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10% Happier: How I Tamed the Voice in My Head, Reduced Stress Without Losing My Edge, and Found Self-Help That Actually Works

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3.92  ·  Rating details ·  54,140 Ratings  ·  4,380 Reviews
7 hrs and 50 mins

Nightline anchor Dan Harris embarks on an unexpected, hilarious, and deeply skeptical odyssey through the strange worlds of spirituality and self-help, and discovers a way to get happier that is truly achievable.

After having a nationally televised panic attack on Good Morning America, Dan Harris knew he had to make some changes. A lifelong nonbeliever, he
...more
Hardcover, 256 pages
Published March 11th 2014 by It Books
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Karl Styrsky I'd say more memoir about the author's discovery of mindfulness meditation and his personal journey than how-to. And no, I don't get the impression…moreI'd say more memoir about the author's discovery of mindfulness meditation and his personal journey than how-to. And no, I don't get the impression that Harris thinks of himself as an expert on the topic. Consider your personal interest in reading this book and read some of the other readers' reviews to see if this is what you are looking for. If you are interested in learning techniques for improving your happiness, there are many other books better suited to that purpose.(less)
Andrea It's his story, and it's good. But if you already are convinced of the value of meditation, there are more complete guides out there. Harris even…moreIt's his story, and it's good. But if you already are convinced of the value of meditation, there are more complete guides out there. Harris even suggests a few at the end of the book along with his own short guide. Try Dr. Mark Epstein and Joseph Goldstein.(less)

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Dan Harris
Feb 28, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)  ·  review of another edition
A heartbreaking work of staggering genius.
Jason Schofield
Mar 21, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I fucking loved this book. It's the most compelling introduction to meditation I've seen, after spending hundreds of dollars buying books on the subject. I have a therapy practice that is mindfulness-based. I often recommend informative-but-boring mindfulness-related books to people that they don't often finish. They'll almost certainly finish this one. It's terrific.
Will Byrnes
Dan Harris is a bit of a jerk. You don’t have to take my word for it. He says it himself, more than once, in his book. A lot of 10% Happier is about Harris trying to be less of a jerk.

Among his other journalistic accomplishments, which include more than a few in-country assignments in hot-fire war zones, hosting gigs on Good Morning America and Nightline, and scoring interviews with some very scary people, Harris is known for a live on-camera meltdown that was seen only by close family members,
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Raquel Moss
Apr 20, 2014 rated it liked it
I've been under a fair bit of stress lately. Nearly a year into self-employment, work has become steadier, sometimes more than steady. Although I love it, I've finally come to understand why people yearn to meditate. With my mind racing with mostly unproductive worries and nags, I've been thinking that I should try mediation to calm the tumult and find 'flow' again.

The problem has been finding a guide to meditation that isn't complete granola claptrap. I loaded Eckhart Tolle's The Power of Now o
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Dan Dinello
Apr 17, 2014 rated it did not like it
This bestseller annoyed me over and over. It's more of a memoir than a book about learning to meditate - something I do. But to read this book you must read about the life of this privileged rich white guy who has no social conscious and little interest in the people around him other than what he can exploit for a story. His arrogance is present in the subtitle - he reduced stress and kept his edge. But he never had an edge as far as I could tell. While the encouragement to meditate is positive, ...more
Heidi The Hippie Reader
Jan 23, 2015 rated it really liked it
Dan Harris had problems, like all of us, but unlike all of us, he was beginning to experience some of the messier symptoms of his dysfunctional inner world in front of millions of people.

He sought help and jumped into the meditation world with both feet. I think its why most people find their way into spiritual practices- something isn't working quite right in their life and they need to change from the inside out. So, they look for a process of inner change and run smack into meditation.

However
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Veronica Belmont
May 26, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction
I am a self-help cynic. I've never read any self-help, but I knew I needed to get a handle on my stress, anxiety and anger. When I read the description of this book (I listened to the audio version) I said, "OK, newsman, tell me how to be happier."

Dan Harris is an anchor for ABC, and in this story (which reads more like a memoir than a self-help guide) he details his own struggles early in his career. I related to many of these difficulties (particularly the fear of freezing up while live on the
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Diane
Mar 29, 2014 rated it really liked it
When a book means a lot to me, I have a more difficult time reviewing it. I finished this memoir a week ago and have been pondering it ever since.

Dan Harris is a reporter and anchorman at ABC News. Back in 2004, he had a panic attack on air while trying to read the morning headlines. He admitted to a therapist he was very stressed about his career, and that he had previously used recreational drugs.

Harris decided he wanted to find some peace of mind, and being a reporter, he researched differen
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Maxine
A fun read, albeit one that gets bogged down in too many internal monologues to make it a truly great book.

Harris is a fun writer, yet I found this entire book to be strangely narcissistic. Which is ironic, as 'ego' is why he first started meditating in the first place.

