The best 71 Happy books

When it comes to happiness, exploring the topic can bring profound insights into what truly brings joy and fulfillment in life. Our thoughtfully curated list of books on happiness offers a diverse range of perspectives and strategies for cultivating joy and contentment.

Dive into our collection of happiness-related titles to discover practical tools, inspiring stories, and research-backed advice that can guide you on your quest for a happier life. Ready to enrich your understanding of happiness and start your journey towards a more fulfilling existence?

The best 71 Happy books
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Happy Books: Happiness by Richard Layard


Richard Layard
Lessons from a New Science
4.0 (34 ratings)
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What's Happiness about?

In Happiness, economist Richard Layard examines what it is that makes us happy and how anyone can achieve greater happiness. Basing his studies on insights from such diverse fields as psychology, philosophy and neuroscience, Layard presents compelling arguments that are great food for thought, encouraging readers to question their daily habits and practices.

Who should read Happiness?

  • Anyone interested in research on happiness
  • Anyone who wants to find out why money won’t necessarily make them happy
  • Anyone searching for ways to increase their general level of happiness

Happy Books: Delivering Happiness by Tony Hsieh

Delivering Happiness

Tony Hsieh
A Path to Profits, Passion, and Purpose
4.3 (121 ratings)
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What's Delivering Happiness about?

The central theme of the book is the business of literally delivering happiness while living a life of passion and purpose. Delivering Happiness (2013) tells the story of Tony Hsieh and his company Zappos, demonstrating how thinking long-term and following your passions can not only lead to profits but also a happy life for your employees, your customers, and yourself. The book describes an alternative approach to corporate culture that focuses on the simple concept of making people around you happy, and by doing so increasing your own happiness.

Who should read Delivering Happiness?

  • Anyone interested in running a successful business
  • Anyone wishing to change the world
  • Anyone who wants to know how profits, extraordinary customer service and happiness can all go hand-in-hand

Happy Books: Savor by Thich Nhat Hanh and Lilian Cheung


Thich Nhat Hanh and Lilian Cheung
Mindful Eating, Mindful Life
4.2 (143 ratings)
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What's Savor about?

Savor (2010) provides advice and inspiration on how to find inner peace, joy and strength – especially for those trying to sustainably lose weight – with Buddhist teachings and techniques for appreciating the richness of life in the present moment. It also draws on the latest nutritional science research on the best ways to eat and exercise, presenting readers with a holistic method for improving their physical, psychological and spiritual well-being, and thereby transforming their lives.

Who should read Savor?

  • Anyone wanting to sustainably lose weight
  • Anyone wanting more peace and happiness in everyday life

Happy Books: Positivity by Barbara L. Fredrickson


Barbara L. Fredrickson
Top-Notch Research Reveals the 3 to 1 Ratio That Will Change Your Life
4.4 (200 ratings)
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What's Positivity about?

Positivity presents the latest research into the positive emotions that are the foundation of our happiness. By presenting different strategies to increase the amount of positive emotions you experience, this book will help you adopt a positive general attitude toward life.

Who should read Positivity?

  • Anyone interested in the power of positive emotions
  • Anyone who wants to enjoy greater happiness and life satisfaction
  • Anyone interested in positive psychology and happiness research

Happy Books: The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle

The Power of Now

Eckhart Tolle
A Guide To Spiritual Enlightenment
4.4 (1,575 ratings)
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What's The Power of Now about?

The Power of Now (1997) offers a specific method for putting an end to suffering and achieving inner peace, living fully in the present and separating yourself from your mind. The book also teaches you to detach yourself from your “ego” – a part of the mind that seeks control over your thinking and behavior. It argues that by doing so you can learn to accept the present, reduce the amount of pain you experience, improve your relationships and enjoy a better life in general.

Who should read The Power of Now?

  • Anyone seeking inner peace and enlightenment
  • Anyone who is experiencing pain and is unsatisfied with their own existence
  • Anyone who has the feeling that they are standing in their own way

Happy Books: The Art of Happiness by Dalai Lama

The Art of Happiness

Dalai Lama
A Handbook for Living
4.5 (506 ratings)
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What's The Art of Happiness about?

The Art of Happiness (1998) is based on interviews of His Holiness the Dalai Lama conducted by the psychiatrist Howard C. Cutler. The combination of Tibetan Buddhist spiritual tradition with Dr. Cutler’s knowledge of Western therapeutic methods and scientific studies makes this a very accessible guide to everyday happiness. The book spent 97 weeks on the New York Times bestseller list.

Who should read The Art of Happiness?

  • Anyone interested in how they can deal with suffering and find lasting happiness
  • Anyone interested in how the Dalai Lama’s teachings intersect with Western therapeutic methods and scientific studies
  • Anyone struggling with anger, anxiety, guilt or other negative mental states

Happy Books: The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin

The Happiness Project

Gretchen Rubin
Or, Why I Spent a Year Trying to Sing in the Morning, Clean My Closets, Fight Right, Read Aristotle, and Generally Have More Fun
4.3 (253 ratings)
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What's The Happiness Project about?

What is happiness and how can we bring more of it into our lives? Gretchen Rubin asked herself this question because although she fulfilled all the prerequisites for a happy life – an intact family, a good job and enough money for a rainy day – she found herself frequently unhappy. During her year-long Happiness Project, she read about various techniques and theories on increasing happiness and tried to become happier with their help.


Who should read The Happiness Project?

  • Anyone who wants to boost the little bits of happiness in their everyday lives
  • Anyone looking for ideas and theories about happiness
  • Anyone in need of concrete suggestions about how to establish a balance between work, social life, family and self-fulfillment



Happy Books: The Defining Decade by Meg Jay

The Defining Decade

Meg Jay
Why Your 20s Matter – and How to Make the Most of Them Now
4.0 (160 ratings)
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What's The Defining Decade about?

