If you’re looking for the best happiness books in the market, you’ve come to the right place! Here at Optimal Happiness, we’ve read and reviewed over 100 happiness books and discovered that, surprise surprise, many of them weren’t even good. Some of the most books on this topic were complete disappointments, which leads us to the question:
If I could recommend 1 to 5 of the best happiness books, which would they be?
Out of the 100 books we’ve read, only 38 even qualified for our best happiness book list, as some titles were misleading, some were fiction, some were about anti-happiness, and some weren’t even happiness books. We also ranked all these happiness books according to a 10-point scale, which helped us to determine which books were better than others.
So whether you’re looking for practical advice, inspiring stories, or a deeper understanding of what it means to be happy, there’s a happiness book on this list that will suit your needs. So, sit back, grab a cup of tea, and let’s dive into the world’s best happiness books!
1. Optimal Happiness: The Fastest & Surest Way to Reach Your Happiest Potential by Roman Russo
Optimal Happiness: The Fastest & Surest Way to Reach Your Happiest Potential by Roman Russo is a guide to finding one’s happiest potential in a sustainable and durable way, taking care of this part of life once and for all. Bottom line is, happiness today and forever is possible for everyone who wants it, regardless of who we are, where we are from, and what our life circumstances are. We just need to follow the happiness formula as it is described in this happiness book and happiness is guaranteed. This isn’t just possible, but it is promised, we just need to follow the step-by-step approach and reach our optimal happiest potential.
2. A Brief History of Happiness
A Brief History of Happiness by Nicholas P. White explores the concept of happiness and its evolution over time. Through a combination of philosophy, psychology, and history, White shows how the idea of happiness has shifted and changed in different eras and contexts. He discusses the contributions of various thinkers throughout history, from the Stoics and Epicureans to modern psychologists, and examines the relationship between happiness and other values such as wisdom, courage, and justice. This happiness book ultimately argues that happiness is not a static concept, but rather a malleable one that should be reevaluated and reconsidered as the world changes.
3. Flourish: A Visionary New Understanding of Happiness
Flourish: A Visionary New Understanding of Happiness and Well-being by Martin Seligman is a groundbreaking happiness book that challenges the traditional concepts of happiness and well-being. Seligman proposes a new, holistic approach to achieving a life of fulfillment and meaning. He encourages readers to move beyond the traditional goals of money and pleasure, and instead strive to create meaningful relationships, engage in purposeful activities, and cultivate positive emotions. He also looks at how society can create the conditions for individuals to flourish, through positive education, public policy, and the encouragement of a vibrant civil society. With extensive research and thought-provoking insights, this happiness book is an essential addition to the literature on happiness and well-being.
4. Authentic Happiness
Authentic Happiness is another happines book by Martin E. P. Seligman that outlines a new approach to achieving lasting happiness and fulfillment based on the new field of Positive Psychology. It focuses on the idea of increasing one’s sense of well-being, rather than merely treating mental illness. This happiness book explores how developing one’s strengths and talents can make a significant difference in happiness and includes practical exercises and advice for achieving greater levels of satisfaction and contentment. Seligman also discusses the importance of finding meaning in life and how to create a life of meaningful engagement. This happiness book seeks to provide readers with the tools and resources needed to take control of their own happiness and create a fulfilling life.
5. Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff . . . and It’s All Small Stuff
Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff . . . and It’s All Small Stuff by Richard Carlson is a happiness book that helps readers to find the balance between living life fully and not allowing the little things to consume them. This happiness book offers simple solutions to worrying less and focusing on what is important in life. It encourages readers to practice living in the present moment and to take control of their own lives. It also provides guidance on how to overcome stress, anger and fear. This happiness book is filled with practical advice and inspiring stories that offer comfort and support in difficult times.
6. Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience
Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi is a happiness book that explores the concept of “flow,” which is an optimal state of consciousness in which one is completely immersed in an activity, resulting in feelings of energized focus, full involvement, and enjoyment. This happiness book examines the conditions that lead to flow and how it can be used to benefit people in areas such as work, education, and sports. It also discusses the importance of control, challenge, and feedback in achieving flow. Csikszentmihalyi’s theories are backed up by research, and this happiness book provides practical advice on how to maximize the flow experience.
