TRUE STORY

The Healing Power of Yellowstone: My Binge-Watching Experience

A Personal Journey Full of Inspirational Quotes

Annie Trevaskis
4 min readSep 6, 2023

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Montana scenery: mountains, clouds, forest
Montana Scenery. Photo by Lucas Parker on Unsplash

Yellowstone is a neo-Western starring Kevin Costner that follows the owners of the largest ranch in Montana. I recently managed to watch 47 episodes in ten days. I really ought to get out more.

I could blame Matt Haig. I have a copy of his Comfort Book, and I reached for it on a particularly low day and got this advice:

You don’t always have to do stuff. Or achieve stuff. You don’t have to spend your free time productively. You don’t have to be doing Tai Chi and DIY and bread-making. Sometimes you can just be and feel things and get through and eat crips and survive, and that is more than enough.

I am a doer. So, when I started to struggle with my latest failure, when anxiety and worry got the better of me, and when sleep became disturbed, I got busy doing things. I did yoga and healthy eating, I started trying to think and act my way out of the mess I was in. I wrote goals and lists of what I needed to do. I was not going to give in, dammit. I was going to actively work my way back to a better place. It didn’t work.

So, when I read Matt Haig’s advice, I burst into tears and decided to try surrender instead. I gave up trying to fix things and took to the sofa with crisps [US translation: Chips] and chocolate and started watching Yellowstone.

The story gripped me, the scenery soothed me, and a few key quotes helped to shift things.

I am and was in the middle of my latest failure. This one really takes the biscuit. Here is a taster:

A screenshot of a draft Medium article entitled: The Mistake That Cost Me £250K. There is a photo of mixed Scrabble tiles and fridge magnets that reads: You lost HOW much?
Screenshot by Author

I know you haven’t had the whole story yet, but given the scale of loss, I think you can probably imagine how a degree of shame may be part of the mix.

So when one cowboy spoke to another in Yellowstone and said this . . .

It’s the shame that hurts the most you know. But shame . . . it’s in the mind. And you can turn that button off whenever you want to.

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Annie Trevaskis

I came, I wrote, I conquered. That last bit might not be true, but at least I am putting up a good fight.