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Sonja Lyubomirsky
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The How Of Happiness: A Practical Guide To Getting The Life You Want

3.89 of 5 stars 3.89  ·  rating details  ·  3,441 ratings  ·  209 reviews
Its a contribution to the field of positive psychology and a gift to people who have sought to take their happiness into their own hands. Sonja Lyubomirsky reveals that much of our capacity for happiness is within our power. Detailing an easy-to- follow plan, including exercises in new ways of thinking and understanding our individual obstacles.
Published (first published 2007)
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As someone who has been on a bit of a quest for several years now, I can say that this book illuminated a whole new corner of the tent under which all things happiness-related are kept. Sonja is a scientist in the field of positive psychology (studying what makes people happy to begin with as opposed to unraveling problems after they have manifested themselves) with a scoff-proof academic pedigree (hello, Harvard and Stanford). For anyone who has a hard time buying into things like "The Secret" ...more
Doc Opp
I got this free from a publisher who wanted me to use it in my class. I applaud the attempt to use actual science in the oversaturated self-help happiness market. Its nice to see somebody with qualifications who actually does research on the topic writing this sort of thing. And as that genre of books go, its probably well above its peers. But I do empirical psychology for a living, and so I couldn't read it without getting into "reviewer mode". And let me tell you, there are a lot of things in ...more
Feb 24, 2008 Megan rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Mom & Becky
Recommended to Megan by: Oprah
Excellent book on tangible ways to increase happiness in your life. Basic theory: We have a genetic happiness set point that accounts for 50% of our happiness, 10% of our happiness comes from our life's circumstances, like where we live, what car we drive, how much money we make, etc. And the remaining 40% rests in how we choose to be happy everyday (i.e. our daily activities). The book focuses on refining that 40%. All based on empirical evidence. A must read.
Lucia Gannon
I am about half-way through this book and it is beginning to annoy me a little. If you have read anything in the positive psychology vein, Seligman, Peterson or Csiksentmihalyi, this will not be new.
I know there is research behind what she is saying so I don't need to be reminded every second sentence.
I also find her very repetitive. I know it is writen for the non-expert but I really do not think there is any need to keep repeating everthing ad nauseum.
The "hows" are interesting and applicable
If we are going to achieve anything substantial in our lives, it will require a committed effort. The author points out that the same principle applies to our state of happiness - a good deal of effort is required. She calls it "the most rewarding work we'll ever do."

Ms. Lyubomirsky describes a mindstate called Self-Focused Rumination which is a term psychologists use to describe otherthinking. She writes: "The combination of rumination and a negative mood is toxic.....People who ruminate while
Lisa Sipe
Lyubomirsky asserts that up to 40% of your happiness is within your power to change. She then makes available a number of assessment instruments that measure your happiness level and help you select from 12 happiness activities that best match your personality, resources, goals and needs. Each of the activities is presented with empirical evidence of its efficacy and suggestions for related activities that might also fit. These activities represent habits rather than goals, and as such, are some ...more
Alan Hamilton

An interesting book which initially tries to apply some science to happiness and then describes ways of improving your happiness level. As expected, most are useful but some are tosh.
Like a lot of these types of books, there are a few real nuggets in there - it's a case of finding the bits that help you.
The book is definitely worth reading.
Excellent advice about things you can do everyday to be happier.
Lucia Iordache
This book is my book club’s latest selection. Want to be happier but you don’t know how to go about it? Maybe this book can help. For the sceptics out there who don’t believe in self-help books, the basis of this book is pure science. Study after study has been complied into this book to come up with helpful tools for how to become happier. Turns out that 50% of our happiness pie is already predetermined by our genetics, 10% is constituted by our social conditions (rich/poor; married/divorced; s ...more

What are the thing's that make a person happier? The author gather's much of the research data done on happiness and lays it out for you.

