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, Hardback

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 Hardback

3.5 out of 5 (42 ratings)


Gretchen Rubin had an epiphany. One rainy afternoon on a city bus, she realized that she wasn't as happy as she could be.

In danger of wasting her days - always yearning for something more, waiting for problems to miraculously solve themselves - she realized her life wasn't going to change unless she did something about it.

On January 1, she embarked on her Happiness Project, and each month she pursued a different set of resolutions: to get more sleep, quit nagging her husband, sing in the morning to her two young daughters, start a blog, imitate a spiritual master, keep a one-sentence journal.

She immersed herself in everything from classical philosophy to contemporary psychology to see what worked for her-and what didn't.

Illuminating yet entertaining, profound yet compulsively readable, "The Happiness Project" is one of the most thoughtful and prescriptive works on happiness to have emerged from the recent explosion of interest in the subject.

Filled with practical advice, sharp insight, charm, and humour, her story will inspire readers to navigate their own paths to happiness.


  • Format: Hardback
  • Pages: 320 pages, black & white illustrations
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers Inc
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Popular psychology
  • ISBN: 9780061583254



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Showing 1 - 5 of 42 reviews.

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What better book for me to read today, the first day of a new year, a new decade?I’ve been waiting and waiting for this book to be published. I first heard about it when I kept getting snippets in the wonderful Google e-mail I receive every day about items of interest about happiness. I love happiness. I’m fascinated with happiness. I suppose you could say that just thinking about happiness makes me happy. So I couldn’t wait to read this book.It was not a disappointment. I’ve been reading the author’s blog about the project on an almost daily basis, so the book felt, well, a little short. But that is okay. It was a good book. It gives readers lots of lovely ideas about how to be happier. Even if you just try one idea and it works for you, I’d say that would be worth the price of the book.I resolve to use these ideas and try them myself. I’m going to read through the book one more time and this time I’ll write down a few notes.

Review by

I loved this book! If I were any less lazy I would totally start my own Happiness Project! This book was such a joy to read -- I loved Rubin's writing style, her EXTENSIVE research on each and every thing happiness-related, her tips and her honesty while writing this. She wasn't perfect. Which makes me like her even more.Reading this book made me hopeful and optimistic -- I think anyone who's feeling stuck or blah or blue would benefit from reading this. Just reading it helped me live vicariously and get through the last bit of winter in Chicago. It was definitely a bright spot in my day. It made me happy!

Review by

Enjoyed the book and the author. She shared some good ideas and some quotes that I liked. I could picture myself doing some of these projects and wished that I had.

Review by

Author embarks on a year of finding herself and trying to find some measure of happiness in that year. Part of the journey is in trying to discover what happiness means to her, originally blogged this book was quite useful in making me think about my life and living it as me not as someone else thinks how I should live.I think it's a book that I will think about a lot again. I'm not sure about how universal her experiences were but I do agree with a few of them, like how there is an I in happiness; that you sometimes have to invest in your own happiness, and that sometimes that means paying for it.It's a theme I may have to bring into my own life and work on over time. It's all about creating SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time-Bound) goals. By breaking down her goal to become happier in her life into smaller pieces and working on those small things every month for a year she changes her life. The one quote she missed was that of Socrates (quoted by Plato) "the unexamined life is not worth living" and this is what she's doing here, examining her life.

Review by

Nonfiction author Gretchen Rubin deconstructs happiness? Examines happiness? Researches happiness? ah...explains the fundamentals of happiness based on a review of literature and personal research /experimentation. sigh. smile. happiness? no not quite.I confess, I was hoping for more from Rubin. Her subtitle could well have been: The Triumph of Conventional Wisdom. or Common Sense. or Stuff Your Mother Keeps Saying. In all seriousness, my major criticism of the book is that it's superficial. It's so 'Gretchen' centered. As it progressed it seemed to become more about Gretchen's life and less about the nature of happiness.Perhaps happiness is like humor, better experienced than dissected.

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