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The Joy Diet: 10 Daily Practices for a Happier Life
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The Joy Diet: 10 Daily Practices for a Happier Life

3.99 of 5 stars 3.99  ·  rating details  ·  709 ratings  ·  82 reviews
Welcome to The Joy Diet, a menu of ten behaviors you can add to your way of living and thinking to enhance every day’s journey through the unpredictable terrain of your existence. You can add these behaviors gradually and watch your life become steadily more vivid and satisfying. Or you can go on a “crash Joy Diet” to help you navigate life’s emergencies.
The ten menu items
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Hardcover, 240 pages
Published May 6th 2003 by Harmony (first published January 1st 2003)
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(showing 1-30 of 1,765)
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Jeanne Henry
I went to Martha Beck's Joy Diet workshop. As a result, I dared to take a heart-pounding risk and asked a wonderful man named Terence for a date. We fell in love, he then was diagnosed with cancer, and I had the blessing of being with him every moment until his death. This was this most valuable and sweet two years of my life - and it was thanks to Martha and her encouragement. (By the way - I also lost 100 pounds, and worked my way to the perfect job. ALSO encourage by Martha.) Read this book - ...more
Colleen
Aug 26, 2007 Colleen rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Changers
No, this isn't about food. Nor fat. Nor starving yourself, in any sense of the word. This is a diet in the original sense, from the 1600s. This book advocates a lifestyle.

The author offers ten ways to find happiness and childlike joy in your life. Her sparkling, quirky sense of humor infuses the work with levity, although her subject is probably the most important any of us will ever face.

I enjoyed this book because it provides practical, day-to-day methods for incorporating ideas from yoga and
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Melissa
I felt compelled to read this (*cough* listen to the book-on-tape version of this) because I enjoy Martha's monthly articles in Own Magazine. The 10 practices she recommends are simple in theory but difficult in practice. New habits must accrue over time, so I can't really say if the tools are effective just yet.

If nothing else, take the audiobook along with you for a morning jog. It'll give you the illusion that you're running in the right direction. You know what they say: perception is everyt
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Edwin B
Dec 16, 2007 Edwin B rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: all seekers
This book offers a great perspective on happiness (and peace), which starts from self-awareness in stillness and compassion, proceeds on to the creative taking of risks towards the heart's true desires, and finally ending up in play, permission to self-indulgence, laughter, connection with others, and inspiring and moving experiences of the sublime in the many otherwise ordinary events in life.

This book is absolutely recommended by me for everyone.

My only problem with the book is the numerous da
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Marcella
I enjoy reading about happiness and joy- not so much because I'm looking how to improve my life, but because I find the topic fascinating. This book combines some of the best ideas that I've read about in other books and a few new ones that I am going to try, just because they are fun. Beck's humor keeps things light, so that we don't take ourselves too seriously. A joy to read!
Nancy
I really like Martha Beck. I read The Joy Diet a couple of times and feel like I could go back to it again and again. She has a very nice positive perspective infused with kindness and practicality. The Joy Diet was structured by chapters that each had an easy-to-take lesson and exercises that were fun to do. The only one I can remember right now is finding abundance in one's world, simply by looking for little treasures everywhere. (The Joy Diet is about creating a more joyful life.)
Polly Watson
Dr. Martha Beck’s The Joy Diet: 10 Daily Practices for a Happier Life is my new favorite non-fiction book. I love the humor she incorporates into her writing. In so many way, she writes in a manner similar to my writing style which means not only do I GET what she’s saying, I feel it on a deeper, emotional level than your average book. It’s not every day we read books that are written in such a manner and I relish—I FEAST—on that wonder!!