7. 10% Happier
10% Happier: How I Tamed the Voice in My Head, Reduced Stress Without Losing My Edge, and Found Self-Help That Actually Works is a memoir by ABC News anchor Dan Harris about his journey to understand and control stress and anxiety through meditation. This happiness book describes Harris’ personal experience with meditation, and how it helped him to tame the “voice in his head” and gain a better understanding of himself and the world around him. Harris chronicles his discovery of the science behind mindfulness, and how it can be used to reduce stress and increase focus and productivity. Through his experience, Harris ultimately finds peace and joy that surpasses his initial expectations, and encourages readers to pursue the same path.
8. Emotional Intelligence
Emotional Intelligence: Why It Can Matter More Than IQ by Daniel Goleman examines the importance of emotional intelligence in our lives, and why it can be even more important than our IQ. This happiness book looks at how our emotions, thoughts and behaviors are all connected and how understanding this connection can help us to better understand ourselves and those around us. It examines the five key components of emotional intelligence, which are self-awareness, self-regulation, motivation, empathy and social skills, and how each of these components can impact our lives and how we interact with others. This happiness book also looks at the importance of developing these skills, as well as how to do so and how to use them to our advantage. Finally, this happiness book examines the impact of emotional intelligence on our personal and professional lives, and how it can help us to be successful.
9. Habits of a Happy Brain
Habits of a Happy Brain is a happiness book by Loretta Graziano Breuning that provides readers with practical strategies to boost their brain chemicals and increase their overall happiness. The happiness book explains how different brain chemicals affect our moods, and explores how we can use simple habits to boost our levels of serotonin, dopamine, oxytocin, and endorphins. Breuning shares tools for recognizing and managing negative emotions, and offers advice for creating positive habits that can lead to a happier, healthier life.
10. Happier: Learn the Secrets to Daily Joy and Lasting Fulfillment
In Happier: Learn the Secrets to Daily Joy and Lasting Fulfillment, Tal Ben-Shahar outlines a series of strategies and exercises to help readers learn how to cultivate a happier and more fulfilling life. He examines the concepts of happiness and fulfillment, and how they are related to one another, by exploring the various elements of happiness such as contentment, joy, and meaning. This happiness book offers practical advice on how to increase levels of satisfaction and joy in life, such as gratitude, forgiveness, and mindful living. Throughout, this his happiness book provides real-life examples and exercises to help readers put his teachings into practice. Ultimately, Ben-Shahar’s goal is to provide the reader with the tools necessary to develop a more positive outlook on life and to live with greater joy, satisfaction, and meaning.
11. Happiness by Design: Finding Pleasure and Purpose in Everyday Life
Happiness by Design: Finding Pleasure and Purpose in Everyday Life, by Paul Dolan, is a happiness book about how to find lasting happiness. Dolan draws on research in psychology, economics, and philosophy to discuss how to create a life that is meaningful and fulfilling. He focuses on three key areas: Purpose, Pleasure, and Engagement. He explains that purpose comes from setting and achieving goals, pleasure comes from meeting our basic needs, and engagement comes from actively engaging with the world around us. He offers practical advice on how to achieve these objectives, such as creating meaningful relationships, challenging ourselves, and focusing on the present. By following Dolan’s advice, readers can create a life filled with lasting happiness.
Matthieu Ricard was considered the happiest man alive. In his happiness book Happiness: A Guide to Developing Life’s Most Important Skill is a comprehensive exploration of the science and practice of cultivating a meaningful and joyful life. Ricard covers topics such as understanding the nature of happiness, cultivating positive emotions, and developing altruism and compassion. He draws on scientific research and his own personal experience to provide practical guidance on how to lead a life of contentment and fulfillment. Ricard’s happiness book also contains exercises designed to help readers cultivate emotional balance and resilience. This happiness book is an invaluable resource for anyone seeking greater well-being and a more meaningful life.
