“Better Than Chocolate” by Siimon Reynolds

Better Than Chocolate

Sometimes, when I’m stressed or tired or a little sad, chocolate can create a little bit of happiness. That’s why the title of the book really hooked me, and I had to read it, especially when I saw the colorful, cheerful graphics inside.

“Better Than Chocolate: 50 Proven Ways to Feel Happier” (2005) by advertising executive Siimon Reynolds is a guide to 50 ways to feel happier. The techniques are short, simple, and proven to work. Each happiness “bite” is punctuated with vibrant, creative illustrations by Jenny Kostecki. The book has fun colors, easy to read text, and short happiness “bites.”

Here are 7 simple ways that we can all feel a little happier:

1. Make a happiness list. Write a list of everything you love doing, and then do at least one of those things every day.

2. Act happy. Just by pretending that you are happy (such as standing straight, keeping your head up, and smiling), you can improve your mood.

3. Care for others. Instead of focusing on your own life, focus on how others are doing. Whether it’s a gift, a helping hand, or a kind word, it helps you forget your own problems and makes you feel good.

4. Simplify your life. Throw out a third of the clothes and possessions that you do not absolutely need. Reduce your work week by 10%. Schedule three nights a week when you do nothing social. See less of the friends or family who exhaust you.

5. Find satisfying work. Choose a job that you like. If you can’t change your job, change your attitude toward your job by focusing on the good parts or finding ways to make it more enjoyable.

6. Meet new people. Our moods improve when we meet new people. Join a club, take up a hobby, or attend a new social event each week.

7. Dress sexy. When we look good, we feel good – and it gives us a huge confidence boost.

“Happiness is not an accident” (page viii), Reynolds declares. What makes you happy? How do you encourage happiness in others?

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