Wise and encouraging, honest and inspiration, Loveable is a handbook for how to be human.” –Katherine Willis Pershey, author of Very Married: Field Notes on Love and Fidelity

In Loveable, Dr. Kelly Flanagan writes, “We rarely remember the precious months or years when we experienced our worthiness as a fact. A given. Something as present, real, and natural as breathing and playing and animal crackers.”


Dr. Flanagan is a clinical psychologist and father known to millions for the letters he writes to his children and shares on his blog. Loveable is written to the little one in each of us, who is all too ready to be reminded: you are enough, you are not alone, and you matter.

In Loveable, Dr. Flanagan reveals the core insight gleaned from his years of clinical work: you are here for a reason, yet you cannot truly awaken to it until you have first embraced your truest, worthiest self and then allowed yourself to be truly embraced by others.

Weaving heart-warming storytelling, gentle insights, and the wisdom of Dr. Flanagan’s Christian tradition—including his belief that we are all “the living, breathing bearers of the eternal, transcendent, and limitless Love that spun the planets and hung the stars”—these pages invite you to remember the name you were given before all other names: Loveable.

“Written like a love letter to his readers, Kelly quiets the noise of shame, while gently inviting us all to listen for another sound—the peaceful, playful, and powerful voice of Grace.” –Aubrey Sampson, author of Overcomer: Breaking Down the Walls of Shame and Rebuilding Your Soul


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Click on any of the links below to listen to Kelly discuss topics related to Loveable, including worthiness, belonging, and purpose.

  • The Open Door Sisterhood Podcast with Krista Gilbert—In this episode, I break the glass ceiling for men on The Open Door Sisterhood Podcast! Krista and I talk about how to embrace who we are and live loveable.
  • The Jennifer Fulwiler Show on SiriusXM Radio—Jennifer is the author of the memoir, Something Other Than God: How I Passionately Sought Happiness and Accidentally Found It, and in this episode she and I discuss the universality of shame and some of the core principles that underpin the reality of our worthiness.
  • Let the Music Play Podcast with Ashton Gustafson—If you’re curious about the spiritual and philosophical underpinnings of Loveable, listen to this conversation with Ashton, where we discuss some of our mutual influences including Thomas Merton, Richard Rohr, and many others.
  • Dear Daughters Podcast with Susie Davis—If you’re a parent and curious about how to cultivate a sense of worthiness in children, listen in on this conversation. For instance, we talked about how we can only give grace to our kids when we have first trusted that we are worthy of receiving it ourselves.
  • Lighten Up Podcast with Melanie Dale—All this shame and worthiness stuff can get a little heavy. But it doesn’t have to. Here, you can listen to Melanie Dale and I laugh our way through a conversation about shame, while honoring the difficult of moving toward it, and through it, into our worthiness.
  • Pairadocs Podcast with Jimmy and Josh Meyers—In this episode, things get a little more psychological, as I compare notes with another clinical psychologist about shame, worthiness, belonging, and purpose.
  • Success Magazine with Shelby Skrhak—This is the interview that lays out the tenants of Loveable most comprehensively, and Shelby and I get a little choked up near the end, as we discuss our shortcomings as parents, and how much we hope we are doing right by our kids.
  • Startup Camp with Dale Partridge—In this interview, for the first time, I lay out three core elements of belonging, which help to lay the groundwork for pursuing our purpose. Those core elements are conversation, courage, and consolation.
  • Truth or Dare Podcast with Sarah Cunningham—Sarah is an author and activist and here we talk about the important distinction between being lovable and being loved, as well as the good news that we do not have to find belonging, because belonging can find us.
  • The Sarah R. Bagley Podcast with Sarah Bagley—Here, Sarah and I talk about managing our fears as parents, giving our kids the space to feel, modeling a sense of worthiness for our kids, and the power of embracing our ordinary purpose.
  • The Messiah Community Counseling Podcast with Michael Lorin—Don’t miss my interview with Michael Lorin about Loveable, the role of the church in cultivating belonging, and my son’s hilarious response to this quote from Richard Rohr, “Jesus only answered three of the 183 questions asked of him in the gospels, and yet we have made him into an answer man. The ego prefers kings to wise men.”
  • Living Well with Dr. Peg—Listen in to my interview with Dr. Peg about all things loveable!
  • The REBEL Parenting Podcast with Ryan and Laura Dobson—Here, I talk with Ryan and Laura about the implications for our parenting of living loveable  We also focus on the complexities inherent in being the first generation of parents to be truly aware of our shame  and our desire to not pass it on to our children.
  • The Awesome Marriage Podcast with Dr. Kim (Part I) and (Part II)—Dr. Kim Kimberly and I talk about the implications for our marriages of living loveable in Part I, and in Part II we talk about the fundamentals of building a marriage.
  • Shrink Rap Radio with David Van Nuys—Dr. David is a psychologist and father. Here, for the first time in an interview, he has me read some of the letters from the book in their entirety, and we discuss in-depth the foundational premise of the book: we all have a little one inside of us waiting on a love letter.
  • The Janice Tomich Podcast with Janice Tomich—Janice is a speaking coach and brings a unique perspective to this interview. A long-time UnTangled follower, we cover everything from my Karma Envelopes post to the key to public speaking: learning how to be your true self on stage.
  • Surviving Sarah Podcast with Sarah Bragg—I sat down with @SurvivingSarahPodcast to talk about how the idea of being loveable. That we are all created to be enough, to belong and to matter. Listen as we talk about how to rediscover your unique worthiness, how to redeem the shame we carry and how there is a loveliness to ordinariness.
  • Mom Struggling Well Podcast—From our first greeting, I knew my conversation with Emily Thomas about Loveable was going to be no-nonsense. This is one of the most honest conversations you’ll hear about shame, performance versus worthiness, and how to help our kids understand the difference.
  • The Struggle Is Real: Modern Parenting Podcast—A lively and creative conversation about how to cultivate gratitude in ourselves and our children. It’s a very unique format and worth a listen!


Kelly graduated with his Ph.D. in clinical psychology from Penn State University and is co-founder of Artisan Clinical Associates in Naperville, IL. Several years ago, he discovered writing was the thing he never knew he always wanted to do, so he began the now popular blog, UnTangled, where he writes weekly about how to live redemptive stories right now. Kelly is married to another clinical psychologist named Kelly, because they decided to make life even more complicated than it already is. They Kellies—as they are called by friends and family—have three children, and they have a deal with their kids: they teach the kids how to grow up, and the kids teach them how to grow young again. So far, it’s not clear who is helping who the most. They live in northern Illinois.


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