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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

3.97  ·  Rating Details ·  959 Ratings  ·  99 Reviews
Welcome to The Joy Diet, a menu of ten behaviors you can add to your way of living and thinking to enhance every dayâs 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 âœcrash Joy Dietâ to help you navigate lifeâs emergencies.
The ten menu item
Hardcover, 240 pages
Published May 6th 2003 by Harmony (first published January 1st 2003)
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Jeanne Henry
Apr 18, 2009 Jeanne Henry rated it it was amazing
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
Aug 26, 2007 Colleen rated it really liked it
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
Edwin B
Dec 16, 2007 Edwin B rated it it was amazing
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
Jan 14, 2015 Melissa rated it really liked it
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
Apr 15, 2014 Marcella rated it it was amazing
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!
Feb 07, 2009 Betsy rated it it was amazing
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.
Dawn Herring
Jan 11, 2013 Dawn Herring rated it it was amazing
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.
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.
Nov 04, 2009 Stephanie rated it it was amazing
Smart, perceptive, and genuinely useful.
Dec 27, 2016 Sara rated it really liked it
Shelves: readin16
So thankful I accidentally picked this up at the library.

Three things:
1. Take a risk everyday. (A "risk" is defined by each individual specifically).
2. Do nothing every day. For at least 15 minutes.
3. The questions she lays out regarding the stories we tell ourselves.
Adam Sprague
Jan 05, 2017 Adam Sprague rated it it was ok
This is the exact same book as "Finding Your Own North Star." She literally copies and pastes parts of the book into this one. At least this one is shorter? This is essentially a list of 6-10 things to do stretched out into 6 hours of reading to make $$$$$.
Nov 08, 2016 Ginger rated it it was ok
Nice, but nothing new.
Polly Watson
Sep 01, 2014 Polly Watson rated it it was amazing
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
Nancy Schober
May 13, 2011 Nancy Schober rated it it was amazing
Shelves: vipassana, psychology
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 someth ...more
Brandon Clay
Feb 28, 2014 Brandon Clay rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: spirituality
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
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
Jan 06, 2016 Lisa-Michele rated it really liked it
Ok, it is a self-help book. I don’t usually read these, but it was on the bargain table and I do like Martha Beck’s writing. So I snapped it up. Martha gets a lot of things right. I will even put some of her ideas into practice. If you are the mood to change things up a little, this book will give you food for thought: “The typical human mind is like a supercomputer possessed by the soul of a demented squirrel. It’s constantly calculating, anticipating, remembering, fantasizing, worrying, hoardi ...more
Apr 14, 2009 Andrea rated it liked it
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
May 23, 2013 Jessica rated it it was amazing
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
Rebecca McKanna
Jan 07, 2011 Rebecca McKanna rated it really liked it
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
Mar 04, 2009 Elizabeth rated it really liked it
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
Jul 21, 2014 Anne rated it liked it
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
Jan 08, 2015 Kathleen rated it liked it
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
Sep 07, 2011 June rated it it was amazing
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
Nov 27, 2009 Andrea rated it really liked it
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.
Sep 08, 2010 Nancy rated it it was amazing
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.)
Apr 27, 2016 mrsrou rated it liked it
Shelves: self-help
I enjoyed the author's style and thought there were some good tips in this book. For some reason (I can't quite put my finger on it) I couldn't fully engage myself in the process of the 10 practices. I do believe many of the practices are great to be reminded of, however, and I may try to give this book another chance in the future.

I am interested in checking out some other books by Martha Beck.
Carolyn Hanson
Aug 11, 2013 Carolyn Hanson rated it it was amazing
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
Nov 01, 2010 Sharon rated it really liked it
Shelves: spirituality
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.
May 06, 2014 Anna rated it it was amazing
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.
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I grew up wanting to be an ecologist or a professor. However, after bearing three children while acquiring three Harvard degrees, I decided I’d rather just lie down for a few decades. During that time I became an author and life coach. My books include Expecting Adam, Leaving the Saints, Finding Your Own North Star, The Joy Diet, Steering By Starlight, Finding Your Way in Wild New World, and The M ...more
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“If anything is worth doing, it is worth doing it badly.” 13 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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