Sustainable happiness: Live simply, live well, make a difference

Creative and practical ways to cultivate a happiness, away from the pressures of consumerism
Found in: Book Reviews / Self-help
Author: Edited by Sarah Van Gelder and YES! magazine staff
Book Year: 2015
Publisher: Berrett-Koehler, US
ISBN: 9781626563292
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Sustainable happiness: Live simply, live well, make a difference

“To lead a more meaningful and fulfilling existence, simple living is not about abandoning luxury, but discovering it in new places.”

I describe this book as a “wholesome” read: it’s fabulous for self reflection and finding sustaining happiness.

The personal stories and theories about mental health helped me acknowledge and appreciate how we used to behave and live in a society, and how things have changed – for the worse.

The book’s contention is that consumerism, growth of a profit-driven economy, greed and inverted perspectives have led us to live in a world where happiness is infrequent and non-sustainable.

Although some of the suggestions seem unrealistic, there is a logical basis to what is being said. For example, the encouragement to find work you love isn’t financially possible for many people, but the principle argued is that money doesn’t buy happiness!

For years, many people have been able to achieve sustainable happiness simply by living off of the bare minimum, the authors suggest. To accomplish this, we figure out where our values and talents meet and find the things that work for us as individuals. The bottom-line, for the betterment of your mental health and happiness, is ‘take the plunge, follow your calling’, even if it scares you.

Nevertheless, the book comes with a good dose of reality; it advises readers not to plan immense moves and reminds us that over-thinking things can sway us in the wrong direction.

I recommend this book for anyone who has fallen victim to the profit-driven economy and advertising pressures of today.

Reviewed by Ellie David, communications intern at the Mental Health Foundation 

Sustainable happiness: Live simply, live well, make a difference

Disclaimer: Please note these reviews are not intended as endorsements or recommendations from the Mental Health Foundation. This feature introduces resources that may be useful for individuals with an interest in mental health and wellbeing topics.