Explore our universal human need to feel good, to escape, or to feel high, and examine what these altered states look like in the brain. Plus discover the six pleasure principles that can provide you the most natural and long-lasting highs.
All creatures naturally seek pleasure and avoid pain. And when just feeling okay isn’t enough, people (and many animals as well) often seek or even crave something more—to feel high. For millions of years, humans have used alcohol, marijuana, and other drugs to help them feel better, elephants have sought out fermented fruit, and cats have rolled ecstatically in catnip. At the same time, people have found alternative highs without mood-altering substances, through the joy of natural activities such as play, creative expression, and bonding with others.
Drawing on current research and interviews with experts and everyday people, award-winning journalist Jodie Gould explores the universal need to feel good in High: The Guilt-Free Guide to Healthy Pleasure and Escape. Through this engaging read, we explore the history of how and why people have continued to find ways to expand their consciousness and the biology of getting high, including what these altered states look like in the brain. From there we learn why some people can use mood-altering chemicals with few consequences while others struggle with addiction.
At the heart of Gould’s provocative findings, she identifies six pleasure principles that show how anyone can experience the best and most lasting natural highs through the joy of:
• moving and playing
• connecting with other people
• finding purpose and meaning
• creative self-expression
• celebrating milestones
• and giving to others
High is your guide to experiencing the greatest high of all: Life itself!