Thursday, July 30, 2015

self-help book report 3

I'm not usually drawn to the self-help variety of book, but I've read three books this summer that sort of fall into that category and I thought a book report was in order.

The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin is a very in-depth look at one woman's search for greater happiness. Ms. Rubin created a twelve month long experiment for herself. Each month, she focused on a different aspect of her life and set measurable goals which she marked off on a spreadsheet. One month she focused on finding more happiness in her marriage, another month it was in her professional life, etc.

I'm glad I read it, but I admit to skimming a lot of it. I really loved her honesty. She put herself out there, faults and all, which was refreshing. I felt like I could read about her experience and learn from it, without having to go through my own year long experiment. I really liked that she didn't want to change her life, she just wanted to feel happier in the midst of it. I can relate to that.

It turns out that it is the little things that add up to a happier life, which is something I've believed all along. And deciding to be happier almost always leads to being happier. It made me take a look at my own life and decide that I could probably stand to be a little more cheerful at home, more selfless, and more giving. That holding my tongue is usually a happier way to live, and giving others the benefit of the doubt will improve my outlook. Making small changes in these areas can make for quite a bit more happiness overall.

Have you read it? What did you think?


  1. Stephanie I loved all her books-I love the way she is analytical but not boring. This book was my favorite of hers.

  2. I read this book a number of years ago and really enjoyed it. Happier at Home is also a good read. Gretchen and her sister also started a podcast a few months ago called Happier with Gretchen Rubin.

  3. I love love Gretchen Rubin. And like you I have a bit of an aversion to self help books, but I once heard Gretchen define her books not as self-help but as self-helpful, which I think is a nice distinction, and true. She didn't seem to like the classification of self-help either. But she's wonderful. Her newest book Better Than Before about forming and keeping habits is really interesting, but like Sarah I think I liked The Happiness Project best. In all honesty I think about Gretchen's ideas daily and have found them really helpful. The podcast is great if you want to listen to something while cleaning the bathroom, like I do. Your last post reminded me of her motto to "Act the way you want to feel" - rather than acting the way you DO feel. It's hard but rewarding.

  4. I read that one a couple years ago and enjoyed it immensely. It also helped me set some goals and re-evaluate some things. It made me realize that I don't have time to get good at everything I am interested in and that that's okay.

  5. The post is written in very a good manner and it contains many useful information for me. How To Be Happy


Hello! Thank you for your comment. I'd love to respond, and it is much easier if your account is linked to your email address. Or, you could just email me at Thank you!