Drawing on a wealth of personal stories and fascinating facts, The Defining Decade (2012) argues that, contrary to popular belief, 30 is not the new 20. Author Meg Jay uses her vast experience as a professional psychologist to advise twentysomethings on such issues as choosing a partner, starting a family, picking a career, and generally making the most of one’s 20s. Jay also argues that the years between 20 and 30 are the time to establish serious goals and, because the adult brain is at its most pliable then, to begin to take steps toward reaching them.

Who should read The Defining Decade?

  • Twentysomethings looking for guidance
  • Parents who want to understand the troubles of their twentysomething children
  • Employers who want to know how to motivate their young professionals

Happy Books: Finding Your Element by Ken Robinson

Finding Your Element

Ken Robinson
How to Discover Your Talents and Passions and Transform Your Life
4.3 (600 ratings)
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What's Finding Your Element about?

Finding Your Element (2013) offers engaging advice on ways you might discover your true passions and talents, and then reorient your life to incorporate more time for them. Written with a keen sense of wit, Finding Your Element offers entertaining and inspiring wisdoms that will help you not only to be more productive but also to improve your overall happiness and quality of life.

Who should read Finding Your Element?

  • Anyone who would like to focus on their passions more
  • Anyone who'd like advice on how to discover their passions
  • Anyone interested in improving the quality of their life in general

Happy Books: Stumbling on Happiness by Daniel Gilbert

Stumbling on Happiness

Daniel Gilbert
4.0 (148 ratings)
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What's Stumbling on Happiness about?

Stumbling on Happiness (2007) explains how our brains make us think about the future. It employs accessible language and everyday examples to help us understand complex theories from psychology, neuroscience and philosophy.

Stumbling on Happiness helps answer the question: why do we make decisions that leave us unhappy? By showing how our brains work, it aims to help us imagine our futures in new ways, ways that could leave us happier.

Who should read Stumbling on Happiness?

  • Students of psychology
  • Anyone interested in how our imagination works
  • Anyone interested in knowing how we predict the future

Happy Books: The Antidote by Oliver Burkeman

The Antidote

Oliver Burkeman
Happiness for People Who Can’t Stand Positive Thinking
4.4 (379 ratings)
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What's The Antidote about?

The Antidote is the intelligent person’s guide to understanding the much-misunderstood idea of happiness. The author emphasizes that positive thinking isn’t the solution, but part of the problem. He outlines an alternative, “negative” path to happiness and success that involves embracing failure, pessimism, insecurity and uncertainty – what we usually spend our lives trying to avoid.

Who should read The Antidote?

  • Anyone who wants to feel happy, even when things go wrong
  • Anyone who’s tired of setting and trying to follow through rigid goals
  • Anyone who wants to learn to appreciate what they have

Happy Books: The Happiness Hypothesis by Jonathan Haidt

The Happiness Hypothesis

Jonathan Haidt
Putting Ancient Wisdom and Philosophy to the Test of Modern Science
4.5 (261 ratings)
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What's The Happiness Hypothesis about?

In The Happiness Hypothesis, Jonathan Haidt examines the ideas of famous ancient thinkers in light of modern knowledge and uses scientific findings to answer the question, “What makes a person happy?” The book will provide you with a better understanding of human social behavior and enable you to increase your own happiness.

Who should read The Happiness Hypothesis?

  • Anyone looking for more happiness and meaning in his or her life
  • Anyone interested in psychology and research on happiness

Happy Books: The Art Of Non-Conformity by Chris Guillebeau

The Art Of Non-Conformity

Chris Guillebeau
Set your own rules, live the life you want and change the world
4.0 (154 ratings)
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What's The Art Of Non-Conformity about?

Based on the author’s blog and online manifesto, “A Brief Guide to World Domination,” The Art of Non-Conformity (2010) deals with ways of pursuing unconventional living and offers tools for setting your own rules, succeeding with your passions and leaving a legacy.

Who should read The Art Of Non-Conformity?

  • Anyone who wants to lead a more unconventional and fulfilling life
  • Anyone who is interested in creative self-employment

Happy Books: Buddha’s Brain by Rick Hanson

Buddha’s Brain

Rick Hanson
The Practical Neuroscience of Happiness, Love, and Wisdom
4.4 (403 ratings)
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What's Buddha’s Brain about?

Buddha’s Brain is a practical guide to attaining more happiness, love and wisdom in life. It aims to empower readers by providing them with practical skills and tools to help unlock their brains’ potential and achieve greater peace of mind. Specific attention is paid to the contemplative technique “mindfulness” and the latest neurological findings that support it.

Who should read Buddha’s Brain?

  • Psychology students who are interested in meditation but still want information grounded in scientific fact
  • Anyone who wants to learn how to live a stress-free and happy life
  • Anyone who wants to know both the theory behind meditation and its practical application in their everyday lives.

Happy Books: How Will You Measure Your Life? by Clayton M. Christensen, James Allworth and Karen Dillon

How Will You Measure Your Life?

Clayton M. Christensen, James Allworth and Karen Dillon
Finding Fulfillment Using Lessons From Some of the World's Greatest Businesses
4.1 (274 ratings)
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What's How Will You Measure Your Life? about?

As a leading business expert and cancer survivor, Clayton M. Christensen provides you with his unique insight on how to lead a life that brings both professional success and genuine happiness. In How Will You Measure Your Life?, Christensen touches on diverse topics such as motivation and how you can harness it, what career strategy is the best for you, how to strengthen relationships with loved ones, and how to build a strong family culture.

Who should read How Will You Measure Your Life??

