Favorite Books, Supplements, Simple Technologies, and More (#266)

In this episode, I answer the most up-voted questions from subscribers to 5-Bullet Friday, the free newsletter I send out every week.

In this Q&A, I reveal:

  • My 3-5 favorite books of the past year.
  • Technologies and apps that have made my life easier.
  • How to build a new network from scratch.
  • My top five supplements for longevity and well-being.
  • The exercises and self-talk I use for avoiding (or minimizing) depression.

Want to ask me your own questions? Just subscribe to 5-Bullet Friday, which — every Friday — sends five bullet points of cool things I’ve found that week, including apps, books, gadgets, albums, articles, new hacks or tricks, and — of course — all sorts of weird stuff I dig up around the world. It’s free, it’s always going to be free, and you can check it out here: tim.blog/friday.


You can find the transcript of this episode here. Transcripts of all episodes can be found here.

#266: Favorite Books, Supplements, Simple Technologies, and More

Want to hear another Q&A episode? — Listen to this episode where I discuss the Myer’s-Briggs personality test, diet mistakes, immortality, and much, much more (stream below or right-click here to download):

#250: Myers-Briggs, Diet Mistakes, and Immortality

This podcast is brought to you by Four SigmaticI reached out to these Finnish entrepreneurs after a very talented acrobat introduced me to one of their products, which blew my mind (in the best way possible). It is mushroom coffee featuring chaga. It tastes like coffee, but there are only 40 milligrams of caffeine, so it has less than half of what you would find in a regular cup of coffee. I do not get any jitters, acid reflux, or any type of stomach burn. It put me on fire for an entire day, and I only had half of the packet.

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QUESTION(S) OF THE DAY: What was your favorite quote or lesson from this episode? Please let me know in the comments.

Scroll below for links and show notes…

Selected Links from the Episode

Show Notes

  • How do you find great, like-minded people when you’re new in town? [05:02]
  • What am I most proud of? [07:22]
  • What processes do I use to break a bad habit or convert it into a positive habit? [12:33]
  • Simple chef secrets for changing good food to great food. [14:05]
  • When is my next book coming out? (Actually, it’s out now!) [17:36]
  • What self-talk keeps me from the precipice of suicidal thoughts and depression now? [18:41]
  • Top books I’ve read this year. [24:14]
  • Why is worldly success apparently so important to me? [26:26]
  • What recent apps/technologies have made my life easier? [29:24]
  • If I could only ask one question of my guests on this podcast, what would that question be? [31:01]
  • What advice would I give a 24-year-old male struggling to control his sex drive? [32:22]
  • If I were only able to take five supplements for longevity and well-being, what would they be? [36:08]

People Mentioned

The Tim Ferriss Show is one of the most popular podcasts in the world with more than 900 million downloads. It has been selected for "Best of Apple Podcasts" three times, it is often the #1 interview podcast across all of Apple Podcasts, and it's been ranked #1 out of 400,000+ podcasts on many occasions. To listen to any of the past episodes for free, check out this page.

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36 Replies to “Favorite Books, Supplements, Simple Technologies, and More (#266)”

  1. Question: I’ve turned to Stoic philosophy as a guide to improve discipline and decrease anxiety (big ups to you for exposing me to it!), but I have tricked myself into thinking that new mental models will just appear overnight. Naturally, they don’t, and now that I’m a couple months into my practice, I get down on myself for not perfectly achieving this goals. What’s some selftalk that I can employ to keep myself focused and content with my progress?

  2. You mention genome sequencing and manic-depressive markers in this podcast. What service did you use for this? Thanks.

  3. Drow elf princesses. Love it. (+1 to me)

    Thanks for talking about your post Some Practical Thoughts on Suicide – I went and read it after you mentioned it. I’ve been there, and your post is such a powerful punch of “you are not alone.”

    Additionally – book preordered, mushroom coffee purchased and lemon juice on shopping list. #lifemastery, Tim Ferriss style

  4. Hi Tim,

    I have listened to this episode with much interest. I got back to your blog after several long years and I didn’t have time to run up with all the interesting stuff that you talk about now :). However I wanted to share my experience on the topic of mental illness like depression and anxiety and hopefully you will find my comments useful.

