A Happiness Reading List
Posted on February 1, 2021
Need a glimmer of hope? A dose of happiness? A word of comfort? Same. Here are a few books that helped me keep a lookout for the small moments, practices, and words in life to lift spirits and find the wonder in the world around us.
Joyful: The Surprising Power of Ordinary Things to Create Extraordinary Happiness
By Ingrid Fetell Lee
This is the book I will never stop recommending. Fetell Lee explores the science behind why our brain reacts in various ways to different aesthetics. You’ll be searching for ways to incorporate more visual joy in your life.
The Art of Gathering: How We Meet and Why It Matters
By Priya Parker
While we are not gathering often, or in large numbers these days, this book is well worth the read. Parker tells us how to make gathering more meaningful and how to make it benefit everyone. May we all have fewer Zoom meetings and real quality time soon.
The Nature Fix: Why Nature Makes Us Happier, Healthier, and More Creative
By Florence Williams
Williams delves into the science of how nature can have a positive effect on your brain. You’ll find yourself wanting to head to your nearest park to test this out.
Rewild Yourself: Making Nature More Visible in our Lives
By Simon Barnes
Barnes’ tips on how to make nature a focus in your life have a sense of magic to them. He writes as if he’s your British uncle who’s genuinely jazzed to take you out into nature, and I’m here for it.
Gmorning, Gnight!: Little Pep Talks for Me & You
By Lin-Manuel Miranda, Jonny Sun (Illustrator)
Listen to this one on audiobook and Lin-Manuel Miranda gives you pep talks that you’ll want to play before you say Gmorning, and after you say Gnight. You can’t go wrong with this one.
Keep Moving: Notes on Loss, Creativity, and Change
By Maggie Smith
We’re all in a period where we’ve lost something, big or small. Whatever that looks like to you, Smith will probably find a way to connect to you and help you feel a little less alone and a little more prepared to face the day.
How to Do Nothing: Resisting the Attention Economy
By Jenny Odell
Do you find yourself feeling guilty for that “wasted” moment when you didn’t accomplish something? Odell exposes how the narrative of efficiency and productivity have seeped into every bit of our loves grabbing our attention, our most important resource. Consciously shifting your focus to the things that you deem important can be quite liberating. *turns off phone*
Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge, and the Teachings of Plants
By Robin Wall Kimmerer
Robin Wall Kimmerer offers a unique perspective on nature. As a biologist and member of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation, she melds her scientific methodology with her deep respect of nature as teacher. The result is a reverent and analytical prose that urges you to step into nature at that very moment.
By Katherine May
The concept of Wintering is one that feels as though it can be applied to the last year for so many. May discusses how events in our lives move us to a place where retreating and nourishing ourselves are an integral part of life. These moments are where we can care for ourselves while work under the surface takes place so when we reemerge out of our winter: transformed, in the same manner of the natural world. I’m declaring myself in a cocoon until further notice.
Every Tool's a Hammer: Life Is What You Make It
By Adam Savage
Now’s the time. Pick up the hammer, the paint brush, the pencil. Go ahead and fan that spark of interest into a full-blown creation.