  • Anyone struggling to create a balance between work and life demands
  • Anyone curious about how to achieve long-term happiness and meaning in life
  • Fans of Christensen’s critically acclaimed book, The Innovator’s Dilemma

Happy Books: The Untethered Soul by Michael A. Singer

The Untethered Soul

Michael A. Singer
The Journey Beyond Yourself
4.5 (513 ratings)
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What's The Untethered Soul about?

The Untethered Soul is all about you: your feelings, thoughts and consciousness. By drawing on different spiritual practices, this book explains how you can navigate your own mind, get in touch with yourself and become your own master, to ultimately achieve enlightenment.

Who should read The Untethered Soul?

  • Anyone who wants to lead a happier and healthier life
  • Anyone needing to let go of negative emotions
  • Anyone who wants to learn about the benefits of spiritualism

Happy Books: Essentialism by Greg McKeown


Greg McKeown
4.5 (1,092 ratings)
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What's Essentialism about?

Essentialism (2014) teaches you how to do better by doing less. By offering practical solutions for how to get your priorities straight, Essentialism helps you to eliminate all of the junk in your routine that’s keeping you from being truly productive and fulfilled.

Who should read Essentialism?

  • Anyone who thinks that they are far too busy without being productive
  • Anyone who feels like there is never enough time
  • Anyone having a hard time identifying his or her priorities in life

Happy Books: You'll See It When You Believe It by Wayne W. Dyer

You'll See It When You Believe It

Wayne W. Dyer
The Way to Your Personal Transformation
4.5 (143 ratings)
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What's You'll See It When You Believe It about?

You'll See It When You Believe It is your guide to finding your true self. It will show you how to achieve harmony with yourself, your fellow people, and the universe at large. When you learn to transform yourself, you'll find inner peace and the strength to realize your greatest dreams.

Who should read You'll See It When You Believe It?

  • Anyone who wants to better him- or herself
  • Anyone who wants to find inner peace
  • Anyone who wants to understand his or her place in the universe

Happy Books: The Happiness Advantage by Shawn Achor

The Happiness Advantage

Shawn Achor
The Seven Principles that Fuel Success and Performance at Work
4.5 (308 ratings)
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What's The Happiness Advantage about?

The Happiness Advantage looks into the origins of happiness and the positive effects that happiness has on our productivity. Based on extensive research in positive psychology, the book offers concrete tips on how to increase your own happiness and thus your chances for success.

Who should read The Happiness Advantage?

  • Anyone who thinks happiness is the reward for hard work
  • Anyone who feels too stressed to cope
  • Anyone who could use just a little more happiness in his or her life

Happy Books: Joy Inc. by Rich Sheridan

Joy Inc.

Rich Sheridan
How We Built a Workplace People Love
3.7 (19 ratings)
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What's Joy Inc. about?

In Joy Inc., author Rich Sheridan shows you how a culture of joy can be the basis for any successful company. Using examples from his experience as CEO of software company Menlo Innovations, the author shows how fostering open communication, transparency and positivity can transform a workplace.

Who should read Joy Inc.?

  • Managers and CEOs who want to improve productivity
  • Visionary leaders who want a new perspective on how to run a company
  • Business students looking to broaden their understanding of what makes a successful company

Happy Books: Choose Yourself by James Altucher

Choose Yourself

James Altucher
Be Happy, Make Millions, Live the Dream
4.1 (249 ratings)
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What's Choose Yourself about?

Author James Altucher explains that after the 2008 global economic crisis, you can’t wait to be chosen; you have to Choose Yourself. This means you have to take full responsibility for your own success and happiness by reclaiming control of your aspirations and dreams. To do this, the book gives you both tools and effective practices to stay physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually healthy.

Who should read Choose Yourself?

  • Anyone who wants to learn how to become rich in today’s economy
  • Anyone who wants better understand the state of the economy since 2008
  • Anyone interested in entrepreneurship

Happy Books: How Adam Smith Can Change Your Life by Russ Roberts

How Adam Smith Can Change Your Life

Russ Roberts
An Unexpected Guide to Human Nature and Happiness
4.1 (43 ratings)
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What's How Adam Smith Can Change Your Life about?

How Adam Smith Can Change Your Life revives the work of the influential economist and philosopher, Adam Smith – especially his groundbreaking book, The Theory of Moral Sentiments. The author applies Smith’s ideas to modern life, showing us how to become happier and more virtuous people, improving our relationships with those around us and ultimately even changing the world!

Who should read How Adam Smith Can Change Your Life?

  • Anyone who wants to find a path to fulfillment and happiness
  • Anyone who wants to apply classic philosophy to their own life
  • Anyone who thinks Adam Smith was just an economist

Happy Books: Happiness By Design by Paul Dolan

Happiness By Design

Paul Dolan
Change What You Do, Not How You Think / Finding Pleasure And Purpose In Everyday Life
4.2 (84 ratings)
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What's Happiness By Design about?

Drawing from his own behavioral research and economist experience, Dolan explains how happiness arises and how we experience it in our everyday lives. He exposes some of the traps we fall into when trying to be happier and demonstrates some simple tools for adapting your environment to feel happier without having to radically change who you are and what you think.

Who should read Happiness By Design?

  • Anyone who wants to understand what happiness really is
  • Anyone who is fed up with not reaching their goals
  • Anyone who needs easier and faster solutions on how to feel better instantly

Happy Books: Live It! by Jairek Robbins

Live It!

Jairek Robbins
Achieve Success by Living With Purpose
4.5 (131 ratings)
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What's Live It! about?

Live It! (2014) offers a step-by-step guide to helping you discover what your ideal life looks like and how to make it a reality. All too often we turn away from our dreams, never taking the first step toward changing our lives for the better. This book focuses on what you need to get what you want, and how to avoid obstacles and challenges along the way.

Who should read Live It!?

