Book notes: The High 5 Habit by Mel Robbins

The High 5 Habit by Mel Robbins book summary review and key ideas.

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The High 5 Habit: Take Control of Your Life with One Simple Habit by Mel Robbins


In her global phenomenon The 5 Second Rule, Mel Robbins taught millions of people around the world the five second secret to motivation. Now she’s back with another simple, proven tool you can use to take control of your life: The High 5 Habit.

Don’t let the title fool you. This isn’t a book about high-fiving everyone else in your life. You’re already doing that. Cheering for your favorite teams. Celebrating your friends. Supporting the people you love as they go after what they want in life.

Imagine if you gave that same love and encouragement to yourself. Or even better, you made it a daily habit.

You’d be unstoppable.

Using her signature science-backed wisdom, deeply personal stories, and the real-life results that The High 5 Habit is creating in people’s lives around the world (and you’ll meet a lot of them throughout this book), Mel will teach you how to make believing in yourself a habit so that you operate with the confidence that your goals and dreams demand.

The High 5 Habit is a simple yet profound tool that changes your attitude, your mindset, and your behavior. So be prepared to laugh and learn as you take steps to immediately boost your confidence, happiness, and results.” -Audible

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Opening thoughts:

I love Mel Robbins and the three other audiobooks I read from her. I’m excited to see what this one is all about but I’m sure I’m going to love it. If I had to take a guess, it’s probably going to cover something about habits, motivation, happiness, and success/achievement.

Key notes:

Chapter 1: you deserve a high five life

  • Giving herself a high five in the mirror was a simple act of kindness towards herself and she really needed it 
  • A high five is a transfer of energy and belief from one person to another
    • It’s a reminder of something you forgot
    • Every high 5 says “I believe in you”
  • The relationship you have with yourself is the foundation of every relationship you have in life

Chapter 2: science says this works

  • Research shows that a high 5 is a more effective motivator than verbal affirmations
    • It is a shared celebration with someone
    • You’re passing your energy and belief to them
  • Another research study shows that NBA teams who gave the most high-fives are more likely to go to the championships because of a higher level of trust and belief in each other
  • The best teams create psychological safety
    • That’s the feeling that other people have your back and cheer you on
    • It makes you more resilient and optimistic
    • It creates an atmosphere of trust and respect 
  • Your happiness at work is determined by whether or not you have a manager who cares about you
  • Another study showed that the number one predictor of how happy and satisfied you could be was self-acceptance
    • Meaning how kind you were to yourself and how much you cheered for yourself had a direct and proportionate effect on your happiness

Chapter 3: I have a few questions

  • First thing in the morning, be with yourself and your reflection
    • Really see yourself and see the soul of the person you’re looking at
    • Then, when you feel ready, high 5 yourself in the mirror
  • The high-fiving in the mirror is supposed to begin to build a new, positive association with your own image
  • Join the high 5 challenge at

Chapter 4: why do I torture myself?

  • If you deliberately change your actions or thoughts, you change your default way of thinking and acting
    • This deliberate change is called a neuroplastic response
  • When you focus on what you think is wrong with you, you will never change
  • Hating any aspect of yourself, whether it is your body, your past, or whatever, will not motivate you
    • Research shows that beating yourself up makes it harder to motivate yourself
  • The more you repeat your negative thoughts, the more evidence you’re going to see and find
    • The relationship you have with yourself either sets you free or keeps you trapped
  • High-fiving yourself in the mirror shows us that self-love is really about falling in love with the parts of yourself you’ve been trying to fix
  • We have three emotional needs: to be seen, heard, and loved

Chapter 5: am I broken? 

  • Negative thoughts fry your nervous system and take you down a negative spiral

Chapter 6: where’s all this negative crap coming from?

  • You need to learn how to clear out that negative residue and negative thinking out of your life every day
  • You can teach your mind to find the things you want to see by thinking about those things over and over
    • Only you can change your own mental programming
  • You’re the only one thinking about all of the mistakes you made in the past. Nobody else is
    • It’s creating these untrue, toxic beliefs about yourself that act like walls keeping you trapped in the past
  • If you think you have the power to create a bunch of messes in your life, that also means you have the power to create extraordinary things and outcomes
  • Change the way you look at the world and the world you look at changes
    • It’s that simple

Chapter 7: why am I suddenly seeing hearts everywhere

  • Be deliberate and tell your mind what you want it to think when you mess up

Chapter 8: why is life so easy for them and not me?

  • First, take a look at how you see success
    • Do you believe success, happiness, and love are in limited supply?
  • Once you accept that there is an unlimited supply of these things, it can give you the conviction to go after them yourself 
  • Jealousy is simply blocked desire
    • If you flip it, it becomes inspiration
    • Jealousy is a navigation tool or indicator that shows what you really want
  • Your desires are your responsibility, not someone else’s

Chapter 9: isn’t it easier if I say nothing? 

