Rising Strong by Brene Brown | Audiobook Review

I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Rising Strong by Brene Brown | Audiobook ReviewRising Strong by Brené Brown
Published by Random House Publishing Group on August 25th 2015
Genres: Self-Help, Motivational & Inspirational, Psychology, Emotions, Business & Economics, Motivational
Pages: 336
Format: Audiobook
Source: Publisher
Buy on Amazon
ISBN: 9780812995831

When we deny our stories, they define us.
When we own our stories, we get to write the ending.   Social scientist Brené Brown has ignited a global conversation on courage, vulnerability, shame, and worthiness. Her pioneering work uncovered a profound truth: Vulnerability—the willingness to show up and be seen with no guarantee of outcome—is the only path to more love, belonging, creativity, and joy. But living a brave life is not always easy: We are, inevitably, going to stumble and fall.   It is the rise from falling that Brown takes as her subject in Rising Strong. As a grounded theory researcher, Brown has listened as a range of people—from leaders in Fortune 500 companies and the military to artists, couples in long-term relationships, teachers, and parents—shared their stories of being brave, falling, and getting back up. She asked herself, What do these people with strong and loving relationships, leaders nurturing creativity, artists pushing innovation, and clergy walking with people through faith and mystery have in common? The answer was clear: They recognize the power of emotion and they’re not afraid to lean in to discomfort.   Walking into our stories of hurt can feel dangerous. But the process of regaining our footing in the midst of struggle is where our courage is tested and our values are forged. Our stories of struggle can be big ones, like the loss of a job or the end of a relationship, or smaller ones, like a conflict with a friend or colleague. Regardless of magnitude or circumstance, the rising strong process is the same: We reckon with our emotions and get curious about what we’re feeling; we rumble with our stories until we get to a place of truth; and we live this process, every day, until it becomes a practice and creates nothing short of a revolution in our lives. Rising strong after a fall is how we cultivate wholeheartedness. It’s the process, Brown writes, that teaches us the most about who we are.
From the Hardcover edition.

Why Did I Listen To This Book?

In my real life, I spend a bit of time with helping professionals – namely licensed clinical social workers, so, I tend to pick up on big deal names and things in those professional circles. One name I consistently hear is Brene Brown. What I do in real life, or rather, what I interact with (right now I do a lot of audits) is people whose demeanor reflects trauma informed care. To teach about this, and empathy versus sympathy, we often show this video where Brene Brown explains. It’s rather good. Anyways, Rising Strong came across my radar and by serendipity, I received a review audiobook copy. I have to say, I finally get the professional hype. I’ll admit I am one who likes these self-help/psychology/sociology/I am not sure of the term type books. This one though, really spoke to me.

What’s The Premise Here?

The whole point of Rising Strong by Brene Brown, to me at least, is to discuss why failure is necessary and how we bounce back from it. I love that this book discusses that whole process. It ties failure in with vulnerability, compassion, and moving forward. Now, it has been a few weeks since I listened to the audiobook, but parts of it definitely have stuck with me longer than some fiction that I listen to. Essentially this book talks about how when we fail, we should allow ourselves to experience that disappointment and that emotion, as it only makes our successes all the sweeter. Further, we learn from failure and disappointment.

The book is divided into three sections which are best summed up by the marketing copy on Amazon – “ We reckon with our emotions and get curious about what we’re feeling; we rumble with our stories until we get to a place of truth; and we live this process, every day, until it becomes a practice and creates nothing short of a revolution in our lives. Rising strong after a fall is how we cultivate wholeheartedness.”

Did I Learn Anything?

YES! Okay, so the first thing that I learned is that I want to read ALL of Brene Brown’s books. She’s got this way of writing about things that I find helpful in a non-annoying way. I mean, I listened to Rising Strong and did not feel annoyed or aggravated by it at all. I felt like Brown’s ideas about failure and rising from it even stronger, letting it change you, are ideas that I subscribe to wholeheartedly. To be honest, I wish this book had been out a year ago when I went through my breakup. I can relate so intimately to what Brown posits in this book. She talks about how these devastating losses are things we should indeed, lean into, and admits that is so hard. It is hard to let yourself feel those emotions and fall, but we can indeed come through the other side.

There is another thing that really struck me as I was driving listening to Rising Strong and that is when people have troubles we need to remember that compassion is not a finite resource. Just because we empathize with one person and feel for their situation, even if it is something like getting stuck in traffic on the way to work and being in late, does not mean we in turn have less empathy for, say, the refugees from Syria. Instead, what I remember from this book is that a little bit of extra kindness and empathy can only enrich your life.

It’s not as though there is this pie of compassion and once all the slices are divided out there is none left, that is not how it works. I have always thought this and always get slightly annoyed when people do that – BUT THERE ARE STARVING CHILDREN WHY DO YOU CARE ABOUT YOUR COMMUTE, but have never been quite as eloquent as Brown at describing my feelings about this. That isn’t to say this book is against having perspective, it is not. In fact, it says perspective is a good thing. Just, it does not invalidate the feelings of others and I liked that about Rising Strong.

How’s The Narration?

Rising Strong is narrated by Brene Brown, the author. She does a pretty decent job with narration. Also this is going to sound odd, but in the book she states that she lives in Texas and she totally did not have an accent. Her voice is not hard to listen to either. I thought this audiobook was a great listen on the way to and from work and the commute to the boyfriend’s place. If you’re looking to add more personal development, self help non-fiction into your life, you can’t go wrong with the audiobook of Rising Strong.

Would I Recommend This Book?

HELL YES I WOULD. Seriously, consider me a convert to Brene Brown’s books. Rising Strong was such a great listen. I found myself constantly nodding along with the book and just agreeing with what I listened to. This book really made me feel validated about some things that I have been through. I just think that if you’ve been through failure or if you’re going through a rough patch, this is the book to listen to, especially the part on the revolution. It just makes me think of a phoenix, with the whole rising from the flames to become something better, something different. For real though, I enthusiastically, wholeheartedly recommend this book.

Sum It Up With A GIF:

These lyrics and this GIF is kind of perfect for Rising Strong.

Other Reviews of Rising Strong by Brene Brown:

The Novel Life – “Do yourself a favor and read it. and share it. and do it. revolutionize your life.

Bookshelf Reviews – “Bestselling author Dr. Brené Brown doesn’t waste time delving into her message.

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About April (Books&Wine)

April is in her 30s and created Good Books And Good Wine. She works for a non-profit. April always has a book on hand. In her free time she can be found binge watching The Office with her husband and toddler, spending way too much time on Pinterest or exploring her neighborhood.


  1. Rising Strong sounds FASCINATING! I think it’s always interesting to read self-help/psychological books, particularly when they have themes that I think are easy to relate to. I think I could learn a thing or two from reading this book, so I might have to check it out for myself!
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