13. Happiness For Dummies
Happiness for Dummies is a comprehensive guide to achieving happiness in life. The author, W. Doyle Gentry, PhD, provides readers with practical advice on how to identify and address their sources of unhappiness, as well as how to cultivate positive habits, habits of gratitude and appreciation, and positive thinking. He explains the importance of understanding our emotions, taking action, and setting realistic goals. He encourages readers to focus on their strengths and develop a sense of purpose and meaning in life. He also provides tips on how to nurture relationships, cope with stress, and how to find balance in life. Overall, this happiness book provides readers with the tools they need to achieve true and lasting happiness.
14. Happy: Why More or Less Everything Is Absolutely Fine
Derren Brown’s happiness book Happy: Why More or Less Everything is Absolutely Fine examines the idea of happiness and how it can be achieved. He argues that the pursuit of pleasure and the avoidance of pain are not the answer to true happiness and instead encourages readers to focus on living in the present moment and accepting life for what it is. Brown suggests that we can learn to be content with our lives by understanding our thoughts and feelings, and that we should be grateful for the small things in life. He also encourages readers to develop an appreciation for the beauty of the world around them and to strive to engage with it in meaningful ways.
15. Hardwiring Happiness: The New Brain Science of Contentment, Calm, and Confidence
Hardwiring Happiness: The New Brain Science of Contentment, Calm, and Confidence by Rick Hanson, PhD is a happiness book that explores how the brain works and how our thoughts and behaviors can be changed in order to achieve greater contentment, calm, and confidence. Through the use of neuroscience, Dr. Hanson explains how to use techniques such as meditation, mindfulness, and compassionate self-talk to re-wire our brains and create positive changes in our lives. He also explains how our environment, social relationships, and even genetics can affect our mental and emotional well-being. This happiness book provides practical advice on how to create a more positive outlook, develop greater self-awareness, and build resilience in the face of life’s challenges.
16. How to Stop Worrying and Start Living
How to Stop Worrying and Start Living by Dale Carnegie is a happiness book that offers advice and techniques on how to manage and reduce anxiety, stress, and worry. Carnegie emphasizes how important it is to focus on the present moment and appreciate the present moment for what it is. He also recommends replacing negative thoughts with positive ones and having faith in an outlook of optimism. He also provides strategies for how to break free from the negative thought patterns that come with worrying, like avoiding over-analyzing situations and letting go of perfectionism. Carnegie also suggests that living a meaningful life by helping others and having meaningful relationships can help reduce worry. Lastly, he encourages readers to focus on the things they can control and accept the things they cannot.
17. Life Without Limits: Inspiration for a Ridiculously Good Life
Life Without Limits: Inspiration for a Ridiculously Good Life by Nick Vujicic is an inspirational happiness book that focuses on finding purpose and joy in life despite any challenges or limitations. Vujicic, who was born without arms and legs, shares his story and how he overcame his disabilities to become a successful motivational speaker and entrepreneur. He provides practical advice and exercises for readers to help them find their own paths and live life to the fullest. He encourages readers to take charge of their lives, develop a growth mindset, and create their own destiny. He also emphasizes the importance of having faith and maintaining a positive attitude no matter what.
18. Powered by Happy: How to Get and Stay Happy at Work
Powered by Happy: How to Get and Stay Happy at Work is a happiness book by Beth Thomas that offers a guide to finding and maintaining happiness in the workplace. It provides practical advice on how to increase performance, increase success, and improve the overall experience of the workday. Through a combination of personal stories, research, and proven strategies, readers will learn how to create an environment of joy, contentment, and productivity. This happiness book includes topics such as identifying and managing stress, managing expectations, setting goals, and cultivating positive relationships with coworkers. Additionally, readers will gain the tools needed to transform their workday into an uplifting and inspiring experience.
19. Solve for Happy: Engineer Your Path to Joy
In Solve for Happy: Engineer Your Path to Joy, former chief business officer for Google X, Mo Gawdat, offers an innovative approach to finding true and lasting happiness. He argues that happiness is a science and can be engineered using a process of logical problem solving. This happiness book explains how to identify the root causes of unhappiness, reframe our thinking and beliefs, and develop solutions that lead to lasting joy. Gawdat shares personal insights and stories from his own journey to happiness, as well as strategies for overcoming common obstacles. Ultimately, this happiness book encourages readers to take control of their lives and use the power of engineering to create their own path to joy.