His interactions with Eckhart Tolle and Deepak Chopra are, however, hilarious - and I sincerely enjoyed how skeptically he approached the entire topic. Perhaps a bit too skeptically at times - his distrust of the entire subject ha
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Justin
Oct 24, 2017 rated it liked it
Well, I watched that ol’ Minimalists documentary on Netflix, and there’s ol’ Dan Harris talking about having a panic attack on live TV. He mentions this book he wrote about being 10 percent happier, and I thought “Hell, I’d love to be 10 percent happier. Please, Dan, by all means, enlighten me.” See what I did there? Maybe not.

Anyway, Danny Boy starts his book sharing insights from his career, jobs he’s held, and stories he’s covered. In fact, some of the most interesting stuff found within the
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Michael Palkowski
Jul 19, 2014 rated it did not like it
A news anchor memoir spliced with banal ruminations about discovering meditation and the author's experiences with the self help industry. His insights are trite, boring and at times obnoxious. He marketed the book around a standard life trope, which was an unexpected meltdown (this time on live television) which resulted in self seeking discovery. This isn't how the book is structured at all and his "meltdown" seems to have had no clear effects on him at all, especially since his "discovery" co ...more
Michael
Mar 21, 2014 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Skeptics on a spiritual journey
Dan Harris wanted to title this book "The voice in my head is an asshole." When I heard that line I knew I was in good hands. Harris, whose celebrity has escaped me since I don't watch much television, is the perfect blend of smart-ass skeptic and spiritual seeker. The great thing about this book (essentially a memoir) is that Harris is in perfect alignment with my own cynical view and utter fascination with the world of self-help and Buddhism. His writing is sometimes overly mocking in tone but ...more
Rebecca McNutt
Jul 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I've never really gone in for the self-help genre much, but Dan Harris' writing is incredibly genuine and this book is as much a personal memoir as it is inspirational. Harris as an anchorman made headlines himself after having a panic attack live, and decided it was time to overcome not only the stress of his career, but also the stigma of having a bad day as a professional. With a positive and often humorous outlook, his book is a strong reminder of why it's important to not let the little thi ...more
Perry
Jul 14, 2014 rated it really liked it
Don't You Know You've Gotta Shock the Monkey!



Step Back, Then Move Forward with More Focus

I need to re-commit to the concepts of meditation and mindfulness. My "monkey mind" has returned. "Monkey mind" is the term Dan Harris and some others in the field use to describe in himself and his fellow Type A's (as I am), the crazy internal dialogue that no one but you could ever follow, in which your mind swings from one unrelated branch of thought to another, preventing you from fully honing in on an
...more
da AL
Mar 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
He does a great job of demystifying meditation. In an enjoyable way he recounts his own experiences, from skepticism to belief in, & explains what he's learned from others along the way.
David
Oct 15, 2016 rated it really liked it
Dan Harris is a television journalist and news-anchor for the ABC network. He currently is the co-anchor of the Nightline show and the weekend edition of Good Morning America. He has gone into numerous war zones around the world, bringing back incredible stories from the front. He found this type of reporting to be thrilling, and often brought on an emotional "high". When he came back home, however, he found the need to self-medicate, with cocaine or other drugs. At one point in his career he ex ...more
Donna
Sep 14, 2017 rated it really liked it
I liked the title and combined with the positive GR ratings, I picked this one up. As one of my GR friends said, this came across more like an autobiography than self-help, which I really liked. During the first part when he is talking about his journalistic travels in the Middle East, I wondered what that had to do with being 10% happier. But he tied it all together.

I liked his humor. He had a nice balance of honesty and self-deprecating humor. I really felt happy for him when he got a girlfrie
...more
Paul O'Neill
May 30, 2018 rated it really liked it
Surprisingly good read and not what I was expecting.

Recommended for anyone curious about meditation and mindfulness. Harris does a great job of breaking down all the fluffy and ‘hippy’ terminology that usually get associated with meditation. He also brings the benefits to life by showing how it helped him.

A very honest account and nicely told.
Michael
Apr 11, 2014 rated it it was amazing
A Meditation Book Designed For A True Skeptic.

This is the first book that I've read on meditation that approached meditation through a severely skeptical eye. Dan Harris has asked all the questions you would have thought to ask and gets all the answers for you. This is also the first book that I've read on meditation that was approached from a journalists point of view. Using Dan's connections he has managed to interview and talk to most of the meditation community you wish you could talk to.

F
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Anthony Cospito
Oct 25, 2014 rated it did not like it
New title suggestion: "90% egotistical"
J. Schmidt
Apr 15, 2014 rated it did not like it
Very disappointing! All fluff, no substance!

