Thursday, April 8, 2010

Review: The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin

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

Gretchen Rubin has a wonderful life, she's married to a patient and loving husband and has two children, she has a writing career and lives in New York City. Her in-laws live practically around the corner and she gets along with them! She has a revelation of sorts one day while riding on a city bus. She realizes that time is passing her by and she's not focusing on the things that truly matter. She realizes that she could be happier and appreciate her life and family more and embarks on a Happiness Project for one year. Gretchen methodically sets up resolutions, commandments and goals for each month of the year focusing on different aspects of her life to improve upon.  She chronicles this journey in her honest and inspirational book, the full title is: 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.

The book takes us through the year of this project with Gretchen, month by month. Each month she sets a goal as well as ideas and projects for her to achieve the goal. They were different each month but tended to build on the previous goal. For example, in January her goal was to Boost Energy by getting more sleep, exercising more and what I found insightful was that Gretchen found "acting" more energetic and happy actually worked. Gretchen was inspired by this quote :

"Whoever is happy will make others happy, too." Mark Twain.

She then tackles her marriage in the next month with the goal to Remember Love. She then adds other months that address work, parenthood, leisure, friendship and more. I liked how the book was organized into dedicated  chapters for each month. It was nice to focus on the one goal and it made it easier to read and the book flowed well.

Gretchen is not done learning but she did find out how important this project was in getting to know herself and be herself. She was very honest in sharing her weaknesses as well as her struggles and successes along the way. I enjoyed her honesty and sense of humor and some of her conclusions were very interesting. The Happiness Project is full of ideas to inspire you and you just may learn a few new things that may challenge you to start a Happiness Project of your own. Reading The Happiness Project has made me think about my attitude toward happiness and I'm making some changes of my own after being inspired by Gretchen's journey.

Gretchen started a blog based on the Happiness Project during the month she focused on work. In addition, she  has a Happiness Project website and a Happiness Project Toolbox full of tools to embark on your own Happiness Project.

Disclosure: A copy of this book was provided by Harper Collins for review. I am an Amazon Associate and an Indiebound Associate.


  1. This book seems to inspire everyone. I need to get hold of a copy!

  2. This one looks good. Your review has made me curious.

  3. I have heard such wonderful things about this book! But I really liked learning more about how the book is set up, etc. - made me even more excited to read it!

  4. I read this one as well/ I liked it bit had some issues with it as well.

    I'm glad you liked it Bonnie.

  5. I truly want to read this one. Checked it out from the library but ran out of time...story of my life!

  6. i have been debating about this book, why hold back on happiness!

    so glad you found food for thought, i hope you will join in, every other saturday, love to SEE what you are reading!


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