    But first and the most important is for me to thank you for talking openly about your bipolar depression.

    A short 🙂 and necessary intro to what I want to share:

    Although I never had bipolar depression, I suffered (still suffer a bit) from anxiety with depression combined. So I know the color of black. My problems led me to studying psychology (not that common for an engineer 🙂 I guess). But I have never finished these studies. Why? Because I understood that my analytical approach towards the problem itself strengthens the problem. Simply I was thinking too much all of the time :). Depression and anxiety are all about emotions and I think we can’t work with them ONLY by means of thoughts. In my opinion CBT does not solve everything. It helps a lot but It doesn’t teach you how to BE with emotions. How to FEEL them. And they are faster than any consious thought that can appear in your mind. In my case I understood that everything is fine with my thinking. The problem was my feeling. That was when I started meditating several years back and when I understood that I need to get back my connection with emotions. The emotions are signals from the body so basically I was searching and exploring ways to get back in touch with my body. Excercises and yoga helped for sure and meditation even more.

    (safety comment for anyone else reading this:

    Don’t start mediating during any episode of mental illness!)

    I got through many psychological books on different approaches of psychotherapy. I did CBT and then I did MBSR program where I first discovered mindfulness. My MBSR teacher was/is a Gestalt psychologist and I started working with her. And this was a breakthrough. Not because of the Gestalt approach (a bit) but because of the other method she used and investigated. The Alexander Lowen method. I don’t know if you heard about him but if you read “Man’s Search for Meaning” then his book “Fear of life” is for me like two steps deeper on the topic. It touches I think the most important aspects of life. You might want to start reading Lowen with the “Joy” book that teaches in more practical ways what to do to get rid of most mental problems and what’s the reason behind them. I’m far from saying that Lowen is right all of the time and that he gives a magical method but I wanted to say that it helps being openminded and focused when reading this book. Thanks to both books and practical excercises I learned to feel one more time. I started learning how to cry, how to be angry in a proper way and how to find back my way to being a child, where most of the joy is. It’s a process and I’ll be learning all my life but in my case it was a breakthrough. He talks about the “Leap of faith” that I think is common to all religions. Jon Kabat-Zinn comes to my mind in this moment :)) with his book “Full catastrophe living: how to cope with stress, pain and illness using mindfulness meditation.”… This came to my mind when you said about the moment when you recived DNA results and you said that you suprisingly felt much better :). Accepting Life and Death is I think liberating.

    Last thing. I was always suprised that all western world talks only about temperament models build on top of the western civilisation. The Greeks, the Jung’s Myer Briggs, the Big Five and so on.. When I discovered yoga, that lets me reconnect my body with my mind (especially vinyasa and jin yoga not hatha), I discovered the eastern model of temperament called doshas. What is very fascinating about it is that is a dynamic model. I was wondering if you have ever investigated into this matter especially because the model is connected with specific diet. Would be good to hear your thoughts on it if you encountered it before and maybe experimented with the diet? I bet that you are pitta :).

    [Moderator: additional text and link removed.]

    Ok that was long :)..Hope this helps..

    Warmest Regards

    1. That was a quality comment! Thanks for sharing and reminding all of us to drop into our body especially to supplement getting over our mental “barriers”

  5. Is it here that we can post questions for voting? My thing is, I am an introvert, but not until recently I realized how this makes my life hard when I am in a new environment where socialization depends mostly on me. I am talking about friendship, business contact and, of course, romance. I did already search for books on the issue but found nothing that seemed relevant. Would you know any material to recommend for introverts in need of social skills? Thanks!

  6. Hi Tim- Love your work! Have you ever bought a business? I know you espouse business ‘creation’ from scratch, but a lot of us can’t get going and look to sites like Flippa, BizBuySell to find seasoned (accessible) business folks to start. Owning a profitable business will help get one out of the rat race. Advice? Where do you start? -Will

    1. Will, I know several people, myself included, that leaned heavily on the wisdom of Richard Parker and his book “DIOMO: Buy a Good Business at a Great Price” – it’s part how to, part psychology, part cheerleader. Eleven years into my purchased business, I remain greatful I found this book.

