Today, March 20th, is the official International Day of Happiness, a day of global celebration and reflection: celebrating those things we have to be happy about and reflecting on our level of contentment with the lives we are living and whether we could do more to help others lives happier lives as well.
Happiness is a subject that I spend a lot of time thinking about — my own, but also that of my family, friends, and community — and, because of I love reading, the subject of many of the books that I read.
In honor of the International Day of Happiness, here is a list of some of my favorite books on the subject:
The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin
An author’s year-long exploration of what small changes we can all make to create a happier life for ourselves and our loved ones. https://ivejustfinishedreading.wordpress.com/2015/09/29/gretchen-rubin-part-1/
Happier at Home by Gretchen Rubin
Reflections on how our home, family, and neighborhood all can contribute mightily to our level of happiness and offers ideas on how to cultivate habits that keep your home source of contentment and happiness. https://ivejustfinishedreading.wordpress.com/2017/01/09/happier-at-home-by-gretchen-rubin-2012/
Better Than Before by Gretchen Rubin
A habit-strategy book that explores how knowing yourself better can help you find the best solutions for starting, and keeping, good habits. https://ivejustfinishedreading.wordpress.com/2017/01/13/better-than-before/
Love Warrior by Glennon Doyle Melton
A fierce and fiery memoir about one woman’s discovery that she had the power — all on her own — to overcome addiction and build a life of love for herself and her family. https://ivejustfinishedreading.wordpress.com/2016/12/13/love-warrior-by-glennon-doyle-melton-2016/
The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman
A book that introduces the idea that people have very different ways in which they feel loved and by learning what actions you can take to show how much you care, you can improve your relationships and strengthen your love for one another. This book has had profound impact on how I treat all of the people I love — my spouse, for sure, but also my parents, children, and friends as well. https://ivejustfinishedreading.wordpress.com/2016/09/13/the-five-love-languages-by-gary-chapman-2010-edition/
The Little Book of Hygge by Meik Wiking
A small and cheerful book about why it is important to cultivate simple, cozy rituals that help boost your happiness and appreciate all the good things — food, home, friends, naps — in your life. https://ivejustfinishedreading.wordpress.com/2017/03/09/the-little-book-of-hygge-by-meik-wiking-2017/
Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert
A book about harnessing your creativity — in whatever form it takes — to enrich your life and help you share your knowledge and ideas with the world, all while embracing and encouraging those around you to do the same without judgement or competition. https://ivejustfinishedreading.wordpress.com/2015/12/11/big-magic/
The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Maria Condo
I am always astounded by what a profoundly negative effect peoples cluttered homes have on their lives. Condo preaches a form of simplicity that starts with one simple idea: throw away the junk that is filling up your house and holding you back. Not for everyone, but definitely thought-provoking look at how we confuse having stuff with being happy. https://ivejustfinishedreading.wordpress.com/2016/12/27/the-life-changing-magic-of-tidying-up-by-marie-kondo-2014/
The Far Side by Gary Larson
My kids recently “discovered” the wonderful, hilarious comic strip The Far Side. They checked out all 25 books in The Far Side Collection from the library and we all have been laughing over them for almost two weeks. Since each is only one panel, it only takes a few seconds to read and get the giggles. They have made us all so much happier!
A Walk in the Woods and Neither Here Nor There by Bill Bryson
These books are not about happiness, per se, but they are so funny and that I laugh the whole way through reading them, which is a huge happiness booster! (Both are great audiobooks too!)