  • Anyone who feels unhappy with where they are in life
  • Anyone afraid of following their dreams
  • Anyone looking for inspiration on how to create lasting change

Happy Books: 13 Things Mentally Strong People Don't Do by Amy Morin

13 Things Mentally Strong People Don't Do

Amy Morin
Take Back Your Power, Embrace Change, Face Your Fears and Train Your Brain for Happiness and Success
4.6 (5,024 ratings)
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What's 13 Things Mentally Strong People Don't Do about?

13 Things Mentally Strong People Don’t Do (2014) explains how to develop great mental strength by taking control of your emotions, thoughts, and actions. With useful tips, inspiring examples, and practical solutions, this book will help you overcome your fears and start living life to the fullest.

Who should read 13 Things Mentally Strong People Don't Do?

  • People struggling in the face of their own failures and peers’ success
  • Parents who can’t calmly communicate with their children
  • Anyone who needs extra encouragement to live out their dreams

Happy Books: Overwhelmed by Brigid Schulte


Brigid Schulte
Work, Love and Play When No One Has the Time
3.3 (29 ratings)
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What's Overwhelmed about?

Overwhelmed (2014) explores how our outdated attitudes to gender, parenthood and race are making us all stressed and frantic. Author Brigid Schulte shows how such old fashioned ideas are holding us back from living happier, more fulfilled lives. Yet, it doesn’t have to be this way. There are alternative ways to live, we just need to learn how to implement them.

Who should read Overwhelmed?

  • Anyone who feels stressed or overwhelmed
  • Anyone who feels pressured to conform to gender stereotypes

Happy Books: A Guide to the Good Life by William B. Irvine

A Guide to the Good Life

William B. Irvine
The Ancient Art of Stoic Joy
4.6 (347 ratings)
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What's A Guide to the Good Life about?

What's most important to you? What goals are worth pursuing? A Guide to the Good Life (2009) tackles these pivotal questions, guiding the reader through the ancient Stoic philosophy of life and offering advice on how to practice it in a modern world. Focused on the goals of virtue and tranquility, this book shows us how to find joy in our lives.

Who should read A Guide to the Good Life?

  • Philosophy students
  • Those who are seeking to curb their negative emotions
  • Anyone wanting a simpler and more tranquil life

Happy Books: The Power of No by James Altucher and Claudia Azula Altucher

The Power of No

James Altucher and Claudia Azula Altucher
Because One Little Word Can Bring Health, Happiness and Abundance
4.1 (108 ratings)
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What's The Power of No about?

The Power of No (2014) offers a holistic, intuitive approach towards health, abundance and happiness: Say no to the things that are causing you harm and slowing you down so that you have the energy to say yes to the things that you find uplifting.

Who should read The Power of No?

  • Anyone who wants to live a happier, healthier, more abundant life
  • Anyone who feels they say yes too often
  • Spiritually inclined people looking to have more meaningful and positive experiences

Happy Books: Broadcasting Happiness by Michelle Gielan

Broadcasting Happiness

Michelle Gielan
The Science of Igniting and Sustaining Positive Change
4.1 (36 ratings)
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What's Broadcasting Happiness about?

Broadcasting Happiness (2015) reveals the huge impact positivity has on productivity, teamwork and well-being. These blinks explain how you can communicate positive thoughts to send ripples of happiness through your community, your workplace and within your relationships.

Who should read Broadcasting Happiness?

  • Anyone wanting to improve their communication skills
  • Journalists, bloggers or anyone addressing a large audience
  • Business leaders and managers looking to inspire employees

Happy Books: Altruism by Matthieu Ricard


Matthieu Ricard
The Power of Compassion to Change Yourself and the World
4.3 (199 ratings)
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What's Altruism about?

Altruism (2015) examines our need to care for others, a compulsion that is essential in both humans and animals. These blinks explain how and why caregivers do what they do through the lens of philosophy, economics and evolutionary theory.

Who should read Altruism?

  • Professional caregivers or anyone who spends time caring for others
  • Psychologists, family counselors and therapists
  • People interested in social justice

Happy Books: The Optimism Bias by Tali Sharot

The Optimism Bias

Tali Sharot
A Tour of the Irrationally Positive Brain
4.2 (81 ratings)
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What's The Optimism Bias about?

The Optimism Bias (2011) demonstrates the interesting and entertaining ways in which our rose-tinted glasses color our experience of the world – and why it’s a good thing that they do. Though they won’t enable you to take off those rosy specs, these blinks will at least afford you some insight into why you wear them, and how you can use them to your benefit.

Who should read The Optimism Bias?

  • Proponents of psychology
  • Those curious to know why their personal plans never seem to work out
  • People who believe that humans behave rationally

Happy Books: Minimalist Parenting by Christine Koh and Asha Dornfest

Minimalist Parenting

Christine Koh and Asha Dornfest
Enjoy Modern Family Life More by Doing Less
3.9 (112 ratings)
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What's Minimalist Parenting about?

Minimalist Parenting (2013) presents a new conception of parenting: fewer rules and more listening to your gut. Rather than following the herd’s latest parenting trends, Christine Koh and Asha Dornfest present an approach to raising a family that puts your personal and family values at the heart of your life as a parent.

Who should read Minimalist Parenting?

  • Parents of all stripes
  • Moms and dads who are overwhelmed by parenting books
  • Anyone wanting to maintain healthy family relationships

Happy Books: The Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren

The Purpose Driven Life

Rick Warren
What on Earth Am I Here For?
3.6 (223 ratings)
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What's The Purpose Driven Life about?

The Purpose Driven Life (2002) shares the Christian answer to that age-old question: why am I here? From finding moments of worship in daily routines to seeking out a supportive community and letting the Holy Spirit guide you through tough situations, these blinks are an engaging guide to life as a Christian today.

