The Happiness Project by Gretchen RubinThe Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin

The Happiness Project

byGretchen Rubin

Paperback | April 24, 2012

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What if you could change your life without really changing your life? On the outside, Gretchen Rubin had it all -- a good marriage, healthy children and a successful career -- but she knew something was missing. Determined to end that nagging feeling, she set out on a year-long quest to learn how to better enjoy the life she already had.

Each month, Gretchen pursued a different set of resolutions -- go to sleep earlier, tackle a nagging task, bring people together, take time to be silly -- along with dozens of other goals. She read everything from classical philosophy to cutting-edge scientific studies, from Winston Churchill to Oprah, developing her own definition of happiness and a plan for how to achieve it. She kept track of which resolutions worked and which didn’t, sharing her stories and collecting those of others through her blog (created to fulfill one of March’s resolutions). Bit by bit, she began to appreciate and amplify the happiness in her life.

The Happiness Project is the engaging, relatable and inspiring result of the author’s twelve-month adventure in becoming a happier person. Written with a wicked sense of humour and sharp insight, Gretchen Rubin’s story will inspire readers to embrace the pleasure in their lives and remind them how to have fun.

Gretchen Rubin is the author of several books, including the bestsellingForty Ways to Look at Winston ChurchillandForty Ways to Look at JFK. Rubin began her career in law, and she was clerking for Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor when she realized she wanted to be a writer. Raised in Kansas City, she lives in New York City wit...
Title:The Happiness ProjectFormat:PaperbackProduct dimensions:368 pages, 8 × 5.31 × 0.83 inShipping dimensions:8 × 5.31 × 0.83 inPublished:April 24, 2012Publisher:HarperCollinsLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:1443414565