First I have to admit, I am not a US citizen and I had never heard of Dan Harris before. I realized reading some of the reviews here, he is somewhat of a celebrity in the states, which may explain why so many people found his anecdotes fun and interesting. In my opinion they were largely boring. I read it because I was hoping for some more insights on the topic of happiness and meditation, but this was certainly one of the most shallow books on this to
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Mat
Mar 18, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Great, down-to-earth "regular guy's" introduction to meditation. Also, a quick, fun read. For me, the book came into my life at a unique time. I'm a Stage IV melanoma patient. I've been meaning to enroll myself in a MBSR program (ala Kabat-Zinn) as I know meditation is an important tool. Reading Dan's book sealed it for me. I've enrolled in a program and, in preparation, have been practicing for 10 minutes/day using one of Kabat-Zinn's CD programs. Thanks Dan.
Katherine Esposito
Jun 15, 2014 rated it did not like it
Shelves: stopped-reading
Ive read countless books on anxiety looking for some new takes on self help and reassurance that I'm not alone with this illness. I couldn't get past the first 3 pages of this book. When I realized this was a famous news anchor I immediately looked up his infamous panic attack on YouTube and felt insulted. If that what is considered a panic attack then what is happening to me? He hardly misses a beat on the air and was admittedly doing a lot of drugs at the time. I may try to pick it up again bu ...more
Tania
4.5 stars. I loved everything about this. I'm not into self-help at all, so Dan's critical and questioning attitude worked really well in convincing a sceptic like me. I have even started meditating on a daily basis. His sense of humour is brilliant, and I can't remember when last I laughed so much while reading. I highly recommend this to anyone who enjoys A.J. Jacobs writing.

The Story: After having a nationally televised panic attack on Good Morning America, Dan Harris knew he had to make some
...more
Casey
This book was far, far better than I expected. Actually, I’m not sure what I expected: the title, 10% Happier, suggested to me something akin to Gretchen Rubin’s somewhat inane Happiness Project, which I didn’t care for. Turns out, the original title for 10% Happier was “The Voice in My Head is an Asshole,” which is both far more amusing and a better description of the actual content of the book. Still, though, it doesn’t convey the fact that the book is really a memoir of Dan Harris's life in b ...more
Wiebke (1book1review)
This is a clear case of: the right book at the right time for me.
As a sceptic towards meditation and such practices who finds herself in an unusual state of unhappy this sounded like something I should try.
And I was right. I liked the approach of how he first wrote about his life and introduced himself to people like me (who have never heard his name before). I also really enjoyed the journalistic approach to the whole business of meditation and self-help machinery and his own experiences with t
...more
David
Mar 13, 2014 rated it it was amazing
As an avowed atheist and skeptic, I’ve always considered meditation to be in the same supernatural ballpark as god, psychics, crystals and divining rods. But then I recalled that one of my heroes, neuroscientist and atheist, Sam Harris (who, much to my pleasure, makes a cameo in this book), is a practitioner of mediation. So I decided to give this book by Dan Harris (no relation) a listen. And I am very happy I did!

Harris takes us on a journey of self-discovery into the world of broadcast news,
...more
Furrawn
Jan 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Surprisingly awesome. My friend Susan told me to read this. I was a bit shocked as she seemed the last person to suggest meditation. Since it happened a week after my attendance of the OUAT con where Lana Parrilla mentioned how meditation was important to her happiness which surprised me at the time, I felt like the universe was smacking me with a WAKE UP AND MEDITATE call.

This book is awesome sauce on multiple levels. It was fun reading about the experience of a a news person writing stories, e
...more
Rebecca Foster
“The Voice in My Head Is an Asshole” is what Dan Harris, co-anchor of Nightline and the weekend edition of Good Morning America, initially wanted to title this beginner’s guide to meditation. Instead, he’s named it after the following conclusion: “In my experience, meditation makes you 10% happier.” That might not sound totally life-changing, he admits, but it’s nonetheless a pretty good return on a fairly minimal investment of time and energy.

He first investigated Buddhist meditation in 2008, w
...more
Sonja Arlow
I think fans of self-help books should give this one a miss – it will just piss you off when the author makes fun of Deepak Chopra.

More memoir than self-help, this made me laugh at many unexpected times. Dan’s retelling of his first attempt at meditation and his stay at the retreat reminded me of A J Jacobs books – self-deprecating and very very funny.

I have tried once before to read about meditation and found it informative enough to want to give Eckhart Tolle a try as everyone seems to rave ab
...more
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USM AOP Book Club: Other Resources for 10% Happier 2 9 Mar 20, 2017 08:43AM  
Self-Help/Personal Development 1 19 Nov 24, 2016 12:16PM  
Around the Year i...: 10% Happier, by Dan Harris 3 27 Apr 04, 2016 04:43AM  
Monthly Best-Sell...: This topic has been closed to new comments. 10% HAPPIER, by Dan Harris 2 21 Jun 01, 2014 09:25AM  
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Dan Harris is the coanchor of Nightline and the weekend editions of Good Morning America. He regularly reports for 20/20, World News with Diane Sawyer, and the weekday editions of Good Morning America. Before joining ABC News fourteen years ago, he worked for local news outlets in Boston and Maine. He lives with his wife, Bianca, in New York City. 10% Happier is his first book.
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“Make the present moment your friend rather than your enemy. Because many people live habitually as if the present moment were an obstacle that they need to overcome in order to get to the next moment. And imagine living your whole life like that, where always this moment is never quite right, not good enough because you need to get to the next one. That is continuous stress.” 79 likes
“When you have one foot in the future and the other in the past, you piss on the present.” 58 likes
More quotes…