20. Stumbling on Happiness
Stumbling on Happiness, by Daniel Gilbert, is an exploration of the science behind the human search for happiness. It looks at how the mind and brain work together to construct our perceptions of reality and how this affects our attempts to achieve happiness. This happiness book examines the various strategies people use to try and make themselves happy and reveals how our limited understanding of our own minds can often lead us to make wrong choices. Gilbert also looks at our innate ability to adapt to life’s inevitable changes and how our expectations can be a major factor in our satisfaction with life. Ultimately, this happiness book argues that we can learn to be happy if we understand our biology and psychology and make informed decisions about our own happiness.
21. The Art of Happiness: A Handbook for Living
The Art of Happiness: A Handbook for Living is a happiness book by his holiness the Dalai Lama and Howard Cutler, which provides readers with practical advice on how to find joy and satisfaction in life. This happiness book contains the Dalai Lama’s teachings on how to cultivate a positive outlook and apply Buddhist principles to everyday life. It also includes advice on how to cope with difficult emotions, cultivate compassion and loving-kindness, and develop a more meaningful relationship with others. This happiness book emphasizes the importance of cultivating inner peace and contentment, as well as focusing on the present moment. By combining ancient wisdom with modern psychology, the Dalai Lama and Dr. Cutler provide readers with the tools they need to live a more meaningful and fulfilling life.
22. The Atlas of Happiness: the global secrets of how to be happy
The Atlas of Happiness by Helen Russell is an exploration of how different cultures find happiness. Russell shares her own personal journey of discovering what it means to be happy and she looks at a variety of different countries around the world to explore how different people, cultures, and environments can lead to happiness. Through interviews and personal stories, this happiness book creates a comprehensive understanding of what it means to be happy and how different approaches to life can lead to it. She also provides advice and guidance on how we can all find our own paths towards happiness.
23. The Blue Zones of Happiness: Lessons from the World’s Happiest People
The Blue Zones of Happiness: Lessons from the World’s Happiest People by Dan Buettner is a happiness book that explores the lifestyles and habits of some of the world’s happiest people. This happiness book examines the commonalities between the lifestyles of these people and provides practical advice on how to incorporate these habits into one’s own life. Through his research, Buettner reveals the nine essential elements of a happy life: having a sense of purpose, savoring life’s pleasures, having strong relationships, practicing faith, having a healthy lifestyle, finding the right work-life balance, having financial security, finding fulfillment in leisure activities, and living in a supportive community. This happiness book provides valuable insight into how to create a life of joy, contentment, and fulfillment.
24. The Book of Joy: Lasting Happiness in a Changing World
The Book of Joy: Lasting Happiness in a Changing World is a happiness book written by his holiness the Dalai Lama and Archbishop Desmond Tutu. This happiness book focuses on how to find joy and peace in life despite the changing and challenging world we live in. In this happiness book, the two spiritual leaders discuss their shared beliefs about joy and happiness and how to cultivate them in our lives. They cover topics such as how to develop a sense of inner peace, how to forgive and move on, how to practice gratitude and compassion, and how to cultivate a sense of humor. This happiness book also includes practical advice on how to practice mindfulness and meditation, as well as how to deal with difficult emotions. Overall, this happiness book is a powerful reminder of the importance of finding joy and peace in life, no matter what the circumstances.
25. The Happiness Advantage: How a Positive Brain Fuels Success in Work and Life
The Happiness Advantage: How a Positive Brain Fuels Success in Work and Life by Shawn Achor discusses the importance of cultivating a positive outlook in order to achieve success. This happiness book argues that by maintaining a positive mindset, we can access new resources, energy, and creativity to help us reach our goals. Achor also explains that it is possible to rewire our brains to think positively and to reap the benefits of being happier. He provides tools and strategies to help readers achieve a more positive outlook and live happier, more successful lives.