Who should read The Purpose Driven Life?

  • Christians seeking a modern guide to a life of faith
  • Readers longing to deepen their connection to Christian spirituality
  • Individuals interested the benefits of the Christian way of life

Happy Books: Happiness by Darrin M. McMahon


Darrin M. McMahon
A History
4.0 (65 ratings)
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What's Happiness about?

In Happiness: A History (2006), we’re taken on a journey through history. From Ancient Greece, through the Dark Ages and up into the modern era, this journey uncovers how our conception of happiness has changed and evolved over time.

Who should read Happiness?

  • History students
  • Philosophy students
  • Anyone interested in the cultural history of happiness

Happy Books: The Happiness Industry by William Davies

The Happiness Industry

William Davies
How the Government and Big Business Sold Us Well-Being
4.0 (22 ratings)
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What's The Happiness Industry about?

What makes you smile, laugh or feel like skipping down the street? Teams of professional psychologists, neuroscientists, marketers, economists and your boss all want to know. Why? So they can make sure you are a productive employee who buys lots of stuff! The Happiness Industry (2015) takes an in-depth look at how our happiness is studied, measured, and profited from – often without our knowledge or consent.

Who should read The Happiness Industry?

  • Anyone interested in the role of happiness in modern society
  • Readers who wonder how happiness works in the human brain
  • People concerned about increasing invasions of privacy online

Happy Books: Happiness by Matthieu Ricard


Matthieu Ricard
A Guide to Developing Life’s Most Important Skill
4.4 (198 ratings)
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What's Happiness about?

Happiness (2007) guides you toward a state of true happiness. Many people today falsely believe that happiness comes from ephemeral things like money or fame, but truly long-lasting and profound happiness stems from maintaining a higher sense of well-being. And these blinks will help you do exactly that.

Who should read Happiness?

  • Aspiring and practicing Buddhists
  • Anyone interested in psychology
  • Those wanting to lead a happier life

Happy Books: Happier at Home by Gretchen Rubin

Happier at Home

Gretchen Rubin
Kiss More, Jump More, Abandon Self-Control, and My Other Experiments in Everyday Life
4.0 (111 ratings)
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What's Happier at Home about?

Happier at Home (2012) is a guide to transforming your home into a sanctuary that reflects your family’s personality. By helping you identify both your and your family’s needs, this book gives you everything you need to start changing your home and family life for the better.

Who should read Happier at Home?

  • Anyone who wants to build the best environment for their family
  • People striving to be happier

Happy Books: A New Earth  by Eckhart Tolle

A New Earth

Eckhart Tolle
Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose
4.3 (591 ratings)
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What's A New Earth about?

A New Earth (2005) expands on the author’s spiritual teachings, focusing on how people should live in the present moment. These blinks show how transcending the human ego is pivotal to individual happiness and can bring an end to global suffering. You’ll learn how to let go of your ego and achieve true fulfillment in life!

Who should read A New Earth ?

  • People suffering from anxiety
  • Anyone concerned about the amount of conflict in the world

Happy Books: Hardwiring Happiness by Rick Hanson

Hardwiring Happiness

Rick Hanson
The New Brain Science of Contentment, Calm, and Confidence
4.4 (309 ratings)
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What's Hardwiring Happiness about?

Hardwiring Happiness (2013) isn’t just another self-help book singing the praises of positive thinking. It presents the latest research behind the neuroscience of happiness and explains how you can reprogram your brain to focus on the good, rather than obsessing over the bad.

Who should read Hardwiring Happiness?

  • People who tend to focus on the negative
  • Optimists who want to find more effective ways of thinking positively
  • Students of neuroscience and biology

Happy Books: Scaling Down by Judi Culbertson, Marj Decker

Scaling Down

Judi Culbertson, Marj Decker
Living Large in a Smaller Place
4.2 (60 ratings)
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What's Scaling Down about?

Scaling Down (2005) will help you understand the impulse to accumulate more things than you actually need, and why, once you’ve acquired those things, you don’t want to let them go. With a helpful step-by-step guide, it provides effective strategies for scaling down and learning to live with less.

Who should read Scaling Down?

  • Anyone who owns too much stuff
  • Collectors whose belongings have taken over their lives
  • Couples who are moving into a smaller home

Happy Books: Happy City by Charles Montgomery

Happy City

Charles Montgomery
Transforming Our Lives Through Urban Design
4.3 (42 ratings)
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What's Happy City about?

Happy City (2013) explains how urban planning can help us live healthier and more joyful lives in the big city. From the history of urban sprawl to design blunders, to strategies that encourage residents to socialize, relax and exercise, these blinks reveal the hidden features that can make or break city life.

Who should read Happy City?

  • Readers thinking about moving to a new city
  • Students of social psychology or urban planning
  • People fascinated by the inner workings of urban life

Happy Books: You Are a Badass by Jen Sincero

You Are a Badass

Jen Sincero
How To Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life
4.2 (692 ratings)
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What's You Are a Badass about?

You Are a Badass (2013) is your guide to living life to the fullest. Sincero provides an analysis of exactly what’s holding you back and provides powerful strategies geared toward breaking bad habits so that you can truly live out your dreams.

Become the badass you always wanted to be.

Who should read You Are a Badass?

  • People stuck in jobs that they hate
  • Readers looking for new strategies to tackle self-doubt
  • Anyone seeking motivation to make a serious life change

Happy Books: When Things Fall Apart by Pema Chödrön

When Things Fall Apart

Pema Chödrön
Heart Advice For Difficult Times
4.3 (236 ratings)
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What's When Things Fall Apart about?