ISBN - 13:9781443414562


Rated 1 out of 5 by from Wasn't a book for me I bought this book after reading great reviews and was pretty excited to start it. I had a hard time finishing the book and felt more frustrated as the chapters went on.
Date published: 2019-04-12
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Love it! I signed up for the Happiness Project course, and the book, although not necessary for the course, is very helpful and inspiring. The September chapter lists her resolution to write a novel, which is a goal I've had for a long time. She mentioned the book "No Plot? No Problem!", which I had bought a few years ago but never opened. That moved me to find it and now I'm committed to writing a novel in 30 days! I highly recommend The Happiness Project to anyone who wants to set goals and resolutions, and to find happiness in their everyday lives.
Date published: 2019-01-26
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Excellent Many useful practical tips on creating a happier life.
Date published: 2018-08-30
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Got this as a gift! You know a book is good when you get it as a gift from a family member who reads often. Great recommended choice, great read, thank you. A book that makes me happy.
Date published: 2018-08-24
Date published: 2018-08-23
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Informative and helpful A very well put together book, that helps nurture thought towards constant improvement.
Date published: 2018-08-20
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Helpful This book introduced me to new concepts that I had not explored before reading this book. I personally enjoy books that are informative and this book definitely has an abundance of facts that support what the author iterates. Good read with an understandable structure and enjoyed every bit of it.
Date published: 2018-08-08
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Looking for Happiness Gretchen does an excellent job of walking through how she found happiness in her life, while encouraging you to find unique ways to find happiness in yours.
Date published: 2018-06-21
Rated 5 out of 5 by from The power of small This is a novel that highlights the importance and power of those small yet significant changes that we can make on a daily basis. Gretchen Rubin makes reference to may inspiring spiritual people throughout the book to illustrate the action highlighted for each month. It is a book that could be read straight through or relished on a month to month basis.
Date published: 2018-06-12
Rated 5 out of 5 by from love it this book has great points and i am consistently going back to it in my everyday life
Date published: 2018-05-30
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Inspiring, get outside and live your best life One of the best books I've read in a long time. This book will inspire you to see joy and gratitude in your everyday life and slow down to take it all in a little longer. Furthermore, the book examines ways in which we can accept 'unhappiness' in our lives, learn from it, and move on! #plumreviews
Date published: 2018-05-17
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Small Things Make a DIfference Really enjoyed this book - helps you focus on the small things in your life that you can control. So much time can be spent trying to control things that are out of your hands, or being angry about something that you cannot change. This really helped me to look at the things that I can control and change my view on how I handle things on a regular basis. Definitely need time to work through this and process all the information but it was a good read.
Date published: 2018-05-13
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Not My Cup of Tea Bought it a while ago and just read it not much of a big fan but is a nice refresher.
Date published: 2018-04-25
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Not for Me I bought this book because I saw it had some good reviews. Unfortunately, it fell flat for me. Not a fan
Date published: 2018-03-23
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Nope. Not for me I didn't enjoy her stories, and found her quite privileged. I had more questions than inspiration. Honestly, got to the chapter where she talked about stopping doing things that didn't make you happy. So, I closed the book and walked away from it.
Date published: 2018-03-20
Rated 4 out of 5 by from fantastic i read rubin's better than before book first and found it to be a bit of a walk in the mud but i am reading this one right now and really enjoying it! her examples are great. all in all, engaging read - would recommend.
Date published: 2018-03-10
Rated 5 out of 5 by from My Life is Better Because I Read This Book I listened to this as an audiobook and enjoyed it so much that I bought the paperback for easy reference. I love the small concrete ideas Gretchen gives to make each day a little happier. I can honestly say that my life is better thanks to this book. BTW - I also recommend listening to Gretchen's "Happier" podcast if you enjoy this book.
Date published: 2018-03-07
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Couldn't get into it I was excited to read this book, but it only took me a few pages to realize that it wasn't for me.
Date published: 2018-01-28
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Good Read I was happy to have read this book once. Reading new books is great because you always get a refreshed outlook.
Date published: 2018-01-11
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great Book! I bought this book in the summer and slowly read it over the semester. I recently finished and am going to attempt my own happiness project in 2018! This author writes in a way that many self-help authors struggle to achieve: not self-deprecating, not awkward or bossy ... just informative and easy to read.
Date published: 2017-12-28
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Happy to Have Read It This book offers a lot of great tips for increasing the happiness in our everyday lives. I liked the look of the cover, but creating my own resolutions chart took too much effort. A good reference for happiness!
Date published: 2017-12-20
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Fun and Informative This book was a really fun read. I enjoyed following along on the author's adventure to find happiness. Learned a lot about positive psychology and the research on happiness as well. Glad I picked this one up!
Date published: 2017-12-13
