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The Blue Zones of Happiness: Lessons From the World's Happiest People

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3.92  ·  Rating details ·  859 ratings  ·  87 reviews
New York Timesbest-selling author Dan Buettner reveals the surprising secrets of what makes the world's happiest places—and shows you how to apply these lessons to your own life.
In this inspiring guide, you’ll find game-changing tools drawn from global research and expert insights for achieving maximum fulfillment. Along the way, you'll:
•Discover the three strands of
...more
Kindle Edition, 288 pages
Published October 3rd 2017 by National Geographic
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Deb (Readerbuzz) Nance
Dan Buettner shares research on the happiest places on earth and uses that research to help all of us make our workplaces, our homes, and our communities happier places to live.

There are several wonderful lists in this book, including the Blue Zones Happiness Test, the fifteen "cowbell" factors that signal true happiness, and the Community Blueprint for Happiness, that are alone worth the price of the book.
Elizabeth Theiss


Blue Zones are places where people live longer, happier, healthier lives. These places make it easier for individuals to thrive by incorporating design elements and programs that encourage building friendship networks, eating well, walking, and cycling. For example, communities that limit sprawl and preserve open spaces with walking and biking paths encourage a more active lifestyle. Wide sidewalks encourage people to walk and talk together. Some communities tax sweetened beverages to limit
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Jill
Apr 24, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have read a lot on this subject, so most of it was not earth-shattering news to me. However it did give me food for thought as far as what I want out of the next place I choose to call home. I wish every politician would read this book—the info in it should be guiding our policies. Happiness of ALL citizens should be a priority, and I think many politicians, especially Republicans, make the mistake of equating a strong economy with happiness. Certainly a strong economy adds greatly to the ...more
Daniel
Dec 16, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Alright Singapore was featured so of course I have to read it. Singaporeans are happy because we work hard and are proud of our achievements. Danish people are happy because they don’t need to worry about basic necessities of life. Costa-Ricans are happy because they take life easy and talk to people.

The author provides to do lists to be happy: get married, spend time with family and close friends, get involved with religion or a club, learn to be likeable, exercise, focus on other’s happiness,
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Sharon
Jan 11, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I think that he raises some good points about changes that we can make in our lives that could make us happier. I also think that many of the suggestions are untenable for people who work full time, if you socialize for 6 hours and sleep for 7.5 hours, when are you supposed to work, exercise, meditate and spend time with your family.

I also disagree with his take on Singapore. I live in Singapore and people work too hard, are stressed out and have no universal health care. Older individuals are
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♥ Ibrahim ♥
It has many excellent tips that I appreciate in principle while some others, say the Danish model seems a bit sentimentalized when you pay 40 per cent on taxes and a foreign student comes in and cashes in on your income, a monthly stipend of 900 dollars. It doesn’t seem fair! It doesn’t seem fair either when the garbage man could make more money than the doctor!
Matthew
Oct 27, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Lots of great info in the book! The first part will seem a tad redundant if you read Dan Buettner's early Blue Zones book, but still a nice recap. The best part of the book is the third part with the tips on how to bring greater amounts of happiness into the concentric circles of your life.
Simple
Oct 22, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
If I can't find another good book to read I will read this book again and again and again. Great book.
Lindsay
Dec 08, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I admire and agree with the overall theme of this book: set up your life (home, city, friends, etc.) in a way that intrinsically promotes happiness. BUT some of Buettner’s examples on how to do this are a bit outlandish. Just fall in love with someone who is financially responsible- why didn’t I think of that! In all seriousness though, it is important to look at your life and surroundings to see how you can better set yourself up for success and happiness.
nukie19
I very much enjoyed Buettner's original The Blue Zones: Lessons for Living Longer From the People Who've Lived the Longest so I thought this would be another slam dunk. Unfortunately, this really fell flat to me. By about half-way through, I got bored with the information as it got very repetitive and started to feel like filler just to make the book "long enough." I also really hated how so many of the recommendations definitely cannot apply to many people. One big example of this was all the ...more
Lindsey
Aug 25, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction, 2018
3.5. What I loved most were the actionable suggestions to set up an environment that supports habits that are a foundation for happiness (rather than trying to "seek" happiness). Also enjoyed the views into different kinds of happiness (pleasure, pride, purpose) and cultures/places in which people exemplify them.
Kevin Sweet
Feb 03, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It was refreshing to read a profile of Boulder, CO. The author mentions dreadlocked, puffy-wearing guys hanging out on Pearl Street, which could have very well been me!