When Things Fall Apart (1997) is a guide to dealing with the biggest challenges life throws at you. These blinks explore a range of concepts and strategies, from meditation to self-compassion to breathing techniques, that’ll help you develop resilience in the face of adversity and a deeper appreciation for living in the moment.

Who should read When Things Fall Apart?

  • Readers curious about the applications of Eastern philosophy to personal challenges
  • Professionals who feel that their lives are overcome by stress
  • Perfectionists looking for strategies to combat high expectations and self-criticism

Happy Books: A Message to Garcia by Elbert Hubbard

A Message to Garcia

Elbert Hubbard
And Other Essential Writings on Success
3.9 (45 ratings)
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What's A Message to Garcia about?

A Message to Garcia (1899) outlines the lessons to be learned from a Spanish-American War-era lieutenant who displayed a level of dedication to his work that we should all strive to match. At its core, the book describes how working hard is the key to living well, staying virtuous, finding happiness and improving the world at large.

Who should read A Message to Garcia?

  • Leaders of all kinds
  • Hard workers who want to perform better at their chosen job or profession
  • Anyone who wants to improve their sense of well-being

Happy Books: 18 Minutes by Peter Bregman

18 Minutes

Peter Bregman
Find Your Focus, Master Distraction, and Get the Right Things Done
3.7 (356 ratings)
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What's 18 Minutes about?

18 Minutes (2011) is a helpful guide to getting things done by focusing on meaningful work, reaching goals and preventing distractions. These blinks will show how to identify the kind of work that is right for you and how to stay on track and hit your targets.

Who should read 18 Minutes?

  • People who want to get things done
  • Anyone feeling overwhelmed with work
  • Anyone searching for happiness and meaning in their lives

Happy Books: Smile or Die by Barbara Ehrenreich

Smile or Die

Barbara Ehrenreich
How Positive Thinking Fooled America and the World
3.6 (89 ratings)
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What's Smile or Die about?

Smile or Die (2009) explores the impact of positive thinking on mainstream American culture. These blinks show how Americans have convinced themselves that they alone are in control of their happiness, buying into a mass delusion which in the end only does them harm.

Who should read Smile or Die?

  • Anyone curious about the roots of American optimism
  • Professionals who question positive attitudes promoted at the workplace
  • People annoyed when told to “be more positive”

Happy Books: The Wisdom of Insecurity by Alan Watts

The Wisdom of Insecurity

Alan Watts
A Message for an Age of Anxiety
4.5 (422 ratings)
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What's The Wisdom of Insecurity about?

In The Wisdom of Insecurity (1951), author Alan Watts discusses the paradoxical nature of modern life: we pursue goals and covet material goods that promise happiness, but which leave us feeling empty and more anxious than ever. As we indulge in unproductive thoughts about the future or the past, we tend to forget about what is most meaningful – the present moment.

Who should read The Wisdom of Insecurity?

  • Anyone feeling unfulfilled in life
  • Anxiety sufferers searching for the secrets to happiness
  • People interested in contemporary philosophy

Happy Books: Night School by Richard Wiseman

Night School

Richard Wiseman
The Life-Changing Science of Sleep
3.9 (91 ratings)
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What's Night School about?

Night School (2014) is about an often neglected yet essential ingredient for happiness and success in life: a good night’s sleep. People have been struggling with sleep for centuries, and while we’ve come up with some methods for alleviating insomnia, we’ve also gained a lot of insight into why sleep is so crucial.

Who should read Night School?

  • Insomniacs desperate for a good night’s sleep
  • Workaholics who think sleep is overrated
  • Readers wondering why they have nightmares

Happy Books: Changing the Subject by Sven Birkerts

Changing the Subject

Sven Birkerts
Art and Attention in the Internet Age
4.0 (50 ratings)
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What's Changing the Subject about?

Changing the Subject (2015) takes a critical and concerned look at how the internet is affecting our lives. In these blinks, you’ll find out how our constant connection to the digital world is causing us to lose our individuality, our attention span and our intellect. Are we headed for one giant hive mind, or can we put down our phones for a moment and reconnect with our own emotions?

Who should read Changing the Subject?

  • Tech junkies addicted to their smartphones
  • Readers who are easily distracted
  • Luddites who oppose the internet revolution

Happy Books: On the Shortness of Life by Seneca

On the Shortness of Life

Life Is Long If You Know How To Use It
4.5 (481 ratings)
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What's On the Shortness of Life about?

On the Shortness of Life (49 AD) is an essay on how to appreciate life – and how to use it. These blinks show you what is truly valuable in this world and how to avoid getting distracted by unimportant matters. They’ll show you where genuine happiness comes from and why working hard will not lead to a tranquil and satisfied mind.

Who should read On the Shortness of Life?

  • Workaholics who never have any time for anything
  • Thinkers trying to decide what it means to live a good life
  • Anyone who wants to be inspired to learn and read more

What's Red, White & Royal Blue about?

Red, White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston is a heartwarming and hilarious romantic comedy that imagines an alternate reality where the son of the first female president of the United States falls in love with a prince of England. Filled with wit, charm, and plenty of swoon-worthy moments, this book explores themes of identity, family, and the power of love to transcend boundaries.

Who should read Red, White & Royal Blue?

  • Readers who enjoy romantic comedies with a unique twist
  • Anyone looking for a heartwarming and diverse LGBTQ+ love story
  • Those interested in exploring the complexities of politics and family dynamics in a contemporary setting

What's Love Does about?

Love Does is a collection of inspiring and entertaining stories that illustrate the power of love in action. Written by Bob Goff, this book challenges readers to live a life filled with whimsy, purpose, and passion. Through his own experiences and adventures, Goff encourages us to embrace a fearless approach to life and to love others wholeheartedly.

Who should read Love Does?

