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The Anxiety Project

Paperback / ISBN-13: 9781529421835

Price: £10.99

ON SALE: 23rd May 2024

Genre: Health & Personal Development

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“The most interesting Dutch writer of his generation” Herman Koch

“Vivid and moving. A marvellous hybrid of a book about one of the major contemporary causes of sickness and unhappiness. In it we recognise ourselves, our restlessness and insecurity” George Szirtes

Something inside will not let me be . . .

Daan Heerma van Voss is not just anxious. According to tests on the cortisone levels in his hair, he is seventy-four times as anxious as the average person. And that makes him hard to live with.

When another relationship is broken by his crippling fears, the only way to cope is to get to the roots of his condition. But he also wants to dig deeper and tackle the big questions. Why are 264 million people worldwide suffering from anxiety, and why is this number growing every day? Is it hereditary? Is there a link with creativity? And how can you love when you’re living in a constant state of fear?

In his quest for answers, he takes us on a profoundly moving journey from his apartment in Amsterdam to France, Jakarta and San Francisco. Along the way we’ll meet philosophers, artists, writers and other fascinating individuals from around the world. But this is also a journey through literature, the classics, the history of anxiety and the science behind it.

Timely, learned and heartfelt, The Anxiety Project fuses the sharp musings of a curious mind with a raw and honest dissection of a relationship undercut by fear. It will appeal to anyone trying to remain calm on our very nervous planet.

Translated from the Dutch by David Doherty


Like a modern-day Hercules, Daan Heerma van Voss takes up arms against anxiety, and manages to defeat it by synthesising studies and data, and forging them into a powerful personal story. A thrilling journey though philosophers, artists, super heroes, experts and patients, written in his distinct and brutally honest voice
A fascinating journey through time and space, and an intriguing combination of science, essay and memoir
Psychology Magazine
An honest and revealing book, in which Heerma van Voss searches for the roots of our modern fears. The result: confessional literature at its best, while never losing touch with broader societal matters
Original, sparkling, and often chilling
HP / De Tijd
Revealing and profound, and Herma Van Voss's voice as a novelist ties it together beautifully
De Limburger
This book deserves all the readers in the world. A deeply personal portrait of how one lives with anxiety, coming deep from within. An intense and essential experience for many a reader
Abdelkader Benali
I am deeply impressed. Truly an encyclopaedia of the many ways fear and anxiety are rooted in modern Western culture
Marcel Möring
The Anxiety Project is a journey, both literal and literary . . . his account is both highly relatable . . . and fascinating
Sunday Business Post
For subjective insight The Anxiety Project is superb . . . If you want to know how it feels, or what it can do to quality of life and everyday functioning, [it] will tell you
Times Literary Supplement