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13 Best Happiness Books For Living A Happier Life

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13 Best Happiness Books For Living A Happier Life

One of the most incredible things about happiness is that many people are still searching for it despite there being a wealth of knowledge on the subject. In fact, one of the large portions of self-improvement books could easily be devoted to happiness books—books about being happier and living a happier life.

While that could be a testament to how many of the books aren’t that helpful, there are definitely some diamonds underneath all of these books. Below I’ve sifted through the numerous happiness books and put together a list of books that are popular and cover this topic in the best way possible.

Before getting to this list of happiness books, here are the criteria that we’ve used to sift through the numerous books on happiness.

  • Perspective – Because there are so many happiness books to pick from, perspective is one of the most valuable pieces here. Every person’s views of happiness and living a happier life vary, so it’s vital to find books that are outliers to traditional positivity books and blogs. This list will offer unique perspectives from many different people.
  • Realistic Thinking – When people think about happiness or happy life, one of the first things to come to mind is visions of large houses or fancy cars. This way of thinking is old as many of the more prominent happiness books focus on a meaningful existence. A good way to think about this is that a good happiness book will get you to think realistically.
  • Explorative – A happiness book will get you to look deeper at yourself and your way of thinking. It shouldn’t shy you away from that possibility or distract you with something else.

1. 10% Happier

    One method that many people suggest when looking for happiness is meditation. Many people have sung praises about how meditation has changed their lives, and it is the one habit they encourage other people to do.

    While meditation is great, many people still don’t quite understand it or can’t wrap their heads around it. This is where this book comes in. Dan Harris’s 10% Happier is an excellent book that provides a unique take on meditation. Instead of focusing on what many other bloggers have tried to explain in posts, Harris talks about meditation in a unique way.

    Buy 10% Happier here.

    2. The Happiness Project

      One of the best happiness books you can pick up is this New York Times bestseller. It definitely deserves it as the author, Gretchen Rubin, spent an entire year of her life testing out various theories on what it means to improve your happiness.

      Based on the year-long results, she begins to record her findings in this book to show what actually works and what doesn’t. It’s remarkable because when it comes to advice, we know there is a lot out there to sift through. And while Rubin isn’t going to be able to cover all of it, her insights may help you in finding more happiness in your own life.

      Buy The Happiness Project here.

      3. Thrive

        Arianna Huffington, the owner of The Huffington Post, is a remarkable woman when you look at what she’s had to go through. In her book, Thrive, she shares her own medical and emotional crisis that pushed her to make a massive change in her own life.

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        Oftentimes, to be happier, it’s important to handle problems constructively. Whether you are in a rut or not in your life, there are definitely some problems that are nagging at you. This book could provide you with a new perspective on those problems and help you thrive.

        Buy Thrive here.

        4. Present Over Perfect

          There are many blockades to people’s happiness, of course, but more often than not, they’re barriers that we place ourselves. One of the most common ones is perfectionist tendencies. Sometimes, you won’t make a move unless you are guaranteed to succeed. Or maybe, you spend too much time working on something to ensure it’s perfect in your own eyes.

          These tendencies can get in the way a lot of the time and Shauna Niequist is all too familiar with it. It’s why she wrote this book. She had these perfectionist tendencies like many of us, and she spends a lot of time helping those in this situation live in a completely new way.

          Of course, it’s not easy. As Niequist explains, the change requires courage, simplifying your life, and saying no to a lot of things. But through this book, the process can help you get in touch with your own self and mitigate these tendencies from your life, too.

          Buy Present Over Perfect here.

          5. The Art of Happiness

            Published in 2009, this book was written by Dr. Cutler based on the interviews that he conducted with His Holiness the Dalai Lama—arguably the happiest and most loved individual in the world.

            The interviews Dr. Cutler did back then lasted an entire week, and the two talked about the Dalai Lama’s personal sense of peace and happiness in the book. Through these interviews, the goal of this book is to help readers reach that same level—or get some new perspective on happiness.

