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The Happiness Project Audiobook

The Happiness Project

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Publisher's Summary

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.

As an added bonus, this recording includes a sampling of Gretchen's podcast, Happier with Gretchen Rubin. In this episode, "Choose the Bigger Life", Gretchen and her sister, Elizabeth Craft, discuss happiness, good habits, and whether Gretchen is going to get a dog.

©2009 Gretchen Rubin (P)2009 HarperCollins Publishers

What the Critics Say

"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)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

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Performance
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  •  
    AtticusAtticus Bronxville, NY, United States 10-01-12
    AtticusAtticus Bronxville, NY, United States 10-01-12 Member Since 2017
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    Story
    "Happy to have read it."

    My friend ended up getting divorced because of this book. Hmmmm... what could be so powerful that my friend could decide to end a 15 year marriage??
    Gretchen Rubin does a great job of telling her story of trying to be happier by changing little things in her life - making a list of promises to herself. Things that she will work on. It is HER project and she is very clear that what works for her may not bring you happiness. But she also points out that we are all different and our happiness needs are different.
    I was worried that I would not want to finish this book. But I did and I feel that I learned a lot about how I approach my own life. Gretchen Rubin and I may not have the same needs for happiness, but I appreciated her list and her self-awareness of her own behavior and how that might effect the happiness of the people around her and ultimately her own happiness.

    10 of 12 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mathieu Cognac 03-02-14 Member Since 2017
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Superficial"
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    Better content, a real actor. The voice of Gretchen is unbearable after 2min.


    Would you ever listen to anything by Gretchen Rubin again?

    Never. I have read hundreds of books but I felt compelled to write this review as this book is completely superficial, doesn't provide any meaningful advice - except reading the classics.


    Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Gretchen Rubin?

    Someone talented, or just anyone.


    If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from The Happiness Project?

    The part when she cleans her closet, all sections shall have been cut.


    Any additional comments?

    Worst book I have ever read.

    6 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Katherine 06-12-15
    Katherine 06-12-15 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "How many "me's" and "I's" can there be in one book"

    I appreciate the premise and the attempt here. Well written and good for what it was. Many"flakes of gold" and even a few laugh out loud moments. It just became tedious, and too self absorbed for my tastes, and written to a very narrow audience. But kudos to you Gretchen for making the effort and by the sounds of it this book has definitely made a positive impact in many people's lives.

    5 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    R. Strauss 06-07-11
    R. Strauss 06-07-11 Member Since 2015
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    "Happiness project made me happy!"

    What a cool book! I really enjoyed how it felt like the author was talking to me as opposed to lecturing me. I have already applied some of the little things she talks about that I never thought of and am enjoying them. :-)

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Hayley ProvidencialesTurks And Caicos Islands 06-12-10
    Hayley ProvidencialesTurks And Caicos Islands 06-12-10
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    "Dull"

    This book and the narration are very dull. For a subject such as happiness, a little intonation and a sense of fun might have been a good approch to reading this.
    The book itself is so incredibly trite, I could not believe it has even been published.
    If you are looking for a book about happiness, check out The Happiness Hypothesis it is fantastic and fun.

    14 of 20 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Nicholas Castaneda 02-17-10 Member Since 2017
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    "nahhh"

    This is a valiant if not vain attempt at trying to look into happiness. There is a bit of science mixed in with information but mostly self serving stories about someone trying to get attention for being happy. Unfortunately I didn't find this uplifting and although pedantic I didn't learn much. Regretful purchase.

    16 of 23 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jason Leon 08-15-17
    Jason Leon 08-15-17 Member Since 2016
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    "Terrible"

    Terrible this is not a book about happiness it is a autobiography of a woman that just likes to talk a lot and doesn't give hardly any real authentic advice on how to live a happier life.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Wayne 07-29-17
    Wayne 07-29-17 Member Since 2017
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    "I know I need to apply the knowledge...but"

    I loved the information, it is always difficult for me to start a new project.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jillie 07-03-17
    Jillie 07-03-17
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    "Practical and Insightful"

    Gretchen Rubin's Happiness Project is a delightful read that is inspiring but not so lofty as to be unattainable. Her practical approach and admitted foibles and challenges were something I could relate to, and think, gosh that is a good idea, maybe I could do something along those lines myself. I have already recommended the book to someone and plan to re-read it immediately.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    D. Haines Washington, USA 05-16-17
    D. Haines Washington, USA 05-16-17 Member Since 2016
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Enthralling!"
    If you could sum up The Happiness Project in three words, what would they be?

    I have read many books on this topic and Gretchen does an excellent job of summing up all the information that's out there on happiness. It was an excellent read and i look forward to trying some of her recommendations!


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
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  • Anita Fronczak
    Warsaw, Poland
    5/31/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Inspiring"

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • liz
    BIRMINGHAM, United Kingdom
    4/6/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Very Enjoyable"

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Jason
    harpenden, United Kingdom
    9/13/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "fun listen"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    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.


    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Amazon Customer
    Dublin, Ireland
    11/4/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Helpful tips on finding happiness"
    What made the experience of listening to The Happiness Project the most enjoyable?

    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.


    Any additional comments?

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • sarah
    Great Cornard, United Kingdom
    7/8/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Really Useable"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes. This offered practical insights of things one can do in every day life.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    This is not relevent as it is a self help book.


    Have you listened to any of Gretchen Rubin’s other performances? How does this one compare?

    I have not listened to any other 'performances'


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    No.


    Any additional comments?

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Julia
    Oxford, United Kingdom
    7/1/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "enjoyable"
    If you could sum up The Happiness Project in three words, what would they be?

    thought-provoking, entertaining, focused


    What other book might you compare The Happiness Project to, and why?

    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.


    What do you think the narrator could have done better?

    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.


    Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    I didn't find it emotionally involving, but it did make me think about me own life and choices.


    Any additional comments?

    I would recommend this audiobook.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Gustav
    London, United Kingdom
    8/19/12
    Overall
    "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.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Kirsten
    Monmouth, Monmouthshire, United Kingdom
    9/29/10
    Overall
    "Unhappy listening"

    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.

    2 of 8 people found this review helpful
  • Kindle Customer
    Home
    12/24/12
    Overall
    "Happiness Project"

    Not sure about this title as the author's voice has really irritated me. Her accent took my concentration away from the actual content of the book. I didn't realise it would affect me so!

    0 of 3 people found this review helpful

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