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This book is for those who know they can be much happier than they currently are and especially for the ones who are apathetic about the topic as a whole. Through this yearlong project dedicated to improving all aspects of her life, Gretchin Rubin reminds us that we can be proactive when it comes to our personal happiness. 

I loved how relatable The Happiness Project was. For one, Rubin wasn’t unhappy with her life…she was just “meh.” It’s easy to ignore an issue that isn’t pressing, which I’ve definitely caught myself and others doing. But Rubin’s decision to jumpstart her happiness anyways made me think: well, why shouldn’t I?

When I first saw this book, I thought it’d be very Eat, Pray, Love-esque, but it’s actually quite the opposite. Instead of doing something drastic, like abandoning her current life or trying to “find herself” in some faraway country, Rubin resolved to make small changes that would have a big impact. These were things that most people reading could apply to their own lives, like not nagging as much or becoming more organized.

Despite its name, the tone of this book wasn’t always bubbly or happy-go-lucky. Rubin was incredibly genuine when it came to her struggles and self doubts. She wondered whether the entire project was “supremely self-centered” and addressed the unforeseen consequences of being so conscious of her behavior: in July, she’d written, “My happiness project was making me feel worse, not better. I was acutely aware of all the mistakes I was making and the steps I could be taking—but I just couldn’t. I wouldn’t. To hell with the resolutions.” I admired the realness of it all and the fact that she wrote this book more as a personal account than as an advice column. You go, Gretchen.

While The Happiness Project is a bit denser than your typical self-improvement book, I’m all for it. It told a story, had a very clear voice, and made me re-think many parts of my own life. If you’re looking for growth, grit, authenticity, and inspiration, this is definitely your book!

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