            On top of that, Dr. Cutler puts forward his own science-based views along with the Dalai Lama’s teachings, providing a fresh insight into what it means to be happy.

            Buy The Art of Happiness here.

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            6. Authentic Happiness

              Written by Martin Seligman in 2004, this book is still relevant to the matter of living a life with more happiness. Seligman is a psychologist and best-selling author who puts forward the idea that happiness is not a result of having the right genes or having to be lucky to achieve happiness.

              According to Seligman, true and enduring happiness stems from paying attention to your own strengths rather than your perceived weaknesses. While that sort of advice is thrown around a lot—don’t focus on the bad, but the good—this book goes beyond stating the obvious and provides practical advice that is backed by psychological research.

              Through the book, Seligman shares 24 strengths and virtues that form our own psyche. He then explains how to identify the ones that each person has and how to leverage them in every area of your life. By doing this, you can find yourself living happier and more authentic happiness.

              Buy Authentic Happiness here.

              7. Stumbling on Happiness

                Written by Professor Daniel Gilbert, this is a happiness book that is both interesting and funny to read. The main focus of this book is based on the fact most of us don’t really know how to make ourselves happy.

                For his research, he pulls from various fields of psychology, neuroscience, economics, and philosophy to explain why that’s the case and how we can stumble on our happiness through that information. He also explores other areas in this book that not many other happiness books will look into—human motivation.

                Buy Stumbling on Happiness here.

                8. The Happiness Trap

                  Dr. Russ Harris has a medical background with a major focus on stress management. He trains coaches, psychologists, doctors, and many other health professionals around the idea of mindfulness. Based on his own experiences, Dr. Harriss released this book in 2013.

                  In this easy-to-read self-help book, he provides practical and empowering methods to happiness in the form of ACT (Acceptance and Commitment Therapy). In fact, ACT has been adopted as an approach to psychotherapy and has been getting plenty of research done on its effectiveness.

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                  Beyond that, Dr. Harris explains the various myths and popular ideas around happiness and suggests that these are all misleading and inaccurate. He goes as far as saying those ideas and myths actually cause more stress, anxiety, and depression.

                  Buy The Happiness Trap here.

                  9. The Happiness Advantage

                    A lecturer at Harvard University and co-designer of Harvard’s ‘Happiness’ course, Shawn Achor reveals 7 core principles of positive psychology based on the largest studies of happiness and human potential ever—surveying over 1600 students.

                    Because the sample size is so large, it’s easy to see this book as a practical guide on legitimate ways to become happier.

                    Buy The Happiness Advantage here.

                    10. Happiness Is an Inside Job

                      Written by Sylvia Boorstein, Ph.D., this book starts with two key questions:

                      • How is it possible to remain engaged with life day after day?
                      • How can we keep our minds in a happy mood and continue loving when life itself is complicated, challenging, and frequently disappointing?

                      Based on those two questions alone, you can tell this is an inspiring book that provides detailed advice and offers plenty of wisdom. Boorstein explores that despite all of the odds being against us, we can still find our own sense of happiness. This book is also based on over three decades of her work and offers sound advice on how we can live happier lives.

                      Buy Happiness Is an Inside Job here.

                      11. The Happiness Hypothesis

                        Written by another psychology teacher, this book is the first one written by Jonathan Haidt that’s available for a general audience. This book is particularly interesting in that it draws inspiration from both science and philosophy.

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                        What the book aims to do is connect old ways of thinking to current beliefs and how that can impact our own happiness. For example, messages like “what doesn’t kill you make you stronger” or “happiness comes from within” could’ve been passed down from family member to family member.

                        The thing is, we often don’t question those truisms and we cling to those things among other ways of thinking. Examples are when we will feel truly happy if we earn more money, find our true love, or achieve some kind of big success. This book looks at all of this traditional wisdom and adds modern science to it in a unique way.

                        Buy The Happiness Hypothesis here.

