The Happiness Project: The book that changed my life

The Happiness ProjectI first got to know Gretchen Rubin when she was kind enough to include me in one of her Happiness Project interviews on her popular blog. At the time, I had no idea that she was about to come out with the #1 New York Times best-selling book that would absolutely change my life and the way I see the world.

I’m not much of a self-help book kind of gal. I’m really more of a make-fun-of-self-help-books gal. But 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,
simply transcends the category in the best possible way. Let me just
say that since reading it last year, I have recommended it to roughly
639 people. And not just because I adore Gretchen.

The author takes you through a clever and wildly original personal journey to figure out
(sometimes rather anally, as she’d admit herself) how a fairly happy
woman could become an even happier woman at home, at work, and in life. It’s part memoir, part personal experiment, part research paper. The result: The Happiness Project is quirky, it’s fun, it’s not preachy or dogmatic, and really, it’s absolutely fascinating.

Best of all, it’s actionable; I was amazed to discover that simple changes like
making my bed every day, organizing my kids’ stuff better, and ensuring I have one empty shelf somewhere
in the house really can change my mood. And because she’s a mother too,
Gretchen has got plenty of observations that are especially relevant to busy
parents. (Hint, a little less multi-tasking perhaps?)

Some of the suggestions are of course things you’ve heard before (“be polite and fair”), but honestly, sometimes it takes the right tone and context for an idea to stick. That’s just what happened with me.

Today, the book comes out in paperback meaning there’s no better
to grab a copy. There is seriously not a week that has gone by over the
past year that I do not think about this book. Especially the suggestion
to “do it now.” Man, if only everyone would only follow that advice, I
wouldn’t be chasing down RSVPs every time we throw a birthday party. And
that would sure make me happier. –Liz

The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin now in paperback from our affiliate Amazon. Also, subscribe to the wonderful Happiness Project blog. It’s a treat.

Cool Mom Staff

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  • Reply March 1, 2011


    thank you for this review. I saw the book this weekend and almost purchased it for my upcoming sunny holiday, but thought it was one of those “self-help” books. you’ve changed my mind. i’m totally going to the bookstore before i leave to take with me (along with the 4 other books in my beach bag) :0)

  • Reply March 1, 2011


    Okay, you sold me. I’ll try it out, because my glass is so half-empty lately it’s not even funny.

  • Reply March 1, 2011


    I just finished this book and got a lot out of it too. An inspiring read! I bet it would be a great audiobook too.

  • Reply March 2, 2011


    I love that you’re a “laugh at self-help books” person too! I recently started reading Gretchen’s blog and was inspired to pre-order the paperback version of the book. It’s on its way as we speak, and your review made me glad I took the plunge.

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