The Happiness Project book review.

If you would like to be happier, I recommend The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin. This is what she writes about the book:

My hope is that the ideas presented in the Happiness Project (book and blog) can help people trying to be happier within their ordinary life, and also help people trying to be happier in the context of a major happiness challenge.

My thoughts about this book:

  • I find the concept interesting because it means you need to evaluate what makes you happy and what doesn’t (and it probably changes in different seasons). Given your life circumstances, spend time thinking about changes you can make. For example, I am a stay-at-home mother of young children: within that context what things can I do more or less of to make myself happier?
  • This book made me wonder how much more creative would I be if I knew what does and doesn’t make me creative? Like many things, I think it’s worth evaluating.
  • One thing I have started doing is her “one-minute rule”, which is to not postpone anything that can be done in less than a minute.
  • I liked her section “Be A Treasure House of Happy Memories”, where she writes about the importance of family photos and traditions:

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 minimizes the negative.

There is a chapter for each month Gretchen worked on her happiness project. She writes about what she tried and learned about herself. Her topics were vitality, marriage, work, parenthood, leisure, friendship, money, eternity, books, mindfulness, attitude and happiness.

If you like this book, try:

  • Gretchen has been recording a weekly podcast, called Happier, with her sister Elizabeth, where they talk about happiness and habits.
  • Gretchen has written a few books, including Better Than Before, about habits.


I give The Happiness Project a 4/5 because I had to put it down part way through, it wasn’t as gripping as other books on my night table. But I picked it up again, and also started listening to her podcast and would encourage you to also read the entire book.

Read all my creative book reviews.