Playing Dead

Playing Dead

How Meditation Brought Me Back to Life


'A wit and wisdom that harkens back to an age of enlightenment' – RON PERLMAN, HOLLYWOOD ACTOR

'A meditation guide from a man with a mind most unlikely to be conducive to meditation' – MANCHÁN MAGAN, WRITER AND BROADCASTER

'In this beautifully written story, Robert Sheehan shares his journey from chaos to stillness and how meditation can lead us to a place of connection and calm' – DEB DANA, AUTHOR OF ANCHORED

From Robert Sheehan, star of Misfits and The Umbrella Academy, and host of hit podcast The Earth Locker, comes a heartfelt journey to inner peace.

In Playing Dead, Robert Sheehan shares intimate reflections on his search for purpose, looking back at the adventures – and misadventures – of his life so far, and sharing the profoundly transformative lessons he has learnt along the way.

Meditation is at the heart of Robert's route to spiritual awakening. In Playing Dead he reveals the turbulence in his life that led him to seek calm and tranquility within. A beautiful, meandering memoir reflecting a rich tapestry of experience, uncovering how spirituality has become his anchor in the constant moving tide. Combining storytelling with letters, poetry, childhood memories and thoughtful musings on fame.

Through this compelling description of his quest for inner stillness, Robert shows us how we can welcome a practice of meditation into our own lives, with tools for soothing your nervous system and focusing a fretful mind. In a world where our attention is constantly up for grabs, Playing Dead shows how we can give our souls the deep rest we crave.


  • To spend any time immersing oneself in the ruminations of Robert Sheehan is to experience a wit and wisdom that harkens back to an age of enlightenment, all too rarely seen in modern times. Do yourself a giant favour; immerse yourself!
    Ron Perlman, Hollywood actor

About the author

Robert Sheehan

Robert Sheehan is a celebrated actor, podcaster and author. He is renowned for his breakout role in hit TV show Misfits and ongoing role in award-winning show The Umbrella Academy. As co-host of The Earth Locker podcast, Robert enjoys exploring the universals of the human condition and what it means to live a better life. He is the author of short story collection Disappearing Act and upcoming memoir Playing Dead.
Learn More

Sign up to the Penguin Newsletter

For the latest books, recommendations, author interviews and more