Healthy No Matter What

How Humans Are Hardwired to Adapt

About the Book

A provocative manifesto that teaches you how to take control of your own health, no matter your age or circumstances—from an innovative doctor and his philosopher daughter

“If you care about your health or the well-being of others, read this book.”—Ethan Kross, author of Chatter

Dr. Alex Jadad is the creator of the Jadad scale, which has become the world’s most widely used methodology to assess the quality of clinical trials, and his daughter Tamen Jadad-Garcia is a health entrepreneur and philosopher. Here they combine their expertise to uncover the medical system’s unstable foundations, which condemn you to be ill. The Jadads begin this exploration with a simple question: “What is health?”

Through engaging stories and case studies, the Jadads expand the understanding of health beyond the medical industrial complex. They show how distant connections in your personal networks can influence key aspects of yourself, like your weight, anxiety, and addictions; how reliance on medications can be reduced by intentionally designing the places where you live, work, and play; and how comparisons with peers can shorten your life.

In this practical guide, the meaning of health is redefined, putting you in the driver’s seat and recognizing you as the most effective evaluator. Building on data and experiences from millions of people around the world, the book reveals that a healthy life is possible even with complex chronic conditions or terminal illnesses. The Jadads explain why perceiving yourself as unhealthy might actually be fatal, and how you can monitor your true health and boost it in practically any context, no matter your cultural background or socioeconomic circumstances.

With wisdom and empathy, Healthy No Matter What teaches you how your natural gift of adaptability equips you to overcome any obstacle, provides actionable pointers, and shows how and when to use the medical system, so that you can thrive, regardless of the twists and turns life may take.
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Praise for Healthy No Matter What

Healthy No Matter What is a remarkably integrative book that is brimming with hope and filled with science-based tools you can use to live a healthier life. If you care about your health or the well-being of others, read this book.”—Ethan Kross, author of Chatter: The Voice in Our Head, Why It Matters, and How to Harness It

“This book is a compass for rethinking health. But its unexpected gift is how it models new ways of thinking that extend far beyond the boundaries of health. The blending of the Jadads’ inspired voices brings together the rigor of science and the joy of storytelling, delivering a breakthrough set of frameworks that can enable all of us to be healthy: no matter what!”—Seth Goldenberg, author of Radical Curiosity: Questioning Commonly Held Beliefs to Imagine Flourishing Futures

“A brilliant and perspective-shifting read that challenges the status quo and opens us up to new and impactful possibilities and approaches to health.”—Daniel Kraft, MD, founder of Exponential Medicine at Singularity University and NextMed Health

“An essential and fundamentally hopeful guide to living healthy lives by skillfully adapting to our uncertain times, this practical book recasts health as our ability to adapt, offers compelling evidence of its incredible power, and describes things we can do every day to thrive in health by adapting to whatever may come.”—Victor Montori, MD, professor at Mayo Clinic, author of Why We Revolt: A Patient Revolution for Careful and Kind Care

“An uplifting and inspiring book on what it means to live a long, healthy, and happy life.”—Yuri Quintana, PhD, chief of Division of Clinical Informatics and assistant professor of medicine, Harvard Medical School
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Healthy No Matter What


For thousands of years humans tried to fly by mimicking birds. They created all sorts of contraptions, most of which centered on the ability to flap wings. All along, they overlooked the other animals and plants that were gliding and floating around them without even having wings.

This obsessive focus on one approach is exactly what each of us has been doing to achieve a long and healthy life. We are following the wrong assumptions, oblivious to the tools that we have right in front of us and persistent despite the repeated failures.

The equivalent of flapping wings is eliminating disease. Fighting illnesses through medical interventions has been the persistent method used for millennia to achieve a healthy life. This approach has made success impossible. Even by regularly exercising, eating well, getting good sleep, and meditating, we are still only scratching the surface of the possibilities to achieve this goal.

In fact, through our studies on thousands of people, we have found that 90 percent of what people need to feel healthy is actually outside of the medical system. Yet our fixation leads us to offer medical solutions to most social and emotional problems. Someone who is lonely can easily end up with a prescription for depression.

Building on data and experiences from millions of people around the world, this book presents a view of what can make a healthy and long life possible, despite the presence of disease. It is a practical guide that condenses the best scientific knowledge and insights from medicine, psychology, and sociology, going from the microscopic to the colossal.

We also underscore that you are equipped with the versatility and the tools to overcome practically any obstacle that prevents you from being healthy. At the core of all this is your natural gift of adaptation. It combines a kind of superpower and a defense mechanism that have evolved over billions of years through a practically infinite amount of trial and error. This book introduces you to this ability and offers pointers for how to put it into action.

As you go through the book, we introduce you to your lesserknown senses and ask you questions that have a highly sophisticated predictive power, including one that could predict your prospects of living or losing 20 years of life.

We also give you words to decode, describe, and deal with practically any challenge to your health in a wide range of contexts, regardless of your cultural background or socioeconomic circumstances, all based on scientific evidence.

We will show you trees that heal, pills that are labeled as fake but still work, how big cities are the best places for living past 100 years old, and why making comparisons between you and your peers can kill you.

You will learn that as much as the traditional medical system can save lives, it can also be a hotbed of lethal threats. Recognizing that it offers 10 percent of what you need to feel healthy, we provide evidence about whether, how, and when to use it, while showing you how to get the best possible results and avoid being harmed. We will peek behind many curtains and give you access to places that are traditionally reserved for insiders.

To start, we want to bring you into an exclusive room where world leaders once gathered, unaware that they were playing a part in a greater story.

About the Author

Alex Jadad
Alex Jadad, MD, is a physician, philosopher, educator, and innovator. A pioneer of evidence-based medicine, end-of-life care, and digital health, he is the creator of the renowned Jadad scale. He leads large-scale efforts to shape the future of health and medicine, is an adviser to heads of state and multinational corporations, and is the author of twelve books and hundreds of scientific articles. More by Alex Jadad
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About the Author

Tamen Jadad-Garcia
Tamen Jadad-Garcia is an entrepreneur and philosopher who builds businesses and leads strategic projects with Fortune 500 companies in healthcare, consumer goods, and technology. She is the author of scientific articles and books on topics spanning end-of-life care, love, and the future of health. More by Tamen Jadad-Garcia
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