      1. Mort- LOL! Since my post I downloaded Richard Parker’s material and find it fascinating. May I ask what type of business you purchased? Online/Offline? Interested in selling it?

  7. Those little bullets in your email newsletter pulled me in, each subject felt extremely relevant, I’m about to listen to the audio but Just want to thank you for always sharing valuable insight 🙂

  8. I’ve not listened to this yet. But, I just read that you mentioned you are/have bipolar.

    Thankyou brother!

    Ive been riding the roller coaster of bipolar (mostly debilitating depression) for the last 22+ yrs (I’m 36) and to now have more and more people talking about it openly and hopefully jointly creating methods that can help manage it the better. So Thankyou for being another one on us standing up.

    I have lost a lot of friends over the last few years. All of them geniuses and have come very close myself so many times I’ve lost count.

    Currently in Ubud Bali doing further work before an India trip this year.

    I’m starting a pod cast in the next month myself covering lots of this.

    Thanks Tim (I doubt you read this but at least putting it out there)

  9. Thanks so much for sharing as always. I’m curious if anyone here has an opinion on the delivery method for Lithium Orotate. Is there a big difference between pill and liquid?

  10. Hello hello, I’m a big fan of excellence and that’s what you’re all about.

    Suggestion/ Imploration:

    In my eyes and ears, Keith Jarrett is the world’s greatest pianist. He was born with absolute pitch and has been performing professionally around the world since age 5. He has played in many Jazz groups and performed classical piano concertos all over the world. After working with Miles Davis, he began playing free form solo piano concerts in the 70s. Each of these concerts are 100% improvised. There are over 100 of these concerts on record with the most recent being at a sold out Carnegie Hall. Language can not equate to what happens at these concerts – he is an unparalleled master. Keith is 72 years old at the moment and if possible, I would love to see him on your show/ podcast. I’ve listened to dozens of his interviews and he speaks the truth. He is an intense person and would be an excellent guest. I would suggest to/ implore you to have him on your show and discuss his tenants of excellence as well as the world of free- improvisation. Music comes from awareness and his eyes are wide open.



  11. Hey Tim,

    Thanks for your consistent contributions you make to other people’s lives without knowing how much it truly helps. I’ve been a long time follower since reading your first book in high school.

    I do have a question since following your five bullet Friday: as a very busy person, how do you find time to still discover the many things you weekly do in five bullet Friday? Do you set time in your schedule? What’s the process to being exposed to so many new things and new ideas?

    Thanks so much!

  12. Tim, a while ago, you asked for suggestions for female guests. I think Carolyn Porco, would be an excellent choice. She is an American planetary scientist who is known for work in the exploration of the Voyager missions to Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune. She led the imaging science team on the Cassini mission.

    Carolyn has given two popular lectures at TED and the opening speech for Pangea Day, where she described the cosmic context for human existence. Carolyn Porco has won a number of awards and honors for her contributions to science and the public sphere. In 2010, she was awarded the Carl Sagan Medal, presented by the American Astronomical Society for Excellence in the Communication of Science to the Public.

    I can’t express how much value that I find in your efforts to make the world a better place by sharing your knowledge and honest inner reflection.

  13. Tim,

    A large south east Asian population (people from South India, Srilanka, Malasia, Singapore, Korea, South China & Japan) relies on rice as their daily food for over 100 years, as rice is their major cultivable food. Average life expectancy is a healthy 75 – 90 range. Many of them do have rice as their food of choice atleast 2 times a day even today.

    That means they are eating a high carb diet & without being obese (that you hear about in the States). However you are a strong proponent of slow carb diet. How could you explain this contradiction ? Does high carb diet work on particular ‘genes’ found on humans from south east Asia ? Sorry if you had answered this before. I am recent listener to your pod casts. Let me know your thoughts.

  14. Hey Tim, have you ever considered interviewing Simon Sinek on your podcast? I would be very interested to hear his answers to the types of questions you typically ask.

  15. Tim,

    What is your take on the “open door” Stoic stance on suicide? It seemed to me that it condones suicide as long as you have a “good reason.” Who can’t find lots of reasons? Maybe a deeper explanation of what they mean by “good” would clear it up for me.

