Books on Happiness (9+)

In this blog post, we are trying to find the best definition of happiness. We also made a list of 10 books on happiness that we think everyone should read at least once in their lifetime. 

The definition of Happiness

Counseling is Key to a Healthy Marr... x
Counseling is Key to a Healthy Marriage

There are over 99 definitions of Happiness, according to HuffPost. We chose a few of them that we liked best and shared them with you below:

  • … listening to a gentle rain falling on a metal roof.
  • .. watching a kid with the giggles and then getting them yourself..
  • .. watching the sun creep out of the water as it rises into a new day.
  • … watching a two-year-old stretch and roll over, tucking his feet between his back, as he wakes up to a new day.
  •  … finding your inner strength, and knowing it will always, always see you through any difficulties in life.
  • … when we can say thanks to God for our life although we are in high position or when we are in down position.
  • … puppy breath, sunshine on your skin, a real hug.
  • .. wading in the ocean.
  • … a choice.
  • .. the result of doing the next right thing
  • …getting paid to do what I love.
  • … being creative.
  • … being myself, no matter how crazy I get.
  • … making someone happy.

… What is your definition of happiness?

10 Books on Happiness that everyone should read

  1. Stumbling on Happiness – by Daniel Todd Gilbert

In this brilliant, witty, and accessible book, renowned Harvard psychologist Daniel Gilbert describes the foibles of imagination and illusions of foresight that cause each of us to misconceive our tomorrows and misestimate our satisfactions. 

Vividly bringing to life the latest scientific research in psychology, cognitive neuroscience, philosophy, and behavioral economics, Gilbert reveals what scientists have discovered about the uniquely human ability to imagine the future, and about our capacity to predict how much we will like it when we get there.

With penetrating insight and sparkling prose, Gilbert explains why we seem to know so little about the hearts and minds of the people we are about to become. 

  1. The Happiness Hypothesis: Finding Modern Truth in Ancient Wisdom – by Jonathan Haidt

In his widely praised book, award-winning psychologist Jonathan Haidt examines the world’s philosophical wisdom through the lens of psychological science, showing how a deeper understanding of enduring maxims-like Do unto others as you would have others do unto you, or What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger-can enrich and even transform our lives.

  1. The How of Happiness: A Scientific Approach to Getting the Life You Want – by Sonja Lyubomirsky

The How of Happiness is a different kind of happiness book, one that offers a comprehensive guide to understanding what happiness is, and isn’t, and what can be done to bring us all closer to the happy life we envision for ourselves.

Using more than a dozen uniquely formulated happiness-increasing strategies, The How of Happiness offers a new and potentially life-changing way to understand our innate potential for joy and happiness as well as our ability to sustain it in our lives.

The How of Happiness is both a powerful contribution to the field of positive psychology and a gift to all those who have questioned their own well- being and sought to take their happiness into their own hands.

  1. The Little Book of Hygge: The Danish Way to Live Well – by Meik Wiking

Hygge has been translated as everything from the art of creating intimacy to the coziness of the soul to taking pleasure from the presence of soothing things. My personal favorite is cocoa by candlelight…’

You know hygge when you feel it. It is when you are cuddled up on a sofa with a loved one or sharing comfort food with your closest friends. It is those crisp blue mornings when the light through your window is just right.

Meik Wiking is the CEO of the Happiness Research Institute in Copenhagen.

He is committed to finding out what makes people happy and has concluded that hygge is the magic ingredient that makes Danes the happiest nation in the world.

  1. The Antidote: Happiness for People Who Can’t Stand Positive Thinking – by Oliver Burkeman

The Antidote is a series of journeys among people who share a single, surprising way of thinking about life.

What they have in common is a hunch about human psychology: that it’s our constant effort to eliminate the negative that causes us to feel so anxious, insecure, and unhappy. 

And that there is an alternative “negative path” to happiness and success that involves embracing the things we spend our lives trying to avoid.

It is a subversive, galvanizing message, which turns out to have a long and distinguished philosophical lineage ranging from ancient Roman Stoic philosophers to Buddhists.

  1. The Happiness Equation: Want Nothing + Do Anything = Have Everything – by Neil Pasricha

In The Happiness Equation, Pasricha illustrates how to want nothing, do anything, and have everything.