26. The Happiness Curve: Why Life Gets Better After 50
The Happiness Curve: Why Life Gets Better After 50 by Jonathan Rauch examines the phenomenon of the so-called “happiness curve,” which suggests that people’s levels of happiness typically peak during their mid-20s and then decline until they reach their 50s, after which they experience an increase in contentment. Rauch argues that this period of increased happiness is due to a combination of factors including increased confidence, wisdom, and social connections. This happiness book also explores how this increased contentment can be further enhanced by setting realistic goals and making lifestyle changes.
27. The Happiness Equation: Want Nothing + Do Anything = Have Everything
The Happiness Equation: Want Nothing + Do Anything = Have Everything by Neil Pasricha suggests that the key to happiness is to want nothing, do anything and have everything. Through this equation, Pasricha encourages readers to pursue their passions, take risks, and embrace life. This happiness book encourages the reader to take the initiative in their own lives, to be open to new experiences, and to practice self-care. Additionally, Pasricha stresses the importance of letting go of material possessions and focusing on the present moment, rather than what the future may bring. Ultimately, this happiness book emphasizes that if we want to be truly happy, we must learn to accept and appreciate what we already have.
28. The Happiness Hypothesis: Finding Modern Truth in Ancient Wisdom
The Happiness Hypothesis: Finding Modern Truth in Ancient Wisdom by Jonathan Haidt is a happiness book that explores the idea that much of the ancient wisdom found in religious and philosophical traditions can still provide useful insight into modern life. Haidt argues that the major traditions have a great deal of wisdom to offer and that by combining them, we can find a more holistic understanding of happiness and fulfillment. He explores the idea of the “two-level” self, where there is a conscious, rational self and an unconscious, intuitive self. He also discusses how major psychological theories and philosophies such as Stoicism, Buddhism, Confucianism and Taoism can help us manage our emotions and lead more meaningful lives. Finally, this happiness book looks at the idea of savoring life’s pleasures and how to manage stress, anxiety and depression.
29. The Happiness Industry: How the Government and Big Business Sold Us Well-Being
In The Happiness Industry: How the Government and Big Business Sold us Well-Being, William Davies examines the ways in which governments, corporations and individuals have sought to measure and promote happiness. This happiness book argues that the ways in which governments, corporations and individuals attempt to measure and promote happiness are often misguided and can have unintended consequences. Davies explores the history of happiness studies, the theories behind it, and the rise of ‘neuro-happiness’, which looks at the brain processes that cause happiness. This happiness book also looks at the ways in which governments have used happiness as a tool for controlling and manipulating citizens. Davies ultimately argues that the pursuit of happiness is a complex and subjective pursuit that cannot be reduced to a set of metrics.
30. The Happiness Passport: A world tour of joyful living in 50 words
The Happiness Passport: A world tour of joyful living in 50 words by Megan C Hayes provides practical advice and tools for readers to use in their own lives. It covers topics such as getting organized, setting goals, practicing mindfulness, being kind to yourself, giving back to others, and staying connected with friends and family. This happiness book is divided into 50 different concepts that exemplify stories, tips, and case studies to help readers implement the concepts.The Happiness Passport: A world tour of joyful living in 50 words
31. The Happiness Policy Handbook: How to Make Happiness and Well-Being the Purpose of Your Government
The Happiness Policy Handbook: How to Make Happiness and Well-Being the Purpose of Your Government is a guide for governments on how to make happiness and well-being the purpose of their work. Written by Laura Musikanski, this happiness book provides step-by-step strategies for governments to measure the well-being of their citizens, and create policies and programs that are centered on happiness and well-being. It outlines ways to build a culture of happiness and well-being in government, and offers advice on how to use data and evidence to create policy. It also includes case studies of governments around the world that have implemented successful happiness policies, and how other governments can learn from those examples. Ultimately, this happiness book is designed to help governments create a better quality of life for their citizens by focusing on happiness and well-being.
32. The Happiness Project
The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin is an inspiring account of her journey to find lasting happiness in her life. Rubin embarked on a year-long project to identify the key ingredients of a happy life and incorporate them into day-to-day activities. Through her research, she found that small changes in her daily routine, such as singing in the morning and reading Aristotle, had a big impact on her happiness. She also wrote about the importance of improving relationships with others, creating a healthy environment, and taking time for yourself. Ultimately, this happiness book is a guide for readers to take control of their own lives and find lasting happiness.
