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Review of The Ultimate Self-Care Playbook with Jonathan Van Ness on Skillshare

Are you interested in starting your self-care journey? In this review, we’ll have a look at Jonathan Van Ness’s Skillshare course to help you decide if it is right for you.

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The Ultimate Self-Care Playbook with Jonathan Van Ness on Skillshare: Our Verdict (2023)


4.5 / 5

Jonathan Van Ness's Skillshare course, "The Ultimate Self-Care Playbook," offers a holistic journey into self-discovery and nurturing. Van Ness, known for grooming expertise, brings humor and vulnerability, making the course engaging. The content covers grooming, emotional well-being, and crafting a self-care planner. While some topics receive brief treatment, the course's strengths include interactivity, practical tips, and adaptability to diverse learning styles. Van Ness's emphasis on intersectional self-care makes it a valuable resource, providing participants with actionable steps for a renewed sense of well-being.


  • Engaging instructor
  • Fun and interactive variety of lessons


  • Could go more in-depth on certain topics
  • Overemphasis on instructor’s personal stories


Self-care has become an increasingly essential aspect of modern life, and Jonathan Van Ness, known for his expertise in grooming and self-care, offers a unique perspective in his Skillshare course, “The Ultimate Self-Care Playbook: Discover & Nurture Your Centered Self.” In this comprehensive review, we will delve into the various facets of the course, examining its structure, the instructor’s approach, and its relevance to the target audience.

Table of Contents

About the Ultimate Self-Care Playbook

The Ultimate Self-Care Playbook” is designed to guide participants on a journey of self-discovery and nurture. It promises to provide a comprehensive toolkit for fostering self-care habits, enabling individuals to establish a deeper connection with themselves and find balance in their lives. The course is structured in a way that appeals to both beginners and those already familiar with self-care practices. The course clocks in at 1 hour and 21 minutes – about the average length for a Skillshare course – and is divided into 13 lessons.

Who is Jonathan Van Ness?

Jonathan Van Ness, a well-known figure in the self-care and grooming realm, brings his charismatic and relatable approach to this Skillshare course. As a grooming expert, author, and television personality, Van Ness infuses the course with his unique blend of humor, vulnerability, and genuine passion for self-care. You’ve probably seen him as a host on Queer Eye, or maybe you’ve listened to his podcast Getting Curious. His expertise and personal journey make him a credible and engaging instructor, providing a refreshing perspective on the concept of self-care.

the course instructor, Jonathan Van Ness
The course instructor, Jonathan Van Ness

Who is the target audience?

The course is designed for a broad audience encompassing individuals at various stages of their self-care journey. Whether you are a newcomer to the concept of self-care or someone looking to deepen your existing practices, Van Ness caters to both. The course accommodates diverse learning styles, making it suitable for those who prefer visual demonstrations, interactive exercises, and reflective practices.

What topics are covered in the course?

Lesson 1: Why Self Care?

Van Ness shares a personal journey with self-care, emphasizing its transformative impact on personal well-being and the ability to serve others. He acknowledges the overwhelming nature of self-care for beginners and stresses its diverse forms. The concept of creating a self-care planner is introduced, inspired by the instructor’s experience as a hairstylist. The planner serves as a tool for setting goals and intentions demonstrating self-worth through dedicated time and attention.

Lesson 2: Preparing Your Planner

In this lesson, Van Ness encourages participants to decorate their self-care planners through decoupage for a more engaging and visually appealing experience. They share insights into the organizational areas of their planner and guide the process of gluing down images, emphasizing the flexibility of personalization.

Lesson 3: Listening to Yourself

In this lesson, Van Ness introduces the importance of meditation as a tool for self-listening and lowering stress levels. He guides participants through a brief meditation, emphasizing observing thoughts without judgment. Van Ness shares his personal experience with fear of judgment and emphasizes the significance of acknowledging both positive and challenging aspects.

Lesson 4: Releasing Limiting Beliefs

In this lesson, Van Ness reflects on the breathing exercise and expresses a sense of expansiveness and readiness to explore releasing limiting beliefs. He introduces positive affirmations as a tool for challenging and changing limiting beliefs, emphasizing their impact on the mind and body.

Lesson 5: A Yoga Moment

In this segment, Van Ness discusses yoga as a union of breath and movement, emphasizing its grounding and healing effects. He guides the learner through a brief yoga practice with an emphasis on linking breath to movement. The instructor encourages the viewer to explore yoga as a practice to enhance self-awareness, reduce anxiety, and foster a deeper understanding of oneself.

Jonathan Van Ness guiding through various yoga poses to cultivate self-awareness
Van Ness takes us through various yoga poses to practice self-awareness.

Lesson 6: Developing Your Routine

Here, Van Ness focuses on creating a sustainable self-care practice by incorporating it into a weekly planner. He emphasizes the importance of setting intentions and boundaries for personal well-being. He then shares his own weekly self-care plan, with the goal being to strike a balance between consistent self-care and flexibility, recognizing that too much rigidity can hinder the benefits.

