Lillian Wilson

Healthy No Matter What by Alex Jadad

An empowering manifesto for reclaiming control over one's health, regardless their age or life circumstances.

Healthy No Matter What
“If you care about your health or the well-being of others, read this book.” 
– Ethan Kross, author of ’Chatter’

In a world where health and well-being have been narrowly defined by the absence of disease, ‘Healthy No Matter What’ by Alex Jadad and Tamen Jadad-Garcia emerges as a powerful beacon of change. This transformative book challenges the conventional notions of health.

As we dive into this review, we will explore how the authors present a fresh perspective on health, one that empowers individuals to thrive and find contentment regardless of their circumstances.

About the authors

Alex Jadad, MD DPhil FRCPC FCAHS FRSA LLD, is a physician, educator, researcher and author.

Alex Jadad (r)

He has played a pioneering role in evidence-based medicine and digital health, having created the widely utilised Jadad scale for assessing clinical trial quality on a global scale. Alex is deeply involved in shaping the future of health and medicine, advising heads of state and multinational corporations. He has an extensive literary portfolio, having authored twelve books and numerous scientific articles. Additionally, he has earned a Doctor of Philosophy degree from Balliol College, University of Oxford.

Tamen Jadad-Garcia is an accomplished author, contributing to scientific articles and books that cover diverse subjects, including end-of-life care, love, and the future of health.

Tamen Jadad-Garcia (r)

She obtained her honours degree in business management from King’s College London.

What is the book about?

‘Healthy No Matter What’ challenges conventional health beliefs and empowers readers to take charge of their well-being, regardless of their age or circumstances.

The book expands the notion of health beyond medical norms, exploring the impact of personal networks, environments, and social comparisons. Drawing from data and experiences from millions of people worldwide, the book reveals that achieving a healthy life is possible even in the presence of complex chronic conditions. The authors stress the dangers of considering oneself as unhealthy, underscoring the severe outcomes such perceptions may lead to. Instead, they advocate for embracing one’s inherent adaptability and providing practical guidance on monitoring and improving overall health in any situation.

By combining scientific evidence from various fields, the book presents a comprehensive guide for achieving well-being. It encourages readers to rely less on medical interventions and highlights the significance of factors outside the medical system.

Throughout the book, the Jadads provide tools to address health challenges effectively and offer insights into the risks associated with traditional medical approaches.

Table of contents

  • Introduction
  • Chapter 1: We Got It All Wrong
  • Chapter 2: How Are You Feeling?
  • Chapter 3: Adapt-Ability.
  • Chapter 4: The Toxic Stress Load
  • Chapter 5: You Are What You Think
  • Chapter 6: Spaces Matter
  • Chapter 7: Trust Your Gut
  • Chapter 8: The Company You Keep
  • Chapter 9: Getting Out of Your Own Way.
  • Chapter 10: When Is Enough Enough?
  • Chapter 11: Surviving the Medical Industrial Complex
  • Chapter 12: You Are a Formidable Marvel
  • Dedication
  • Acknowledgments
  • Notes
  • About the Authors

Key takeaways from ‘Healthy No Matter What’

1Conventional definition of health sets unrealistic standards

The first chapter of the book delves into the flaws of the conventional definition of health, which requires complete freedom from disease and perfect physical, mental, and social well-being. This unrealistic definition makes it almost impossible for anyone to be considered healthy. The book introduces a fresh perspective, suggesting that health should be seen as an ability and adaptability to various situations and times. By redefining health in this way, the book empowers individuals to make better choices and navigate the complexities of healthcare effectively. It encourages us to embrace a more practical and inclusive approach to well-being, regardless of our health conditions or circumstances. Ultimately, it is a call to revolutionise how we perceive and pursue health in the modern world.

2Adaptability allows us to thrive despite any challenges

The book emphasises that despite facing insurmountable challenges, it is possible to thrive and maintain positive health. Drawing from diverse examples, including survivors of war, natural disasters, and pandemics, the authors demonstrate the extraordinary adaptability inherent in humans. They reveal that adaptability is a powerful tool in dealing with adversity and that our ability to respond effectively to change is a key factor in maintaining overall well-being. The book encourages us to recognize our innate adaptability and use it to navigate life’s challenges, thereby fostering a sense of control and resilience in any situation.

3By being a proactive patient, you are more likely to recover and acquire better health

The role of a ‘good patient’ has evolved over time, moving from a passive, compliant approach to a more active and collaborative role. Patients who actively participate in their healthcare decisions, ask questions, seek second opinions, and maintain good communication with healthcare providers tend to experience better outcomes. Being proactive in managing one’s health and treatment, as well as engaging in deprescribing when necessary, can lead to improved overall well-being and a higher quality of life. Additionally, focusing on end-of-life care and embracing a holistic approach to health can lead to a more fulfilling and meaningful life until the very end. By taking charge of our health, making informed decisions, and fostering open communication with healthcare professionals, we can enhance our experiences within the medical system and improve our chances of leading a healthy and fulfilling life.

Overall rating & strengths and weaknesses, according to readers’ reviews

The book has gotten 3.5 ⭐️ on GoodReads.


  • Well-documented and supported findings that challenge conventional beliefs about health.

  • Provides practical tools and guidance to monitor and boost true health in any context.

  • Inspires hope and a sense of possibility for improving one’s health and well-being.

  • Evocative and poetic prose makes the reading process enjoyable.


  • Despite good intentions, the execution of the book can feel like a collection of open-ended ideas rather than coherent breakthrough wisdom.

  • The later chapters may lack the same depth and focus as the initial sections, leading to a rushed and disorganised conclusion.

Best quotes from ‘Healthy No Matter What’

“The ability of individuals or communities to adapt to the inevitable physical, mental, and social challenges faced throughout life.”
“What research on forest bathing tells us, consistently, is that this practice offers benefits that align with the reduction of our toxic stress load. Although the ideal amount of time appears to be 2 hours per month with expert guidance, it has been found that just standing in a forest setting for 15 minutes is enough to produce a significant reduction in anxiety when compared with the same amount of time spent watching a cityscape.”
“…90 percent of what people need to achieve or maintain positive health does not include medical interventions. However, on this occasion, lack of access to the healthcare system, even for those who did not have a medical problem, made it to the top five reasons given for negative levels of health.”

Final takeaway

‘Healthy No Matter What’ by Alex Jadad and Tamen Jadad-Garcia challenges traditional notions of health. It urges readers to redefine their understanding of well-being, emphasising adaptability and personal empowerment.

The book is a must-read for anyone seeking to take charge of their health and navigate the complexities of modern healthcare. Whether you are facing health challenges or simply striving to lead a contented life, ‘Healthy No Matter What’ provides valuable insights and tools for transformative self-discovery.

Where to buy

You may purchase ‘Healthy No Matter What’ on Amazon at the best price. It is available in hardcover, audio and Kindle versions, so you may choose an option that appeals to you the most.

Healthypedia FAQ

It encourages readers to view health as an ability to thrive in various situations and times, empowering them to make better choices and navigate healthcare effectively.

The book encourages readers to be proactive patients by actively participating in their healthcare decisions, seeking information, and fostering open communication with healthcare providers.

Absolutely! The book presents its findings in an accessible manner, making it suitable for readers from all walks of life, regardless of their medical knowledge.

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