If you’ve been reading my blog for any length of time, yo
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Dawn Herring
The Joy Diet to me is ground breaking material for a new mindset. I've read it through once, and I'm revisiting chapters again to refresh my memory and absorb the process a bit more.
Jean
Jul 24, 2011 Jean added it
I did this as a challenge for my blog. Didn't love it all. Some of it was fun, but the style of writing didn't really capture the "joy" I was looking for.
Betsy
The perfect traveling companion for how to make sure you have a daily dose of joy when you're doing the hard work of remaking your life.
Anne
I really love Martha Beck and her articles. I enjoyed this book, and took away some solid ideas from it. I agree with embracing a joy diet for life. 1. Do nothing for 15 minutes a day. Meditate. Be comfortable with silence 2. Truth. What am I feeling? Is this working? Is there another story that works? is this the truth or is this colored by my perspective/experiences/emotions? 3. Desires. Think about what you want and think once you get it then what? Let desire become intention. Be open to new ...more
Stephanie
Smart, perceptive, and genuinely useful.
Brandon Clay
I read a steady diet of success, inspiration and motivational books. I will admit that this is not normally the type of book I would read but left me realizing that I am not has "joyful" and I might have thought. As an "eternal optimist" I am always finding a way to be content, and in most cases happy, but joyful is another level.

While the concepts and outlines are common sense and things we as humans know we should do, there is a propensity to be so driven, we don't find time for daily joy. As
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Nancy Schober
On � Nothing� (15 minutes of meditation a day)[return][return]Almost all of us have been assaulted by hurricane winds, rapacious fires, and shattering earthquakes or some sort: we live on that kind of planet. Do you remember the last time your preconceptions were blown to smithereens, your heart burnt to a cinder, your confidence shattered? Look back on it now (or if you� re in the middle of it, look around), and see if in the midst of that devastation � right in the center of it-you half-sense ...more
Stephanie
Yes, it's "self help" and I thought it was excellent. Basically, it is about mindfulness meditation. The format is very commercial (10 weeks! exercises! diet book!) but also seems like a practical way to gradually integrate waking up to the moment into one's daily life... not that I personally am going to follow the format, though I'd probably be better off if I did. Beck is a bit of a guilty pleasure for me: she's a chirpy, perky Mormon who wrote a column for Oprah's magazine. She only recently ...more
Kathleen
I liked the beginning of the book with it's energy for looking for joy in your life. There are 10 practices that she discusses that will bring more joy into your life. I got stuck at the first one; spend 15 minutes a day doing nothing.

I did listen to the rest of the book. I liked the practices but by the 6th one or so I thought, no one can do all these practices each day multiple times, as she suggests, and do anything else. Actually I'm not sure you could get all of the practices done daily. A
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Andrea
There were a few chapters I enjoyed in this book and then there were others that didn't really interest me. I think I would have enjoyed the book more if I was in the mood to read a self help book; these days I'm more interested in comedy, essays, etc...lighthearted stuff because i'm planning a wedding and having a lighthearted funny thoughtful book around is much more therapeutic than a self help book, for me anyway. Sometimes I get discouraged with self help books because they want you to "do" ...more
Jessica
I loved this book! It was like how I felt about the beginning of Beck's "North Star" book- only this time she stuck to the topic and managed her thoughts in a much more organized fashion.

This book was contains ten ways for living a happier, more joyful, life. Yes, Beck does get into extreme detail about each one of the ten things, but in most cases it was completely warranted and very helpful.

I definitely liked all her suggestions, such as making sure you laugh a certain amount of times per day
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Kathi
If you're in a rut, or simply want to jumpstart the path you're already on, this book can re-awaken your enthusiasm. I'm a long-time fan of Martha Beck's, and as in her other books, she offers encouragement and plenty of tips in this one. Well worth your time.
Anna
May 06, 2014 Anna rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: people struggling with life changes and depression
Shelves: life-changers
Absolutely great book - got it from the library, but decided I want to own it. I'd been struggling with transitioning to a new stage in my life, experiencing a bit of depression and lack of focus. This book has helping me hone my focus and find some great new directions to go. I'd sure recommend it for anyone who is struggling with depression or life changes.
Kris
I like her more recent stuff better. This book relies on lists and explanations; her book Steering by Starlight relies on stories - much better.

