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Download The Myths of Happiness: What Should Make You Happy, but Doesn't, What Shouldn't Make You Happy, but Does Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample The Myths of Happiness: What Should Make You Happy, but Doesnt, What Shouldnt Make You Happy, but Does Audiobook, by Sonja Lyubomirsky Click for printable size audiobook cover
3.63 out of 53.63 out of 53.63 out of 53.63 out of 53.63 out of 5 3.63 (19 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Sonja Lyubomirsky Narrator: Kathy Keane Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: January 2013 ISBN: 9781101605127
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Happiness expert Sonja Lyubomirsky’s research-based lessons on how to find opportunity in life’s thorniest moments

In The Myths of Happiness, Lyubomirsky isolates the major turning points of adult life, looking to both achievements (marriage, children, professional satisfaction, wealth) and failures (singlehood, divorce, financial ruin, illness) to reveal that our misconceptions about the impact of such events is perhaps the greatest threat to our long-term well-being. Lyubomirsky argues that we have been given false promises—myths that assure us that lifelong happiness will be attained once we hit the culturally confirmed markers of adult success. This restricted view of happiness works to discourage us from recognizing the upside of any negative life turn and blocks us from recognizing our own growth potential. Our outsized expectations transform natural rites of passage into emotional land mines and steer us to make toxic decisions.

Because we expect the best (or the worst) from life’s turning points, we shortsightedly place too much weight on our initial emotional responses. The Myths of Happiness empowers readers to look beyond their first response, sharing scientific evidence that often it is our mindset—not our circumstances—that matters. Central to these findings is the notion of hedonic adaptation, the fact that people are far more adaptable than they think. Even after a major life change, good or bad, we tend to return to our initial happiness level, forgetting what once made us elated or why we felt that life was so unbearable. The Myths of Happiness offers the perspective we need to make wiser choices, sharing how to slow the effects of this adaptation after a positive turn and find the way forward in a time of darkness.

In The Myths of Happiness, Sonja Lyubomirsky turns an empirical eye to the biggest, messiest moments, providing readers with the clear-eyed vision they need to build the healthiest, most satisfying life. A corrective course on happiness and a call to regard life’s twists and turns with a more open mind, The Myths of Happiness shares practical lessons with life-changing potential.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “While remaining sympathetic to her readers’ pain, Lyubomirsky demonstrates that positively reframing life events can mine the best out of even the darkest situations. Provocative and fresh.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “Informative and engaging.”

    Kirkus Reviews

Listener Opinions

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Rawson Gordon II | 2/19/2014

    " I have nothing good to say about this book because I don't or won't believe my troubles are in its scope. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Alisa Bowman | 2/10/2014

    " Sonja Lyubomirsky combines the latest research with personal insights and advice to create what just might be the most useful "how to be happy" guide around. She breaks the book up into life stages: marriage, parenthood, etc. Most of the advice is so new that it's surprising, but also easy and fun to implement. I read the book a few months back, but I'm still using some of the tips and tricks. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Astrid | 2/9/2014

    " Be grateful for what you have, don't obsess, don't analyze the good stuff but do analyze the bad stuff, don't sweat the small stuff. If you can do something about an issue that bothers you then do it, if you can't do something then take it in stride. Common sense stuff. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Peter Mcloughlin | 2/5/2014

    " This book has some good advice that jives with my experience on making myself happy. It covers the major life event and why they are not as important as you think in a person's overall happiness. The little pleasures and frustrations although smaller and seemingly insignifigant have more of an impact on a person's happiness. A good read and good advice on how to stay happy and feel good about life in general. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Laila | 1/21/2014

    " The basic message is this: Humans adapt. We get used to really good things in time (and take them for granted) and we get used to really bad things in time too. So fearing the really bad stuff doesn't really help anything, and fearing a life without the really good stuff doesn't make sense either. I came away from this book with the reassuring notion that one's life experience, once basic needs are met, is mostly in what you think about it. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Barb | 1/15/2014

    " This book makes sense of a lot of real and popular social science but I think, as with many things in life, it makes more sense when you are on the down hill slide. However, I like that she covers the intensity of "I won't be happy until I have the right partner, job," etc. but takes it to the other end of life and looks at "I can't be happy if...I have this diagnosis, I lost my youth/dreams, I lost my partner." A nice reminder. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Gayle | 1/15/2014

    " Nothing profoundly new but good reminders that happiness does not depend on circumstances. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Amy | 1/6/2014

    " third book in the "happiness" genre. i liked this one. not as fluffy as Gretchen Rubin's book and not as rah rah as acher. good practical stuff. pragmatic. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Sarah | 12/7/2013

    " i don't generally read self help books...but this one was actually...helpful! i needed a pick-me-up and this was it. really liked it. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jennifer | 11/29/2013

    " This book is a good read, it puts words (intelligent ones) to feelings you have or have struggled with and offers decent I sight. I was looking for ground-breaking or something and this wasn't it. But it's definitely a good book for anyone seeking or delaying happiness to read. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Elizabeth | 11/25/2013

    " Great book about how we can become accustomed to the good things in our lives and fail to appreciate them, and how we can also dwell on the harder things and make them harder still. Very well written, this is a great introduction to the author's research. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Monica | 9/1/2013

    " It was overgeneralized and narrow in its scope. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Dawn Boernke | 8/8/2013

    " Great little nuggets of wisdom. I wish everyone could practice even half of it- the world would be so much happier:) "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Catherine | 8/3/2013

    " I might have found this more helpful if I hadn't already read a number if books on this subject including the author's first book. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Erin | 4/24/2013

    " A good review of scientific studies on happiness and ways to make yourself happier. I thought the book would be a bit different but it is well written and easy to locate just the inforamtion you need. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kirsten | 3/12/2013

    " I liked how this book was organized. A fun read that I found myself referring to in conversation "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Aaron Dobbs | 3/4/2013

    " Great book. Explains the science behind everyday unhappiness/boredom, and actually provides some useful information as to how to be happier. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Cindy | 2/19/2013

    " This is the best book on "happiness" I have read. It is well researched, easy to read and has real, practical advice. Every chapter may not apply to everybody, but there is some great information in here that lots of people would benefit from. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Bridget | 1/14/2013

    " I appreciated that Lyubomirsky's book was more research-based than anecdotal. I also liked her emphasis on "reasoned 'second thoughts'" (246). "

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About the Author

Sonja Lyubomirsky is a professor of psychology at the University of California, Riverside. Her research—on the possibility of permanently increasing happiness—has been honored with a Science of Generosity grant, a John Templeton Foundation grant, a Templeton Positive Psychology Prize, and a million-dollar grant from the National Institute of Mental Health. Lyubomirsky’s 2008 book, The How of Happiness, has been translated into nineteen languages. She lives in Santa Monica, California, with her family.