  • Individuals seeking inspiration and personal growth
  • People who want to cultivate a more compassionate and generous mindset
  • Readers who enjoy heartwarming and humorous anecdotes


What's Smile about?

Smile by Raina Telgemeier is a heartfelt and humorous graphic novel that delves into the ups and downs of adolescence. Through vibrant illustrations and engaging storytelling, the book follows the author's real-life experiences with dental treatment and the challenges of fitting in during her middle school years. It's a story that celebrates resilience and the power of finding a reason to smile, even in the toughest moments.

Who should read Smile?

  • Children and young adults who enjoy graphic novels
  • Anyone with an interest in personal memoirs and coming-of-age stories
  • Individuals who have experienced orthodontic treatment or dental challenges

What's The Night Circus about?

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern is a captivating tale of a mysterious and magical circus that only opens at night. As two young illusionists, Celia and Marco, engage in a fierce competition, their lives become intertwined in unexpected ways. Filled with enchanting descriptions and intricate storytelling, this book will transport you to a world of wonder and intrigue.

Who should read The Night Circus?

  • Readers who enjoy immersive and atmospheric storytelling
  • People who appreciate intricate and imaginative world-building
  • Those who are drawn to mysterious and enchanting tales with a touch of magic

What's Fangirl about?

Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell follows the story of Cath, a socially awkward college freshman who is deeply immersed in the world of fan fiction. As she navigates the challenges of her new life, Cath grapples with the complexities of family, friendship, and first love. This heartwarming novel delves into themes of identity and self-discovery, making it a must-read for anyone who has ever been a passionate fan.

Who should read Fangirl?

  • Young adults who are passionate about fandom and fan fiction
  • Readers who enjoy character-driven stories with relatable protagonists
  • Those who appreciate realistic portrayals of college experiences and coming-of-age challenges

What's Furiously Happy about?

Furiously Happy (2015) is a hilarious and heartfelt memoir by Jenny Lawson. Through her witty and unapologetic writing, Lawson shares her experiences with mental illness and shows that it's possible to find joy and purpose in life, even in the darkest moments. With laugh-out-loud anecdotes and raw honesty, this book challenges the stigma surrounding mental health and celebrates the power of being furiously happy.

Who should read Furiously Happy?

  • Those dealing with mental health challenges
  • People who want to gain a better understanding of mental illness
  • Individuals looking for a humorous and relatable account of living with mental health issues

What's A Man Called Ove about?

A Man Called Ove tells the story of a grumpy yet endearing widower who finds new purpose in life when a boisterous young family moves in next door. Fredrik Backman's heartwarming novel explores themes of friendship, love, and the impact one person can have on the lives of others.

Who should read A Man Called Ove?

  • Readers who enjoy heartwarming stories about unlikely friendships
  • People looking for a character-driven novel with a mix of humor and emotional depth
  • Those interested in exploring themes of loneliness, loss, and the power of human connection

What's The Perks of Being a Wallflower about?

The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky is a poignant coming-of-age story that follows Charlie, a shy and introspective teenager. Through a series of letters, Charlie shares his experiences as he navigates high school, friendship, love, and loss. The book delves into themes of mental health, identity, and the complexities of growing up.

Who should read The Perks of Being a Wallflower?

  • Teenagers and young adults navigating the ups and downs of adolescence
  • Individuals who appreciate introspective and emotionally resonant storytelling
  • Readers who enjoy coming-of-age narratives with complex and relatable characters

What's Matilda about?

Matilda (1988) tells the story of a young girl with extraordinary intelligence and telekinetic powers. Written by Roald Dahl and illustrated by Quentin Blake, the book follows Matilda as she navigates her oppressive family life and challenges the tyrannical headmistress at her school. With themes of empowerment and standing up to injustice, it is a beloved classic for both children and adults.

Who should read Matilda?

  • Children and young adult readers who enjoy quirky and imaginative stories
  • Those who appreciate strong and independent female protagonists
  • People who love books that celebrate the power of storytelling and the joy of reading

What's Hyperbole and a Half about?

Hyperbole and a Half is a hilarious and heartfelt collection of comics and essays that delves into the author's own experiences with depression and anxiety. Allie Brosh uses her unique blend of humor and honesty to explore the complexities of mental health, making it a must-read for anyone looking for a fresh perspective on the subject.

Who should read Hyperbole and a Half?

  • Readers who enjoy humorous and relatable stories
  • Those interested in exploring mental health and personal struggles through a humorous lens
  • People who appreciate insightful and candid reflections on everyday life

What's Where'd You Go, Bernadette about?

Where'd You Go, Bernadette is a captivating novel by Maria Semple that tells the story of a quirky and brilliant woman named Bernadette Fox who goes missing. Through a series of emails, letters, and documents, the book unravels the mystery of her disappearance while also exploring themes of family, identity, and the pursuit of happiness.

Who should read Where'd You Go, Bernadette?

  • Readers who enjoy quirky and unconventional characters
  • Those seeking a humorous and satirical take on modern society
  • People who appreciate a unique storytelling format, such as through emails, letters, and documents


What's Wonder about?

Wonder by R.J. Palacio is a heartwarming and thought-provoking novel that follows the story of August Pullman, a young boy born with a facial deformity. It delves into the challenges he faces as he enters a mainstream school for the first time and the impact he has on those around him. The book touches on themes of kindness, acceptance, and the beauty of being different.

Who should read Wonder?

  • Readers who enjoy heartwarming and uplifting stories
  • Individuals looking for insights into empathy and kindness
  • Parents, educators, and children who want to understand and navigate the challenges of being different

What's Ready Player One about?

Ready Player One is a science fiction novel by Ernest Cline that takes place in a dystopian future where people escape their reality by immersing themselves in a virtual reality world called the OASIS. When the creator of the OASIS dies, he leaves behind a series of challenges that lead to an Easter egg hidden within the virtual world, and the one who finds it will inherit his fortune. The story follows teenage gamer Wade Watts as he embarks on a thrilling quest filled with 80s pop culture references, friendship, and adventure.