However: yes. Good advice.
Elizabeth
books on tape 5 1.5 hr cassettes
narrated by Kathe Mazur


I have listened to this many times in the last months. The reader is so animated that she is a great match for the text. My first thought was that this was the author reading it herself.

I plan to do the exercises and I am getting the book to have printed copies of the instructions.

These instructions are very much like how I used to live my life before I got married and tried to adapt to being in a couple. It is time I got back to being mysel
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Rebecca McKanna
Although this book focuses a lot on common sense, it's still nice to be reminded of the little things we can do in life to be happier. The author also has a really conversational and funny tone that actually makes reading a self-help book palatable - and made me laugh out loud a couple times. One of my favorite tips in the book was for us to look at the people in our lives who drive us crazy, who we absolutely can't stand - and then see if there's anything about them we should adopt into our own ...more
June
A group of friends (four of us) worked through this joyful book, chapter by chapter, doing most of the exercises in between meetings and then coming together to share our experiences and read aloud favorite lines from the book. I can't say that any of us made marked, life altering changes to our lives, but it certainly helped us work through issues - with laughter and yes, joy.
Come to think of it, it did give me strategies and ways of viewing the world that continue to guide me.
I recommend us
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Tricia
Jan 22, 2014 Tricia rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: 2014
A list of practical ways to add more Joy to your life.
The list at least makes you feel like you might have a little more control over how you live your life.
I will work at adopting these strategies and update my reviwe.
Keris
Reread. Originally read it in 2003. Was definitely time for a refresher.
Sharon
Sociologist and life coach Martha Beck's The Joy Diet is a practical list of life improvement techniques. Ranging from meditating daily to making sure you laugh at least 30 times, Beck provides a list of 10 different ways to make life more joyful.

I enjoyed reading this brief book, which not only provided practical advice but also a large helping of Beck's amusing personal anecdotes. Those who are working toward coaching themselves into a better life will find this book very useful.
Carolyn Hanson
I'm a huge Martha Beck fan & highly recommend her books & articles. I took my time with this one, keeping it with my yoga mat & reading tiny bits while in gomukhasana (cow face pose) at the end of my daily practice. Great life "diet" tips, meant to be savored, pondered, practiced. Was glad to own the book, as I was compelled to star, underline and circle many phrases & sections. Ends with discussion on gratitude, which is very fitting; I'm very grateful for Martha & this book ...more
Andrea
Not a food diet, but a series of small lifestyle changes to add more fun, laughter, lightness, and smiles to your life.

She's a pretty funny writer, and her recommendations are good reminders not to take everything So Seriously. I particularly like her advice on doing nothing, as I think more people (including myself) could benefit from daily moments of absolutely nothing.

Entertaining and uplifting, overall.
Trina
Sep 16, 2007 Trina rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone looking for happiness in prescription format!
This book gives a daily prescription of the keys to a happy life. I like the candor of the author, her best and worse moments are intermingled with easy to follow steps for a fuller life. The best part of the book for me was realizing that I knew and did some of the 10 things already. It motivated me to continue reading and learning. This is a keeper!
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Martha Beck is a writer and "life coach" who specializes in helping people design satisfying and meaningful life experiences. She holds a bachelor's degree in East Asian Studies and master's and Ph.D. degrees in sociology, all from Harvard University.

She worked as a research associate at Harvard Business School, studying career paths and life-course changes in today's economic and social environme
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More about Martha N. Beck...
Expecting Adam: A True Story of Birth, Rebirth, and Everyday Magic Finding Your Own North Star: Claiming the Life You Were Meant to Live Leaving the Saints: How I Lost the Mormons and Found My Faith Steering by Starlight: Find Your Right Life, No Matter What! Finding Your Way in a Wild New World: Reclaim Your True Nature to Create the Life You Want

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“If anything is worth doing, it is worth doing it badly.” 12 likes
“I remember reading about an NFL receiver who studies yoga so that his limber limbs won't be surprised when they're slammed into strange positions as he plays his full-contact sport. Well, in case you haven't noticed, life is a full-contact sport, at least for the soul.” 1 likes
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