This has a lot of good info and tips for increasing three types of happiness: pleasure, purpose, and pride. However, much of the book builds up to the conclusion that you should simply live in a better place to be happier. Someone who is unwilling or unable to uproot their life to seek out a better location will find a good chunk
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Gail
Jan 21, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Nice complement his other books. Good tools for practical thought and application.
Sara Strand
Oct 25, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I don't hide my personal struggles with mental illness since the birth of my fourth child. Her birth was traumatic, I died, I was revived, and I haven't been the same ever since. My depression is the worst it's ever been, my anxiety is through the roof, I now battle PTSD, and suicidal thoughts. If there was anyone meant to read this book- it's me. I jumped at the chance to review this specifically because I'm essentially desperate to be happy. I don't even want to be SUPER happy, but anything is ...more
Sally
Jan 01, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audio, non-fiction
I first read about the Blue Zones, areas in the world where people have the longest lifespans, in National Geographic a decade or so ago. Since then I’ve been intrigued with learning more about how these cultures and communities support longevity and well-being.

Blue Zones - 5 geographic areas where people statistically live longest:
- Okinawa, Japan
- Sardinia, Italy
- Nicoya, Costa Rica
- Icaria, Greece
- Loma Linda, California (Seventh-day Adventists)

This book offered a look at how those living in
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Garth Calder
Apr 29, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: grow
Alright alright alright it’s REVIEW time…

Blue Zones of Happiness here we come. As mentioned in my other review of non-fiction this will be more a review of things that I want to remember rather than a typical this is why I liked this book…

For those that don’t know the “Blue Zones” project originally started looking for places in the world were people lived the longest live, in order to find the causes for that. Since then the “Blue Zones” has been expanded to Thrive: Finding Happiness the Blue
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Debbie
Before picking this book up at the library, I read an interview the author gave to the Huffington Post.

Question: Did your research change or confirm the way you perceived happiness? How?

Buettner: Yes. I lost my faith in motivational courses and the like. Achieving happiness is best attainable through setting up your life and surroundings so you're nudged into positive behaviors and away from negative ones.

Yet when I checked out his website, he is advertising a 2-part online course called Staying
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Megan
Jan 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Ever finished a book feeling super inspired? Because YUP THAT'S ME! Disclaimer... I work for Blue Zones Project and have met Dan Buettner a few times so I may be a little bias. I also will say that I have a hard time separating my previous knowledge of Blue Zones from the contents of the book so my thoughts and feelings truly are towards Blue Zones as a whole.

Dan Buettner does an awesome job explaining how happiness isn't just something individuals create for themselves. Happiness also derives
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Paula
Nov 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: first-reads
I received this book from the Goodreads Firstreads giveaway program. Thank you author/publisher for the opportunity to read and review The Blue Zones of Happiness!

Five stars!

I enjoyed The Blue Zones of Happiness: Lessons from the World's Happiest People! This book was definitely of interest to me. The author, Dan Buettner, has been conducting scientific research on happiness for years. How we can achieve it is a main topic in this book.

The book starts off with a quiz that helps determine your
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Kathy Engleman
Mar 29, 2018 rated it did not like it
Unrealistic

Example: a thought exercise: imagine you have ten million dollars. Name 5 things you would do. Now make a three year plan to achieve at least one of those goals. ??? My goals were to retire early, put my 2 kids through college, travel a lot, and do some home remodelling. Since those all require lots of money, how am I supposed to achieve them in 3 years with imaginary money. False statement: you should be around lots of people and have the goal of socializing for at least 6 hours a
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Scott
Jun 07, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Interesting insights into the 3 Ps of passion, purpose and pleasure, and what that means for country, community and self.