33. The Happiness Revolution: A Manifesto for Living your best Life
The Happiness Revolution: A Manifesto for Living Your Best Life is a happiness book by Andy Cope that encourages readers to take action and create a life of meaning and purpose. It explores the topics of happiness, wellbeing, and resilience, and provides practical tips and advice for improving overall happiness. This happiness book highlights the importance of self-care, gratitude, and living in the present moment. It also examines the role of technology in creating a more positive outlook on life. Finally, it provides an inspirational call to action to create a revolution of happiness in our lives.
34. The Happiness Trap: How to Stop Struggling and Start Living
The Happiness Trap: How to Stop Struggling and Start Living by Russ Harris is a guide to using ACT (Acceptance and Commitment Therapy) to help people stop struggling and start living. This happiness book explains how to use mindfulness, acceptance, and values-based action to break free from the “Happiness Trap”, which is a cycle of pursuing happiness yet never quite reaching it. Harris explains how to identify and challenge unhelpful thoughts, how to increase emotional flexibility and vitality, how to develop psychological skills to cope with life’s difficulties, and how to create a meaningful life based on your core values. This happiness book also provides a range of exercises
35. The How of Happiness: A New Approach to Getting the Life You Want
The How of Happiness: A New Approach to Getting the Life You Want by Sonja Lyubomirsky is an insightful guide to leading a happier life. This happiness book outlines research-backed strategies and tips to increase happiness and build lasting joy in life. It focuses on the importance of cultivating a positive outlook, practicing gratitude, and setting meaningful life goals. Additionally, Lyubomirsky dives into the role of genetics, environment, and more in the development of our happiness levels. She also provides advice for how to overcome negative emotions, build meaningful relationships, and create a life of contentment. This happiness book offers a comprehensive guide to unlocking a happier life.
36. Little Book of Hygge: Danish Secrets to Happy Living
The Little Book of Hygge: Danish Secrets to Happy Living is a happiness book by Meik Wiking which outlines the Danish concept of “hygge” and how to incorporate it into one’s life in order to achieve contentment and a sense of well-being. This happiness book provides insight into the building blocks of hygge such as cozy environments, comfort foods, and quality time with loved ones. It also contains practical advice and tips on how to bring more hygge into everyday life, such as by doing simple things like lighting candles, buying flowers, or taking a walk in nature. This happiness book is an accessible and uplifting read that provides readers with an introduction to the concept of hygge and how to use it to bring more happiness into their lives.
37. The Little Book of Lykke: The Danish Search for the World’s Happiest People
The Little Book of Lykke: Secrets of the World’s Happiest People by Meik Wiking is a guide to finding true happiness. It explores the science behind happiness and the importance of finding balance. It looks at the different types of happiness, as well as the relationship between money, work, and leisure. It examines the impact of social connections, giving, and gratitude on our wellbeing. Finally, it explores the power of small, everyday habits, and the importance of cultivating a positive mindset. This happiness book provides practical advice and inspiring stories that will help readers on their journey towards a more meaningful and fulfilled life.
38. The Power of Positive Thinking
The Power of Positive Thinking by Dr. Norman Vincent Peale is a classic happiness book that encourages readers to think positively in order to achieve success and happiness in life. Peale outlines a series of powerful, practical techniques to help readers overcome negative thinking and cultivate an optimistic outlook. He also provides helpful advice on how to cultivate self-confidence, deal with adversity, and tap into the power of faith and prayer. Peale’s practical and inspirational approach has influenced and inspired countless readers, and this happiness book remains a widely-read and highly-regarded classic.
The Best Happiness Book (Conclusion)
We hope you found our list of 38 best happiness books on happiness useful in your journey to a more joyful life. At Optimal Happiness, we are dedicated to helping you achieve your personal and professional goals. If you’re interested in exploring more ways to enhance your well-being, we offer a range of services that can help you reach your full potential. From one-on-one coaching to online courses, our team of experts is here to support you every step of the way. Browse our website to learn more about how we can help you live a happier, healthier, and more fulfilling life. Thank you for reading, and we look forward to hearing about your success in pursuing happiness!