100 books like Happiness is a Choice

By Frank Minirth, Paul Meier,

Here are 100 books that Happiness is a Choice fans have personally recommended if you like Happiness is a Choice. Shepherd is a community of 10,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of The Happiness Advantage: How a Positive Brain Fuels Success in Work and Life

Vincent Doumeizel Author Of The Seaweed Revolution: How Seaweed Has Shaped Our Past and Can Save Our Future

From my list on the world is getting better and the best is yet to come.

Why am I passionate about this?

As an optimistic citizen of the world, I travelled the globe to witness famine in Africa and seaweed farming in Asia. Having worked on food systems for twenty-five years and being the father of three children, I was looking for solutions to feed the coming generation with hopes instead of fears! That’s how I ended up working for a visionary charity (Lloyd’s Register Foundation) and leading a “Seaweed Revolution” for United Nations Global Compact as well as writing book to spread the gospel of neglected Ocean Based Solutions. The books I have recommended here all give hope through examples from the past and present and provide readers with practical toolkits for creating positive change.

Vincent's book list on the world is getting better and the best is yet to come

Vincent Doumeizel Why did Vincent love this book?

This is another book that can inspire you in your daily life and change your perspective. A call for happiness!

Despite what we believe, happiness breeds success, and not the other way around… quite an important distinction. This very well-researched book by a specialist from Harvard University also argues that our brain is flexible enough to change whatever our age, and that it is always possible to mitigate our negative perception of reality.

This leads to a more positive way of thinking that will create the conditions to achieve what we want and lead an exciting life! After reading this book, you’ll be able to make happiness contagious and promote the cause like an activist! A must-read for the next generation. 

By Shawn Achor,

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked The Happiness Advantage as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Most people want to be successful in life. And of course, everyone wants to be happy. When it comes to the pursuit of success and happiness, most people assume the same formula: if you work hard, you will become successful, and once you become successful, then you'll be happy. The only problem is that a decade of cutting-edge research in the field of positive psychology has proven that this formula is backwards. Success does not beget happiness.

Based on the largest study ever conducted on happiness and human potential (a survey conducted by the author of more than 1,600 students),…


Book cover of Learned Optimism: How to Change Your Mind and Your Life

Randy Ross Author Of Fireproof Happiness: Extinguishing Anxiety & Igniting Hope

From my list on the best way to find happiness.

Why am I passionate about this?

My entire career has revolved around helping people find more meaning and fulfillment in their life and work. It’s a fact that happy people are healthier, have better relationships, are more satisfied with life, and are more productive. But, happiness for most folks is elusive. Through my research, personal experience, and coaching and consulting practice, I have found that there is a distinct connection between hope and happiness. Fireproof Happiness is my attempt to show this connection and offer practical wisdom and sound advice to craft a brighter tomorrow, no matter what you may be facing today.

Randy's book list on the best way to find happiness

Randy Ross Why did Randy love this book?

Known as the father of the new science of Positive Psychology, Dr. Martin Seligman shows how optimism enhances quality of life. He refutes the idea that some people are simply born more optimistic and shares how anyone can adopt a more positive outlook on life. This book is filled with simple techniques to break depression, boost your immune system and make you happier.

Learned Optimism offers simple, straightforward solutions to help anyone embrace a healthier mindset as they face and embrace challenging times. Applying the content of this book, anyone can learn to view life through a different lens, changing their perspective and navigating life’s difficulties more effectively.

By Martin E. P. Seligman,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked Learned Optimism as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

NATIONAL BESTSELLER • The father of positive psychology draws on more than twenty years of clinical research to show you how to overcome depression, boost your immune system, and make yourself happier.

"Vaulted me out of my funk.... So, fellow moderate pessimists, go buy this book." —The New York Times Book Review

Offering many simple techniques anyone can practice, Dr. Seligman explains how to break an “I–give–up” habit, develop a more constructive explanatory style for interpreting your behavior, and experience the benefits of a more positive interior dialogue.

With generous additional advice on how to encourage optimistic behavior at school,…


Book cover of You Are Awesome: How to Navigate Change, Wrestle with Failure, and Live an Intentional Life

Randy Ross Author Of Fireproof Happiness: Extinguishing Anxiety & Igniting Hope

From my list on the best way to find happiness.

Why am I passionate about this?

My entire career has revolved around helping people find more meaning and fulfillment in their life and work. It’s a fact that happy people are healthier, have better relationships, are more satisfied with life, and are more productive. But, happiness for most folks is elusive. Through my research, personal experience, and coaching and consulting practice, I have found that there is a distinct connection between hope and happiness. Fireproof Happiness is my attempt to show this connection and offer practical wisdom and sound advice to craft a brighter tomorrow, no matter what you may be facing today.

