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The Happiness Track: How to Apply the Science of Happiness to Accelerate Your Success
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The Happiness Track: How to Apply the Science of Happiness to Accelerate Your Success

3.73  ·  Rating details ·  1,055 ratings  ·  142 reviews
A leading expert on health psychology, well-being, and resilience argues that happiness is the key to fast tracking our professional and personal success.

Everyone wants to be happy and successful. And yet the pursuit of both has never been more elusive. As work and personal demands rise, we try to keep up by juggling everything better, moving faster, and doing more. While
Hardcover, 224 pages
Published January 26th 2016 by HarperOne
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3.73  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,055 ratings  ·  142 reviews

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Rachel Blom
Jan 24, 2017 rated it really liked it
Lately, I’ve been on a happiness-books-binge. That’s to say, I’ve been reading a whole number of books on the topic of happiness. Call it a personal fascination, a subtle midlife-crisis, or whatever, but I’ve been fascinated by what research says we need to do (or think) to become happier.

The Happiness Track fits into this category, though it’s a little different. That’s because this book isn’t aimed at showing you how to become happier in itself, but at showing you how increased happiness will
Jul 20, 2016 rated it really liked it
The following is a list of lies we like to tell ourselves in the hope that we'll become more successful:

-Never stop accomplishing.
-Always look out for number one.
-Power through!
-Play to your strengths.
-Always be thinking about what comes next.
-Excitement and high-intensity positive emotions are a sign that we or our colleagues are successful.

Seppala has spent years deconstructing these myths and others during her research to find out what fosters happiness, and why so many of us seem to be incap
Sotiris Makrygiannis
I guess have read about 20 books of self about happiness. This is a well-written book, has a structure and is not bragging like the USA writers do but offer simple bits of advice on how to increase productivity and a more relaxed I will not name it as a guide for "happiness". So the title is a bit misleading, otherwise is a good book, written by a Finn that lives in USA. My advice? Don't look for happiness, is an illusion, search for knowledge and love to you, to others, to the whol ...more
Rob Thompson
About the book: The Happiness Track outlines the simple steps you can take to become happier and more successful. Referencing the latest scientific research, these blinks debunk common myths about how to be successful and set out a concrete plan for you to reduce stress in your life.
About the author: Emma Seppälä is the science director of the Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education at Stanford University. At the forefront of happiness research, she regularly publishes in the H
Jan 28, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: english, self-help, health
‘The Happiness Track’ written by Emma Seppala is nicely written book full of life wisdom, an interesting self-help title about happiness that can be recommended for reading in couple of sittings and then every so often come back.

The book is divided into several chapters each full with numerous helpful advices how to feel better in your life, how to make changes in order to make your life more optimistic and more positive. Also Emma Seppala did not forget to discuss six common myths of success, t
Tony Fitzpatrick
Feb 16, 2016 rated it did not like it
There is a problem with popular psychology which can be summed up in "why explain something simple in 5 pages, when you can take 50 to do it in a more complicated way". This book is a classic culprit. Supposedly it is an attempt to look at what makes people happy or sad, and how they can adopt lifestyle and attitude changes to maximise happiness, backed by solid statistics. It fails however to convince anyone of anything with its poor and very selective set of data, and makes five very simple po ...more
Garbage. Zero stars. Tonnes and tonnes of filler. I stopped reading it when she first cited Beaumeister's research to support her claims, and then 2 pages later cited Carol Dweck's research, also to support her (the author's) claim. But Dweck's research contradicts Beaumeister's research.

And did I mention the filler? An entire chapter, an entire chapter!!!, to tell us to slow down and focus on one thing at a time. Another chapter to tell us of the therapeutic effect of focused breathing.

Do not
Feb 02, 2017 rated it it was ok
Far be it from me to criticize a book about happiness, however, I found the book a little dry, a little too scientific. The key points are to be compassionate, be grateful and kind.
May 07, 2016 rated it really liked it
To read more of my reviews, go to

In The Happiness Track, Emma Seppala, (a Ph.D. from Stanford) notes that in today's society, we strive for happiness and success, but often find both unattainable. We learn that in order to be happy, we need to be successful.

