Review: Happy for No Reason

Happy for No Reason: 7 Steps to Being Happy from the Inside Out7 Steps to Being Happy from the Inside Out
By Marci Shimoff

Recent research indicates that less than 30 percent of people report being deeply happy. Twenty-five percent of Americans and 27 percent of Europeans claim they are depressed. The World Health Organization predicts that by 2020 depression will be second only to heart disease in terms of the global burden of illness. There is a questionnaire in Happy For No Reason, by the way, so that you can see where you stand on the happiness scale.

Given these above-mentioned statistics and as a clinical psychologist, I fell in love with the title of this book instantly, but expected it might be just fluff. I have read many of the well-regarded books on positive psychology like Authentic Happiness and Learned Optimism. While they are lovely books, they pretty much exceed the patience of many clients seeking happiness.

I was delighted that Marci covered material from many of the scientific studies detailed in academic positive psychology without taking people through the more tedious details. Yet for those who like going deeper, she provides many resources. She emphasized some health and physical techniques and Kaizen or baby steps that are so critical for someone who is depressed. I like the way she mixes material from the highest-level research with Eastern techniques. She clearly loves her subject and has explored its many facets.

This book could be called the 21 steps to Happiness for No Reason because each step has three sub items. The structure is a little bit formulaic, but very well organized. The stories about real people help connect the reader and emphasize the points. I have recommended it to clients who have downloaded the guide and then used it between sessions. This book is not a cure for depression, nor does it pretend to be, but it covers all the bases if you want to raise your happiness set point and be happy for no reason—and that’s a good feeling.

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