The Happiness Project

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
By Gretchen Rubin | Harper Collins

One of the best things about RC HQ is that we get sent A LOT of books. It’s fabulous. A luxury. Every writer’s dream, to always to have a new book popping into the PO box. This one, though, got mislaid – shoved into a box during an infrequent clean-up, and only found a week ago. But luckily, we’re not THAT late; the paperback has just debuted as number #4 on the New York Times bestseller list.
It’s penned by Gretchen Rubin, a New York-based writer. Rubin has a good life. A loving husband, two adorable little girls, a career she loves. But a couple of years ago, she was irked by one thing. She felt she didn’t appreciate her life enough. She felt she wasn’t happy enough. And so she decided to devote a year to becoming a happier person, by tackling a new set of ‘happiness’ resolutions each month. She looked at scientific research. Lessons from pop culture. Principles espoused by everyone from Thoreau to Oprah, Epicurus to the Dalai Lama. One month, she focused on money. The next, on happier parenting. Of course, being a relationships blog, we were particularly interested in Chapter 2: Remember Love. “A good marriage is one of the factors strongly associated with happiness,” writes Rubin. “The atmosphere of my marriage set the weather for my whole life.” Although her marriage was the most important factor in shaping her daily life, Rubin admits it was also, unfortunately, the relationship in which she was most likely to behave badly. (Ain’t that the truth.) She sets some resolutions and embarks on a few experiments in the hope of having a positive effect on her marriage – which include giving proofs of love, fighting in the right way and not nagging. It’s a great chapter – in fact, the whole book is insightful. Rubin writes with passion and humour, and even launched a blog as part of her Project which includes her personal commandments, and sets out her ‘four splendid truths’ about happiness. Our favourite? “One of the best ways to make yourself happy is to make others happy; one of the best ways to make others happy is to be happy yourself”. She said it.

RC Verdict: Inspirational and packed with good ideas – whether you’re a glass-half-full person or not. To buy the book, click here – you’ll get free shipping AND you’ll be supporting Reality Chick. Thanks so much!

Freelance journo, blogger, self-appointed advice-giver and co-author of Get Lucky. If you've got a dating or relationship issue, feel free to ask a question. (PS. You can also find me at The Mama Files and Letter To My Ex).


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