Or, Why I Spent a Year Trying to Sing in the Morning, Clean My Closets, Fight Right, Read Aristotle, and Generally Have More Fun
Gretchen Rubin had an epiphany one rainy afternoon in the unlikeliest of places: a city bus. "The days are long, but the years are short," she realized. "Time is passing, and I'm not focusing enough on the things that really matter." In that moment, she decided to dedicate a year to her happiness project.
In this lively and compelling account of that year, Rubin carves out her place alongside the authors of best-selling memoirs such as Julie and Julia, The Year of Living Biblically, and Eat, Pray, Love. With humor and insight, she chronicles her adventures during the 12 months she spent test-driving the wisdom of the ages, current scientific research, and lessons from popular culture about how to be happier.
Rubin didn't have the option to uproot herself, nor did she really want to; instead she focused on improving her life as it was. Each month she tackled a new set of resolutions: give proofs of love, ask for help, find more fun, keep a gratitude notebook, forget about results. She immersed herself in principles set forth by all manner of experts, from Epicurus to Thoreau to Oprah to Martin Seligman to the Dalai Lama to see what worked for her - and what didn't. Her conclusions are sometimes surprising - she finds that money can buy happiness, when spent wisely; that novelty and challenge are powerful sources of happiness; that "treating" yourself can make you feel worse; that venting bad feelings doesn't relieve them; that the very smallest of changes can make the biggest difference - and they range from the practical to the profound.
©2009 Gretchen Rubin; (P)2009 HarperCollins Publishers
"Packed with fascinating facts about the science of happiness and rich examples of how she improves her life through changes small and big. The Happiness Project made me happier by just reading it." (Bookpage.com)
A school administrator and avid reader and listener of books. At least an hour of every day is spent in the car, and that's where the bulk of my listening is done. I tend to listen to books on "faster" mode so I can get through more books!
Generally I liked the book at the author's story of being more intentional in seeking out happiness in her life. I listned to the book, which the author narrates, and in this case, I think another narrator would have been a better choice. As I listned to the book I was challenged, encouraged, and sometimes even discouraged by Rubin's experiences, and sometimes all at the same time. While I appreciate all that she did, hearing her story created stress for me as I thought "how can I do it all?" I think that is part of her point, though: you can't do it all. Find what works for you.
Absolutely, this book was very inspirational and I loved hearing the personal stories.
It was like a bundle of self-help books. Lots of ideas I have heard or read and how Gretchen applied them in her own life.
I enjoyed listening to this book because Gretchen relays lots of emotions and a true personal connection to the book.
I dont know... i dont have the printed version. so i cannot answer this question.
the flow and the simple words she used in narrating her story
it felt more real and less preaching.. like a sister talking to another sister and telling her about her experiences in different aspects of life.
it made me smile at times.... but no extreme reactions
it was too long... it could have been written or narrated in less words. too much unnecessary details made me to hit the forward button during some chapters.
Mu favorites are paranormal, supernatural, post-apocalyptic, and horror!
I don't understand what all the hype is about. A whole book about how to identify a goal and work towards it? Isn't this largely common sense? I bought the book because it was selected in my book club. It sounded interesting, but I lost interest very quickly. I am in my 30s and I know how to set goals and work towards them. I do not need to follow someone else's plan. I was quickly disappointed with how basic the book's information was. I felt the author did not have anything of value to offer to me. I was very bored and could not finish the book. I doubt I will read anything else from this author.
Ruben is reflective, thoughtful, original and well-read. She sums up the zeitgeist and presents it cleverly and clearly. As an observer of the human condition, she has picked the subject and packaged it well.
All of the hard work in support of the theme is also part of the story within the story.
Passion and interest in the subject matter in a voice that has become familiar. The coherence of the happiness "product" (blog/ emails/ podcasts/ videos/ utubes) is pleasing.
I preferred it over time.
I really enjoyed the first half or so of the book. It kept my interest and made me reflect a bit on my own life and how I could apply the concept to my own life.
