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Publisher's Summary

Martha Beck, the beloved columnist and lifestyle counselor from O, The Oprah Magazine, returns with a new prescription for personal fulfillment. The Joy Diet shows readers how to add ten "ingredients" to their daily routine to change the course of their lives: to find purpose, overcome obstacles, heal wounds, and build dreams. These are the ten most powerful life-enhancing behaviors Martha Beck has found in years of research and practice, clearly explained and served with poignant examples from her life design practice, her trademark good-humored wit, and straightforward instructions for incorporating them into everyday life. As Martha puts it, "the greatest thing you'll learn from actually practicing the Joy Diet is that money, love, and success... are the product of a joyful life, not the cause."
©2003 Martha Beck; (P)2003 Books on Tape, Inc., Published By Arrangement with Random House Audio Publishing Group, A Division of Random House, Inc.

Critic Reviews

"Written in a down-to-earth, positive tone, the author's thoughtfully designed exercises, inspirational anecdotes and gentle advice should fall on fertile ground." (Publishers Weekly)
"These prescriptions will be inviting to everyone." (AudioFile)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall

Your own therapy session in a book

This is, without a doubt, one of the best self help books that I've ever come across. Be prepared however for some intense learnings that may at first seem un-familiar, unless you have actually been to a therapist/counselor before. This is a high powered therapy session for the masses on tape. Having had formal training as a counselor at the Masters level, I consider the approach used here to be outstanding. This is not however a casual, read it on the beach type book. It requires effort to use these techniques, so if you really don't intend to actually DO anything in the way of improving yourself, then go find The Time Travelers Wife and download it. That one works on the beach.

20 of 22 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Peter
  • LeverkusenGermany
  • 10-03-04

from the 50 books I heard this year - the best!

I love it.
Funny, good deep insight and it helped me a lot :-)

8 of 9 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Colleen
  • Windsor, Ontario, Canada
  • 02-27-06

Get this book!

I based my purchased on the previous reviews and they're right on the nose, this is a great book. Every once in a while I download a winning book I could listen to repeatedly. This is the one.
Positive, insightful and I'm excited to dive in and try the suggested ingredients of the Joy Diet.

6 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Judith
  • Millbury, MA, United States
  • 07-30-05

Refreshing, Well Worth It.

This book is witty, charming, and full of useful advice. The ten exercises are simple enough to understand and to incorporate into one's life.

I found after the first couple of exercises that my overall life perceptions and views were changing and that my moods were improving.

I highly recommend this wonderfully refreshing book!

6 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

May be better in ink

I found this book a bit repetitive, and although, the basic principles are probably sound advice, Beck really stretches them out. My interest faded as the chapter wore on. This would probably be best as a long magazine article rather than a book. It may also be better read than listened to, as I wished I had the list of practices to refer to.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • Story

Worth reading again

I read this book two years ago and followed the exercises. Since then, I've kept up only a handful of these joyful practices, and yet my life has changed tremendously since! It didn't seem like much was happening at first other than a subtle, pervasive happiness, but OMG, now I'm living such an incredible life. I am now enjoying all the things I longed for then: the career of my dreams, an incredibly loving and intimate marriage, plenty of leisure time. I decided to re-read the book this past few weeks when I set some new goals for myself and am doing a Martha Beck re-read binge. Re-reading this one in particular caused the fine hairs to raise because I could pinpoint how the joy exercises had such a massive and profound impact on my life. Thank you, Martha Beck

  • Overall
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  • Story
  • Linda
  • DALE CITY, VA, United States
  • 03-01-13

Very disapointed

Would you try another book from Martha Beck and/or Kathe Mazur?

I was very hopeful about this book. However, the writer quickly lost credibility. I never made it more than half way through this book as the author's characterizations of others seemed so dishonest.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Performance
  • Story
  • Patricia
  • Somerville, OH, United States
  • 09-04-12

Delightful book, perfect narrator

Would you listen to The Joy Diet again? Why?

Yes. I am listening a second time now.

What was one of the most memorable moments of The Joy Diet?

My son and I both enjoyed the part about giving yourself treats -- and the story of the dog Cookie, who smiles in anticipation of getting a cookie.

Which character – as performed by Kathe Mazur – was your favorite?

n/a. Kathe Mazur has great comic timing and inflection, and she has a friendly voice that's easy to listen to. She's a perfect narrator for a Martha Beck book.

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

No. It helps to pause and think about each chapter and do the exercises.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Miriam
  • DOYLESTOWN, PA, United States
  • 11-22-11

Practical ways to a life you love

I love Martha Beck's work. She's so smart, and funny, and loving all at once, and truth just rings out from every word. The Joy Diet is about loving your life, and Beck gives you a very structured, tested, step by step method for getting there. Along with a lot of examples from her own life (always funny) and her clients (always illuminating) about the trials and missteps we all make on the way.

I only wish she read it herself. The narrator is fine, but I bet Beck's actual intonations would be more animated and intimate.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

A Life Method

If you ever find your self in need of a direction, after having tried so many directions, here is much needed direction. As stated in a previous review this is not a beach book, it is one to listen to, read and do your homework with. I highly recommend you purchase the book to reference, there are even on-line work sheets to reference to help put valuable changes into practice. Enjoy the journey. Make the changes.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful