It’s Okay to Not Be Okay | Review, Ramblings, and Lessons for the Heart and Soul

안 좋은 추억 가슴에 더 오래 남는데요. 
Usually bad memories last longer in the heart.

– It’s Okay to Not Be Okay

Aside from reading, watching dramas has been my sanity saver for longer than I expected it to be. These shows, much like my books, let me experience someone else’ reality – whether it mirrors real life or a complete fantasy. This year has given us great shows like Crash Landing on You, where all kinds of love transcend boundaries; Itaewon Class, that shows us the power of perseverance and friendship; and Mystic Pop-Up Bar, with lessons on how our lives could influence others and what a mother’s heart could do.

One gem of a drama is tvN’s newest release, It’s Okay to Not Be Okay or Psycho But It’s Okay. It started airing in Netflix on June 20, 2020.

Also known asPsycho But It’s Okay
Psycho But It’s All Right
Hangul사이코지만 괜찮아
GenreRomance Drama
Created byStudio Dragon
Written byJo Yong
Directed byPark Shin-woo
StarringKim Soo-hyun
Seo Ye-ji
Oh Jung-se
Park Kyu-young
Country of originSouth Korea
Original language(s)Korean
No. of episodes16

Synopsis: The drama tells the story of Moon Gang-tae (Kim Soo-hyun), a community health worker at a psychiatric ward who doesn’t have time for love, and Ko Moon-young (Seo Ye-ji), a successful children’s book author who suffers from antisocial personality disorder and has never known love. After meeting each other, the two slowly begin to heal each other’s emotional wounds. Throughout the series, the story also starts to reveal the truth of their pasts that have been haunting their lives.


REVIEW and RAMBLINGS

(Disclaimer: I will try to keep my post as spoiler free as possible.)

I only ever post a compilation of Asian Dramas I’ve seen in one big post with short reactions or reviews of the shows I’ve seen. Heck, even the ones that impressed me didn’t get their own review post (just a longer review, but still part of a compilation). I NEEDED to post a standalone review of IOTNBO. This drama deserves it.

When this drama was announced in Netflix, I immediately set a reminder on it and waited patiently until it aired. Normally, I binge watch dramas during my days off work on the weekends and I wanted all the episodes to have aired first so that I wouldn’t have to wait every week for a new episode. Well that plan went down the drain when I saw stills (still shots) in Insta. But I don’t regret having to wait every week for 2 episodes because it let me prolong my enjoyment of the drama itself.

I’ve already seen some of the other dramas of the main actors in IOTNBO so I knew to expect superb acting. And what a roller coaster of emotions the drama has brought me from the first episode until the last. This series was a fairy tale unlike any other. One of the main tropes of this drama is how it tackles issues revolving around mental health. In most countries that is still a topic people ignore simply out of the lack of understanding. I could see myself in all of the characters – on how they deal with trauma, anxiety, depression, and whatever life throws their way despite how they were born or their upbringing. It hit so close to my heart that I was laughing and crying with the characters. I felt such relief that finally, people who will watch this drams will understand that it’s not only in our heads.

Another element in this drama that I absolutely loved was that fact that there were books involved. Most of the earlier episodes revolved around the stories in the books – the lessons in them, as well as how it actually shows the psyche of the character of Ko Moon-young. It also helped some of the other character communicate as well as realize things that have happened in their lives.


I also have to say that I am in love with the OST of this drama! I love all the songs. Here’s the playlist! These songs will pretty much be on repeat in my Spotify for the next few weeks (or months).


LESSONS for the HEART and SOUL

In a world filled with billions of people striving for perfection, one Korean drama showed us that It’s Okay To Not Be Okay.

– La Belle

I wanted to share a few lessons taught in IOTNBO. It could be a reminder to you or it might be somethings to consider in others.

  1. IT’S OKAY TO LET GO AND NOT ALWAYS BE STRONG

Everyone has their own battles to fight that we know nothing about, and people always put up with a show of strength and bravado. We wear smiles like a mask, our armor. Underneath that is where we hide what we think is our weaknesses. Our reprieve is understanding that we can’t be strong all the time, that we have to let go of our burdens, to rest, and sometimes ask for help. It’s alright to break down, crying has never been a sign of weakness. Instead, it means you are alive.

