3 Great Books About Happiness – Yishun.my.id

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pink and orange balloons with happy faces float against a cloudy blue sky

Have you decided to focus more happiness this year? Today we’re rounding up a few great books about happiness and the pursuit thereof. Don’t worry, no “good vibes only!” toxic positivity here — these books go beyond the typical “how to be happier” platitudes. Two of the books are aimed at everyone, and the third is for parents (plus a bonus rec for a free course at the end which, coincidentally, begins enrollment today).

Are you trying to boost your happiness this year by taking a social media break or leaving social media all together? (I have actually gotten some good mental health advice from therapists on TikTok, FWIW…) Taking mental health days as needed? Finding a fulfilling hobby? Trying meditating? Making time for therapy? Making more time for friends? (A new study found a boost to “life satisfaction” of even small social interactions like greeting or thanking someone!)

Either way, these books can help! In the past, we’ve also discussed how your career affects your happiness and rounded up what readers say are the best things are that they’ve done to improve their happiness.

Readers, have you read any books on happiness, including what seems to be the mother of all happiness self-help books, Gretchen Rubin’s The Happiness Project? What are your favorites?

Psst: If you have books to recommend (on any self-help or career topic!), shout ’em out in the comments!

3 Books About Happiness and the Pursuit of Happiness

You Are a Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life

By Jen Sincero, 2013, (Amazon/Bookshop)

The cover of the book by Jen Sincero,

Since her very popular You Are a Badass came out in 2013, Jen Sincero has expanded it to branded coaching, speaking events (with her “signature brand of motivational comedy”), a guided journal, a planner/organizer, and notecards, well as two more books: You Are a Badass at Making Money: Master the Mindset of Wealth, You Are a Badass Every Day, and Badass Habits (all on Amazon).

This book, the original, can help you identify self-sabotaging behaviors and generally become more self-aware; substitute bad habits for good ones; tackle your doubt; set honest goals while still pushing yourself a bit, and focus on them regularly; and so on. (Yes, it does venture into “manifesting” territory there, but I suppose manifestation is a spectrum.)

Sincero offers bits of advice that may not be revelations but are still useful reminders, like “If you want to live a life you’ve never lived, you have to do things you’ve never done,” and uses humor throughout the book.

Praise for You Are a Badass:

  • “Sincero brings a fun, feminine verve to now well-tread self-help tropes. … The tone is far more feisty than academic, and there’s humor on every page, all of which is exactly what her intended audience most needs.” — Publishers Weekly
  • “Sincero … brings a fun, feminine verve to now well-tread self-help tropes, offering a promising new title in the genre that’s not as completely irreverent as it sounds.” — Publishers Weekly
  • “If you’re in the need of a jumpstart, something to remind you that your authentic, individual, totally irreplaceable self is, in fact, badass, then this is the book for you. … [I]t’s prompted me to get going on several projects I never thought I’d actually accomplish.” — San Francisco Book Review

{related: how to improve your happiness [CorporetteMoms]}

The Antidote: Happiness for People Who Can’t Stand Positive Thinking

By Oliver Burkeman, 2013 (Amazon/Bookshop)

A book cover of The Antidote: Happiness for People Who Can't Stand Positive Thinking, Oliver Burkeman

If you’re skeptical about “happiness books” in general, you might want to try The Antidote: Happiness for People Who Can’t Stand Positive Thinking. In an NPR interview, the author, a Guardian writer named Oliver Burkeman, said he’s not a fan of typical self-help books. “[T]here’s a lot of research now to suggest that … saying positive affirmations to yourself in the mirror can make you feel worse and that visualizing the future can make you less likely to achieve it,” he said.

Burkeman advises people to avoid advice that tells you to avoid negative feelings or negative words, “manifest” your desires, or simply expect to be happy and cheerful. Instead, he writes, we should embrace failure, uncertainty and so on, and cites various sources who believe that the relentless pursuit of happiness results in just the opposite.

Praise for The Antidote:

  • “Burkeman’s tour of the ‘negative path’ to happiness makes for a deeply insightful and entertaining book.” — The Los Angeles Times
  • “A fascinating, wide-ranging exploration of negativity, positivity, failure, success and what it means to be happy.” — Kirkus Reviews
  • “Burkeman’s ability to present sentiments in fresh, delightfully sarcastic packaging will appeal to the happy, the unhappy, and those who have already found a peaceful middle ground.” — Publishers Weekly

How to be a Happier Parent: Raising a Family, Having a Life, and Loving (Almost) Every Minute

By KJ Dell’Antonia, 2018, (Amazon/Bookshop)

The cover of KJ Dell'Antonia's

If you’re a parent, you might remember the Motherlode blog at The New York Times and recognize the name of KJ Dell’Antonia, its former editor and a mother of four. Using that experience, the many interviews she has done with parents over her career, and a lot of research, she wrote How to Be a Happier Parent in 2018.

In an interview with Your Teen, Dell’Antonia said, “I thought about the things I could do to make parenting more fun. But I was looking at lists, and I’m like, ‘I don’t want to do fun things. I hate fun things. I don’t want to do anything else; I just want the things I’m doing to suck less.’ It was the book that I wanted to read and also the book that I wanted to write.”

In trying to help readers find joy in parenting (no, not ALL the time!) Dell’Antonia’s book focuses on nine key areas that families struggle with: homework, chores, screen time, sibling conflicts, and more. She offers small ways to make them better and shares how to do more by doing less.

Praise for How to Be a Happier Parent:

  • “[I]t is about giving yourself permission, as a parent, to prioritize and work toward your own happiness, even if that means your children don’t get 100 percent of your attention and energy and money 100 percent of the time.” — The Chicago Tribune
  • “We can be happier parents — if, that is, we understand what gets in our way and what we can change. With real advice and fascinating science, this book helps you be the parent you want to be.” — Charles Duhigg, author of The Power of Habit
  • “Dell’Antonia’s writing style is friendly, funny, and always understanding. She’s not going to judge how your family does things—she’s simply offering a less stressful alternative that might bring you greater happiness as a parent.” — Your Teen

“The Science of Well-Being” — the Yale Course

Here’s a bonus recommendation!

You may have heard of the incredibly popular “Yale happiness course” that now has a free online version called “The Science of Well-Being.” Available on Coursera, it starts enrolling today! (You can get access to all the course materials for free, but a $49 fee earns you a shareable certificate.)

The course is designed to increase your happiness and boost your productivity, eventually helping you “successfully incorporate a specific wellness activity into your life.” You can find out more in detail by checking out a couple of articles that summarize and review the course from Business Insider and iNews.

Here’s the course by the numbers:

  • 4.9 stars from 37,000+ Coursera reviews
  • 10 weekly modules of 1–3 hours each (videos, readings, and more)
  • 8 quizzes
  • 19 hours to complete (on a flexible schedule)

There’s also a version for teens!

Stock photo via Stencil.