Becoming a member of the LoveReading community is free.

No catches, no fine print just unadulterated book loving, with your favourite books saved to your own digital bookshelf.

New members get entered into our monthly draw to win £100 to spend in your local bookshop Plus lots lots more…

Find out more

The Happiness Problem

by Sam Wren-Lewis

The Real World

The Happiness Problem Synopsis

We appear to have more control over our lives than ever before. If we could get things right - the perfect job, relationship, family, body and mind - then we'd be happy. With enough economic growth and technological innovation, we could cure all societal ills.

The Happiness Problem shows that this way of thinking is too simplistic and can even be harmful: no matter how much progress we make, we will still be vulnerable to disappointment, loss and suffering. The things we do to make us happy are merely the tip of the iceberg.

Sam Wren-Lewis offers an alternative process that acknowledges insecurity and embraces uncertainty. Drawing on our psychological capacities for curiosity and compassion, he proposes that we can connect with, and gain a deeper understanding of, the personal and social challenges that define our time.

Win The Ultimate Rough Guides Travel Guide Set!

Win The Ultimate Rough Guides Travel Guide Set!

Closing date: 30/09/2019

The five lucky winners of this prize will win a copy of Rough Guides 100 Best Places 2020: From iconic favourites like the Grand Canyon to up-and-coming destinations like Tiblisi, this stunning photography collection will inspire even the most intrepid traveller.  Rough Guides Make the Most of Your Time on Earth: Rough Guides' bestselling inspirational coffee-table book draws upon the insider knowledge of in-the-know writers to share the 1000 ultimate travel experiences across the globe. PLUS a Rough Guide Tote bag and Pen! Please note that this draw is open only for UK residents currently in the UK and is free to enter, multiple entries from the same email address will only be counted once. The draw closes on 30th September 2019. The winners will be notified as soon as possible.

Enter Now

The Happiness Problem Press Reviews

A must read for anyone who wants to apply the latest science of well-being to wider issues of individual success and societal progress. There is much more to happiness than meets the eye, and this book will make you think differently about what you want and care most deeply about.

Scott Barry Kaufman, Columbia University and co-author of Wired to Create: Unravelling the Mysteries of the Creative Mind

What would the study of wellbeing look like if it wasn't centred around the goal of increasing individuals' ratings of happiness? Wren-Lewis walks a fine line between the thoughtless optimism of positive psychology and the defeatist pessimism of its critics and forges a distinctive path that's both complex and hopeful.

Anna Alexandrova, University of Cambridge

In this profoundly thoughtful and important book, Sam Wren-Lewis asks us to step aside from the `self-improvement movement', and instead seek happiness by letting go, taking risks, and connecting with pain, failure and loss. This is an absolute must read for anyone who is ready to tackle the deeper, more complex, and ultimately more fulfilling life.

Brock Bastian, author of The Other Side of Happiness

This wise and engaging book punctures a toxic myth about happiness: that it is ours to choose. Yet our mania for control itself makes us less happy. In its stead Sam Wren-Lewis offers an inspiring, and liberating, message of acceptance and understanding.

Dan Haybron, Saint Louis University, Missouri, USA

If you loved this, you might like these...

The Class Ceiling
The Future of Capitalism
No One Is Too Small to Make a Difference
Money: Myths, Truths and Alternatives

All versions of this book

ISBN: 9781447353553
Publication date: 08/11/2019
Publisher: Policy Press
Format: Paperback

Book Information

ISBN: 9781447353553
Publication date: 8th November 2019
Author: Sam Wren-Lewis
Publisher: Policy Press
Format: Paperback
Pagination: 232 pages
Genres: The Real World,
Categories: Popular psychology,

About Sam Wren-Lewis

Sam Wren-Lewis is an independent scholar with a PhD from the University of Leeds on the philosophy of happiness, and the author of a number of published papers on the study of happiness and wellbeing. He is also a self-employed wellbeing consultant, and former Head of Research and Development at Happy City, where he carries out collaborative research and policy work with a wide range of wellbeing policy organisations. His website is

More About Sam Wren-Lewis

Share this book