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  • Published: New York, NY : Harper, c2009.
  • Year Published: 2009
  • Edition: 1st ed.
  • Description: xiv, 301 p. : ill. ; 24 cm.
  • Language: English
  • Format: Book

ISBN/Standard Number

  • 9780061583254
  • 0061583251


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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 Rubin, Gretchen Craft.

There is currently 1 available

Where To Find It

Call number: 158 Ru

Available Copies: Traverwood Adult

Additional Details

A thoughtful and prescriptive work on happiness filled with practical advice, sharp insight, charm, and humor.

Community Reviews


I expected to read about one woman's experience trying to be happier. In that, the book succeeded. While her project may not have been "perfect," the book made me think about my habits and moods, so I would recommend it. It made me want to try and be happier, even though I will go about it in an entirely different way. I can see how this book might be frustrating or problematic for someone who feels that things are seriously going wrong in their life, so I would recommend it to be read as an encouragement to reflect on the things you can control, and not as a guidebook of habits.

Super interesting

This book is super interesting!

Interesting. Not for everyone

This is such an interesting book and a wonderful story of a woman taking more control in her life. She was very happy and satisfied with her situation (happily married, two beautiful children, happy with her job...etc.) but she felt that she could be better and more easily happy. She took a good hard look at herself and what made her happy and she decided that each month she would resolve to work on a different aspect of her life. She made some small adjustments, but some well very hard to achieve. I think everyone could benefit from the simple act of looking in and discovering what makes up happy and if we aren't currently happy, why? Are we doing it to ourselves? Most likely the answer is yes....so let's change that! Gretchen will show you the way to you finding your own happiness.

Couldn't get into it

A couple people had recommended this, so I thought I'd give it a shot. I found it kind of hard to get into though and wound up having to give up for now. I might come back to it, but I think I was expecting it to be more of a memoir than self-help book. I agree with rachel that it seemed superficial. Or at least I found it hard to relate to a woman who had a beautiful family and a high-powered job taking on this kind of project. Not that I think someone like that can't be happy, but at my personal point in life, it seemed hard to identify.

Insightful read!

I actually really enjoyed reading this because it gave me a chance to think of what I might do if I had the same goals as the author and what I might do with my own different goals for increasing happiness. I don't have the time to spend writing a book about my own happiness project but I think it was really eye-opening to see how someone can learn a lot about many different things and then take the best of that and implement it in her life in order to make her life more fulfilling. As someone who has dealt with depression, I felt like this was something that resonated with me. There are a lot of things I could be doing to be happier, I just need to look for them and DO them in order to be ME. I'm looking forward to her next book, due out next month.

Happier w/o reading this book

Not what I expected. Very disappointed. Would not recommend.


While Gretchen Rubins clearly did a lot of background work for this book, I found it superficial. Every month, Ms. Rubins picks a handful of projects designed to bring happiness -- cleaning her closest, being nicer to her husband, etc. -- but I felt that the projects could have been more thoroughly researched and implemented. My biggest complaint is that while Ms. Rubin's briefly describes the research that leads her to pick her projects (hugs that last at least 6 seconds raise endorphins), she does not cite any references for her research. Also, some of her attempts (like the mindfulness month), blatantly disregard important components of a discipline that she didn't seem to spend much time trying to understand. This is a quick read, but it felt unfulfilling.

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