In the book, “Chicken Soup for the Girl’s Soul” by Irene Dunlap, Jack Canfield, Patty Hansen, and Mark Victor Hansen, it  has many inspiring and true stories. It is also very sad that it could make people want to become better people. Some crazy and interesting stories in the book include cancer,falling in love,not knowing what to do,losing all of your friends, switching schools, having many disabilities, suicidal thoughts, or even being poor add them all up and you have a very valuable and heart touching story.  

The definition of depression to me is feelings of severe despondency and dejection.  For example, when Susie has really severe depression because she gets bullied. Also when Louis commits suicide because he was really depressed. All of the depression that goes on in the book “Chicken Soup for the Girl’s Soul” makes the story more memorable because it leaves me feeling really sad that all of this is happening and that depression is really a bad thing that nobody deserves. Depression makes the book “Chicken Soup for the Girl’s Soul” much more humane, realistic, and well, hits home. 

The simplicity and rawness of experiences that are documented in the book constantly remind us that this could us, or you, or me, or your neighbor. This is just as real as any other debilitating physical illness and is just as destructive and severe. 

I began reading Chicken Soup for the Soul at a very tender and impactful age – 13. It is an age where everything seems much more than it is and a sense of lostness and hopelessness seems to linger on your head about daily things in life. 

As someone who was clinically depressed at this age as well, Chicken Soup for the Soul kind of saved me. The idea that I was not alone in feeling this terrible, lonely, and scared helped me look forward to a better future. To a healthier, older, wiser, and happier Riya because everyone’s story ended with a glimpse of hope and peace.

The stories would dive deep into the dark and sorrowful experiences and along the way shape the path towards light, joy, and acceptance. Reading these stories made me feel that everything just might get better when I am older, and if not better, it will definitely get easier.

I believe everyone should read Chicken Soup for the Soul once in their lives to receive perspective about the same situation or topic in life from diverse people with diverse shortcomings and factors; this experience of learning and knowing is crucial in developing a stronger sense of empathy, acceptance, and gratitude.

Today, it has more than 250 books in every conceivable category—from relationships to food, health, career and spirituality—with titles such as Chicken Soup For The Grandparent’s Soul, The Dog Lover’s Soul, The Writer’s Soul, The Teacher’s Soul, The Coffee Lover’s Soul, The Gardener’s Soul, etc. Further, owing to their enduring popularity, the books have been translated into 43 languages, rendering their reach and relevance truly universal. Published in more than 100 countries, they have sold more than 500 million copies worldwide—making it one of the world’s best-known brands.

It is a sure-shot formula that can’t go wrong: simple, short true stories with a message that tug at one’s heartstrings. These stories are relatable and they show us that we are not alone. They help us understand the consequences of our actions and make better decisions. Each of these curated stories teaches us important lessons about how to be better human beings and conscientious global citizens. They give us hope in trying times, courage when we need it most, and a sense of belonging in an increasingly isolated world.  

And given that there’s something for everyone, the books make for the most appropriate gifts. We want to share Chicken Soup. We want to spread its message by gifting copies of the books, sharing our favourite stories with loved ones, or simply recommending the books. Perhaps that is why the book has remained popular for 25 years and has had such an impact. So much so that in 2007, USA Today named Chicken Soup For The Soul one of the five most memorable and impactful books of the past quarter century. In 2008, it became the bestselling trade paperback series in the history of publishing.

All nice things said and done, we could not conclude this article without addressing its perception and reliability in the Indian context. There is no doubt about the fact this book franchise was started by two white middle aged men, whose intentions were set right – to help people help other people feel better through their stories.

But many factors, over the course of years, have influenced much of the stories and narratives coming in for submissions. Besides the obvious fact that most stories would be from Western country residents with experiences set in a completely different culture than our South Asian culture.

For example, the fulfillment of individuality is a priority before fulfillment of communityhood in the Western culture; but it is quite the opposite in Indian culture. Such a simple yet fundamental difference only suggests that the freedom to choose and to express to one’s personal extent is also affected. 

Mentions about caste, classism, female foeticide, and more will not be found here. Something that India desperately needs to discuss and educate about.