Top 10 Must-Read Books On Happiness, Positive Psychology, And Emotional Intelligence

Authentic Happiness

by Dr. Martin Seligman


Dr. Martin Seligman is a Professor at the University of Penn and one of the foremost experts in Positive Psychology. During his tenure as the President of the American Psychology Association, he determined that simply reacting to mental illness wasn’t good enough – that psychologists needed to do more to proactively solve for depression and anxiety. He developed the PERMA model that would be the basis for positive psychology research around the world. His book Authentic Happiness, discusses his theories and offers a helpful window into the science of happiness.


The Happiness Advantage

by Shawn Achor


The Happiness Advantage leverages Shawn’s research – one of the largest studies of happiness and potential at Harvard – and examines how we can reprogram our brains to become more positive in order to gain a competitive edge at work. He is a highly entertaining writer and speaker. His TEDTalk has now reached over 16 million views and is one of the most popular talks of all time. Shawn has written three books and consults NASA and the White House (Obama administration) on workplace happiness strategies. Achor is also on the Plasticity Scientific Advisory Board and has contributed to the content in the Plasticity Platform.



by Dr. Tal Ben-Shahar


According to Tal Ben-Shahar, the professor who talk Harvard University’s most popular and life-changing course, anyone can choose to be happier. He brilliantly connects scientific studies, with real-life practices to teach readers how they can be happier. He is also the founder of www.Happier.TV a website geared to teaching the principles of happiness through the use of video and other mixed media.



by Barbara Fredrickson


For over two decades, Dr. Barbara Fredrickson has researched the impact of positivity in our lives. Through her years of rigorous investigation, she’s found that experiencing positive emotions in a 3-to-1 ratio to negative emotions leads people to achieve what they once could only imagine. This book explains how positive thinking can enhance your relationships, improve your health, relieve depression, and broaden your mind. Fredrickson is a luminary in this space and one of the most highly-regarded scientific minds in positive psychology. This book is a helpful read to anyone interested in understanding more about science and power of mindset.


Hardwiring for Happiness

by Dr. Rick Hanson


Based in neuroscience, Dr. Rick Hanson takes readers through a journey of happiness in the brain. He provides evidence-based research to help us beat the brain’s negativity bias, which is like “Velcro for negative experiences but Teflon for positive ones.” This bias evolved to help ancient animals survive, but today it makes us feel needlessly frazzled, worried, irritated, lonely, inadequate, and blue. This book will provide practical tools to combat the impact of negative thinking and stress.


Option B

by Sheryl Sandberg and Adam Grant


After the sudden death of her husband, Sheryl Sandberg felt certain that she and her children would never feel pure joy again. Her friend Adam Grant, a psychologist at Wharton, told her there are concrete steps people can take to recover and rebound.


Option B combines Sheryl’s personal insights with Adam’s eye-opening research on finding strength in the face of adversity. It explores the stories of a broad range of people who have overcome challenges in their lives, identifies how we can best talk to and help others in crisis, and offers practical tips for creating resilient families, communities, and workplaces.


The Future of Happiness

by Amy Blankson


The proliferation of smartphones and the Internet also coincides with historically high levels of depression and life dissatisfaction. As the speed of innovation only seems to be increasing, researchers are turning attention to one of the most increasingly vital questions of our time:  will we continue to see declines in physical, emotional, and mental health due to our current use of technology, or can we harness technology by using new strategies to raise happiness, wellbeing and deep connection?

Instead of technology getting in the way of happiness, we have a unique opportunity to use tech to fuel greater levels of happiness and meaning within our lives. We can become digitally-enhanced optimists.

In The Future of Happiness, author Amy Blankson, Harvard graduate, Yale MBA, and co-founder of the global positive psychology consulting firm GoodThink, unveils five strategies that successful individuals use to not just survive—but to actually thrive—in the Digital Age.


The Myths of Happiness

by Sonja Lyubomirsky


Researcher and Professor of Psychology, Dr. Lyubomirsky, draws on the latest scientific research to show that believing in happiness myths can have toxic consequences. In the book, Dr. Lyubormirsky discusses how “…our false expectations turn foreseeable life transitions into full-blown crisis points, but, worse, they also steer us to make poor decisions and impair our mental health. This book offers education to readers and increased awareness of when those happiness myths are negatively impacting our lives. The author provides suggestions for new ways to cope with adversity, pursue new goals, and grow and flourish– to transform our crisis points into straightforward passages of life and forge our way to a happy and fulfilling life.

The Happiness Project and Better than Before

by Gretchen Rubin


The Happiness Project synthesizes the wisdom of the ages with current scientific research, as Rubin brings readers along on her year to greater happiness.

The Happiness Project has been a blockbuster bestseller. It spent more than two years on the New York Times bestseller list, including hitting #1, has sold more than 1.5 million copies, and has been published in more than thirty languages.

“The Happiness Project” lays out life’s essential goals — “Boost Energy,” “Remember Love,” “Contemplate the Heavens.” Her new book, “Better Than Before: Mastering the Habits of Our Everyday Lives,” serves as a kind of detailed instruction manual on how to achieve them.


Daring Greatly

by Brené Brown


Brené Brown is a research professor at the University of Houston where she holds the Huffington Endowed Chair. She’s spent the past sixteen years studying courage, vulnerability, empathy, and shame. She is the author of four books: The Gifts of Imperfection, Daring Greatly, Rising Strong, and Braving the Wilderness.

Daring Greatly is a transformative new vision for the way we lead, love, work, parent, and educate that teaches us the power of vulnerability. Daring Greatly helps readers to feel validated in choosing their path to happiness and find new ways to ignore the negative narrative of others.

Jennifer Moss