Lesson 7: A Home Spa Moment

In this segment, Van Ness shares his favorite at-home spa routines. He goes into detail on different face masks, serums, creams, and oils to use. He also provides tips on skincare layering for different levels of routine complexity.

Lesson 8: The Joy of Discovery

In this section, Van Ness emphasizes the importance of fostering joy and curiosity in life. He suggests a daily creative writing exercise in the self-care planner, encouraging individuals to recall and document moments of unbridled joy or curiosity.

Lesson 9: A Crafting Moment

Here, Van Ness shares his journey into needlepointing, describing how it became a meaningful and meditative activity for him. He encourages viewers to explore their own creative outlets and concludes with a teaser for the upcoming discussion on failure and forgiveness in both needlepoint and daily life.

Jonathan Van Ness demonstrating his needlepointing process to learners
Van Ness shows learners his needlepointing process.

Lesson 10: Failing and Forgiving

Van Ness introduces a self-care planner as a playbook for deepening one’s relationship with oneself. Acknowledging setbacks and the possibility of not meeting goals, he emphasizes the importance of resilience and returning to the self-care journey. He provides proactive strategies for dealing with challenges such as resentment, missed goals, anxiety, and catastrophizing, encouraging self-reflection and actionable steps. Additionally, he promotes the idea of combating feelings of selfishness through volunteering, highlighting the interconnectedness of self-care and being an ally to others.

Pros and cons of the course:

As with anything online, there are bound to be aspects that worked for me as a learner, and others that didn’t work so well. In order to help you decide if this is the right course for you, I have laid out the pros and cons from my experience taking the course.


Engaging and Relatable Instruction: Jonathan Van Ness’s authenticity and relatability make the course enjoyable and accessible. His storytelling creates a connection with participants, fostering a comfortable learning environment.

Comprehensive Content: The course covers a wide array of self-care aspects, from grooming to emotional well-being, ensuring a holistic approach to personal care.

Interactive Exercises: The inclusion of interactive exercises encourages active participation, allowing participants to apply the concepts directly to their lives.

This course has an interactive timed writing segment to engage learners.

Practical and Actionable Tips: The course provides practical tips and actionable steps that participants can easily incorporate into their daily routines, making self-care more manageable.

Flexibility in Learning Styles: Van Ness caters to various learning styles by incorporating video demonstrations, reflective exercises, and written content, ensuring that participants can engage in ways that resonate with them.


Limited Depth in Some Topics: Given the breadth of topics covered, some subjects are touched upon briefly. Participants seeking in-depth exploration of specific areas may find the content lacking.

Potential Overemphasis on Personal Experience: While personal anecdotes can enhance engagement, there is a risk of the course feeling more like a memoir at times, potentially overshadowing the instructional aspect.

How much does the course cost?

Courses on Skillshare can not be bought individually – they can only be accessed by signing up for a Skillshare membership. The good news? Skillshare offers e-student.org learners a full month free trial if you use our link (if not using our link, there is normally only a 7-day free trial). As virtually all Skillshare courses will take you less than a month to complete, you can in effect take this or any other Skillshare course for free – or any number of courses that you can finish in a month.

Once your free trial is over, the cost of Skillshare is $165 per year, which averages out to $13.75 per month. This gives you full access to all 34,000+ Skillshare courses. But if you're not happy to continue, you can easily cancel any time before your free trial ends – just go to your payment settings in your account.

If you have no need for a free trial, you can instead get %30 discount on your first year by using this special link instead. With this link, your first year will be just $115.50, averaging out to $9.63 per month. Note that this offer is only valid for new accounts, so it can't be combined with the 30-day free trial.

Is 'The Ultimate Self-Care Playbook' worth it?

“The Ultimate Self-Care Playbook” with Jonathan Van Ness proves to be a valuable resource for anyone seeking to embark on or enhance their self-care journey. Van Ness’s charismatic teaching style, combined with the course’s comprehensive content, creates an engaging and empowering learning experience. The course’s strength lies in its ability to cater to a broad audience, offering insights and practices that can be adapted to individual needs and preferences.

Van Ness’s emphasis on the intersectionality of self-care, incorporating grooming, mindfulness, and interpersonal relationships, distinguishes this course. The practical tips, interactive exercises, and relatable anecdotes contribute to a well-rounded and accessible learning environment.

While the course may benefit from deeper exploration of certain topics, its overall impact is undeniably positive. “The Ultimate Self-Care Playbook” succeeds in demystifying self-care, making it approachable for everyone, and leaving participants with a renewed sense of agency over their well-being. As a comprehensive guide to self-care, this Skillshare is a valuable resource in the vast landscape of personal development and well-being courses available today.