Who should read Ready Player One?

  • Potential readers who enjoy science fiction and gaming
  • Individuals looking for an immersive and imaginative story set in a virtual reality world
  • Those interested in exploring themes of technology, adventure, and the power of nostalgia

What's Eleanor & Park about?

Eleanor & Park is a young adult novel by Rainbow Rowell about two misfit teenagers who fall in love in 1986. Set over the course of a school year, it explores themes of love, friendship, and family, while addressing issues such as bullying and domestic abuse. It is a heartwarming and nostalgic story that will resonate with readers of all ages.

Who should read Eleanor & Park?

  • Readers who enjoy young adult romance novels with a touch of nostalgia
  • Those interested in exploring themes of love, friendship, and identity during adolescence
  • People who appreciate well-developed and relatable characters

What's Milk and Honey about?

Milk and Honey by Rupi Kaur is a collection of poetry and prose that explores themes of love, loss, trauma, and healing. Divided into four chapters, it takes the reader on a journey through the bitter and the sweet moments of life, ultimately offering a message of empowerment and self-discovery.

Who should read Milk and Honey?

  • Readers who appreciate raw and unapologetic poetry
  • Individuals seeking empowerment and healing through words
  • Those who are open to exploring themes of love, loss, trauma, and resilience

What's The Princess Bride about?

The Princess Bride is a classic fantasy novel filled with adventure, romance, and humor. Written by William Goldman, it tells the story of a young woman named Buttercup and her true love, Westley, as they navigate through a series of challenges, including a vengeful prince and a band of misfit companions. With its witty narration and memorable characters, this book is a timeless tale of love and perseverance.

Who should read The Princess Bride?

  • Readers who enjoy a mix of fantasy, romance, and adventure
  • Those who appreciate clever and humorous storytelling
  • People who love classic tales with a modern twist

What's 14,000 Things to Be Happy About about?

14,000 Things to Be Happy About by Barbara Ann Kipfer is a delightful compilation of simple joys and everyday pleasures. From the sound of rain on a tin roof to the smell of freshly baked bread, this book reminds us to appreciate the little things in life that bring us happiness. It's a wonderful reminder to slow down and find joy in the world around us.

Who should read 14,000 Things to Be Happy About?

  • Readers who want to cultivate a more positive and grateful mindset
  • Individuals seeking simple joys and everyday happiness
  • People looking for a lighthearted and uplifting book to lift their spirits

What's Anna Karenina about?

Anna Karenina is a classic novel by Leo Tolstoy that delves into themes of love, infidelity, and the societal norms of 19th century Russia. Through the story of the beautiful and unhappily married Anna Karenina, Tolstoy paints a vivid portrait of the complexities of human relationships and the consequences of challenging societal expectations.

Who should read Anna Karenina?

  • Readers who enjoy deep explorations of human psychology and relationships
  • Individuals interested in Russian literature and the social dynamics of 19th-century Russia
  • People who appreciate complex and multi-layered narratives

What's The Fault in Our Stars about?

The Fault in Our Stars is actually written by John Green and tells the story of two teenagers, Hazel and Gus, who meet at a cancer support group. As they bond over their favorite books and share their fears and dreams, they embark on a journey that challenges their perspectives on life and love. It is a poignant and beautifully written novel that explores the complexities of living with illness and the power of human connection.

Who should read The Fault in Our Stars?

  • Readers who enjoy emotionally impactful and thought-provoking stories
  • Those who appreciate authentic and relatable characters
  • Anyone interested in exploring themes of love, loss, and the meaning of life

What's Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns) about?

Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns) is a witty and relatable memoir by Mindy Kaling. Through a series of personal essays, Kaling shares her unique perspective on friendship, romance, and life in general. With humor and insight, she delves into topics such as her childhood, career, and the challenges of being a woman in the entertainment industry. It's a delightful and entertaining read that will have you laughing out loud.

Who should read Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns)?

  • Individuals looking for a lighthearted and entertaining read
  • Fans of Mindy Kaling and her witty humor
  • People who enjoy relatable stories and personal anecdotes

What's Since You've Been Gone about?

Since You've Been Gone by Morgan Matson is a captivating novel that delves into the power of friendship and self-discovery. When Emily's best friend, Sloane, mysteriously disappears, she is left with nothing but a list of challenges that Sloane has left behind. As Emily embarks on a summer of unexpected adventures and personal growth, she learns valuable lessons about love, independence, and the true meaning of friendship.

Who should read Since You've Been Gone?

  • Individuals who enjoy coming-of-age stories
  • Readers looking for a mix of romance and self-discovery
  • Young adults navigating friendships and personal growth

Related Topics

Happy Books

What's the best Happy book to read?

While choosing just one book about a topic is always tough, many people regard Happiness as the ultimate read on Happy.

What are the Top 10 Happy books?

Blinkist curators have picked the following:
  • Happiness by Richard Layard
  • Delivering Happiness by Tony Hsieh
  • Savor by Thich Nhat Hanh and Lilian Cheung
  • Positivity by Barbara L. Fredrickson
  • The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle
  • The Art of Happiness by Dalai Lama
  • The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin
  • The Defining Decade by Meg Jay
  • Finding Your Element by Ken Robinson
  • Stumbling on Happiness by Daniel Gilbert

Who are the top Happy book authors?

When it comes to Happy, these are the authors who stand out as some of the most influential:
  • Richard Layard
  • Tony Hsieh
  • Thich Nhat Hanh and Lilian Cheung
  • Barbara L. Fredrickson
  • Eckhart Tolle