“Every place you go on Earth, there is more nonsense.”
Ottessa Moshfegh, Homesick for Another World

Welcome to the MAGICAL OVERTHINKERS newsletter.

Hi! I’m Amanda.

And I’m an overthinker. I’m also a writer, linguist, podcaster, and the author of the nonfiction books Cultish: The Language of Fanaticism, Wordslut: A Feminist Guide to Taking Back the English Language, and the forthcoming The Age of Magical Overthinking: Notes on Modern Irrationality, out April 9, 2024. I’m a creator and host of the podcast, Sounds Like A Cult as well as the forthcoming Magical Overthinkers podcast. I write about language, power, human nature, and delusion; my reporting has appeared in The New York Times, Harper’s Bazaar, Marie Claire, Cosmopolitan, and more.

About this substack:

Are you a magical overthinker?

A thought spiraller, but also a dreamer? A person who’s curious about the mind—specifically, why we are the way we are right now?? Welcome to MAGICAL OVERTHINKERS club. I’m enchanted that you’re here.

MAGICAL OVERTHINKERS is a reader-supported newsletter about cults, delusion, books, mental health, and more. To receive new posts and support my work, consider becoming a paid subscriber.

Inspired by my forthcoming book THE AGE OF MAGICAL OVERTHINKING: Notes on Modern Irrationality, this newsletter is essentially the only place on the internet that keeps the buzz in my head at a decibel I can stand.

Stay up to date!

On Mondays, Wednesdays, and/or Fridays, the latest newsletter will land right in your inbox. Oh goodie, there’s so much good stuff coming your way.

On Mondays, both free and paid subscribers can expect a delicious mishmash of writing prompts, authorly Q&As, book tour news and other updates, merch giveaways, and a list of my weekly “cult faves” (books, podcasts, activities, etc.).

Then, there are *exclusive* CULT DAYS. For paid subscribers, I’m releasing serialized audiobook commentary for my book Cultish: The Language of Fanaticism. Each week, like a podcast, you’ll hear me read excerpts from the book and share juicy never-before-heard stories and analyses.

And of course, some days will be for MAGICAL OVERTHINKERS. Paid subscribers can expect essays (on topics from the AI apocalypse to aging), interviews with brilliant minds (buzzy novelists, fascinating folklorists, psychologists, and more), and behind-the-scenes looks at the new book: my book cover design process, interviews with my editor, special meet & greet opportunities along my book tour, more.

Meet fellow “magical overthinkers”

Join my latest “cult” ;) This newsletter is not just content, it’s also a community. You can connect with fellow lovers of books, linguistics, sociology, philosophy, pop culture, cults, and respectful discussion. A parasocial playground. Hope to see you “there.”

xo, Amanda Montell

To find out more about the company that provides the tech for this newsletter, visit Substack.com.


A newsletter about modern-day delusion: thought spirals, wild ambitions, cults, language, and more...


Amanda Montell 

Amanda Montell is the author of CULTISH, WORDSLUT, and THE AGE OF MAGICAL OVERTHINKING. She is a creator and host of the podcast, Sounds Like A Cult. Her hobbies include impractical languages, pets with human names, and mentally spiraling.