Books on happiness
Is it possible to learn how to be happy? Maybe … How much do you know about happiness?
For most people on this site is happiness extremely important. What about to use more time for developing our happiness? Just reading about happiness can raise our spirit and make us happier. So let’s see where to learn more about happiness.
There is no school subject such a happiness. Don’t worry, it is never too late. Let’s start with picking up on of books on the list. Just choose approach which suits you. On the list are books based on science research as well as spiritually oriented books. If you have some more tips, help us to improve the list.
Recommended literature about happiness
Flow - Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi
Psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi describes one of the most famous topic in positive psychology. He describes flow as state of mind during which people typically experience deep enjoyment, creativity, and a total involvement with life. This book is already classic work.
Happiness - Ricard Matthieu
This is an excellent book from a French writer and Buddhist monk. Matthieu Ricard received a Ph.D. in molecular genetics. He explain how the mind works and how to train it to reach happiness regardless of external life circumstances. The book is an excellent introduction to philosophical thinking of happiness mixed with scientific research and personal experiences.
Happy for No Reason - Marci Shimoff
Very inspiring book for anyone. After reading this book, you will probably end up more genuinely happier person. You can find here a lot of tips and techniques which will make you feel happier. The main state of the book is that you can be happy without any cause and fro any reason. It is based on observing and interviewing one hundred very happy person – called Happy one hundred. Marci Shimoff points on what all of those happy people have common and adds their inspiring stories. In comparison with building of house she build your happiness brick after brick.
The Art of Happiness - Dalajlama XIV.
The book isn’t write by Dalai Lama himself but western psychologist Howard Cutler. He interviewed Dalai Lama and try to approximate the wisdom to western audience. There are many interesting passages in the book mostly dependent on Cutler’s questions. Some people may find Cutler’s presence in the book disturbing but still – there is a lot of Dalai Lama’s wisdom about happiness.
The Book of Joy - Dalajlama XIV., Desmond Tutu, Douglas Abrams
Two close friend, moral leaders, spiritual masters and Nobel Prize winners Dalai Lama and Desmond Tutu got together for talk about something very important – Joy. Both of them are also known for being among the most infectiously happy people on the planet. Writer Douglas Abrams helped facilitate the dialogue. The book is full of wisdom, happiness, kind humor and truth. It can be really life changing book for somebody.
The Desire Code - Pierre Franckh
Pierre Franckh provide easy techniques to improve your happiness and enable you to reach your wishes. He combines science and psychology to one compact book. This book is bestseller in Germany and now is available in English as well.
The Happiness Hypothesis - Jonathan Haidt
The book is more about current research in the field of Psychology than ancient wisdom. Everything is backed-up with citations to published studies. You can find here an introduction to the field of positive psychology which aims to help people to find their meaning and happiness.
The Happiness Project - Gretchen Rubin
You may like this book or dislike. It is not a literature master peace but kind of social experiment. Author of the book Gretchen Rubin try to prove that everybody can learn how to be happy. She search for happiness wisdom, try all found methods on herself and describe her success and failures months after months. The book is chronicle of authors’ adventures during twelve months of self-testing of wisdom of the ages, the newest scientific research about how to be happier.
The Little Prince - Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
Everybody should know The small prince. It is a book of great wisdom – not just for kids. It is short, easy to read and true.
The Science of Happiness - Stefan Klein
The name of this book The Science of Happiness exactly describes what you can find there. The book is compilation of the latest scientific research of human brain from the point of view of happiness. Stefan Klein in cooperation with world lead neuroscientists explains how happiness originates in brain and how you can work with it in your life. It also describes chemical processes in brain during bad moods, depression, boredom and other enemies of happiness. Although this book is based on latest research, is easy to read and well understandable. It is great book for all people who prefer backed-up information before spiritual approach.
Other useful books
Man's Search for Meaning - Viktor Emil Frankl
This book is partly about Psychiatrist Viktor Frankl's experiences from Nazi death camps and partly about Frankl's new theory coming from psychoanalysis – Logo-therapy. He noticed that even in the worst condition ever, some people can keep their spirit. He identified a “meaning” as the most important thing which empowered sentenced to death to endure terrible conditions. Based on meaning – “Logos” he started a new school of Logo-therapy which can be simplified as healing by meaning. From own experience Frankl see a meaning as crucial for mind health and happiness.
You Can Heal Your Life - Louise L. Hay
People mostly love or ignore this book. It writes about connection between mind and health. Author Louise Hay explains her theory about possibility of self-curing by positive thinking. On the other hand you can bring yourself diseases by negative thinking such as anger, envy, hate and so on.
Reading for women
Optimized Woman - Miranda Gray
This book throw positive light on menstruation and describes benefits which can woman get from it. It is very handful book for woman who fight hormonal changes during their period. After reading this book, you will never look at menstruation the same.
Reading for men
Iron John - Robert Bly
This book explain stages of male development. It mix Jungian psychology, poetry and fairy tales. Author noticed the male identity crisis caused by remote fathers in late decades and try to find wisdom from ancient stories through Grimms' fairy tale Iron John. This book is not easy to read sometime but provides a lot of answers. It reminds something which was almost lost – “wild man”. Every man should read it but it may be recommended just to men who are ready for this kind of inner development.