If that sounds like a contradiction, you simply haven’t unlocked the 9 Secrets to Happiness.

Each secret takes a common ideal, flips it on its head, and casts it in a completely new light.

Pasricha then goes a step further by providing step-by-step guidelines and hand-drawn scribbles that illustrate exactly how to apply each secret to live a happier life today.

Neil Pasricha is a Harvard MBA, a Walmart executive, a New York Times–bestselling author, and a husband and dad.

After selling more than a million copies of his Book of Awesome series, he now shifts his focus from observation to application.

  1. Flourish: A Visionary New Understanding of Happiness and Well-Being – by Martin E.P. Seligman

Traditionally, the goal of psychology has been to relieve human suffering, but the goal of the Positive Psychology movement, which Dr. Seligman has led for fifteen years, is different—it’s about actually raising the bar for the human condition. 

Flourish builds on Dr. Seligman’s game-changing work on optimism, motivation, and character to show how to get the most out of life, unveiling an electrifying new theory of what makes a good life—for individuals, for communities, and for nations. 

While certainly a part of well-being, happiness alone doesn’t give life meaning. “Well-being” takes the stage front and center, and Happiness (or Positive Emotion) becomes one of the five pillars of Positive Psychology, along with Engagement, Relationships, Meaning, and Accomplishment—or PERMA, the permanent building blocks for a life of profound fulfillment.

  1. Happier at Home: Kiss More, Jump More, Abandon a Project, Read Samuel Johnson, and My Other Experiments in the Practice of Everyday Life – by Gretchen Rubin 

With her signature blend of memoir, science, philosophy, and experimentation, Rubin’s passion for her subject jumps off the page, and reading just a few chapters of this book will inspire readers to find more happiness in their own lives. 

In The Happiness Project, she worked out general theories of happiness. Here she goes deeper on factors that matter for home, such as possessions, marriage, time, and parenthood.

How can she control the cubicle in her pocket? How might she spotlight her family’s treasured possessions?

And it really was time to replace that dud toaster.

Each month, Rubin tackles a different theme as she experiments with concrete, manageable resolutions—and this time, she coaxes her family to try some resolutions, as well. 

  1. The Happiness Advantage: The Seven Principles of Positive Psychology That Fuel Success and Performance at Work – by Shawn Achor 

In The Happiness Advantage, Shawn Achor, who spent over a decade living, researching, and lecturing at Harvard University, draws on his own research—including one of the largest studies of happiness and potential at Harvard and others at companies like UBS and KPMG—to fix this broken formula.

 Using stories and case studies from his work with thousands of Fortune 500 executives in 42 countries, Achor explains how we can reprogram our brains to become more positive in order to gain a competitive edge at work.

Isolating seven practical, actionable principles that have been tried and tested everywhere from classrooms to boardrooms, stretching from Argentina to Zimbabwe, he shows us how we can capitalize on the Happiness Advantage to improve our performance and maximize our potential.

  1. Authentic Happiness: Using the New Positive Psychology to Realize Your Potential for Lasting Fulfillment – by Martin E.P. Seligman

According to esteemed psychologist and bestselling author Martin Seligman, happiness is not the result of good genes or luck.

Real, lasting happiness comes from focusing on one’s personal strengths rather than weaknesses—and working with them to improve all aspects of one’s life.

Using practical exercises, brief tests, and a dynamic website program, Seligman shows readers how to identify their highest virtues and use them in ways they haven’t yet considered.

Accessible and proven, Authentic Happiness is the most powerful work of popular psychology in years. 

Side Note: I have tried and tested various products and services to help with my anxiety and depression. See my top recommendations here, as well as a full list of all products and services our team has tested for various mental health conditions and general wellness.


This blog post was about happiness and 10 books on happiness that we kindly recommend to anyone who wants to focus on positive and to learn to look at what is good instead of what is missing. 

If you enjoy reading books, then you will also enjoy reading a blog on the famous book, Mysterious Malady Quest or more books on how to be happy.

We hope that our choice of books on happiness inspired you and we’d love it if you would share your own list in the comments section below!


Goodreads – Best books on Happiness

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