Randy's book list on the best way to find happiness

Randy Ross Why did Randy love this book?

Few people have the tools to handle tumultuous times and failure. Instead of allowing challenging times to crystalize their character, many folks respond to challenges and setbacks by curling up in a ball and crying. In You Are Awesome, Pasricha builds the case that you can actually turn your adversities into an advantage. You can tell yourself a different story and write a brighter future.

In You Are Awesome, you will find principles and practices that will help you navigate change, wrestle effectively with failure, and live an intentional life. You will learn how to establish routines to eliminate stress, change your perspective and grow stronger in the process.

By Neil Pasricha,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked You Are Awesome as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

INSTANT #1 BESTSELLER

From Neil Pasricha—New York Times million-copy bestselling author of The Book of Awesome series and The Happiness Equation, thought leader for the next generation, and one of the most popular TED speakers in the world—comes a revelatory and inspiring book that will change the way we view failure and help us build resilience.

Why is life getting harder instead of easier?
How do I get back up after life knocks me down?
And how do I grow stronger and live more intentionally?

We no longer have the tools to handle failure…or even perceived failure. When we fall,…


Book cover of You, Happier: The 7 Neuroscience Secrets of Feeling Good Based on Your Brain Type

Randy Ross Author Of Fireproof Happiness: Extinguishing Anxiety & Igniting Hope

From my list on the best way to find happiness.

Why am I passionate about this?

My entire career has revolved around helping people find more meaning and fulfillment in their life and work. It’s a fact that happy people are healthier, have better relationships, are more satisfied with life, and are more productive. But, happiness for most folks is elusive. Through my research, personal experience, and coaching and consulting practice, I have found that there is a distinct connection between hope and happiness. Fireproof Happiness is my attempt to show this connection and offer practical wisdom and sound advice to craft a brighter tomorrow, no matter what you may be facing today.

Randy's book list on the best way to find happiness

Randy Ross Why did Randy love this book?

Dr. Daniel Amen is the preeminent authority on brain scanning. Having studied over 200,000 brain scans from over 155 countries, he has provided insights into how brain health is related to happiness, healthy relationships, and productivity. In You, Happier, Dr. Amen offers practical, science-based strategies for optimizing your happiness.

You will discover how your brain functions and what strategies you can employ to create happiness. You will find ways to improve your overall brain health and learn ways to distance yourself from the damaging influences that cause the brain to function less effectively. Creating consistent happiness is a daily journey and this book provides the roadmap.

By Daniel G. Amen,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked You, Happier as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

#1 New York Times bestselling author Dr. Daniel Amen reveals the seven neuroscience secrets to becoming more than 30 percent happier in just 30 days—regardless of your age, upbringing, genetics, or current situation.

Happiness is a brain function. With a healthier brain always comes a happier life.

After studying more than 200,000 brain scans of people from 155 countries, Dr. Amen has discovered five primary brain types and seven neuroscience secrets that influence happiness. In You, Happier, he explains them and offers practical, science-based strategies for optimizing your happiness. Dr. Amen will teach you how to discover your brain type…


Book cover of The No-Bullshit Guide to Depression

JoEllen Notte Author Of In It Together: Navigating Depression with Partners, Friends, and Family

From my list on helping you talk about mental health.

Why am I passionate about this?

According to my mother, my first words were, “what’s that?” and I believe that’s indicative of the level of curiosity with which I try to approach life. That curiosity led me to write books about how we can better love ourselves and each other when depression is gumming up the works. Talking about mental illness is hard, and I aim to make it easier. I’m not a doctor or therapist. I am best described as a “sex writer with a theatre degree” and I like to say my work focuses on sex, mental health, and how none of us are broken.  

JoEllen's book list on helping you talk about mental health

JoEllen Notte Why did JoEllen love this book?

We've reached the only actual “how to do mental illness” book on this list and it’s an all time favorite of mine.

Skoczen is not a doctor or a therapist and isn’t afraid to drop a couple of f-bombs when talking about mental health… so, yeah, he’s a lot like me, which may be part of why I love this book so much.

Engaging, reassuring, and full of concrete strategies for navigating depression both as someone with it and as someone who loves someone with it, I have recommended this book for years. 

By Steven Skoczen,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The No-Bullshit Guide to Depression as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

"Probably the best self-help book on depression I’ve ever read." — Joe Rhinewine, Director and Psychologist, Portland Mindfulness Therapy

Funny, insightful, and relentlessly honest, The No-Bullshit Guide to Depression is the manual for life with depression that everyone should have been given. It's the toolbox you need to build a life you love.

