Thanks to Maria for the guest book review, a follow-up to her earlier review.
Little Book of Lykke: Secrets of the World’s Happiest People
by Meik Wiking, 2017
From the same author who brought us The Little Book of Hygge (reviewed here), the Little Book of Lykke looks analytically at the six factors that the Happiness Research Institute thinks are at the basis of a society’s happiness level: togetherness, money, health, freedom, trust, and kindness. It is worth reading the physical book since there are graphs and data (and some pretty pictures). It does not turn into a glorification of Denmark nor an attack on the US or other nations, and in fact highlights what various people around the world are doing to increase their society’s happiness, but it does give context for why the Danes and other Scandinavian countries tend to have such high levels of happiness. Hint: it has a lot to do with the fact that quality time with friends and family is more important than working 70+ hours a week, among other work-life balance aspects, plus not having to worry about health care or child care costs, naturally building mood uplifters into the day (in Denmark, a huge percentage of the population bikes to work, which is exercise that lets you start and end the workday in a good mood), and having a feeling of belonging in a society. It is a quick read (only took me a couple of hours) and offers some ideas and perspectives on happiness I hadn’t considered before (and I read a lot of books about happiness). Recommended.