We grow up believing that we need to find a passion at a young age, focus solely on this passion, and work ourselves to the bone so that we can become masters in this field. We tell ourselves that the stress, anxie
Jan 31, 2017 rated it really liked it
I usually don't read self-help sort of books but this one was different. I could identify with a lot of the situations mentioned in the book and am sure many of you will too. Her basic messages to us are echoes of ancient wisdom - look inward more, reflect, be calm from the inside, and listen. But what makes these tenets more approachable is that she gives simple ways to achieve them. She places us firmly in our technology-filled, frenetic environment and tells us how to cope with it. I think I ...more
Diego Keller
Jun 21, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Short but useful. Loads of research references and studies on the subject. Practical advices for the daily life.
Karen Treadwell
Apr 05, 2018 rated it liked it
This was a very thoughtful book with a multitude of good ideas for making your life less stressful and happier. It's a well researched and cited book making it believable. Some of the points I took away from this book are:
-Live in the present
-Slow down and breathe
-Take a break to manage your self-control
-Downtime can make you more creative
-Working on self-compassion can benefit you in many ways
-Compassion is the opposite of self-focused and is good for your health
There are many others.
Jul 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
Very cool book by Emma Seppala, someone who has always been a source of inspiration for me since I met her at Stanford. If you’re high achieving and unhappy, and you want to be happy, this is the book you need.
Elizabeth Pyjov
May 29, 2016 rated it it was amazing
(2/40) ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Just finished and tremendously enjoyed ''The Happiness Track'' by Dr. Emma Seppala. Written compassionately, easy to read, very useful and on-point, the book addresses some of today's biggest problems (such as loneliness, anxiety, burn-out) and gives a clear, scientifically-backed solutions. Having worked with Emma through the Stanford Center for Compassion, I know she lives by every word. She is a beautiful person, and this is a beautiful book. Let it be your first summer read. Eve ...more
Note: I wrote this as part of a book review series I started at my workplace, thus the (slight) emphasis on work.

So, what is this book about?
Western popular culture teaches us that in order to be successful, we must work without ceasing by using all available means to squeeze the most out of every second, including time management, multi-tasking, and stress management. We are also taught to continuously keep our focus on the next thing: the next step, the next goal, the next week, whatever may b
Nov 15, 2016 rated it really liked it
I selected this book based upon hearing the author on the Dan Harris 10 Percent Happier podcast. I must admit that I enjoyed that interview more than I enjoyed this book. Some of the key takeaways include to slow-down and be present, to spend time in non-work activities that give the mind time to rest (and to process information), and to more generally take care of yourself first and foremost. I finished this book in a couple hours, and it covers a lot of information that readers of the self-hel ...more
Douglas  Jackson
Mar 27, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2016
With ample notes to the research for going deeper, this is a solid overview of studies on mindfulness, compassion, gratitude, and creativity, and how happiness can underpin organizational and personal success. If you're a TED fan or an On Being listener, you'll find familiar content, if not hear the familiar voices. Some readers, I imagine, will want more of a self-help bent, others will want a focused look at the research, but either way, this is a good starting point. Follow this quick read wi ...more
Smitha Murthy
I first learnt of Emma Seppala when I was taking the Science of Happiness course at the University of Berkeley. (Online). After decades of research on happiness, Seppala's wisdom shines through in this book. The principles she shares, some of those were truly new to me - for example, how to do more by doing nothing. The others about compassion and kindness I had already tried to imbibe. But the art of Wu Wei is my biggest takeaway from this book. Read it once. And practice it as many times.
Theodore Kinni
Jan 18, 2016 rated it it was ok
Some nice tips for how to become happier. But happiness accelerates success?
Ken Hamner
Feb 11, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This is an excellent book for anyone who regularly multitasks and is a hard charging A-Type personality. Highly recommended.
Mar 23, 2016 rated it really liked it
Really enjoyed this book. Wish it had a little more content, but it was definitely worth the read.
Lee Richardson
Dec 17, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: for-fun
This book was a well written, informative book on scientific research behind happiness. Seppala has PhD in psychology from Stanford, and is the scientific director of an institute on altruism, so she certainly has the credentials that give us confidence in what she is saying.

The first chapter breaks down a backwards causal relationship we have. We often think: We will be happy if only... In this chapter, she shows us if we flip the relationship and prioritize happiness, other things will come!
Noah Uno
Dec 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Lots of scientific research-based hidden gems throughout the book as the author debunks the myths our hyper-competitive world tells us—that we have to chase the future, constantly be on overdrive, be hyper-aggressive, fill every moment doing/thinking something, be hard on ourselves when things don’t go right and relentless pursue our self interest.

To me, however, the gold mine is in chapters 5 and 6, where Dr. Seppala talks about gratitude, as well as empathy for oneself and others.

