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Dark, somber, cynical books can make for great reads — Sharp Objects was absolutely riveting — but you have to be in the mood for them. If you're already feeling a bit on the gloomy side, it's not the best idea to crack open a dreary read. However, we do recommend you immerse yourself in a happy one! Thus, here are 28 great books that will instantly lift your sad cloud to reveal sunshine for days.
A total pick-me-up, The Happy Book is interactive and full of interesting prompts, crazy ideas, and cool activities to help you tap into your inner glee.
Maybe you weren't aware that restructuring your outlook can actually transform your life. In Attitude Reconstruction, author Jude Bijou, MA, teaches you how to change your perspective by combining contemporary psychology with ancient spiritual wisdom.
If you're feeling marginalized because you're female, you've got to take a look at Fierce, which is a guide for young women to understand empowerment and make positive change in a world where equality, truth, and knowledge are becoming important.
Not a morning person? No problem: This fun book by Brook Noel provides you with 101 positive sticky notes that will give you a burst of mental energy for those icky mornings where you simply do. Not. Feel. Happy.
It's no secret that society sets unrealistic standards for women — culture is constantly placing so much pressure on us to attain perfection. Sparkle will assist you in maintaining your focus on the amazing qualities you already possess as one kick-ass female.
Instant Happy is described as "the perfect inspirational self-help book for people who don't have the time or patience for self-help books." Author Karen Salmansohn provides wit, colorful graphics, and tough love to make your attitude over, stat.
The average American has a lifespan of less than 30,000 days — so how you choose to live is superimportant! Author Peter Atkins teaches you to make the most of your existence in Life is Short and So is This Book.
True happiness comes from within — Lakeysha-Marie Green reaffirms this notion in her book How to Love Yourself, which provides simple tips on gaining self-esteem when you don't even know where to begin.
Every feline-lover knows how weird kitties actually are. I Could Pee on This pays homage to your cat's quirks by providing tongue-in-cheek poetry straight from the infamous species.
There are thousands of studies on what makes people happy, but they're often inaccessible to the public. In The 100 Simple Secrets of Happy People, David Niven, PhD, pulls the most important nuggets of info from these studies and presents them to you in an easy-to-understand format.
Who doesn't love an uplifting story? Contagious Optimism provides lots of 'em from different people around the world, plus awesome advice from business leaders and visionaries.
Not your typical self-help book, Madly in Love With ME teaches you to value yourself by means of real-life, daring exercises. In no time, you'll learn the meaning of being your own BFF.
Negativity is constantly engulfing us, but it's important to fight through the gloomy fog and recapture life's pleasures. In Hide Your Goat, Steve Gilliland provides six core principles to help you stay positive when you encounter obstacles and disappointments.
Procrastination, guilt, anxiety, and low self-esteem can be cured by something other than drugs: In Feeling Good, David D. Burns, MD, outlines the strategies that will immediately boost your mood and transform your outlook for the better.
How do you tap into creativity and let go of all your fears? Elizabeth Gilbert answers this so wisely in Big Magic — each page will inspire and motivate you to be your best creative self and allow the magic to happen.
It's hard to find happiness when the media is so focused on disasters, catastrophes, and conflict. The Intelligent Optimist's Guide to Life details why optimism is good for both the mind and body, plus how to tune in to your natural optimistic self.
Womanhood is something to celebrate, and Wild Feminine taps into that by inviting every woman to explore her nature, journey to the heart of her body, and reclaim the power of the feminine spirit.
The creative workbook How to be Happy (Or at Least Less Sad) teaches you how to overcome depression or anxiety through a series of encouraging prompts — you'll rediscover life's simple pleasures.
One rainy afternoon on a bus, Gretchen Rubin decided to dedicate one year of her life to happiness. The Happiness Project recounts Rubin's adventures upon living life the scientifically backed happy way.
Alexandra Kuykendall, writer, blogger, and mother to four daughters, was feeling overextended and drained. She decided to do an experiment on her own life. She made the decision to take nine months to "rekindle her love of her ordinary life." What emerged was her book Loving My Actual Life. Kuykendall's book not only acts as inspiration but also a how-to book about incorporating one new thing every month that will help you uncover a more fulfilling life. If you're looking to reevaluate the weight of expectations and fully embrace the importance of living in the now, this is the perfect read for you!
Rachel Macy Stafford started the blog Hands Free Mama to encourage mothers (and people, in general) to step away from the computer, put down the smartphone, and be present. Stafford shares some of her inspiration behind her message and her newest book, Only Love Today, by spotlighting the magnitude of allowing space within your everyday norm to invite meaningful connections, conversations, and moments of self-reflection and enjoyment to lead a successfully happy life.
Find out how to "navigate the professional world with authenticity and badassery" in Leslie Ehm's Swagger: Unleash Everything You Are and Become Everything You Want. Say goodbye to the "swagger blockers" or people and ideals that are holding you back from being the most authentic you. Manifest and relinquish your newfound swagger by discovering the things that inspire you to be a joyful, powerful, more confident you.
"The Art of Happiness: A Handbook for Living is another one of those books I always reach for. It helps remind me about the beauty of the present moment and the importance of gratitude. I think this should be required reading." — IY
In The Authenticity Project, Julian Jessop accidentally begins a social experiment about revealing one's deepest truth when he writes his secrets in a journal and leaves it at a café. Five strangers find it and one by one add their own page revealing their darkest secrets. Soon, the six meet one another, leading to an unexpected kinship.
Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine is about a young woman who would rather stay home and away from social settings. That all changes when she runs into her coworker and the two save an older man. They all form a unique friendship, leading to Eleanor's recovery from a broken heart.