There really aren't any big surprises involved here. It's stuff like exercise, having friends, being a considerate and optimistic person. Stuff like that. She comes up with a list of 12 things that any person could do to become happier in general. This after the caveat that a great deal of one's happiness seems to actually be already set by birth, in other wor
May 17, 2008 Jon rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people who think the picture on the cover means pie will make them happy (it won't)
Recommended to Jon by: Costco
Everyone wants to be "happy", which has resulted in no less than, like, 50 million books on "how to be happy". Everyone has their own ideas on what makes people happy; who's to say who is "right" and who is "wrong"?

Well, Sonja Lyubomirsky, that's who. Because while other people are writing their books based on intuition, personal experience, limited observation, or just plain guessing, Lyubomirsky has approached the subject from a different angle: scientific experiments.

It turns out there is a s
Mohammad Ali Abedi
In my quest to find the mystery to life, I go through yet another self-help book, but with “How of Happiness”, I was lured in by its promise of a scientific approach to happiness.

Biggest bullshit ever.

The scientific angle is merely a ploy to make it more legitimate. The book is exactly the same as every other self-help book, with the exact same advices, and the only difference being every cliché being started with “According to studies…”. Usually, the studies are never explained or mentioned, an
Notes from Kindle:

patients who have a good understanding of the thinking behind treatments are more likely to comply with them

They devote a great amount of time to their family and friends, nurturing and enjoying those relationships. They are comfortable expressing gratitude for all they have. They are often the first to offer helping hands to coworkers and passersby. They practice optimism when imagining their futures. They savor life’s pleasures and try to live in the present moment. They make
The scientific approach to happiness is getting a lot of grant funding and media exposure lately, and this is the latest offering. As with most self-help books (because that's what this is, scientific or not), it could have been a fraction of the length and still gotten the point across. I began resenting the author's insistence on the "science" behind her strategies because let's face it, we've been instructed to exercise and eat right for quite some time. However, for some people, maybe seeing ...more
I followed the Nancy Pearl rule, though not intentionally. It was near page 50 that I decided this book was, well, ridiculous. Self-reporting of happiness? No discussion of how that might in itself be relative? That and the author's declaration, as thought it would be true of all people, that cuddling one's own child is the epitome of happiness. Uhm, I'm pretty sure those parents out there that didn't want to be parents wouldn't ALL agree with that.

I do believe that one can do things to change o
Maya Smart
If you only read one happiness book, let this be the one. Written by a serious psychological researcher, “The How of Happiness” eschews the usual laundry list of quick fixes and instead offers a unified theory of sustainable happiness, backed by empirical evidence and sound reasoning.

Beyond the research, Lyubomirsky offers important reassurance that working to increase one’s happiness is a vital, momentous endeavor. Happiness, as she defines it, is no shallow pursuit. Rather, it’s the intentiona
The How of Happiness by Sonja Lyubomirsky

One could describe this book in a sentence: It is Life- Changing!
And there is no exaggeration there.
Sure, there would be critics of this book who will try TO diminish it. There is one book I heard about, that tries to make the point that positive psychology is bogus. That book is nonsense in my view and not positivity.
There may be some ancient, common sense truths to be found in the book, and that sounds li
Joseph Watson
The book offers valuable lessons on how to respond to adversities and benefit from them. It shows specifically how to handle problems readers may face. The first thing I liked about this book was the fact that it was written by someone who actually makes their living by studying happiness. Although almost too academic, serious happiness readers will be glad to know that the author is an associate editor of the Journal of Psychology. How people feel about their lives is typically the result of a ...more
Sanjay Kumar
I am a voracious reader of self help books, not because I have too many problems, but because I am amazed by the power of human mind and want to learn more about it.

This is probably the most scientific book on happiness, a welcome break from hundred other books on the topic that follow the stereotype plot of some guy renouncing the corporate world, joining a yoga/meditation retreat and learning the art of happiness. Nothing wrong with those retreats, but I feel you don't need to live like a monk
Nick Adams
I've read quite a few books about how to be happy and motivated, and sadly I have never really found them to be effective, particularly in the mid to long term. All too often they are full of baseless advice which is well meaning, but ultimately unreliable.