The No-Bullshit Guide to Depression covers day-to-day truths like how food, sleep, and sex get weird and practical insights like how to handle social relationships. It delves into the deep dark places and talks about how to survive the suicidal thoughts that can come with the worst…


Book cover of The Red Tree

Mónica Armiño Author Of A Wolf Called Wander

From my list on pictures that you will enjoy more as an adult.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have been a professional illustrator for 20 years. In all this time I have gathered a vast collection of picture books, animated movie artbooks, children's books... I use them as a source of inspiration for my work, but I really collect them because they are my treasure. I don't just look for books with beautiful illustrations, but that really give me something, that make me think, or that stay in my memory. They are timeless books, that are not aimed at any age, that anyone can enjoy, but that at the same time have deep meaning if you know how to look at them. Not all picture books are just for kids.

Mónica's book list on pictures that you will enjoy more as an adult

Mónica Armiño Why did Mónica love this book?

I bought The Red Tree many years ago because I thought its cover was so beautiful. I didn't even know its author, but from then on he became one of my favorite illustrators. And even today, I can say that The Red Tree is my favorite book of all time. It may seem it's about sadness or depression, but I prefer to think that it's the book that best defines hope. It is a book that I usually give to my friends when they are having a hard time. Because in the end, it is about this: we cannot avoid sadness, gray days, or feeling miserable, but we can look within ourselves for our little red tree and take care of it so that it grows strong and protects us.

By Shaun Tan,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The Red Tree as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Awakening one day to a dark and somber mood, a little girl faces a day where everything goes very badly, and seeks hope amid her sadness.


Book cover of The Other Side of Silence: A Psychiatrist's Memoir of Depression

James Withey Author Of How To Tell Depression to Piss Off: 40 Ways to Get Your Life Back

From my list on manage bloody depression.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a Brighton based writer. I’ve lived with bloody depression and frigging anxiety, since a child. I’m the founder of The Recovery Letters project, which publishes online letters from people recovering from depression, addressed to those experiencing it. It was published as a book in 2017 and Cosmopolitan named it "One of the 12 mental health books everyone should read". I also edited What I Do to Get Through: How to Run, Swim, Cycle, Sew, or Sing Your Way Through DepressionMy fourth book, How to Tell Anxiety to Sod Off, is due out in 2022.

James' book list on manage bloody depression

James Withey Why did James love this book?

This book is a beautiful, inspiring weaving tale of a psychiatrist who has recurrent depression and has worked with people with depression. She doesn’t disguise how hard depression is, she doesn’t patronise, she explains depression from her personal point of view, explores what happened in her childhood, and explains a clinician’s point of view of depression. 

It’s embedded with bucket loads of empathy, compassion, and hope. You hear about the patients she’s helped and you come out feeling humbled and grateful for her telling her story. Very useful for professionals working in psychiatry and mental health but equally useful for those of us with this terrible illness.

By Linda Gask,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Other Side of Silence as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

'If we had a keen vision and feeling of all ordinary human life, it would be like hearing the grass grow and the squirrel's heart beat, and we should die of that roar which lies on the other side of silence.'

George Eliot, Middlemarch

Having spent her life trying to patch up the souls of others, psychiatrist Linda Gask came to realise that being an expert in depression didn't confer any immunity from it - she had to learn take care of herself, too. Artfully crafted and told with warmth and honesty, this is the story of Linda's journey, interwoven…


Book cover of Depressive Illness: The Curse of the Strong

James Withey Author Of How To Tell Depression to Piss Off: 40 Ways to Get Your Life Back

From my list on manage bloody depression.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a Brighton based writer. I’ve lived with bloody depression and frigging anxiety, since a child. I’m the founder of The Recovery Letters project, which publishes online letters from people recovering from depression, addressed to those experiencing it. It was published as a book in 2017 and Cosmopolitan named it "One of the 12 mental health books everyone should read". I also edited What I Do to Get Through: How to Run, Swim, Cycle, Sew, or Sing Your Way Through DepressionMy fourth book, How to Tell Anxiety to Sod Off, is due out in 2022.

James' book list on manage bloody depression

James Withey Why did James love this book?

This book saved my life. And no, I’m not exaggerating. I read it at the peak of my depression when I’d lost all hope and my emotional pain was at its peak. I spent the whole time going ‘Yes! That’s me, that’s happening to me! Thank god someone understands’. 

It is short, so that you can actually finish it. This is SO important when your concentration has evaporated due to depression. It’s written by a psychiatrist who understands what your brain is doing but also, crucially, tells you what to do and emphasises how serious this illness is.

