I’ve long been obsessed with happiness.
This doesn’t make me unique, especially as someone who’s suffered from depression.
Or maybe it does.
See, unlike other people who’ve struggled with depression, I literally cannot handle it. My brain tells me I won’t survive it and so I must do anything possible to escape.
When I hear people say that when they get depressed, they struggle to get out of bed and walk around listlessly, not working or exercising or doing any of their standard activities, I’m flummoxed.
I’m more active when I’m depressed for the simple reason that I feel like my feelings may kill me and faced with sudden death, I’ll do anything to prevent it.
My therapist tells me this is great—the fact that I don’t, in therapeutic terms, “present” as depressed even when I’m depressed. While sure, that’s great, depression still sucks. The way I experience it is just in a very mobile way. Even if I’m crying the whole time, I’m at my hip hop dance class, returning emails—even at parties (yes, that makes me very popular). Depression, as they say, hates a moving target and so I get into whirling dervish mode, hoping to avoid the arrow.
Sometimes, of course, this doesn’t work. Sometimes, there are sad things I need to process; sometimes there are hormones at work, that pesky estrogen fighting for dominance with my surprisingly resilient progesterone for that one week every month. Sometimes there are reasons beyond my understanding for why I feel the way I feel.
But I’ve learned some things over the years—the main one being STOP TRYING TO FIGURE IT OUT. Trying to figure it out means dwelling and depression LOVES dwelling. Instead, as I said, I get moving. I do so many things that I even wrote a cheat sheet encompassing some of the best ones (truth: when I was writing it, it became an unruly 40 page document. I realized you couldn’t call a 40-page document a cheat sheet and so I forced myself to pick the best tips from it and save the rest for future blog posts). Anyway, you can get your copy of my free cheat sheet here.
But I have something even better for you.
I’m giving away five sets of my 20 favorite books on happiness. Yes, you read that right. Am I crazy? I don’t think so, though some ponder such questions.
Regardless, here’s the link to potentially get the books. I hope you—yes you, the you reading this now—win. But if you don’t, I hope you’ll consider reading at least some of these books.
The list encompasses a wide selection—some I’ve read when in the thick of it (see: Pema Chodron), some I’ve read more for information (see: Stumbling Toward Happiness), some I’ve read for inspiration about philosophies I could incorporate into my life (see: Choose Yourself, The Four-Hour Workweek). Some I’ve used almost as workbooks (The Four Agreements, The Miracle Morning), some to gain perspective on how truly minor my problems are (Man’s Search for Meaning). Some I’ve used to enhance my meditation practice (Buddha’s Brain), some I’ve used as a daily reader so I can take in an inspiring page before I meditate in the morning (The Language of Letting Go). Some I read as much for entertainment value as inspiration (The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck, 10% Happier, Adulting, Choose Yourself), some to get in touch with how powerful women can be (You Are a Badass, anything Brene Brown). My point is this: everything on this list has changed my life and I believe has the power to change yours.
And I want to be someone who helps you to do just that.
Here’s the list:
1) Letting Go: The Path to Surrender by David Hawkins
2) Stumbling on Happiness by Daniel Goleman
3) Choose Yourself! Be Happy, Make Millions, Live the Dream by James Altucher
4) Man’s Search for Meaning by Victor Frankl
5) The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom by Don Miguel Ruiz
6) When Things Fall Apart: Heart Advice for Difficult Times by Pema Chodron
7) The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck: A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life by Mark Manson
8) The Language of Letting Go: Daily Meditations for Codependents by Melodie Beattie
9) The Miracle Morning: The Not-so-Obvious Secret Guaranteed to Transform Your Life (Before 8 am) by Hal Elrod
10) Return to Love by Marianne Williamson
11) 10% Happier: How I Tamed the Voice in My Head, Reduced Stress Without Losing My Edge, and Found Self-Help That Actually Works–A True Story by Dan Harris
12) Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead by Brene Brown
13) The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment by Eckhart Tolle
14) Delivering Happiness: A Path to Profits, Passion and Purpose by Tony Hsieh
15) You Are a Bad Ass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life by Jen Sincero
16) Adulting: How to Become a Grown-Up in 468 Easy (ish) Steps by Kelly Williams Brown
17) Buddha’s Brain: The Practical Neuroscience of Happiness, Love, and Wisdom by Rick Hanson
18) The Four Hour Workweek: Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich by Tim Ferriss
19) The Obstacle is the Way: The Timeless Art of Turning Trials into Triumph by Ryan Holiday
20) The Power of Intention by Dr. Wayne Dyer
[WHAT’S REALLY COOL ABOUT THIS GIVEAWAY? THE MORE PEOPLE YOU REFER TO IT, THE BETTER YOUR CHANCES ARE OF WINNING! ENTER BELOW AND THEN TELL YOUR FRIENDS! YOU HAVE UNTIL DECEMBER 1ST SO GET TO IT!]