                        12. The Happiness Equation

                          Awarded an MBA from Harvard, Neil Pasricha is a prominent TED presenter and founded the Institute for Global Happiness. In this book, he reveals nine secrets of happiness and shows readers that to have everything you want in life, you should want nothing and do anything to achieve it.

                          There is a lot of controversy surrounding this book for its counterintuitive way of thinking. However, it is refreshing to see a book that takes common ideals and presents them in a completely different light. All the while, the book provides good humor and wise practical advice along with it.

                          Buy The Happiness Equation here.

                          13. The Happiness Factor

                            The final book to cover is The Happiness Factor. Published in 2008, Kirk Wilkinson offers practical advice that is still relevant to this day.

                            For example, on page 33, Wilkinson writes, “Change the way you look at things… and the things you look at change.”

                            This quote alone provides some perspective on what this book has to offer—a perspective on how you can cope with adversity and overcome it to figure out true and lasting happiness. This book goes to great length to show us that we’re not all defined by the circumstances or problems that we face.

                            Buy The Happiness Factor here.

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                            Final Thoughts

                            Despite the glut of happiness books available for reading, there are all kinds of unique perspectives on what it means to be happy. Many of these books will get you thinking more about what it means to be happy while providing sound advice to guide you through your own sort of issues. By doing that, perhaps you’ll find yourself getting closer to living a happier and more fulfilling life.

                            More Happiness Books

                            Featured photo credit: Josh Felise via unsplash.com

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                            Last Updated on January 24, 2022

                            21 Best Tips On Making A Long Distance Relationship Work

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                            21 Best Tips On Making A Long Distance Relationship Work

                            Having texting and video conferencing at our fingertips, it appears that maintaining a long-distance relationship is easier than ever. Long-distance calls are no longer a luxury; the days when they needed to be rationed are long gone.

                            Long-distance couples do not have to depend on 3 p.m. postal delivery, waiting for news that is at best four days old.

                            Now we’re no longer even in the days of waiting for our loved ones to check their e-mail when they get home from work. Instant messaging keeps us hooked to each other even when we are out shopping, working, playing, watching a movie and doing much more.

                            Technology, however, cannot compensate for everything in a long-distance relationship, as anyone with a long-distance relationship will tell you.

                            Many long-distance relationships still seem emotionally difficult despite the lack of regular physical proximity.

                            People often think long-distance relationships will never work. It may be discouraged by your family, and some of your best friends may tell you not to take it too seriously in case you end up heartbroken.

                            Many things are not possible due to the extra distance – no one can promise it will be easy. Things could get complicated, and you might feel lonely and sad at times.

                            Still, many of us try them.

                            Video Summary

                            However, the extra distance also makes the simplest things the sweetest. Being able to hold the other person’s hand, eating together at the same table, feeling each other’s touch, taking a walk together, smelling each other’s hair… these small wishes could suddenly mean so much more in a long-distance relationship.

                            Long-distance relationships may be tough, but they have their own surprises too. To keep your love alive and strong, here are 21 tips on how to make a long distance relationship work:

                            1. Avoid excessive communication.

                            It is unwise to be overly “sticky” and possessive. You two don’t really have to communicate 12 hours a day to keep the relationship going. Many couples think that they need to compensate for the distance by doing more. This is not true. And it might only make things worse. Soon you would get tired of “loving.”

                            Remember: Less is more. It is not about spamming — you are only going to exhaust yourselves. It’s really about teasing at the right moments and tugging at the right spots.

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                            2. See it as an opportunity.

                            “If you want to live together, you first need to learn how to live apart.” – Anonymous

                            View it as a learning journey for both of you. This is an opportunity for you to prove your love for one another. According to a Chinese proverb, “Real gold is not afraid of the test of fire.” Instead of thinking that this long-distance relationship is pulling you two apart, you should believe that through this experience, the both of you will be bound together even stronger.