This book by Sonja Lyubomirsky, however, is based on sound (and well referenced) research that backs up the practical advice contained within. The writing style is authoritative and academic, yet it retains that crucial readability which many
Heidi Kyhl
This is a very useful book. The author has a scientific approach to therapeutical ways of changing your life. It is easy to read and has many good easy to use ways of helping you. I especially like the chapter on rumination which has helped me a lot.
This book gives concrete, scientifically proven ways to increase your happiness no matter your current happiness level. I'm finding it very interesting thus far.
I used this book, along with the DVD "Happy" to prepare a library program for sr. adults who attend a monthly Coffee Club. The format of the book was easy to use and there was a good mix of anecdotal stories and scientific research. The fact that we have control of about 40% of our happiness quotient is very heartening and Lyubomirsky offers 12+ tried and true activities that can increase our happiness. I like that she emphasizes that we have to choose the activities that fit our personalities. ...more
I read this and "The Myths of Happiness" as textbook assignments in a leadership course in college. The book is decent. I like her style of writing, and she gives good suggestions/examples. Some chapters were more helpful than others. At times, I felt the material to be repetitive or unnecessary (just because you could come to the same conclusions with some common sense). Nevertheless, the book is very helpful and applicable to life. Because the author has her doctorate in psychology, everything ...more
Exactly as the title suggests, this is a book that lays out several strategies for increasing one's overall level of happiness. It includes anecdotes, research findings, questionairres, and specific action plans with examples.

I'm a fairly happy person most of the time, but I'm highly sensitive. I've struggled on and off with mild depressive symptoms. More than that, I'm fascinated by psychology in general, and more recently I've been researching the field of "positive psychology" (the psychology
What makes you happy? If your answer is something silly like “money” or “my looks”, this book is probably just what you need.

This is a decent introduction to the field of positive psychology – the study of what makes people happy – and the emerging research supporting it. Sonja tackles some important questions , the answers to which will be unexpected and highly challenging for some – particularly those people that buy into (pun intended) the idea that more money = more happy. She eloquently des
Becky Ginther
This book was appealing to me because many times I do feel like I'm not as happy as I could be. I found the topic really interesting, and the book was pretty well written overall. The basic idea is that we have a happiness "set point", and the reason why some people are happier than others is just because they are naturally, genetically born that way. However, you can raise your set point by being conscious of certain activities. Apparently 40% of your happiness can be controlled and changed.

Matt McCormick
60% of your happiness level is pre-determined and out of your control. But that leaves 40% up to each person.

Even though some things weren't so new to me with this book, I really enjoyed it. I liked the scientific approach the author took to giving advice about happiness. Rather than some self-help books that just tell you what worked for the author, this book dives into what works on a general level for most people.

I also really enjoyed the way the author presented the reader with options for i
Wendy Palmer
Third book in a row that I bought online and got something I didn't expect (I'm usually better at researching titles before I buy them, I swear...), though this one was not a disappointment like the previous two. I thought it would be a detailed account of the current state of research into positive psychology - the 'science of happiness'.

Rather, it briefly states the outcome of the research and goes into practical detail about how to apply the findings to your everyday life to become happier. A
*Happiness need not be pie in the sky*

What determines happiness, and how in the heck can we go about achieving it? These are the questions that Sonja's book satisfyingly addresses. Although her book is based on scores of scientific papers and research findings, Sonja does an amazing job in presenting the science in a down-to-earth, human, and easy-to-apply way. The basic premise of her book revolves around the "unifying theory of happiness" which explains that although 60% of our happiness may
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Happiness 3 22 Jan 19, 2014 07:38AM  
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The majority of my research career has been devoted to studying human happiness. Why is the scientific study of happiness important? In short, because most people believe that happiness is meaningful, desirable, and an important, worthy goal, because happiness is one of the most salient and significant dimensions of human experience and emotional life, because happiness yields numerous rewards for ...more
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“D. A., and Kahneman, D. (1998). Does living in California make people happy?: A focusing illusion in judgments of life satisfaction. Psychological Science, 9: 340–46.” 0 likes
“Happiness is not out there for us to find. The reason that it’s not out there is that it’s inside us.” 0 likes
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