Saturday, April 7, 2012

Review: The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin

I'm sure most of you have at least heard a bit about The Happiness Project.  I mean, for a while there it was a super popular book.  I finally read and it really enjoyed it.  And if you can believe this, it was actually even happier than I thought it would be.  Let me explain.  In this memoir, Gretchen Rubin sets out to be a happier person every day.  I was worried that this decision had been made after something terrible had happened, or something like that.  Because I think it's rare that people think about happiness when they are happy.  But Gretchen had a great life already when she started her happiness project.  She just wanted to be even happier, and to stop the random snappiness that she'd sometimes get (I also will randomly and for no real reason get snappy with people I love..).  There was a point in the book where Gretchen mentions how she's nervous that people who have been through really hard times might think the book was stupid.  Like, you're already so happy, why try to be even happier?!  As someone who has been through hard times, like the death of my father three years ago, I can honestly say that I was SO refreshed by her take on happiness.  I was not the least bit bitter that she was trying to focus more on her current happiness.

You see, she explains how she wants to harness her happiness and learn what makes her happy and how to make herself happy before something bad happens, so that she is prepared and can once again find happiness after said bad event.  I myself have always been a super happy, positive person, so when I had hard times, I was able to find my way back to being a generally happy person.  Happy all the time?  No.  But I'm not one of those people who has something bad happen and then continues to sulk on the couch for the rest their lives. 

So I agree with Gretchen's tactics wholeheartedly.

And I'm sorry if I just repeated myself a ton and if it's hard to understand what I'm trying to get at.

One of my favorite of Gretchen's tactics for being happy was to act like your happy.  She's argues that if you pretend to be happy and put a smile on your face, eventually you will actually start to feel happy.  I know that for myself this is 100% true, and I loved reading about Gretchen's experience trying this out.

I also really liked how Gretchen used real examples of what she was doing for her happiness project in her real life.  She refers to her family a lot and her daily life with them and what she was trying to do with them, and it made me feel more connected to her and her project. 

I think this is a fun, inspirational book.  I really liked it, though I don't think I'd recommend it to anyone who is currently super depressed and going through a super hard time.  It's a bit too happy for that.  Wait until you're more on the mend and starting to have a more positive outlook on life once again.  And don't worry, be happy :)

For more info on the author and starting your own happiness project, check out

I just adored this quote on the first page by Robert Louis Stevenson: There is no duty we so much underrate as the duty of being happy.


  1. This sounds like a fun read, I'll have to hunt down a copy. I suffered with depression from about the age of 11 - 20ish and even though I am so much happier now (and anti-depressant free!) I still have lots to learn about staying happy.

  2. I haven't heard of this book but it sounds like an interesting read. I'll try putting a smile on my face tomorrow morning and see if my day is extra happy!