Book Review – Back, After the Break by Osher Günsberg

by Osher Günsberg
Published by HarperCollins Genres: Biography & Autobiography, Celebrity & Popular Culture, Entertainment & Performing Arts, Humor, Mental Health, Personal Memoirs, Psychology, Rich & Famous, Topic

*Disclaimer: this post isn’t formatted as smoothly as I would like or at my usual standard…have no fear, my plugin needs updating (that’s what she said) and everything will be back to normal ASAP. The good news is that you have my 5 star review and a book that you should absolutely read …

Sometimes I’m all in for self development and healing and all that stuff. Sometimes, I hate it because it feels like I’m trying to do too much and putting too much pressure on myself to ‘improve’…what’s wrong with me the way I am right now boo? Yeah. I hear you. But right now…we need to be kind to each other and kind to ourselves. We need to support each other more than ever…so be prepared….for the self improvement stuff (which I read a while ago and have not been reviewing with my usual vigour – oh what isolation does!).

Osher Günsberg is the one person in the world I didn’t realise I needed to know more about. Once again, I’m late to the party. I did not know about Osher’s personal battles, or even that he had an amazing podcast (Better Than Yesterday) focused on mental health and self improvement. I knew that I loved Osher. He had a familiar, smiling face, that always appeared friendly and happy. I thought he was attractive with a strong jawline and confident approach. Osher’s biography, Back, After the Break shows that there is so much more than meets the eye.

My history with Osher started with Australian Idol, back then he was Andrew G and it was a great new reality tv show I loved to watch. I then suddenly knew him as Osher and hosting the Bachelor and Bachelorette. Always loveable, always soft. Of course there was a lot more I didn’t know about Osher and his journey. It’s dark and not as glamorous as one would expect. The world of ‘celebrity’, as I’ve learned, is not everything it’s made out to be. There are pressures, mostly put on oneself, to achieve and criticism. Heavy criticism.

It’s interesting and naive to think that Osher wouldn’t or couldn’t struggle and I know better now, with age, wisdom and several university degrees about the subject that mental illness and alcoholism don’t discriminate. You can be powerful, successful, admired and still be struggling on the inside.

I find it admirable when anyone shares their struggles with others, let alone writes a book and puts it out there for everyone to read and possibly criticise. Osher might not recognise this in himself, but his ability to be vulnerable, to share the parts of himself he is ashamed of, as well as his great achievements are what really makes him special and makes his story so wonderful to share. It’s like standing naked in front of a mirror, except the world, as well as yourself, are watching. It’s bloody scary and intimidating. It takes guts to tell everyone when you’ve fucked up, made mistakes and how you’ve overcome the obstacles. Osher, you’ve got some balls mate.

By the way, you didn’t ask me but I’m going to tell you, I would say his greatest achievements to date are his 10 years of sobriety, continued self awareness and ability and desire to help others. There is something to be said about a man that can own his own problems and face them them, dead on. It’s the definition of bravery in my book.

Osher openly talks about his anxiety, alcoholism and how these both affected his personal relationships and day to day life. Would you ever believe that Osher was afraid to leave his home or that he was scared of strangers??? Osher was also in New York during the September 11 attacks, which had a big effect on him at the time and thereafter. Osher also struggled with body image…which really surprised me because he has always looked great in my eyes. I don’t want to give too much away, so you’ll have to read for more, but importantly…

Osher isn’t blasé about the fact that achieving good mental health and self awareness is a daily, sometimes minute by minute effort. There is no quick fix, there is persistence. Like any goal, any achievement, good mental health takes practice and patience. He shares what’s worked for him – hint: exercise, journalling, gratitude, being surrounded by loved ones, as well as professional help. Again, I can’t stress how important his message and continuous journey is… for everyone.

So read the goddam book. While you’re at it, listen to his podcast…Better Than Yesterday, it’s amazing. I particularly love his weekly check ins and find him grounding and calming. Some of his interviews are fantastic too. Most of us have a little more time on our hands and time with Osher is time well spent.