                            As Emma says it to Will in season four of Glee,

                            “I would rather be here, far from you, but feeling really close, rather than close to you but feeling really far away.” – Emma, Glee Season 4

                            3. Set some ground rules to manage your expectations.

                            Both of you need to be clear with what you expect of each other during this long-distance relationship. Set some ground rules so that none of you will do things that will take the other party by surprise.

                            For instance, are you two exclusive? Is it all right for the other person to go on dates? What is your commitment level? It’s better to be open with each other about all these things.

                            4. Try to communicate regularly, and creatively.

                            Greet each other “good morning” and “good night” every day — this is a must. On top of that, try to update your partner on your life and its happenings, however mundane some of the things may seem.

                            To up the game, send each other pictures, audio clips, and short videos from time to time. By putting in this kind of effort, you make the other person feel loved and attended to.

                            5. Talk dirty with each other.

                            Sexual tension is undoubtedly one of the most important things between couples. In a way, sexual desire is like the glue that keeps both parties from drifting apart. Sexual need is not only biological but also emotional.

                            Keep the flames burning by sending each other teasing texts filled with sexual innuendos and provocative descriptions. Sexy puns work pretty well too.

                            6. Avoid “dangerous” situations.

                            If you already know that going to the club or going drinking with your group of friends late at night will displease your partner, then you should either 1. Not do it or 2. Tell your partner beforehand to reassure them.

                            You should not let this sort of thing slip by because it will only make your partner extra worried or suspicious – and of course, very upset because they will feel powerless or lack control over the situation.

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                            You can fall victim to your traps by going out with eye candy from work after work or dating someone from your past who has been flirting with you without realizing it. Before entering a dangerous situation, you need to recognize the dangers.

                            Listen to your heart, but don’t just rely on it. Make sure you also listen to your mind.

                            7. Do things together.

                            Play a game online together. Watch a documentary at the same time on YouTube or Vimeo. Share a song on Skype while another plays the guitar. Video-call each other and go for a walk together. Together, go online shopping – and buy each other gifts (see #13).

                            You really have to be creative and spontaneous about it.

                            8. Do similar things.

                            Recommend books, TV shows, movies, music, news and etc., to each other. When you read, watch and listen to the same things, you get to have more topics in common to talk about.

                            Even if you live apart, it’s nice to have some shared experiences.

                            9. Make visits to each other.

                            Every long-distance relationship is enriched by visits.

                            After all the waiting and yearning and abstinence, you finally get to meet each other to fulfil all the little things like kissing, holding hands, etc. These are typical for couples in long-distance relationships but more special and intimate for long-distance couples.

                            The atmosphere will be filled with fireworks, glitter bombs, confetti, rainbows, and butterflies.

                            10. Have a goal in mind.

                            Are we going to be apart for a long time?” “what about the future?” These are the questions you should ask yourselves.

                            In fact, a couple cannot stay in a long-distance relationship forever. Eventually, we all need to settle down.

                            So make a plan with each other. Set up a timeline, mark down the estimated times apart and times together, and draw an end goal.

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                            It is important that you two are on the same page and have the same goals. So that even if you are not living in the same space and the same timezone, both of you are still motivated to work together in the same direction towards a future that includes one another.

                            That’s right, you need some motivation to make a relationship last too. Find out more about what motivates you here.

                            11. Enjoy your alone time and your time with your friends and family.

                            You are alone, but you are not lonely unless you choose to feel like it. You don’t have to let your world revolve around your partner — you still have you, your friends, and your family. Take this time apart to do more with your friends and family. Go to the gym more often. Get a new hobby. Binge-watch shows. There are plenty of things for you to do that don’t involve your partner.

                            12. Stay honest with each other.

                            Talk about your feelings of fear, insecurity, jealousy, apathy, whatsoever. If you try to hide anything from your partner, that secret will sooner or later swallow you up from the inside out. Don’t try to deal with things all by yourself. Be open and honest with each other. Let your partner help you and give you the support you need. It’s better to look at the problem during its initial stage than to only disclose it when it’s all too late.