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Insightful This book is great. A little dry at the beginning but Gretchen's methods and outlook are wonderful. She is very honest about her journey to happiness and it's an inspiring read.
Date published: 2017-11-28
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Good A light and easy read. Some takeaways for my own life.
Date published: 2017-11-16
Rated 5 out of 5 by from love this book happiness project, love how the writer put it in easy to read format, easy to understand
Date published: 2017-11-09
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Do it now. After being in a "funk" I stumbled upon this book at one of the tables in the front of the store; it was a featured book. I liked it because it was real. It highlighted the main point and gave real life scenarios, from a real woman you could relate to. The most important thing I took from this book was if you want to do something or need to get something done... DO IT NOW!
Date published: 2017-10-24
Rated 3 out of 5 by from OK Found it somewhat dry at times.
Date published: 2017-10-01
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great read! I enjoyed this book very much. It is a very personal story, but still, it sparks ideas to be more happy and try new things in your own life. If you are stuck in a rut and don't know where to start....start with this book.
Date published: 2017-09-19
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Wonderful I love these types of books, they are so full of life. What a sweet little story, I would recommend this to all my friends. I really enjoyed reading this book. Wonderfully written, it was a pleasure to read. Wish there were more books like these. What an inspiring book, kudos to the author.
Date published: 2017-09-14
Rated 4 out of 5 by from yes quite insightful and overall enjoyable.
Date published: 2017-09-10
Rated 3 out of 5 by from A little too peppy and unrelatable Some good tips and insights, but overall, the tone of this book is way too upbeat and unrelatable if you're actually going through a hard time.
Date published: 2017-08-28
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Good. A lot of things you can take away from this book
Date published: 2017-08-22
Rated 4 out of 5 by from great self help book! The book really inspired me do declutter and not waste so much energy on the negativities in life.
Date published: 2017-08-18
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great Great ideas on how to improve your life.
Date published: 2017-07-21
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Very Uninspiring Usually I love the Heather Picks, but this one was a huge disappointment. The writing was not engaging and the insights provided in the book were rather commonplace. I wanted to return the book after the first chapter but couldn't find the receipt, so I trudged on. Unfortunately, the rest of the book was just as disappointing as the first chapter.
Date published: 2017-07-12
Rated 5 out of 5 by from great read I loved this book. It isn't your regular "self help" book and is wonderfully written. The author shares her own struggles and hurdles. she has inspired me to create my own happiness project. Life is too short to be miserable. Recommend this book to anyone wanting to make a positive change in their life.
Date published: 2017-07-03
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great Concept The premise of Gretchen's Happiness Project inspired me to take a deeper look into my happiness goals and what I needed to do to achieve them. Obviously no one's goals are going to be exactly identical but this is a great read to get inspired to do you own happiness project.
Date published: 2017-06-25
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Disappointed I have wanted to buy this book for a really long time. I have heard so many positive things about it. Unfortunately, I was extremely disappointed. I read the entire book and it was not what I expected at all. I expected to take something away, or be enlightened by the end of it. However, I do admire Gretchen Rubin's persistence to finding happiness and I truly am happy for her. I am proud of her journey. I just didn't like the writing style.
Date published: 2017-06-21
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Implementing this Life is too short and magical to be stuck in your own negativity. I've read the intro and into the second chapter now and I have been brainstorming my own happiness project. I love the accountability and the simplicity of this project. This book was recommended to me and I think I will be buying it as a gift for friends and family in the future to pass along the love and happiness #plumreview
Date published: 2017-05-23
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A Different Kind of Help Absolutely loved this! It is very different from the typical kind of self-help books, in that it feels and reads (for the most part) like a novel. It does have that "helping in a very subtle way of helping" feel that is great. Gretchen definitely makes you feel as if you are spending the entire year with her, and she nails the image of every busy woman out there. It's a good, light hearted, helpful and fun read!
Date published: 2017-05-12
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Interesting and easy to read Loved reading about different ideas and ways to make my life happier, it makes you realize how everyone is unique and what makes one person happy isn't going to be the same for someone else. A great resource to help you figure out what those things might be for you, and gets you thinking about some great ways to improve your day to day life
Date published: 2017-05-11
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Love it! A must read book for those looking for more happiness in their lives. I love how each chapter is another creative project on how to make your life better with happiness.
Date published: 2017-05-08
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Loved it Such a simple idea, but well worth it to read. I really enjoyed her writing style as she would state conversations she had or specific things she did, not just stating the research. These examples made me think more of what I could do and what I definitely wouldn't do that she did.
Date published: 2017-04-30
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Enjoyable read This book is a little bit repetitive but Gretchen Rubin helps you realize that happiness is in the small things. And that you are truly happy when you can stop wondering if you're happy.
Date published: 2017-04-18
