Dear AlterNet provides us with this timely article on Why Self-Help Books That Promise Happiness Are a Scam.

“Suggesting there’s a reasonably water-tight boat that can sail over the ocean of unhappiness and arrive at Happy Island makes the journey of life seem easy, but ultimately makes everything more confusing and frustrating”, AlterNet’s Vanessa Richmond writes in this article that takes on John Gray’s VENUS ON FIRE, MARS ON ICE, a book about why men and women are not happy and what they should do to change that or whatever whatever.

Gray is, Richmond tells me, the bestselling relationship author of all time. He’s written 16 books. Dude can type! It takes a lot of typing to write that many books. He’s also sold 50 million MARS VENUS books worldwide.

This article then moves on to Gretchen Rubin’s HAPPINESS PROJECT, the New York Times bestseller that initially made me want to do this blog, after I got her advice for happiness: Exercise a little! Get more sleep! Yeah well, she seems incredibly sweet, but I am afraid my mother came up with this advice before her. Too bad she – or every other mother or sensible person on the planet – didn’t write a book about it.

Not that there are not enough people writing books about easy fix happiness. Yesterday I bought a beverage for $2,49 that promised me happiness in a bottle. It contained coconut, an undeniably happy fruit. Or nut or whatever a coconut is.

Very confusing, coconut!

Anyways, I am happy – YEAH HAPPY – to see people refusing to swallow that book-shaped happiness pill. As for John Gray, not only does he melt your brain with relationship advice, he also does his best to push feminism about 100 years back and into corsets.

Thing is: If you’re unhappy, you probably know why. And you know that you can improve routines and introduce healthy elements into your life to make it better. This is TRUE. But you won’t be happy within 14 days and for the rest of your days. As sceptic as I might be to Rubin’s book I think the title is pretty good: The quest for happiness is a PROJECT, and a lifelong one.

So make it an enjoyable hobby, not an unhealthy obsession.

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