  • Guilt doesn’t come externally but it is internal based on your values
  • People-pleasing is fine if that’s what you truly want to do
    • But it becomes detrimental when it is against your own needs
    • People-pleasing isn’t about other people, it is about your insecurities
  • If you struggle with guilt, ask yourself this question: am I using the guilt to motivate me to do better, or is it just making me feel bad?
  • The first loyalty you have is to yourself
    • And the faster you put yourself first, the faster other people will learn to do that for themselves too

Chapter 10: how about I start… Tomorrow?

  • Exercise: Write down every time you see a mile marker or signs that show you that you’re in the right direction heading toward your dreams
  • Having the courage to pursue your dreams is way more important than actually achieving them
    • The act of trying is what truly honors what’s inside you 

Chapter 11: but do you like me?

  • There’s a connection between fitting in and anxiety
    • This is because anxiety is caused by not knowing who you’re supposed to be
    • This makes you constantly question who you are and what you’re supposed to be doing
    • It’s no wonder why we don’t know how to be ourselves because we’ve been so indoctrinated to follow the social rules from when we were younger
  • It doesn’t really matter what other people think or say
    • What matters most is “do you like yourself?”
  • It’s impossible to not care about other people’s feelings, and it’s totally normal to do so, or else you’ll be narcissistic
  • However, you shouldn’t always listen to other people’s opinions
    • You need to learn how to honor your feelings more than anyone else’s
    • This is important because if you don’t value your own opinions, you will seek validation from other people’s opinions
  • Your relationship with you is the most important because if you feel secure in that relationship, you’ll feel secure in every other relationship you have
    • You’ll be able to draw boundaries but also ask for the love and support you need from others
  • Whatever your fears and insecurities are, you’ll project that into every conversation and interaction you have
  • Living a lie causes massive anxiety because you dread the day of reckoning when the truth comes out

Chapter 12: how come I screw everything up?

  • When things aren’t going your way, you have to tell yourself that something amazing is happening but you just can’t see it yet
  • When you are able to trust that all your hard work is leading you somewhere, you’ll be able to obtain the miracles in your life 
  • You have to believe that life has something so much better in store for you
    • It’s not all about achieving your original goal or dream but opening up the possibilities for even greater accomplishments

Chapter 13: can I actually handle this?

Chapter 14: OK, you may not want to read this chapter

  • Your goals and dreams don’t disappear, they haunt you
  • In order to make visualization work, you need to visualize yourself doing the small, hard, annoying steps along the way to reaching your dreams
  • Story: She held onto this dream of owning a Vermont landscape painting for 11 years and it magically became a reality

Chapter 15: eventually, it will all make sense

  • The high 5 habit has taught her this most valuable lesson: you are your own beacon

Wait, Wait… There’s More!

  • A high 5 morning is where you prioritize yourself and put your needs first
  • In the morning, give yourself a gift by making your bed

Readers note: This is a good reference to the book Make Your Bed by William McRaven

  • Putting yourself first means committing to and doing what you say you’re going to do
  • Writing down your thoughts and goals in the morning rewires your brain to focus on them and orient yourself to get them

Closing thoughts:

Such an amazing book! Mel Robbins does it again. I must have listened to 3 to 4 of her works so far, and they’ve all been some of my top favorites. This one was no different.

Mel hits so many great topics in this book, most notably self-love/self-acceptance. I think this is so important when considering the relationships we have with others, as well as our own level of motivation and ability to achieve the things we want.

Ultimately, Mel is saying that we need to rewire our brains to love and support ourselves. To accept ourselves with our own faults and shortcomings, and take small steps every day towards what we truly want.

Another thing I love about Mel is on top of her delivering amazing content and insights, she also presents it in such a warm, caring, and easily digestible way. It really makes you feel like she cares and truly wants you to succeed. Like she mentions in the book, she’s rooting for you.

Overall, highly recommend this book and I absolutely loved it. It’s definitely on my list of books to revisit in the future as it contains timeless insight.

One Takeaway / Putting into practice:

The biggest takeaway for me is probably the main takeaway that the author wants the reader to take from this book:

  • The relationship you have with yourself is the foundation of every relationship you have in life

This point is so powerful and clear. If something feels off about any of your relationships, it’s because the foundation of your relationship with yourself is off. This is a huge reminder for me, and something I need to keep in mind. As I navigate my relationships with others, I need to always remember that they’re all just reflections of my relationship with myself. And if I’m not taking care of myself, my relationships will suffer.


Mel teaches us how to make believing in ourselves a habit so that we can thrive. Strengthening our relationship with ourselves will help improve our confidence, happiness, and results.

Similar books:


Rating: 4 out of 5.


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