheering yourself on through life. The High 5 Habit centers around one simple tool that will change the way you start your day. In this book, Robbins guides you to celebrate yourself every day through a habitual high five in the mirror.

This simple habit is powerful, and Robbins is not short on evidence as to how. Robbins writes about the powerful effect this kind of self-celebration has on people, through stories from her community and her own family. Robbins gets personal, really personal, about the way she has used this tool in some of the most difficult times in her life.

While this book centers mainly around the high five habit, it is full of other great tools for developing self-esteem, increasing productivity, and going after your dreams. The High 5 Habit covers topics like self-esteem, celebrating yourself, and addressing negative self-talk. Like all of Mel Robbins’ work, this book is research-backed, and also includes plenty of anecdotal examples of this concept at work out in the wild. So, what is the high five habit?

Photo of the book The High 5 Habit

The High 5 Habit

Mel Robbins wants you to start every day with a high five in the mirror. It sounds silly, and Robbins acknowledges this, but the benefits are extraordinary. Robbins writes about the vast research about the power of the high five when it comes to supporting and celebrating others. There is a pretty clear correlation between sports teams that high five and touch each other in other friendly, supportive ways, and teams that win championships. A high five says: I’m for you. I’ve got you. You can do this.

The same way that giving someone a high five fosters connection and trust between people, giving yourself a high five in the mirror fosters trust and connection with yourself. Why give yourself a high five in the morning? A high five in the morning, before you’ve done anything else, says: I celebrate you even before you’ve done anything worth celebrating. You, alone, are worth celebrating. It separates your worth from your performance.

Robbins writes,

Self-worth, self-esteem, self-love, and self-confidence all begin by building those attributes within your self. That’s why I want you to begin every day with a high five in the mirror. It’s a habit you should learn, you should understand, and you should practice every single day. And that’s just the beginning…This is bigger than knowing how to wake up happy, or pick yourself up when you’re feeling down, or hype yourself up for the biggest and most exciting moments of your life…It starts with that moment every morning, face-to-face with yourself in the mirror.

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One of my favorite chapters in The High 5 Habit is the chapter on jealousy. Robbins writes that we need not fear jealousy or be controlled by it, but rather use the emotion of jealousy to better identify the things that inspire us and use it to propel us forward into those things. Jealousy is telling you something important. Jealousy is a clue to discovering the kind of life you desire. Robbins writes,

Jealousy is simply blocked desire. If you could flip that jealousy into inspiration, the block would disappear. If you could celebrate jealousy as a sign of your next big step in life, it immediately lifts the burden of frustration and insecurity you feel, and gets you moving forward with a high five attitude again.

I love this reframing of jealousy, especially in the social media age. Jealousy is often accompanied by a feeling of lack, a thought like: I can never have that. Instead, jealousy should propel us into dreaming: If they have it, I can have it, too! We need not fear jealousy, so long as we use it as a tool rather than be consumed by it.

I highly recommend this book, and I absolutely loved the audiobook version. Robbins reads in such a natural and easy-going way. It feels like she is sitting right next to you, having a personal conversation. I have not heard an author reading quite like it. I loved her previous book, The 5 Second Rule, and I think The High 5 Habit will be equally impactful.

Thanks for reading my review of The High 5 Habit by Mel Robbins. To stay up to date about all of my blog posts, join my email newsletter below.

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Photos by Kara Buse.

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