The Good Life: Lessons from the World’s Longest Scientific Study of Happiness
For more than 80 years, the Harvard Study of Adult Development has been following participants. In this novel summarizing findings thus far, the current directors make the case that relationships are the key to a happy life.
Strong connections don't just make for a happier life, but they also predict the overall health of our bodies and brains. Each chapter in this book delves into the different kinds of relationships--family, work, romantic, friendship, etc.--and how we can and should cultivate them in order to live "the good life."
While at times a bit repetitive--the finding is clearly stated upfront and repeated again and again--it is interesting to hear the stories of the various participants. It is definitely a reminder (especially for the extreme introverts--ahem--among us) of the value of reaching out and spending time with loved ones.
This post may include affiliate links. That means if you click and make a purchase, I may earn a small commission. Please see Disclosures for more information.
What makes a life fulfilling and meaningful? The simple but surprising answer is: relationships. The stronger our relationships, the more likely we are to live happy, satisfying, and overall healthier lives. In fact, the Harvard Study of Adult Development reveals that the strength of our connections with others can predict the health of both our bodies and our brains as we go through life.
The invaluable insights in this book emerge from the revealing personal stories of hundreds of participants in the Harvard Study as they were followed year after year for their entire adult lives, and this wisdom is bolstered by research findings from this and many other studies. Relationships in all their forms–friendships, romantic partnerships, families, coworkers, tennis partners, book club members, Bible study groups–all contribute to a happier, healthier life. And as The Good Life shows us, it’s never too late to strengthen the relationships you have, and never too late to build new ones.
Dr. Waldinger’s TED Talk about the Harvard Study, “What Makes a Good Life,” has been viewed more than 42 million times and is one of the ten most-watched TED talks ever. The Good Life has been praised by bestselling authors Jay Shetty (“Robert Waldinger and Marc Schulz lead us on an empowering quest towards our greatest need: meaningful human connection”), Angela Duckworth (“In a crowded field of life advice and even life advice based on scientific research, Schulz and Waldinger stand apart”), and happiness expert Laurie Santos (“Waldinger and Schulz are world experts on the counterintuitive things that make life meaningful”).
With warmth, wisdom, and compelling life stories, The Good Life shows us how we can make our lives happier and more meaningful through our connections to others.