The 100 Simple Secrets of Happy People: What Scientists Have Learned and How You Can Use It
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The 100 Simple Secrets of Happy People: What Scientists Have Learned and How You Can Use It

3.63 of 5 stars 3.63  ·  rating details  ·  772 ratings  ·  124 reviews
Experts have spent their careers investigating what makes people happy. While their methods are sound and their conclusions valuable, the results often remain hidden in obscure scholarly journals. At last, social scientist and psychologist David Niven, Ph. D., has cut through the scientific gobbledygook. After examining over a thousand of the most recent and important scho...more
Paperback, 224 pages
Published June 1st 2000 by HarperOne
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If any of you would have seen me a couple of years ago, you would have spotted me on the prowl of the self-help section of any bookstore. Now I won't even give it a second glance and it's because I came to the realization that other people saw it as lame. It's like openly admitting I'm pathetic and need some serious help. Even if that advice, for lack of a better word, is crap, which I must confess sometimes it is. But why should I feel guilty about this? I mean I'm just trying to improve myself...more
Adalira Morningstar
I don't know why I read these types of books, because they usually just leave me feeling annoyed rather than enlightened.

This book is full of simple, common sense suggestions. It includes groundbreaking advice such as get more sleep, eat more fruit, exercise, don't surround yourself with bad smells and be open to new ideas. Who would have thought incredibly obvious things would make me feel happier?

Actually, I want to rant about something small that was mentioned in this because this always rub...more
Apr 05, 2008 Aimi rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommended to Aimi by: the book shelf
I personally think that this is a book that everyone should own. Whenever I feel a bit down, I go to this book and do one of the tips and it always makes me feel better. The information in this book is all backed up by research. It's interesting to look at their findings. I take this book with me wherever I go, because you never know when you need a little cheering up!
Jun 10, 2014 Jeff rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: People who like quick snippets of actions leading toward happiness
I like this book, mostly. Mr. Niven gives short snippets of actions that can lead to happiness, followed by a short example of somebody who did or didn't take that action (and the positive or negative consequences that arose), followed finally by a result of a study showing how taking these actions is generally better than not doing so. One concern: It seems that some of the suggestions are very similar to others, and probably could have been combined. Perhaps you could say there are differences...more
I basically read this entire book during one commute (it was a long commute involving an unauthorized person on the tracks). The author digests a mountain of academic papers about happiness into 1-2 page anecdotes and guidelines about the kinds of activities and habits of mind that make people happy. I suppose I’m an essentially happy person because most of the things he says seem supremely obvious to me, even if I’m only 95% successful at doing them. (But I don’t beat myself up about being only...more
Miranda (M.E.) Brumbaugh
Concise and to the point, this book lists 100 simple ways to improve your life by increasing your level of happiness. Following each 'secret' you'll find the scientific research to back it up. But don't misread me here; the steps are really simple and easy to apply. Yet these are definitely not your run-of-the-mill, one person's opinion, made-up factoids. And that makes it a great read.

Some of my favorites include reading books and using aromatherapy. Obviously since I was reading that book, I...more
I think it's fascinating that there are psychologists now who are studying happiness. It is neat that they are looking into what healthy people are doing right instead of what unhealthy people are doing wrong.

However -- I thought this book was a bit fluff. It seems like they took a list of the 100 most common traits of happy people, added some statistics and then wrote some little fluffy paragraphs to go with each one.

I liked the list and the statistics, but the little stories weren't so inspir...more
It's hard to overstate my "meh" feelings about this book. Maybe if you're living in a cave, these things are secrets, but come on--it's stuff like cultivate friendships, laugh, exercise, set realistic goals... Nothing surprising there.

Additionally, each of these subjects gets a page or two addressing the research behind it, but there's no depth to any of it. This would've been better suited to life as a page-a-day calendar than it was an actual book.
I am intrigued by happiness and the many ways people try and find it, an interest left over from a college course I took called Happiness and the Good Life. This was a small book with a bit of a hokey premise, though it is full of good advice. The chapters were short (about 2 pages each), so they were easy to read but I think I would have preferred a more in-depth look at each of the "secrets" and why they work. Still, I found it interesting.
It was one of good self-help books I've ever read. You may apply in your everyday life. The author made good summaries from academic journals. The book is surely readable and interesting though there might be nothing novel. Common sense based. However, the thing is we easily forget such a way to human's well-being. The book may remind me of something important in life. But just a self-help book. Nothing serious but good.
This book lists 100 different ways that some people have a better life. Since most of the ways listed are the way you think about the good and bad in your life, this list is more a nose-thumbing to those folks that aren't wired that way.
It was an interesting book and perfect to fill those small gaps of time when you need to be entertained. It confirms some of the facts that you know, and will introduce you to others.
Kathryn Norris
A sweet summer read. The facts and research are interesting but the anecdotal stories to back up the facts are lame.
Eslam Elsayed
يعرض 100 طريقة للوصول الى السعاده و أعتقد ان المشكله ليست في عدم معرفتهم المشكلة في تطبيق ما نعرف .. :)
Faith Taraskus
I like to keep this around and read a few chapters when I'm grumpy.
Gary Lawrence
This is a self help book disguised as scientific research for the everyman. Not that the writer isn't a (social) scientist and not that he doesn't quote, reference and distill the work of many years of research into human behaviour but the book is aimed low and achieves it's target.