The story is entirely too long and I honestly lost interest after listening to the first download. I eventually gave up with about an hour left of the second half as I just didn't care what happened anymore. (sad to say)
The book isn't one that will make you binge listen as I tend to with other books, but it definately starts out strong. Great subject matter.
Like many other reviews have already pointed out, many of the things the author shares are things that I've heard before. But there were several items that I've been able to incorporate into my life so it was certainly not a wasted credit or wasted time.
Gretchen's honesty through her friendly narration brought me with her on a journey that gave me tons of practical tools I could begin using right away.
I loved how she mixed a good amount of science, philosophy and literature to help her describe happiness.
I really enjoyed how open and encouraging she was at the end about inviting people to take on their own happiness projects by listing resources and examples from her blog.
How to change your life without changing your life.
I loved it!
Great book! If you are on the fence, get this book. Very matter of fact and practical advice on how to go from laissez-faire daily routine to a happy one. The author is very honest about her struggles with her project. I like that her blog, that has the same name as the book, provides tools and forums for follow up.
Gretchen's honesty with becoming an happiness "freak".
No, but I could have!
this was a fun listen that i dipped in and out of over a period of time, and towards the end it touched a couple of really interesting and resonant points. anyone who posted a negative review because they couldn't get over the the author's voice should get over themselves.
"Absolutely loved it."
Well read, and an inspiring journey. I loved the way it was broken down into each month and would highly recommend it to anyone who is thinking about making some changes to be happier without destroying what they already have :)
"Filled my morning walks nicely "
Good listen not much practical tips more of a read through her own experiences, saying that I haven't yet requetsed the tool kit so I will do so. I'm sure there is more materials. It's a motivating audio I will for sure listen to it many times
I found the book very inspiring. Many people make resolutions and then do not keep them. This book shows a structured approach to accomplish them. It also shows a success story that inspired you and shows that it is achievable and worth to work on yourself and your happiness.
Great deal of common sense delivered in a numerous and self deprecating way. If you listen to this book and think of it as journalism rather than 'self help' I think you will get more from it.
"Helpful tips on finding happiness"
This is a wonderful book for anyone who is looking to explore ways of improving the quality of their life without actually having to change their lives much at all. Also easily digestible for those of us who normally find self help books boring, tedious and patronising. Thank you Gretchen for the energy and ideas you have given me! Why wait. I'll try it now. I'm not unhappy, in fact, I think I'm quite happy already,
but having listened to this I think I can be even happier, with a little mindfulness and a tiny bit of effort.
Only thing that didn't resonate with me was a lot of talk about the authors children since I don't have any myself. Minor detail however. I quite enjoyed this book and would like more Gretchen Rubin books on audible.
Yes. This offered practical insights of things one can do in every day life.
This is not relevent as it is a self help book.
I have not listened to any other 'performances'
Enjoyable and already put some things into practice. I especially liked that she uses examples from her own life which helps you see examples in your own.
thought-provoking, entertaining, focused
Drop-dead healthy by AJ Jacobs. Both authors spent one year testing theories in their own lifes. Both look at the most convincing research in their respective fields. They also both live in New York and write about their marriage, family life etc.
Read by the author Gretchen Rubin. It's obviously not of the same quality as books read by professional actors, but (contrary to others) I didn't mind her voice. It made the audiobook more authentic.
I didn't find it emotionally involving, but it did make me think about me own life and choices.
I would recommend this audiobook.
"Well researched self-help book."
I love the idea of self-help books. I love thinking about ways to make my life better and happier. Who doesn't? So I've read many of these kind of books and most of the times I am greatly disappointed as few of these kind of books have any real research backing them up. This book is a wonderful exception.
Gretchen isn't a scientist, but she has approached her happiness project in the same spirit of a scientist, and she has read a lot about the topic. This reading and her personal experience is the basis of this book, and although there are a few things I won't be trying, I still think this is a great example of what more self-help books should be like.
If you are curious about this title, buy the book instead. I have tried listening several times but just can't get past the author's voice. Unfortunately it has put me off enough that I can't absorb the content. No longer part of my happiness project: listening to this audio book.
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