  16. This comment is regarding your episode this week on tips for branding (couldn’t find where else to post this on your site…) I found it so useful so I wish to see more of such episodes more often! I’m the type of listener you described that listens every once in a while, but if you were to offer shorter episodes such as this 30 minute one, just of advice giving, then I’d be sure to listen to more often! (I’m subscribed to over 20 podcasts so your usual interviews of over 1.5 hours don’t make it to the top of the list, unless I’m a fan of the person you’re interviewing which is rare!)

  17. ACV+Raw Honey Question

    The advise you offered for treating insomnia worked great for 2 months, then my body just stopped responding. Do short (or long) breaks from this routine re-set the body to improve efficacy? If so, how long would you recommend?

    It worked so well & I’m really bummed.

  18. Hi guys,

    there is a question asked in 9:19 about how to recognize if we are getting crazy with our ideas or just how to figur out if what we do is a BS. That could be added to Show Notes.



  19. I just saw the Ted talk video and did the fear setting.

    I didn’t specify for what, so it ended up for my life.

    Then I find observing and thinking about why I have these fears helped me find What I actually want for my life.

    “I want to be surrounded by the people I love and have good understanding of who I am and proud of it, .”

    Other things are merely the things I think it’s necessarily to make this happen but actually not.

    I also found writing really helps. It was easier than thinking to be observant which made easier to face my fears.

    Thank you so much.

  20. Hi Tim,

    I really would appreciate a special about how to strengthen the immune system during winter month. I am struggling with catching a cold every 2 month and I am sick of it. Unfortunately due to overwhelming information in the internet I wasn’t able to find an approach that helped me to stay healthy during the winter months. THX!

    Best Regards from Austria!


    1. Maybe every person needs a different strategy. However, I have been 6+ months without being sick and I’m always trying to stretch my previous records.

      It might sounds obvious, but I’ve noticed the following with me

      – Lack of sleep increases the chances of getting a cold (1-2 days it’s ok, but I make sure I recover afterwards)

      – When I feel tired / sleepy / low in energy, I take longer rests, sleep more

      – Eating less. Have you tried intermittent fasting?

      – Drinking plenty of water, 33 ml / body Kg

      – My Dr. suggested me to drink 2 spoons of flaxseed oil (or mix it in the muesli). I found a good one and I drink this (every other day) in the evenings as I read that the recovering effect is better during the night.

      – Cold showers when I wake up, at least 20 sec (the first 1,5 months was a bit of a challenge, then I got used to it, then I started to enjoy it – start with feet, legs, lower part of the arms before the rest; if I’m not feeling well, I take a hot shower instead)

      – Doing 2-3 times/week 1h of sports

      There are probably many other factors, like if you are unhappy or stressed with work, which I’ve not mentioned above but maybe also play a role.

      All in all, I bet that for me, the 2 top solutions are

      1. Listen to my body and when I feel tired / sleepy / low in energy, I REST, ie, I sleep more take things a bit easier for 1-2 days at least

      2. Cold showers

      Good luck! Greetings from Germany

  21. Tim,

    I wound up here from your how to contact you page. Unfortunately, the link to the podcast takes me to an Amazon error page, so I’m unsure of what you said about Apple Cider Vinegar.

    Well, I don’t know about ACV’s effect on insulin response. In 4HB, you mention that acetic acid is acidic acid, and mention how you used white and balsamic vinegar in your experimentation. I wonder if ACV with “the mother” might have had a more noticeable effect, given that it is a fermented food? It would seem if not, it might still be a good food to add in general for fat loss.

    1. Hi, David –

      Thank you for your comment. After some investigation, we’re still not sure which link you meant that was taking you to an Amazon error page.

      To find out more about what Tim said about Apple Cider Vinegar, you might find the transcript of this episode helpful. It can be found at https://tim.blog/2018/02/02/the-tim-ferriss-show-transcripts-favorite-books-supplements-simple-technologies-and-more/.

      You can also enter “apple cider vinegar” in the search field at the top, right, of the blog to see what else Tim says about it.


      Team Tim Ferriss