YES its a 5 star review! Even that button won’t work for me right now (that’s what she said…).

Synopsis

Osher Gunsberg, one of Australia’s most loved celebrities, opens up in a powerful, dark, funny and heartwrenching memoir about life, love and living with mental illness. It’s hard to remember a time when Osher Gunsberg (or Andrew G as he was then) wasn’t on TV – he’s just always been there, looking at ease in the spotlight, beaming a big smile, with a questionable haircut. He was there hanging out with The Offspring backstage at the Warped Tour on Channel V; announcing to a national audience of three million people that Guy Sebastian was our first Australian Idol; and later capturing the heart of the nation by hosting every season of The Bachelor, The Bachelorette and now Bachelor in Paradise. But while everything looks great from the outside, the real picture has not always been quite so rosy. Osher has always known he’s different to most people. Struggling with anxiety, panic attacks and weight issues since he was young, he tried for years to drink away the anxiety and depression. He ended up unemployed, divorced, suicidal and certifiable on the other side of the world, yet somehow he managed to put the broken pieces of his mind back together and make a life for himself again. He lives with a mental illness – and he’s come to terms with it to live an authentic, rich and fulfilling life. A revealing, raw, funny and heartfelt memoir from one of Australia’s most well-known and well-liked celebrities.

About Osher Günsberg

Osher Günsberg is one of Australia’s most recognisable media personalities and has been a guest in the living rooms of Australian’s for nearly 2 decades.
From his work on Channel [V] in the early 2000’s to seven seasons on Australian Idol, Osher was the first Australian to host live network prime time TV in the USA on Live To Dance (CBS). Currently, Osher hosts three formats within The Bachelor franchise – The Bachelor Australia, The Bachelorette Australia and Bachelor in Paradise, and is the narrator of Bondi Rescue (all Network 10). This year saw Osher’s return to live TV where he hosted season 1 of the smash-hit show, The Masked Singer Australia (Network 10).
The release of his memoir, Back, After the Break (HarperCollins Australia) became an instant best-seller and detailed Osher’s powerful, dark, funny and heart wrenching story about life, love and living with mental illness. It was nominated for a 2019 ABIA for Best Biography Book of the Year and a LIVE show of the same name was produced and toured Australia, selling out nationally.
Osher’s roots in media began in radio in 1994 at Brisbane’s B105 on the overnight shift. He rapidly moved to a national audience with Take 40 Australia and The Hot Hits Live from LA, and years later returned to radio to co-host Hit105’s Stav, Abby & Matt with Osher breakfast show for Southern Cross Austereo, and Osher’s Love Line nationally on the HIT Network.
An early adopter of independent digital broadcasting, Osher has written, produced and hosted several podcasts. His interview podcast Better than Yesterday with The Osher Günsberg (previously The Osher Günsberg Podcast) has been published weekly since 2013 and has over 4.3 million downloads. The show now releases two episodes per week, was a finalist in the 2018 Australian Podcast Awards (Storytelling category) and selected episodes are available on Qantas Inflight Entertainment. In 2017 Osher hosted Tall Tales & True series 3 (ABC podcast) and Love Life with Leanne Hall (Mamamia network). In late 2019 Osher teamed up with Charlie Clausen to create DadPod, a weekly podcast from the duo sharing their experiences around fatherhood.
A man of his word, Osher said he would never be photographed with his shirt off unless it was for the cover of Men’s Health Australia. In August 2018, he did just that when he graced the cover revealing his Men’s Health Transformation cover. He moved his body to heal his mind and was happy to take the aesthetic benefits with it.
Osher served on the board of SANE Australia as a director from 2016 – 2019, in an effort to help change attitudes in our society about complex mental illness. Osher was previously an Ambassador for leading children’s charity The Shepherd Centre to help educate the public and help children who are born deaf or hearing impaired. A passionate photographer, cyclist, plant eater and coffee connoisseur, Osher lives in Sydney with his wife, newborn son, step daughter and their mischievous cavoodles.