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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
Narrated by Gretchen Rubin / 10 hours 15 minutes

Gretchen Rubin had an epiphany one rainy afternoon in the unlikeliest of places: a city bus. "The days are long, but the years are short," she realized. "Time is passing, and I'm not focusing enough on the things that really matter." In that moment, she decided to dedicate a year to her happiness project.

In this lively and compelling account of that year, Rubin carves out her place alongside the authors of bestselling memoirs such as Julie and Julia, The Year of Living Biblically, and Eat, Pray, Love. With humor and insight, she chronicles her adventures during the twelve months she spent test-driving the wisdom of the ages, current scientific research, and lessons from popular culture about how to be happier.

Rubin didn't have the option to uproot herself, nor did she really want to; instead she focused on improving her life as it was. Each month she tackled a new set of resolutions: give proofs of love, ask for help, find more fun, keep a gratitude notebook, forget about results. She immersed herself in principles set forth by all manner of experts, from Epicurus to Thoreau to Oprah to Martin Seligman to the Dalai Lama to see what worked for her—and what didn't.

Her conclusions are sometimes surprising—she finds that money can buy happiness, when spent wisely; that novelty and challenge are powerful sources of happiness; that "treating" yourself can make you feel worse; that venting bad feelings doesn't relieve them; that the very smallest of changes can make the biggest difference—and they range from the practical to the profound.

Written and read with charm and wit, The Happiness Project is illuminating yet entertaining, thought-provoking yet compulsively readable. Gretchen Rubin's passion for her subject jumps off the page, and reading just a few chapters of this book will inspire you to start your own happiness project.

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Reviews

“Rubin writes with keen senses of self and narrative, balancing the personal and the universal with a light touch [. . .] Rubin’s project makes curiously compulsive reading, which is enough to make any reader happy.”

Publishers Weekly, starred review

“Aided by her formidable intelligence and willingness to try anything, she spent a year road-testing every theory about happiness she could get her hands on, using her own life as the road.”

TIME

About the Author

Gretchen Rubin is the author of several books, including the bestselling Forty Ways to Look at Winston Churchill. She was clerking for Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor when she realized that she really wanted to be a writer. She lives in New York City with her husband and two young daughters.


Related Reading

On Top of the Happiness Racket
The New York Times

On Lawyers and Happiness; a Chat with Gretchen Rubin, Part I
Law Blog, The Wall Street Journal

Book of the Month: The Happiness Project
Libro.fm Blog

A Traveler's Guide to Listening
Libro.fm Blog

Author
Narrator Gretchen Rubin
ISBN 9780061996924
Length 10 hours 15 minutes
Language English
Publisher HarperCollins
Publication Date
Edition Unabridged
Libro.fm Rank #2,524 Overall
Genre Rank #140 in Self-Improvement
 

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