We’re asking different writers, artists and others to share some of their current favorites. This week we feature picks from clinical psychologist Dr. Ali Mattu. He is a cognitive-behavioral therapist at the Columbia University Clinic for Anxiety and Related Disorders with expertise in social anxiety, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and hair-pulling disorder (trichotillomania). He worked to fight the stigma of mental illness and increase access to effective treatments during his time on the American Psychological Association’s Board of Directors, across multiple Society for the Teaching of Psychology Presidential Task Forces, and most recently on the New York State Psychological Association’s Executive Committee. Dr. Mattu credits Star Trek for giving his life purpose and he writes about the psychology of science fiction at Brain Knows Better in the hopes that it will help others develop a love for the brain and behavioral sciences. His story about dealing with the aftermath of his brother’s suicide won the 2013 Brass Crescent Award for Best Blog Post. Connect with Dr. Mattu through Twitter and check out his podcast, The Super Fantastic Nerd Hour.
1. Ms. Marvel (2014) #1
Kamala Khan, a teenage Pakistani-American girl from New Jersey, is the new Ms. Marvel. What makes the debut issue so awesome isn’t Kamala’s diversity, but how writer G. Willow Wilson captures universal experiences of feeling different and wanting to be accepted for who you are.
2. Salaam, Love: American Muslim Men on Love, Sex, and Intimacy, edited by Ayesha Mattu and Nura Maznavi
The editors of the acclaimed Love, InshAllah just released their second book — Salaam, Love. It’s an honest look at love, culture, and faith by secular and orthodox Muslim males. I love how the anthology demonstrates that men are also emotional beings looking for ways to connect with the people they care deeply about.
3. All things Kumail Nanjiani
4. Inge Missmahl: Bringing peace to the minds of Afghanistan
Inge Missmahl is a therapist who’s building Afghanistan’s network of mental health services. Her work deserves wider attention and greater support.
5. The Arkham Sessions
Dr. Andrea Letamendi and Brian Ward host a podcast diving into the psychology behind every episode of the greatest cartoon ever made — Batman: The Animated Series.
6. Something Terrible by Dean Trippe
Dean Trippe’s autobiographic graphic novel about being sexually abused as a child, feeling suicidal, and how geek culture saved his life.
7. Matt the Electrician — “Facebook Friend”
This is a song about nostalgia and regret in a world where our past collides with our digital present. These lyrics always make me cry:
I want to slow dance but I’m holding up the wall
This is my one chance and I can’t move
She is right in front of me and they are playing our song
But she doesn’t know me so it’s only my song