Happiness self-help book

I have spent the best part of the past six months reading happiness self-help books. It’s skipping a head a bit, but I wrote a blog post on Shine by Andy Cope & Gavin Oattes not too long ago.

This mini-obsession started with books such as The Happiness Hypothesis by Jonathan Haidt, The Happiness Trap by Russ Harris and The Happiness Equation by Neil Pasricha. Next was The Inside-Out Revolution by Michael Neill and The Naked Leader Experience by David Taylor. There are other books missing from my bookshelf which I have lent to friends whose title I cannot remember. I have read books such as Little Book of Emotional Intelligence: How to Flourish in a Crazy World by Andy Cope & Amy Bradley, The Art of Being Brilliant by Andy Cope & Andy Whittaker, Shine by Andy Cope & Gavin Oattes and Zest by Andy Cope, Gavin Oattes, and Will Hussey. There is a running theme with the latter.

The truth is, you can get lost in self-help books.

The truth is, you can get lost in self-help books.

You can easily be overloaded with theories, practices and methods to improve your happiness. Too easily influenced by authors that you lose sight of your own values and what you believe. Confusing by conflicting advice or simply just saturating your brain.

That said, I read a lot. Some books focused on cogitative therapies, mindfulness and other methods to ‘be happier’, some booked delved into the science and world of academia. Yes the content was interesting and yes a lot of the methods were positive and practical. But some chapters were a bit of a depressing read. I do understand the reasons, but what I was reading wasn’t making me feel any happier. Quite the opposite. It was all a little ironic.

But some chapters were a bit of a depressing read.

Then I discovered Andy Cope. The first book was Shine, followed by The Art of Being Brilliant and Zest. What was different about these books? They were fun to read. Rather than reading chapters on how to discard negative thoughts and emotions, I was reading about shining and being a superhero. I was reading about illuminating a room with positivity and zest rather than cognitive behaviour therapies. Andy Cope’s self-help books made you feel happy just by reading them.

Self-help books have their place and I do love them. Some are better than others, some more practical, and while Andy Cope does not provide the answers to all life’s problems, you can do a lot worse than reading Shine, Zest or The Art of Being Brilliant.

Photo by MI PHAM on Unsplash

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