Dan explores the 3 Ps through the lens of the cocentric circles of your life. He takes an outward (worldly) to inward (self) view of the role of the 3Ps. Providing examples and tips/techniques.

To provide content, the 3 Ps are:

Pride This doesn’t mean arrogance, instead, the author is talking about an overall sense of satisfaction with your life. When you look back on your life,
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Kend
Jan 28, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction
I don't know; this book felt very insular. It's not terribly helpful to tell people trapped in cycles of poverty and economic exploitation that they just need to pay down their credit card debt and live in spartan homes with only minimal decorations. I know this isn't what Buettner is intending to say—and the forward points out that as with any book, one ought to take the parts that apply and leave the parts that don't—but the book is just list after list of recommendations, and it's hard not to ...more
Jadelyn
Mar 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved the actionable ideas and research to back up suggestions for change we can contribute to our own community or make a choice to move to a happier place. We often feel that the most successful programs will not work in our community due to the confines of political belief systems, religious practices, or ideas/thought patterns that keep playing out such as poverty and cultural beliefs. Sometimes is as simple as taking one step to volunteer in your community or become involved in your ...more
Tyler Criste
There's a lot of useful information, but I felt that this could have been an article rather than a book. There was too much content from the author's previous works, and too much that came from the blue zone happiness consensus project, which was essentially a survey of leading happiness researchers. In other words, I think this should have just been an article in nat geo.

That said, I did learn some things that I intend to implement. In particular, most of us probably under-value social
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Britt Hemingway
Full disclosure: this is NOT a self-help book. This is a not a list of "tips and tricks." Rather, Buettner presents both anecdotal evidence as well as data from research studies regarding the world's happiest populations, adding a few suggestions for application at the close of each chapter. Unfortunately for [probably] most Americans, many of the suggestions (working less than 40 hours a week, moving to a new environment, changing legislature to support these findings) seem less than ...more
Roxanne
Nov 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a Goodreads win review. I am so happy I won this book. I was watching House Hunters International on tv and the people were looking for a house in Costa Rica. The announcer was saying that Costa Rica was one of Blue Zones of Happiness where you can have a really great life. This book has so much information on what places are good to live in and what things to look for on your list. The common strand of people that are really happy is living your life with joy, purpose, and satisfaction. ...more
Amber Cox
Oct 17, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Happiness...Something we all seem to be working towards having more of. In The Blue Zones of Happiness by @danbuettner, the author dives deep into the lives of those living in the worlds happiest places.
What you get is a book full of practical tips and lessons that you can easily apply in your daily lives. I loved seeing how those living in the Blue Zones of Happiness, designed their homes, communities, workspace, and finances so that Happiness was at the forefront.
I blew through this book,
...more
Donald Anderson
Nov 10, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the first of the Blue Zones of Happiness books that I've gotten into reading so far.

It's got some glimpses of the concepts behind the movement, and outlines many key factors or things in common of happy people based on his research. Though he is thoroughly an expert in the field, I tend to lean toward my own personal experience in the measurement of happiness for me, and thus consider that the pride and pleasure aspects of happiness to be subcategories of purpose instead of on an equal,
...more
Emily Bassett
Feb 10, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed listening to this book on my commute in and home from work--indeed, it made me happy! How can you NOT be happy, thinking about happiness? Although, to be fair, it also made me notice the things in my world that "studies show" detract from happiness, and now, as I drive past that large billboard on that grassy lawn, I think "well THAT billboard makes this neighborhood NOT HAPPY!" Then I get sad. Lucky for me, that billboard is right next to my hot yoga studio, so soon, I get happy ...more
Sheila
May 04, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Nice! The happiest countries have different things going for them and similar things. Sense of community, educating the kids, preventative medical care, etc, and then there's the stuff that's unique to each country and totally doable in this country (meaning it's not limited to geographically). Like a productive career that can be accomplished in less than 40 hrs a week & includes a healthy, productivity-inducing amount of socializing. Sounds awesome to me, but I can see that's not going to ...more
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National Geographic Explorer Dan Buettner has traveled the globe to uncover the best strategies for longevity.