Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Review: The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin


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

Reviewed by Christine-Chioma

Published: 2009

It's about: Gretchen Rubin realizes she is not as happy as she could be despite good life circumstances. She sets out to increase her happiness in her every day life through researching happiness and concentrating on monthly happiness themes and goals.

I thought: I've actually read and enjoyed Rubin's blog for quite sometime, but only now got around to picking up the book from the library. I really enjoyed how Rubin interlaced statistics and facts with her own personal experiences with happiness. I found myself telling others how happier people do better in school and that people who donate to charities actually end up being richer. The book is definitely more personal than the blog and I really liked that. She also talked about why it's important to be happy and addressed the stigma of happiness being unsophisticated. I found myself implementing small tips such as smiling more, de-cluttering, and getting more sleep. However, it didn't motivate me to actually try a happiness project of my own (it seems like too much work). She had comments from her blog posts from readers which I didn't really care for.

Verdict: Stick it on the shelf or Rubbish Bin? Stick it on the shelf!

Reading Recommendations: This book is definitely not for people who are actually clinically depressed and Rubin makes that quite clear. You don't have to be unhappy to read it. I generally think I am happy but I still enjoyed it. I was not interested in starting a happiness project of my own, but if you are there is a Happiness Project one sentence journal that could help with one of the tips she mentions. There is also a reading guide for book clubs. Another suggestion would be to take off the jacket cover, because I had to field a lot of unwanted questions and teasing about why I was reading a book about being happier.

Warnings: Nothing inappropriate.

Favorite excerpts: "Studies show that recalling happy times helps boost happiness in the present. When people reminisce, they focus on positive memories, with the result that recalling the past amplifies the positive and minizes the negative. However, because people remember events better when tehy fit with their present mood, happy people remember happy events better, and depressed people remember sad events better. Depressed people have as many nice experiences as other people--they just don't recall them well."

What I'm reading next: I hate saying what I'm going to read next because it really depends on my mood and the phase of the moon and what pants I'm wearing.