In this honest, friendly, and shame-free guide, the creator of the award-winning YouTube channel How to ADHD shares the hard-won insights and practical strategies that have helped her survive, even thrive, in a world not built for her brain.
“The world of ADHD has been waiting for this book with bated breath for many years. If there’s a fairy godmother of our lot, it’s Jessica McCabe.”—Edward Hallowell, MD, coauthor of Driven to Distraction and ADHD 2.0
Forget “try harder.” When your brain works differently, you need to try different.
Diagnosed with ADHD at age twelve, Jessica struggled with a brain that she didn’t understand. She lost things constantly, couldn’t finish projects, and felt like she was putting more effort in than everyone around her while falling further and further behind. At thirty-two years old—broke, divorced, and living with her mom—Jessica decided to look more deeply into her ADHD challenges. She reached out to experts, devoured articles, and shared her discoveries on YouTube.
In How to ADHD, Jessica reveals the tools that have changed her life while offering an unflinching look at the realities of living with ADHD. The key to navigating a world not built for the neurodivergent brain, she discovered, isn’t to fix or fight against its natural tendencies but to understand and work with them. She explains how ADHD affects everyday life, covering executive function impairments, rejection sensitivity, difficulties with attention regulation, and more. You’ll also find ADHD-specific strategies for adapting your environment, routines, and systems, including:
• Boost the signal and decrease the noise. Facilitate focus by putting your goals where you can see them and fighting distractions with distractions. • Have less stuff to manage. Learn why you have trouble planning and prioritizing, and why doing more starts with doing less. • Build your “time wisdom.” Work backward when you plan, and track how long it actually takes you to do something. • Learn about your emotions. Understand how naming your emotions and letting yourself experience them can make them easier to regulate.
With quotes from Jessica’s online community, chapter summaries, and reading shortcuts designed for the neurodivergent reader, How to ADHD will help you recognize your strengths and challenges, tackle “bad brain days,” and be kinder to yourself in the process.
About the Author
Jessica McCabe is the creator, writer, and star of the award-winning, pioneering YouTube channel How to ADHD. Since its founding in 2015, How to ADHD has grown to over a million subscribers. The channel—widely respected by treatment providers, ADHD researchers, and especially the ADHD community—has become a trove of scientifically backed and experientially affirming information on how people with ADHD might work with their brains in a world not built for them. Her work has been featured by the New York Times, Washington Post, ADDitude Magazine, Today online, Upworthy, and more.
“The world of ADHD has been waiting for this book with bated breath for many years. If there’s a fairy godmother of our lot, it’s Jessica McCabe. She has a foolproof way of instilling hope, an uncanny intuition, and a preternatural understanding of the condition so misleadingly called ADHD. She turns pain into the wisdom and hard-earned joy you’ll find in this bountiful gift to us all.”—Edward Hallowell, MD, coauthor of Driven to Distraction and ADHD 2.0
“Jessica McCabe writes with honesty, intelligence and warmth about living and growing with ADHD. McCabe has created something that is more than a guide. This book is like the friend/coach/therapist you’ve always wanted to help you understand how to work with your unique brain, improve daily functioning skills, and love yourself in the process. I learned a lot from reading this book and will definitely be recommending it to colleagues and clients!”—Sharon Saline, PsyD, author of What Your ADHD Child Wishes You Knew and The ADHD Solution Deck
“How to ADHD is a must-read book. From the ADHD-friendly layout to practical tips that help readers feel comfortable in their own skin, Jessica McCabe delivers what they need to take their next leap in life. She is vulnerable, encouraging, and inspirational. But, most of all, she gets what it's like to live with a neurodivergent brain.”—Caroline Maguire, bestselling author of Why Will No One Play with Me?
“When it comes to ADHD, Jess has lived it, sweated it, cried it, studied it, and mastered it. Well, okay, it’s still a work in progress. But she’s learned a lot, often does great, and feels much better about it when things don’t work out. She’s here to share that hard-earned wisdom to make your journey smoother and to remind you that you’re in this together. Jessica McCabe is the ADHD friend that you need most.”—Ari Tuckman, PsyD, ADHD expert and author of four books on adult ADHD, including ADHD After Dark: Better Sex Life, Better Relationship
“How to ADHD is an intimate and charismatic guide to understanding someone with ADHD that has actually managed to hold my attention. I could feel the love with which it was written, and I laughed, cried, and had breakthroughs alongside Jessica as I was reading. I have no doubt that this guide will save many lives and help strengthen and improve relationships.”—Pina Varnel, creator of ADHD Alien and author of Feeling Like an ADHD Alien
“Jessica McCabe has once again proven why she’s the leading voice of modern ADHD education. How to ADHD is a masterful blend of science communication, life hacks, and raw vulnerability. If ADHD is your brain’s unique operating system, then this book is the ultimate user’s guide.”—Dani Donovan, ADHD creator and author of The Anti-Planner: How to Get Stuff Done When You Don't Feel Like It