Welcome to the United States of Anxiety with Jen Lancaster; Hosted by Stacey Ballis | Dec 16

Dec 16 | 6p C | REGISTER HERE

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“Armed with wit and insight, [Lancaster] plots a simple, easy-to-follow course to navigate our anxieties and better manage our levels of stress… this is sound advice we all should heed.” —Kirkus Reviews

“Lancaster humorously considers the role of anxiety in American life in a delightful and perceptive book packed with tips on how to relax. Lancaster is very funny, and her insightful, always entertaining critique may motivate readers to back away from social media.” —Publishers Weekly

America was already one of the most anxiety-ridden countries in the world, then COVID-19 came on the scene. It’s not surprising that people’s feelings of anxiety and depression haven risen exponentially during this unprecedented pandemic – but people are also coming together and sharing ways to ease that anxiety, whether it be meditation, regularly scheduled virtual hangouts, exercise, journaling, escaping into a book, and more. Another thing we can all use now is a bit of perspective and humor.

New York Times bestselling author and comedian, Jen Lancaster, is no stranger to anxiety—she has been diagnosed with Generalized Anxiety Disorder and still has nightmares about her waitressing job from college—and she realizes that the world around her is just as stressed out as she is. Welcome to the United States of Anxiety: Observations from a Reforming Neurotic is Lancaster’s meditation on the state of the world and why it routinely feels like the end of days. To be fair, there are a lot of things to be on edge about: a global pandemic, for one, but even pre-pandemic there was climate change, the glamorous but fake lifestyles promoted on social media, political divisiveness, and how medical science keeps discovering new things that can kill us, to name a few. But by using renowned psychologist Abraham Maslow’s hierarchy of needs as a guide, the book takes a comedic tour through our modern world, tackling today’s hot button issues like body image, parent shaming, gun violence, privilege, and more, unearthing their origins and examining their development through today. Lancaster’s incisive, yet hilarious musings draw from extensive research, as well as her own experiences growing up in the ‘70s and ‘80s as a member of GenX, and expand to encompass her more recent encounters with Millennials who have opened her eyes to their unique perspective on the world.

A sharp and witty piece of observational comedy, Welcome to the United States of Anxiety is a departure from Lancaster’s usual light fare, steeped in research and addressing issues that affect millions of Americans. But it’s not without her blunt, relatable humor that fans have come to know and love. Society may be broken, but we can fix it! Admitting that things might look grim, Lancaster refuses to accept that they are beyond repair and offers up timely, comforting advice. A welcomed distraction during this uncertain time.


Jen Lancaster is the New York Times bestselling author of the novels Here I Go Again and The Gatekeepers; the nonfiction works Bitter Is the New Black, The Tao of Martha, Such a Pretty Fat, and Bright Lights, Big Ass; and the memoirs Stories I’d Tell in Bars, Generation X, My Fair Lazy, Pretty in Plaid, and I Regret Nothing, which was named an Amazon Best Book of the Year. Regularly a finalist in the Goodreads Choice Awards, Jen has sold well over a million books documenting her attempts to shape up, grow up, and have it all—sometimes with disastrous results. She’s also been seen on the Today show, as well as CBS This Morning, Fox News, and NPR’s All Things Considered, among others. She lives in the Chicago suburbs with her husband and her many ill-behaved pets.


Stacey Ballis is the author of ten novels including, OFF THE MENU, OUT TO LUNCH, RECIPE FOR DISASTER, WEDDING GIRL, and HOW TO CHANGE A LIFE as well as a digital cookbook, BIG DELICIOUS LIFE.

Her non-fiction essays have appeared in several anthologies, and her food writings and recipes have appeared in Food & Wine Magazine, Eating Well Magazine, The Chicago Tribune, Bake From Scratch Magazine, Plate Magazine, MyRecipes.com, ExtraCrispy.com, TheTakeout.com, AllRecipes.com, and a recipe of hers was adapted for use in The New York Times.  She was the recipe developer and culinary consultant for The Self-Care Cookbook by Frank Ardito. 

Stacey lives in Chicago with her husband and is currently at work on a new full-length work of fiction.

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