Rated 3 out of 5 by from I enjoyed this I enjoyed this book. Rubin has a tendency to over-explain but overall the book is helpful.
Date published: 2017-04-01
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Nonsense What a book of to make some extra money and feel important. I found it a total joke.
Date published: 2017-03-24
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Not a fan A wealthy, successful lady with many resources tells everyone else what to do to be happy...nothing obvious here -- don't complain, splurge on a treat, spend more time with family, etc. No info we don't already know...
Date published: 2017-03-20
Rated 4 out of 5 by from amazing such a great book, not life changing but it was encouraging and made me want to change my life! so good and easy to read!
Date published: 2017-03-02
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Enjoyed this book I tend to read a lot of heavy books and when this light, positive read was recommended, i dove in and I'm glad I did. I would not say it's life changing for me. A lot of the info i felt I knew, however the way Gretchen describes her own experiences and ideas. I feel i will take some positive changes and motivation with me after reading this.Good read.
Date published: 2017-02-28
Rated 4 out of 5 by from A Helpful Insight I enjoyed reading about the authors life and coming up with tangible ways to be happy.
Date published: 2017-02-28
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great inspiration! Shared this and was appreciated to pass on such a lovely book-I need to read this again!
Date published: 2017-02-21
Rated 4 out of 5 by from inspires your own happiness project! I enjoyed the ideas presented - I liked how the focus changed monthly so it wasn't an overwhelming change of thinking.
Date published: 2017-02-09
Rated 5 out of 5 by from I love Gretchen Rubin! I bought this book and was surprised at how much I loved it! I refer to it often and now I'm hooked on her podcast called Happier. If you are looking for simple pieces of advice to improve your overall happiness, this is it!
Date published: 2017-02-06
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Inspiring Read A simple and insightful read.
Date published: 2017-02-06
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Not impressed Not what i expected.. couldn't get into it
Date published: 2017-02-06
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Disappointed. Was looking forward to this book but just was not able to get into it. I found that it was laid out odd. I gave this book away.
Date published: 2017-02-03
Rated 5 out of 5 by from I loved this! This book was amazing. It had so many good ideas and while you don't have to take everything she suggests it was incredible for spurring thoughts to implement things that are in line with improving my happiness.
Date published: 2017-02-03
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Just Ok The beginning of this book was really exciting, but the excitement tapered off through the following chapters. Nothing particularly profound. I'm not even sure if I finished it. I would still recommend it to anyone who's looking to simplify and add more joy into their life, but I definitely wouldn't call it life-changing.
Date published: 2017-02-03
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Insightful I loved this book and would definitely recommend it! While you may not use all the tips that she presents, the book itself is great food for thought.
Date published: 2017-01-30
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Excellent Book I began with the thought that I was going to read this at once, however I am planning to read month by month and follow Gretchin's actions and suggestions. So far it has changed me daily lift, and we're only in January! Highly reccommend this.
Date published: 2017-01-24
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Helpful and Insightful A nice journey into the depths to which we sink and rise from in order to find purpose and meaning in our lives.
Date published: 2017-01-24
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Inspirational Great book with inspirations to change different aspects of my routine.
Date published: 2017-01-22
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Good Book, But A Caveat... This is a good book. I've read it twice, and recommended it to many friends. is not written with anyone but an upper-middle-class and upper-class audience in mind. It can be frustrating for someone on a tight budget who can't relate to the author's lifestyle but there's still some good ideas to consider.
Date published: 2017-01-15
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Motivating I read this book around december/january and found it was a great motivation for the beginning of a new year to adapt new habits into my life. Very relatable as well.
Date published: 2017-01-05
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Excellent Well written book that was a pleasure to read. Contains lots of good tips to brighten your day!
Date published: 2016-12-31
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Good Read Enjoyable book full of good advice. Nothing life-changing, but still worth a read!
Date published: 2016-12-30
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Really informative There was a lot of great advice in this book, and it wasn't boring to read through all the information. It also offers a lot of different perspectives on a happy life.
Date published: 2016-12-21
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Good read It was a great book, loved it
Date published: 2016-12-19
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Thumbs up! I have read it a few times, and lent it to friends as well :)
Date published: 2016-12-16
Rated 5 out of 5 by from It was good I read this book, but it took me a while to get through it. I followed some of the aspects from this novel but some of the chapters seemed to repeat themselves and get a bit repetitive. Overall, I would recommend this book because their are chapters that might appeal to some and not others.
Date published: 2016-12-15
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Still applying this book to my life I read this book about two years ago and I still find myself following Gretchen's habits. I found her very relatable -- she's not an expert psychologist, she's just a normal woman trying to make her life better. Her suggestions and recommendations remain in my routine all this time later. The changes that I've made aren't necessarily groundbreaking, and I'm not a completely different person from reading this book, but I do find that her words were helpful to me.
