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Happiness Project

Unabridged Audiobook

Written By: Gretchen Rubin

Narrated By: Gretchen Rubin

Date: December 2009

Duration: 9 hours 54 minutes


Gretchen Rubin had an epiphany one rainy afternoon in the unlikeliest of places: a city bus. 'The days are long, but the years are short,' she realized. 'Time is passing, and I'm not focusing enough on the things that really matter.' In that moment, she decided to dedicate a year to her happiness project.

In this lively and compelling account of that year, Rubin carves out her place alongside the authors of bestselling memoirs such as Julie and Julia, The Year of Living Biblically, and Eat, Pray, Love. With humor and insight, she chronicles her adventures during the twelve months she spent test-driving the wisdom of the ages, current scientific research, and lessons from popular culture about how to be happier.

Rubin didn't have the option to uproot herself, nor did she really want to; instead she focused on improving her life as it was. Each month she tackled a new set of resolutions: give proofs of love, ask for help, find more fun, keep a gratitude notebook, forget about results. She immersed herself in principles set forth by all manner of experts, from Epicurus to Thoreau to Oprah to Martin Seligman to the Dalai Lama to see what worked for her'and what didn't.

Her conclusions are sometimes surprising'she finds that money can buy happiness, when spent wisely; that novelty and challenge are powerful sources of happiness; that 'treating' yourself can make you feel worse; that venting bad feelings doesn't relieve them; that the very smallest of changes can make the biggest difference'and they range from the practical to the profound.

Written with charm and wit, The Happiness Project is illuminating yet entertaining, thought-provoking yet compulsively readable. Gretchen Rubin's passion for her subject jumps off the page, and reading just a few chapters of this book will inspire you to start your own happiness project.


  • Michelle Kaatz

    An exhaustively researched and thought-provoking book. At first, as Rubin describes her life, I was a bit skeptical: if someone is in a wonderful marriage, has a job they love, lots of money and lives nearby their family in a city they love with two healthy kids, what can they possibly have to say about how to improve happiness? Shouldn't they already be the happiest person in the world? Ultimately, though, this book isn't about big, obvious advice like "get a job you love". It's about how to maximize happiness at the smallest levels on a day-to-day basis, with an emphasis on practical execution. The book is a detailed run-down of Rubin's personal experience, but it offers many opportunities for the listener to think about their own life and how they could try their own Happiness Project. Rubin does a great job narrating her work.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful.

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