Mark Valentine
May 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Seppala provides six suggestions based on her extensive experience as a Psychologist, Professor, and Foundation leader. Because she provides a thorough End Notes section, it is worth the book to have a compilation of leading academic articles to back up her conclusions.

Here are the six:

"1. Live (or work) in the Moment. Instead of always thinking about what's next on your to-do list, focus on the task or conversation at hand. you will become not only more productive but also more charismatic.
Gopi Krishnan
Aug 26, 2018 rated it really liked it
Back in 2006, when Namrata (my elder one) was 5, we had taken her for a fun interaction session for kids. The parents were asked what they want their kids to be when they grew up. Anitha replied saying she just wants Namrata to be happy, whatever she does - that took the surprised facilitators a little off track then, but I guess happiness and peace of mind are two things we're all striving to achieve constantly. The US government has even embodied it in their declaration of independence - life, ...more
May 30, 2017 rated it really liked it here comes a book finally that as a reader & as a book lover,reviewer has made me feel inadequate & inadept on my qualifications to even give a review for this Brilliant,feel good and courageous book.Emma Seppala has just poured in all the years of meticulous research into this beautiful book on happiness & gives a very modern,scientific,rational, extensively research backed book on attaining happiness & has skillfully decovered the myths & complexes that can be very ...more
Jun 01, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: read-2018
This book encourages readers to live a stress-free (or at least, less stressful) life by listing volumes of research that linked lower stress to more successful outcomes in terms of professional success, health, charisma.....etc. She listed six specific means to lower stress in life, including developing "self-compassion" (I think this means being nice to yourself, rather than being critical.....okay I don't really understand what it means even after I explained it. I don't understand intra-comm ...more
Michal Kaczmarski
Aug 22, 2017 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed this book, and given it was an audiobook, I also enjoyed the quality of the recording and the voice of the narrator. The book gives interesting insights, followed by scientific research, into what makes people happy. In short, the points that stuck in my mind were: be more self-emphatetic, compassionate to others, less self centered and... breath deeply. So pretty much scientifically proved Buddhist teachings. Where, I think, this book falls short is that the book feels like a collecti ...more
Vaibhavi Hemasundar
Nov 02, 2018 rated it liked it
I enjoyed reading this book primarily because I've been experiencing work burnout from trying to succeed through a traditional path to success. The happiness track that Emma Seppala outlines in this book is something I knew instinctively and have experienced during one really productive summer at an internship, but after returning to school and an unhealthy atmosphere, I was starting to fall back into old patterns. This book was a good reminder to start meditating again, to take time to do nothi ...more
Mrs. Dalton
May 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
An Admin bought this for me at a teaching conference many months ago and I've just been able to get to it - 166 quick pages of encouragement to stick to your values in the work place and throughout life. Although the text focuses on meditation, calmness, compassion, and kindness in the business world, I find that much of it applies to the teaching world as well. Seppala teaches at Stanford, so she well knows about the go-go-go of the Bay Area environment in which we live and how hard it is to st ...more
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EMMA SEPPÄLÄ is Science Director of the Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education at Stanford University and a leading expert on health psychology, well-being, and resilience. Her research has been featured in the New York Times, ABC News, Forbes, the Boston Globe, U.S. News & World Report, the Huffington Post, INC, and Fast Company.

She is founder of the popular online magazine
“No valid plans for the future can be made by those who have no capacity for living now. —Alan Watts1 When” 2 likes
“1. Live (or work) in the moment. Instead of always thinking about what’s next on your to-do list, focus on the task or conversation at hand. You will become not only more productive but also more charismatic. 2. Tap into your resilience. Instead of living in overdrive, train your nervous system to bounce back from setbacks. You will naturally reduce stress and thrive in the face of difficulties and challenges. 3. Manage your energy. Instead of engaging in exhausting thoughts and emotions, learn to manage your stamina by remaining calm and centered. You’ll be able to save precious mental energy for the tasks that need it most. 4. Do nothing. Instead of spending all your time focused intently on your field, make time for idleness, fun, and irrelevant interests. You will become more creative and innovative and will be more likely to come up with breakthrough ideas. 5. Be good to yourself. Instead of only playing to your strengths and being self-critical, be compassionate with yourself and understand that your brain is built to learn new things. You will improve your ability to excel in the face of challenge and learn from mistakes. 6. Show compassion to others. Instead of remaining focused on yourself, express compassion to and show interest in those around you and maintain supportive relationships with your co-workers, boss, and employees. You will dramatically increase the loyalty and commitment of your colleagues and employees, thereby improving productivity, performance, and influence. These” 1 likes
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