Book Reviews Mental Health and Wellbeing

Shake It Off! by Rafael Santandreu – Book Review

AD | I was kindly gifted this book by the publisher in exchange for a review. All opinions are honest and my ownThis post also contains affiliate links, which means if you purchase something through my link, I will earn a small commission. This does not affect the price you pay for the item. I only advertise products that I have used myself and would genuinely recommend.

I was recently offered a copy of Shake It Off by Rafael Santandreu in exchange for a review. On reading the press release for this book, my immediate thought was that it sounded so interesting and relevant to me! So of course, I accepted, and I was delighted to receive a PDF copy of this book.

The front cover of Shake It Off! by Rafael Santandreu

Who is Rafael Santandreu?

Rafael Santandreu is a renowned psychologist and author from Spain. His work includes heading two centres of psychotherapy in Madrid and Barcelona and he has written 4 bestselling books. Shake It Off! is the first of his books to be translated and published in English! Santandreu’s expertise is based on cognitive psychology and that is the main theme of this book.

What is Shake It Off! about?

Shake It Off! teaches us how to use cognitive, rational methods to improve our lives and achieve mental wellbeing. The premise is that by changing the way we think, we will get a more positive outlook on life and feel better. This is very much the premise of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (although Santandreu focuses mainly on the ‘cognitive’ rather than the ‘behavioural’ side of things) and it is one of the lessons I learned last year when I spent a little while studying CBT. It was great to read another book on this topic because it was good revision for me!

I had already come across a lot of the concepts in this book before. However, I learned some new things and got some useful ideas from this book. I have also noted down several quotes from it.

As I would expect with any ‘self-help’ book, certain chapters were more relevant and engaging to me than others. I think this is normal with self-help books because we all have different circumstances and issues. Other people would probably prefer different chapters. This is the kind of book that I could come back to and read again in the future, and I would get different things out of it, depending on my circumstances at the time.

Book review - Shake It Off! by Rafael Santandreu

Is Shake It Off! easy to read?

This book is very easy to read. As it explains in the first chapter, it is written for a mainstream audience and is meant to be easy to understand. Therefore for ease of reading, it leaves out scientific jargon and references to studies, but the author assures us that it is based on scientific studies and research.

This book is jam-packed with stories and anecdotes, some of which are lengthy and detailed. These include Santandreu’s personal experiences, accounts of his patients in therapy, ancient fables and fictional stories. I really like this because it demonstrates the author’s points in a relatable way, making the book example-based rather than just theory. The stories are also fun and engaging to read – in fact, Santandreu incorporates quite a lot of humour into this book.

The book is divided into fairly short chapters with additional subheadings within them. This makes it manageable to read. I like that each chapter ends with a summary of the main points learned in that chapter. This helps to reinforce the ideas and it is great if you are just skimming through the book to remind yourself of the key points.

The must-buy book that will boost your happiness

Would I recommend this book?

I would absolutely recommend Shake It Off! to anyone who needs a boost in their mental wellbeing. It would be especially useful for anyone struggling with mental health issues including anxiety or depression. However, I think that anyone could benefit from reading this book.

This is my favourite book I have read on the topic of cognitive therapy so far and therefore I would rate it 5 stars! I will be keeping this book to refer back to in the future, and I will definitely be applying some of Santandreu’s advice in my life. I am grateful that I had the opportunity to read this book and I will be looking out for more of Santandreu’s works.

If you like the sound of this book, you might also be interested in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy for Dummies by Rhena Branch and Rob Willson which I reviewed last year.

You can purchase Shake It Off! on Amazon in a paperback or Kindle version or check it out on Goodreads.

I would rate this book 5 out of 5!

5 stars
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Book Review - Shake It Off! by Rafael Santandreu


  1. This sounds really interesting!

    1. Sophie H says:

      It was 🙂

  2. Five stars! Thank you so much for this review – I don’t read self help books much (I listen to podcasts instead) as they are often so theoretical and dry. The inclusion of stories here seems like such a fun idea. Thanks again – I have saved your recommendation in Goodreads and hope I can find this book!

    1. Sophie H says:

      I agree with you that some self-help books can be dry and boring! But this one was definitely an exception because the stories made it fun. I hope you enjoy it if you do read this book!

  3. I haven’t heard of this book or the author. You have shared a great review. Thank you for sharing your opinions.

    1. Sophie H says:

      I hadn’t heard of the author either before I read this book! Thank you, I’m glad you liked the review.

  4. This sounds like a lovely book to read. I would love to change my mental outlook on things so I could be more positive in life. This would be so helpful and a fun read no doubt. Thank you for recommending it!

    1. Sophie H says:

      I hope you get a chance to read this book – it was a really enjoyable and helpful read 🙂

  5. I have seen a couple of friends make references to Shake It Off on their social media accounts, but I didn’t think much of it at the time. That being said, the fact that it kept coming up was starting to draw my attention. Then, to read this, I definitely am going to have to give this one a try! I try to read a new personal development book of some form each month, so I’m adding this one to the list.

    1. Sophie Harriet says:

      Maybe it’s a sign that you are meant to read this book! I definitely recommend it 🙂

  6. Five stars wow! I read a self help book that was kind of about marketing earlier in the year and it was really interesting. This one would be a good read for me in January!


    1. Sophie Harriet says:

      This was one of my favourite self-help books that I’ve read so far! The one you read about marketing sounds useful too.

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