The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin

Tuesday, March 04, 2014

I've been hearing buzz about The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin since I first started blogging. There was a time in my life when I disdained self-help books, but that time has long since passed (and you should see some of the things I request on NetGalley, home of the most obscure and bizarre collection of self-help books known to man). With the stresses of work and home, I found myself thinking that I could use a little recharge and put The Happiness Project on hold at the library.

Most of the self-help books I've read in the past are pretty heavily biased. I can usually find a pearl or two, but usually with many caveats. The Happiness Project is very different. Rubin begins by saying that this is her happiness project, and that ours might be very different, but that this is what she did in order to plan to achieve greater happiness in life. That beginning attitude of not knowing it all but being willing to share really endeared the author to me.

The premise of the happiness project is that the author, Gretchen Rubin, began to feel that she wasn't living at her fullest potential of happiness. She had an abundant life but she often found herself griping and complaining, or feeling unsatisfied. She wasn't depressed -- she just wasn't as happy as she felt she should be. So she made a plan, being a very plan-oriented, goal-specific person (seriously. I don't think I've ever met or read someone as organized as this woman). She chose an area of her life to focus on each month for a year and made specific resolutions in those categories. She also read several books on happiness and applied the studies and information she gleaned.

The result is remarkable. She hits upon many areas that I (and I'm sure many others) need to improve upon, and she uses great reminders and quotes to drive the point home. Basically, I want to do my own happiness project, although I want to let the book sink in for a while and possibly read her other happiness-based book, Happier at Home, before I completely delve in.

I think The Happiness Project has something to offer anyone, whether or not Rubin's specific resolutions are what you would like to change in your life. Written with vibrance and honesty, this journey through a year in a woman's life is eye-opening, positive, and poignant. Go read it! Now!

5 stars

Warnings: I think there are maybe 2 minor swears. If you're offended by this book, you hate happiness (just kidding).


  1. I recently read this as well-- I felt inspired to make little changes to find more happiness myself. :)

  2. I need to read this one. I've heard too many good things.

  3. I loved this book! Some of her mantras and "secrets of adulthood" are spot on. Glad you enjoyed it!


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