Book Review: The Happiness Project

Happiness Project Book Cover image

I’ve been a devoted reader of Gretchen Rubin’s blog “The Happiness Project” for quite some time and was delighted to finally sit down and read her book “The Happiness Project: Or, Why I Spent a Year Trying to Sing in the Morning, Clean My Closets, Fight Right, Read Aristotle, and Generally Have More Fun”. The book chronicles Rubin’s year of trying to discover what makes us happy and how to increase happiness in our own life – the Happiness Project.

First off, I will say that I loved the book. While many things she suggested could be constituted as common sense, they often were things that I personally knew but did not consciously apply to my life. The book is peppered with thought-provoking advice, tips and encouragement to help us lead a fuller, richer life. The book looks at many different aspects of one’s life such as marriage, family, friendship, leisure, money, and mindfulness and provides advice on how to experiences them more deeply.

She breaks the book down into 12 monthly manageable portions, each with a main theme or resolution. Each theme then, is broken down into several resolutions that help you to experience and/or accomplish the theme. For instance, the main theme for January is “Boost Energy” and the resolutions that help you accomplish this are: Go to sleep earlier, exercise better, toss, restore organize, tackle a nagging task and act more energetic”. I found some relevant, some not so much. That is the beauty of this book – you take what you want – what resonates with you – and leave the rest.

Rubin also quotes all manner of experts and studies so that book isn’t just entirely a memoir of a year in the life of a woman. Rather, she applies this research to her own life and reports the results. What I found especially effective about this book, is that it is inspiring and motivating — Rubin’s passion for the subject is evident.

I’m glad that I chose this book. It was thought-provoking, well-researched, easy and fun to read as well as potentially life-changing. Recommended!

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