Date published: 2016-12-15
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Not like other "self-help" books. A fantastic and fulfilling read! There are so, so many insightful quotes that really lit light bulbs in my head as things to prepare for in my future and ways to improve my life and overall happiness now. How to simply be me and be happy or happier. Delivers some really good points that are hard to hear or swallow in a soft manner. Insights and opinions from other people from the author's blog which is helpful and uplifting in many ways. There is evidence and examples to back up the author's theories. Even an example to show that the happiness project is not a miracle worker and doesn't completely eliminate those occasional days where things just seem to get worse and worse but it still shows that there has been a great improvement for the author as well as others for the happiness project. In a lot of ways I found this book different from the typical self-help book. This one is definitely my favourite and I have loads of notes and page references to show just how much I absorbed from reading this. It's like a happiness handbook!
Date published: 2016-12-13
Rated 4 out of 5 by from A nice read A good book to give you perspective and help you appreciate life more.
Date published: 2016-12-08
Rated 5 out of 5 by from I loved this ! It gave me insight into my own life and made me think of ways that I could bring happiness into my own life
Date published: 2016-11-23
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Loved this book and the project Read this book last year along with some friends and we decided to do the happiness project all year. It was really interesting to break down areas of your life in which you want to be happier and see how all of the small details affect the whole. Great book and great author. Have since read Better Than Before and subscribe to the Happier podcast. Love her ideas to make life happier! #plumreview
Date published: 2016-11-15
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Disappointed I actually returned this book, since it is one of Heather's Pick's. I was really bummed, on the surface I thought this was a book I would really enjoy but I just couldn't get into it.
Date published: 2016-11-13
Rated 4 out of 5 by from A good read I enjoyed this book. It put a smile on my face. I didn't find the information anything new but I liked the way the author presented it and I enjoyed it.
Date published: 2016-11-08
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Bland and not memorable. I found this book bland and definitely uninteresting. I'm not sure why it got such rave reviews. I was bored and uninspired throughout.
Date published: 2016-10-15
Rated 3 out of 5 by from A Good Read I enjoyed this book! Her happiness experiences could be applied to anyone really!
Date published: 2016-09-20
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A Great Read A while ago I went through a really tough break up which left me unable to even get myself out the door. This book presented me with a new perspective. It doesn't matter if you are single, married, young or old... often just hearing another persons story inspires us to take responsibility for the happiness we could have in our own life. We aren't living hers, we are living ours, but this book helped me see through the window of her life. These types of books are not meant to give us the answers, just a perspective and a new way of thinking. This book does exactly that. I don't have children or a husband, but Gretchens point runs deeper than that. It's about pausing to recognize the little things, and maximize our enjoyment of them. It's about recognizing the sad moments as essential moments for our growth. Its about taking mundane things and looking at them through a new lens. I would recommend this book to anyone, it's a really encouraging read.
Date published: 2016-09-13
Rated 2 out of 5 by from not for the single person demographic I tried to get past her mentioning her husband and children frequently but since I have neither, I felt totally unrelatable to her situation and stopped reading a couple chapters in.
Date published: 2016-06-21
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Happy i got this book I received this for Xmas last year and read one chapter a month. I am nearly finished and I loved her excepts from her blog and I loved how she had a 'conclusion' after each month. I recommend it!
Date published: 2015-12-14
Rated 4 out of 5 by from What Makes you Happy? I read this book for my book club. Rather than read it one sitting, we did one chapter a month for a year, as the chapters are based. Who dosen't wnat to be happier? What can I/you/we do to be happier? That is what the author wondered? She wanted to be happier. Each month she would research different things that she thought that would make her happy. They seemed to work for her. There were a few I tried, like writing a blog. I was never good at keeping a diary or jounal. I decided to start a blog of the books I read. I was writing reviews anyway. I did receive some pleasure when a author thanked me for reviewing their book on my blog. There were two things that the author did that I found funny because they were almost opposite of each other. De-cluttering and stating a collection. Funny thing, both can make you happy, but seem opposite of each other. I enjoyed the book. You do not have to read it one chapter at a time. I do recommend reading a chapter at a time to ponder what the author did and what you might do. We all have different things that make us happy.
Date published: 2014-06-05
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Although Ruben is obviously very conscientious and seemed to a good job of covering all the angles of her topic, it was a little boring. She seemed to slack off half way through her year and had way too much filler from her blog's comment section. The only parts I really enjoyed were her researched bits--studies and theories revolving around happiness.
Date published: 2014-01-24
Rated 4 out of 5 by from The author writes very candidly about her life giving a fresh perspective on every day things. All of her happiness experiments can easily be applied into anyone's life. Very interesting read and had me talking to my family and friends!
Date published: 2014-01-23

Editorial Reviews

“Both inspirational and forgiving. . . . Rubin’s project makes curiously compulsive reading, which is enough to make any reader happy.”


“The more I read it, the happier I got. It’s filled with great insights that have changed every part of my life.”