By Tim Cantopher,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Depressive Illness as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

'People affected by depression tell me this is the most powerful and helpful book ever written on the topic. I keep meeting people who say this book changed their lives.' - Jeremy Vine, BBC Radio 2

Do you have depression?
Firstly, stop blaming yourself.
Secondly, don't struggle on alone - read this book instead. It has helped thousands of people just like you.

Dr Tim Cantopher knows two essential truths about depression and depressive illness.

One: it's strong people who are most vulnerable to it; people whose standards are high, whose ethics are powerful, who want their lives to be…


Book cover of The Noonday Demon: An Atlas of Depression

Amanda Stern Author Of Little Panic: Dispatches from an Anxious Life

From my list on mental anguish from inside a body in distress.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m the author of The Long Haul and Little Panic: Dispatches from an Anxious Life and eleven books for children written under the pseudonyms AJ Stern and Fiona Rosenbloom. I publish a newsletter called “How to Live” where I simplify complex theories from psychology and offer ideas for their practical applications. My work explores the complexities of emotion, addiction, neglect, and issues surrounding mental health. I am prone to write from inside the body, to capture the visceral resonance of the somatic experience and consciousness.

Amanda's book list on mental anguish from inside a body in distress

Amanda Stern Why did Amanda love this book?

I am a superfan of Andrew Solomon’s and I urge you to read absolutely anything you can get your hands on, but this book is the actual Bible for understanding depression from the inside out. 

It seems uncommon that when your life is going well, when everything seems to be working out in your favor, that depression should descend and rob you of all your joy, but that’s exactly what happened to Andrew Solomon. The way he writes about depression is beyond comprehension because it’s beautiful and profound, exacting and sweeping. Reading this, or anything of his, is like getting your organs tattooed with the ink of his experience. This isn’t simply one man’s account of his uncompromising depression, rather it’s a survey and sociological account of depression. Inspired by a 1998 article Solomon wrote for The New Yorker, this book is a wild achievement. Yes, it’s long and…

By Andrew Solomon,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Noonday Demon as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

WITH A NEW EPILOGUE BY THE AUTHOR

Like Primo Levi's The Periodic Table, The Noonday Demon digs deep into personal history, as Andrew Solomon narrates, brilliantly and terrifyingly, his own agonising experience of depression.

Solomon also portrays the pain of others, in different cultures and societies whose lives have been shattered by depression and uncovers the historical, social, biological, chemical and medical implications of this crippling disease. He takes us through the halls of mental hospitals where some of his subjects have been imprisoned for decades; into the research labs; to the burdened and afflicted poor, rural and urban. He…


Book cover of Not Today, Celeste!: A Dog's Tale about Her Human's Depression

Anthony Lloyd Jones Author Of The Princess and the Fog: A Story for Children with Depression

From my list on understanding depression, loss, grief, and anxiety.

Why am I passionate about this?

I had depression when I was young, but I didn’t know what that meant or what to do about it. So much of mental health is invisible and nobody knew. I didn’t have the language to explain how I felt, or to ask for help, and I didn’t know how to find out. Any book that could have helped me jump those hurdles would have been incredibly valuable. Children relate to stories, characters, metaphors and pictures more than words. Giving children the tools to explore how they feel in ways they can relate to is really important. I wouldn’t want anyone else to feel as alone as I did. 

Anthony's book list on understanding depression, loss, grief, and anxiety

Anthony Lloyd Jones Why did Anthony love this book?

Not Today, Celeste! is another terrific book that explains to young readers how to recognise depressive symptoms in others, and how these symptoms might affect your relationship with them. Celeste is a wonderful choice of protagonist - a dog whose human, Rupert, begins to suffer from depression. She is initially worried and wants to help, but doesn’t know how to, and is happy when he’s able to finally get help and go back to being his old self again. A perfect reader surrogate for a child whose parent or other loved one is struggling with depression. A very hopeful and warm book for a time when things might seem bleak and confusing.

By Liza Stevens,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Not Today, Celeste! as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 3, 4, 5, and 6.

What is this book about?

Celeste thinks she is the happiest dog in the world. But when she notices something different about her human, Rupert, she wonders if things will ever be the same again.

Charmingly illustrated, this heart-warming story for children aged 3+ reflects some of the feelings and experiences that a child whose parent or carer has depression may face. When it comes to periods of low mood in a parent or carer, children can often feel that they are to blame, or even that the parent doesn't love them anymore. The story provides reassurance by explaining what depression is and how it…


5 book lists we think you will like!

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