2. IT’S OKAY TO BE DIFFERENT

We are who we are for a reason. Some are born different, others, adapt and change as they live their lives. We all have our own flaws and perfections, yes, I didn’t say imperfection because we can still be perfect in our own way despite the flaws. We will think differently than others and we will always be misunderstood. But thinking or being different is not a weakness and it does not diminish our capabilities and self worth. Who we are as a person might not seem much to the wrong people but we could be everything to the right ones. People who are unapologetic in who they are, it’s what makes the world interesting.

Who we are as a person might not seem much to the wrong people but we could be everything to the right ones.

3. IT’S OKAY TO BE AFRAID AND FACE OUR FEARS

Courage is not the absence of fear. It is feeling afraid but still being able to conquer that fear. And facing what fears us the most is one of the bravest things we can do, even if it is the only things we can do for now.

4. IT’S OKAY TO CHANGE

Aren’t we always reminded of the adage the the only thing constant in this world is change? We won’t always be with the people we love or we won’t always be right. Our paths could be different from what it was yesterday, what it is today, and what it will be tomorrow. And those are absolutely fine. We are allowed to make mistakes. We are allowed to fail. We are also allowed to learn from our mistakes or the mistakes of others. We are allowed to change how we think about ourselves and others. That’s how we grow to become the best version of ourselves.

5. IT’S OKAY TO LOVE AND BE HAPPY

One of the best quotes in IOTNBO was said by Nam Ju-ri:

If you want to make the people around you happy, you must find your own happiness first.

– Nam Ju-Ri, It’s Oay to Not Be Okay

Same goes for love – before we can share love, we must love ourselves first. It’s not selfish to love ourselves and find our happiness first. Be confident in your self and your own happiness and the best people will gravitate towards you. Love never fails, we just don’t see it from our perspective most of the time. We do not need to settle for mediocre love or happiness because we deserve to love, be loved, and be happy just as much if not more than anyone else.

Aside from love and happiness, all the other emotions we feel – anger, frustration, sadness, etc. are valid. The first step towards learning to love ourselves and be happy is to accept that it is indeed okay to not be okay. We owe ourselves that much.


And there you have it. This drama shows everyone the reality that people who have mental health issues or conditions are not so different than the rest of the world – we all still need people in our lives, we are not monsters during the times we struggle and can’t see ourselves clearly, we are the same people who you have always loved, we appreciate knowing that someone has our back during the times when we are at our most desperate moments and celebrate with us during our victories as well, and for letting us breath when people understand that our emotions are valid.

They began a new journey to find their stolen faces, and the evil Shadow Witch appeared in front of them once again. She kidnapped the masked boy, who shed tears on behalf of the mother fox, as well as the Emotionless Princess who danced with the clown.

“The two of you will never be able to find your happy faces.”

After putting such a curse on them, she locked them in a deep, dark mole tunnel. The Box Man found the mole tunnel a few days later, but the entrance was so narrow that he couldn’t go in.

“What do I do? I need to take this box off my head in order to go into the tunnel.”

That moment, the Masked Boy’s voice reached him from inside the tunnel.

“Mister, don’t worry about us. Just run far away. The Shadow Witch will return soon.”

However, the Box Man mustered up the courage to take the box off his head. Then he went inside the tunnel and saved the Masked Boy and the Emotionless Princess.

Upon getting out of the dark tunnel, the two of them saw the mas’s face covered with dirt and grime of the box and burst out laughing.

They laughed and giggled.

While Laughing uncontrollably, the Masked Boy’s mas suddenly fell off. The can surrounding the Emotionless Princess’ torso also fell off and made a clanking noise.

The Box Man, now out of his box, said this when he saw the two of them finding their true faces while laughing.

“I’m happy.”

What the Shadow Witch had stolen from them was not their true faces but their courage to find happiness.

Finding the Real Face, It’s Okay to Not Be Okay Ep.16


This drama was certainly epic in proportions. Shows like IOTNBO, that question the norm, and make me think and reflect are always the best ones in my book. IOTNBO will always have a place in my heart and I will always watch reruns of the episodes I love in Netflix.

I hope you enjoyed my post. What did you think of the lessons? Have you seen this Kdrama? What did you think of it? Would you like to watch it after reading my post? I’d love to hear from you in the comments.

2 thoughts on “It’s Okay to Not Be Okay | Review, Ramblings, and Lessons for the Heart and Soul

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