Each to the 100 "secrets" is certainly simple. I have no problem with that - simple is good. Some of them are profound and some are trite. Each suggestion is followed by an example which are often set firmly in Dr Da...more
Shawn Sorensen
A collection of direct, concise essays about working on yourself for the better. The main view is that while good and bad things happen to everyone, everyone has the choice as to how to perceive those events. Not shy about what would truly be debilitating to someone, the author also doesn't recommend anyone staying too long within themselves when they could change their thoughts for the better. In secret # 62 ("There Will Be an End, but You Can Be Prepared"), Niven says

One of the great sources o...more
*Simple, yet profound*

With his meta-analysis of happiness research, author David Niven distills the science of happiness into 100 happily bite-sized gems. Each chapter can be read in less than three minutes and contains a human-speak summary of the particular research finding, as well as advice and an example to make the finding more accessible and applicable. Even just a look at the chapter titles (including ones like: "It's Not What Happened, It's How You Think About What Happened," "Do Thing...more
Steven Dzwonczyk
I really liked this book for a number of reasons.

First, it gives one a good reason to stand back and take a good look at one's self. How many of these things do you do? I was happy to find that I do most of them, and also happy to find out that there are areas in which I can improve.

I liked this book because it was my first EPUB book. My wife recently got a Nook and has been downloading books from our library. This one sounded interesting, so I downloaded it to my computer. It is actually a muc...more
This was a quick read with a self-explanatory title. Most of the "secrets" were what you'd think they would be -- positive thinking, not comparing yourself to others, being open to change -- but some of them were actually surprising to me. For example, rooting for your home sports team increases happiness by allowing you to share a common interest with others in your community. Another one I thought was important was to abandon the idea that every relationship with your friends and family member...more
Farraas Muhdiar
I like the idea of making research results into something light. However, there are some similar ideas (that are repeated in different terms), and some stories are not really related and inspiring. This book could have been way better.
Sort of a watered down list of that basically drives the point home to keep things in a positive perspective. It's a quick read, not really poignant, but it's good to bring you back up if you're having a tough time.
I really enjoyed this little book! Each happiness secret starts with a basis statement, with a short explanation below. Then follows a real-life story as an example. Finally a short paragraph explains the research, includes statistics and references. This is a very simple book, very hands-on, which serves as a great reminder of how happy life can be if you make simple changes that affect your perspective, thoughts and actions. I'm now reading The Happiness Project and The 100 Simple Secrets of H...more
You can only read the relevant sections and practical advice accompanies both science and short stories, it's a powerful little book!
Tiffany Chua
Concise and straight to the point. It helped me reflect on my life and where it was heading.
Rana Samara
Gives you great positive energy :D
Jennifer Kyrnin
I liked this book more than the Rubin book on happiness. It offered a lot more concrete advice with short anecdotes to illuminate the tips. AND he cited sources rather than just repeating "studies show." I could look up the exact studies if I wish to.

But it was a bit gimmicky, and I got tired of the three part style for each tip. Some I wanted more and others I wanted to skip because they were obvious to me. But if you wanted to set up your own "happiness project" this book gives you specific t...more
Quick, interesting read.
Venkataraman Kumbakonam S.
A set of brief instructions to drive home the facts relating to happiness in life. I give those that impressed me for the benefit of my readers.

1. You life has a purpose and meaning.
2. Cultivate friendships.
3. Turn off the TV.
4. Have realistic expectations.
5. Be open to new ideas.
6. Believe in yourself.
7. Exercise
8. Laugh
9. Smile
10. Eat some fruit every day.
11. Get a good night's sleep.
12. Be flexible.
13. Be positive.
14. Be agreeable.
15. Be conscientious
16. Keep reading.
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Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the GoodReads database with this name. See this thread for more information.

David^^Niven, Ph.D., is the author of the best-selling 100 Simple Secrets book series

David^Niven, actor and author of The Moon's a Balloon
More about David Niven...
The 100 Simple Secrets of Successful People: What Scientists Have Learned and How You Can Use It 100 Simple Secrets of Healthy People: What Scientists Have Learned and How You Can Use it 100 Simple Secrets Of Great Relationship 100 Simple Secrets of Happy Families: What Scientists Have Learned and How You Can Use It 100 Simple Secrets of the Best Half of Life: What Scientists Have Learned and How You Can Use It

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