Forgive the long review! I felt it necessary to do the work justice.
Happy Friday ya’ll! For many reasons, I am so excited to review this book! I was winding down for bed last night when I had just placed my phone on the bedside table for the night, and I heard the familiar ding of my Twitter alert. Normally, I would ignore it, but it’d been an exciting day on Twitter (#PitchMad), so I decided to look at my phone. For the first time, since I started reviewing books on my blog, someone approached me and asked me to review her book! Also, this will be my first review for a self-help genre work. However, what the author doesn’t know is, I also have a degree in psychology, so I agreed, feeling confident that I would be able to give a fair and knowledgeable review. Also, I like happiness. Who doesn’t? Unless you’re green and live in a trash can. I digress. On with the review!
I know what most of you are thinking. “Self-help? *Groan.* Jennifer, can you please go back to reviewing fun fantasy or steamy romance novels?” And for the most part, I would agree, except in rare circumstances, like this book. Every now and then, someone writes a self-help book which everyone should read, everyone needs to read. Turn Your Happiness On, is one of those books. Everyone, deserves happiness, and usually, we spend a great deal of our lives trying to figure out how to find happiness. In this book, the author uses her own experiences, education, and research to guide each of us to discover our own happy place. I found it so useful, I already have a list of personal friends and family, I’m gonna suggest buy this book.
From the working mom who struggles to find a life outside the day to day, to the armed forces veteran whose trying to integrate back into non-military life, to the student trying to find out what they want to do for the rest of his or her life, and even the multi-millionaire who has everything money can buy, this book is an excellent source at identifying successful ways of turning your happiness on!
The author’s genuine voice is heard from the first words of chapter one. Her own experiences are relatable and her education backs up her authority on the subject. Unlike many other books in this genre, there isn’t a ‘doctoral’ tone. The knowledge is imparted in a universal way. In other words, it’s understandable and the reader doesn’t feel that ‘I’m being talked down to’ tone. The author’s honesty about her own background is refreshing, admirable, and effective at drawing the reader’s focus.
The structure of each chapter is clean and useful. Each starts with an attention getting quote that makes the reader think in a broader manner about the subject. Then, a combination of experience and knowledge is presented with a small amount of what I will refer to ‘worksheet space.’ Finally, each chapter ends with a quick chapter summary emphasizing key points. The quotes by Socrates and Plato I don’t prefer as I find their philosophy sexist at times, but I’m never gonna decrease a star rating based on personal preference.
The layout of this book is coherent in a meaningful sense. The first chapter defines happiness. The second Identifies detours to that happiness. The third sets upon how we prepare our selves to accept happiness. The fourth chapter emphasizes the moments we chose to allow happiness. Chapter five relates gratitude to the emotional affect. Six, promotes the power of positive thinking. Chapter Seven works on how to develop a positive attitude. Chapter eight talks about happiness habits. Finally, the book ends with a section of things to keep in mind.
This book really does have something for everyone and provides small ways of making a difference in your life. Personally, I found the sections on cultivating positive working relationships with coworkers and dealing with general life stress, self image, and eliminating the clutter of life, particularly of interest and useful in my own ability to turn on my own happiness.
The ‘action steps’ found throughout the work allow you to explore different ways of improving your happiness without creating feelings of being overwhelmed. I’m not one to recommend something without trying it first! My husband and I experimented with the action step on decluttering. We both had previous marriages and combining two households when we married a couple of years ago is a daunting task still unfinished. I found her approach rewarding and reasonable, even in our busy lives.
A lot of people buy self-help books with all the good intention of reading them and making changes. Then, they open the book, and its daunting and feels complicated, too much to find the time to do. This book has smaller sections and works in smaller increments. For example, the section on “Saying No.” It’s a small paragraph with a blunt point of making a habit of doing things that make you happy and not trying to make other happy. It’s a radically useful piece of information with a clear bold heading and small amount of text. There aren’t unnecessarily long chunks of convoluted text.
This book doesn’t sugar coat it’s advice. Too often, books in this genre try to avoid being blunt. I have a great appreciation for an author who, to quote my grandmother, “tells it like it is.” For example, chapter four talks about listening to what your body tells you is right and not other people. Like I’ve said, this author’s information will really resonate with lots of people. For me, I spent a long time in a wheel chair and had problems telling people ‘no’ if I wasn’t up to social activities. It took me listening to my body and saying no to improve my quality of life and happiness.
The decision making section is phenomenal! All Libras of the world should read this section, if nothing else!
Overall, one of the best qualities of this book is the lack of ‘fussiness.’ It’s great information in a clear understandable way with easily executable advice. My biggest critique is the name of the book, but to be fair, that’s probably because I’m more than a little dirty minded and have, recently, read and reviewed a LOT of romance novels. Still, the name is a little on the ‘cheesy’ side but the concept of the title is followed throughout the book and works great. I mean, I’m not going to forget the title and in a sea of self-help books, that’s a good quality.
So, by now, you’re probably thinking, “Is she overselling this book? It’s can’t be that good. This person must be a friend.” I’ve never met this author, don’t know her personally, aren’t even facebook friends. On top of that, I’m a pretty harsh critic, so much so, I don’t post my one or two star reviews because they are cold and definitely would not create happiness. Add in the fact, I don’t generally even like self-help books, usually finding them pretentious and stuffy! I’m not over-selling This book is the real deal. If you want to find ways to happiness and maintain happiness in your life, read this book. Period. Insert mic drop.
A couple of final thoughts that shouldn’t be necessary, but the lawyer in me feels compelled to say:
I am NOT a licensed therapist and nothing in this review is intended to or should be viewed as professional advice as to any mental health condition. This is my OPINION of a book and the content within it. If you feel you are in need of mental health counseling please contact a professionally licensed person. I am recommending a self-help book and that is what it is, help, not a magical cure all.
If you or someone who know is considering harming themselves please call the suicide prevention hotline at 1-800-273-8255.
[Please note, in exchange for a free copy of the novel, I agreed to provide a HONEST review.]