PostSecret: Confessions on Life, Death, and God by Frank Warren

Have you heard of PostSecret? I’m guessing most people have by now. It’s something Frank Warren started awhile ago by inviting people to send him an anonymous postcard sharing a secret. Simple enough idea, but he’s now received over 400,000 secrets and has won many awards for this idea. And I’m in love with it. This is why. In the mental health field, I’ve worked with so many people who have told me something that they’ve kept in for years and have later told me how good it felt just to say that thing out loud. How much of a relief it was. Warren has set up a system for people to do this and to do it creatively. Many people who mail in postcards to PostSecret make their postcards elaborate works of art and they are beautiful. Not just in the art, but in the message that they share.

Not only does PostSecret allow that person to get something off of their chest, to finally say something out loud, even if it is just to a total stranger (or to the whole world if it makes it into a book or on the website), but someone else may read that same postcard and say “wow, someone else feels the same way I do.” Next time you’re out at a bookstore or a library, pick up one of the PostSecret books and flip through it. I guarantee you that you’ll find at least one or two cards in there if not many more that you can relate to. Of course it’s something that you’d likely never tell another soul, but some of it is comforting to read. Some of it is also very uncomfortable to read. I have to admit that too. But even those that are uncomfortable to read, I have to commend that individual for finally having the courage to admit to their selves whatever it is they put on their postcard.

In Confessions on Life, Death, and God, Frank Warren shares with us postcards he has received based on faith, religion, spirituality, commitment, sexuality, etc. But I think faith is the main one of the above categories that is focused on. Not necessarily religious faith (though that’s focused on quite a bit) but faith in ourselves, in our partners, in each other, in our parents, in our jobs…you get the picture. There are some cards that made me smile, some that took my breath away, some that delivered a quick shock, some that lifted an eyebrow, some that made me really sad. Just like any PostSecret book. I wouldn’t rate this higher or lower than any other PostSecret book that I’ve read, but what I can tell you is that I’ve loved all of them. They’re amazing. And it’s an amazing project. You can find out more about PostSecret on their website. Here’s a few samples of postcards from this book:

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10 Responses

  1. I know about the website but I’ve never read it. It seems like an interesting concept. I’ve often wondered what I would put on the card…

  2. I adore Postsecret! I own the first book, but I haven’t gotten my hands on this one yet. A good friend of mine did her Masters degree in Composition and Rhetoric, and she wrote her thesis over Postsecret. Really interesting stuff.

    Thanks for the review and for sharing some of the cards!

  3. Oh, I definitely enjoy this website / weekly blog! I subscribe to it and each Sunday I laugh, I cry, I sigh and I nod…

    I keep wondering what the people I know (in person or online) would write.

  4. Amanda, It’s very interesting! I’ve thought about sending a card in before…I just may do it one of these days. It’s such a neat concept.

    Andi, Definitely check it out when you get the chance! It’s a fantastic one. That’s so cool that your friend did her thesis on Postsecret!! I bet it was awesome!

    Kathrin, Isn’t the website great? Kudos to Warren for starting it. I wonder the same thing 😉

  5. Chris, absolutely! And I second your kudos to Frank Warren.

  6. I got one of the Postsecret books a couple of years back, and I find that it’s always interesting to pick it up on a whim and turn to a random page. Depending on the mood, I always seem to see something different every time.

  7. What an interesting book. I definitely want to look at this one more closely.

  8. I visit the PostSecret website every week. Some of them are funny, some are sad, and yes, some hit a bit too close to home! I love seeing the creative ways people decorate the cards and present their message, too.

  9. I love PostSecret – I can never think of any secrets I have, so I’ve never sent in a postcard, but I think it’s fantastic that it exists. Such a great idea.

  10. I’ve flipped through the first book many times and I’ve read the occasional blog post, and I love the basic idea. I’m amazed at the creativity people manage to express in such a small postcard. Taken all together they are beautiful works of pop art that you can easily relate to. Yes, some are disturbing, but a lot are moving, or funny, or just weird. But always interesting.

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