                            13. Know each other’s schedules.

                            It’s helpful to know when the other person is busy and free. So that you can drop a text or make a call at the right time. You wouldn’t want to disturb your partner when they are in the middle of class or halfway through a business meeting. Make sure you are aware of everyone’s small and big events in their lives, i.e., college midterms and exams, important business trips and meetings, job interviews, etc. Particularly if you live in different time zones, this becomes more important.

                            14. Keep track of each other’s social media activities.

                            Facebook and Instagram photos of each other. Send each other tweets. Tag each other on Facebook. Post stuff on each other’s wall. Let them know you care. Be cool with stalking each other.

                            15. Gift a personal object for the other person to hold on to.

                            Memories have power. No matter what it is–a pendant, a ring, a keychain, a collection of songs and videos, or a perfume bottle. Everyday items and things have meanings to us, whether we realize it or not. We all try to store memories in material things so that when our minds fail, we will still be able to look at or hold onto something that will help us recall our memories. This is why something so simple can mean so much to a person when others may see little or no value in it.

                            16. Get a good messaging app.

                            This is extremely important because texting is the most frequent and common way of communication the two of you have. You need a good messaging app on your phones that allows interactions beyond words and emoticons.

                            Personally, I use this messaging app called LINE. I find it highly effective because it has a huge reserve of playful and very funny “stickers” that are free for its users to use. You can also go to the app’s “Sticker Shop” to download (or gift!) extra stickers of different themes (e.g., Hello Kitty, Pokemon, Snoopy, MARVEL, etc.) at a low price. Occasionally, the app will give out free sticker sets for promotions. This messaging app is cute and easy to learn to use.

                            17. Snail-mail your gift.

                            Mail each other postcards and hand-written love letters. Send each other gifts across the globe from time to time. Flower deliveries on birthdays, anniversaries, and Valentine’s Day. Shop online and surprise each other with cool T-shirts, sexy underwear, and such.

                            18. Stay positive.

                            You need to constantly inject positive energy into the long-distance relationship to keep it alive. Yes, the waiting can be painful, and you can sometimes feel lonely, but you need to remind yourself that the fruits at the end will be sweet as heaven.

                            One good trick to staying positive is to be grateful all the time. Be thankful that you have someone to love — someone who also loves you back. Be thankful for the little things, like the hand-made letter that arrived safely in your mailbox the other day. Be thankful for each other’s health and safety.

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                            19. Keep each other updated on each other’s friends and family.

                            This will help you two to know each other’s culture and values. Knowing small habits of each other helps in developing an understanding and building mutual trust.

                            Talking about family and friends gives you more matters to talk about. The best thing to talk about is gossip and scandals.

                            20. Video-call whenever possible.

                            Because sometimes looking into each other’s eyes and hearing each other’s voices can make everything feel alright again.

                            A video call is though nothing like being together, but it’s the best thing and the most to do for coziness in a long-distance relationship.

                            21. Give each other pet names.

                            Because it’s cute. It keeps the lovey-dovey going. Having special names for each other reserved only for one another are heart-warming. Hearing that one word with love lifts our spirits up, and we feel assured all over again.

                            Chaos seems to fade away just by hearing that special word from someone special.

                            With the best wishes…

                            Love (or like) is a force that is beyond your control. Love just happens. The same goes for turning off those feelings, even when you get the perfect job halfway across the country.

                            Neither one of us expects to be long-distance in a relationship. But if you’re in a relationship like this, you’ll just have to make the most out of a difficult situation. These advice for long distance relationships will hopefully help you stay strong and cheerful when living apart from one another.

                            More Recommended Relationships Experts on Lifehack
                            • Carol Morgan —  A communication professor, dating/relationship and success coach
                            • Dr. Magdalena Battles — A Doctor of Psychology with specialties include children, family relationships, domestic violence, and sexual assault
                            • Randy Skilton —  An educator in the areas of relationships and self-help

                            Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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