Brainpickings is one of my favorite blogs, I am constantly amazed by the interesting tidbits Maria Popova continues to unearth and share with her readers.
Looking for interesting things to read this week? Or just feeling a little blue today? Grab your e-reader or smartphone and seek out some bliss with these works on happiness and creativity.
On Your Kindle
The Geography of Bliss, by Eric Weiner
Weiner, a self-described cynical journalist, decides to investigate “happiness studies,” the field of psychology that examines why we’re happy. Surprisingly, he discovers that our preconceived ideas about happiness don’t match the discoveries being made by scientists today. Along the way, he visits countries with high ratings of happiness, including Bhutan, which officially measures its “Gross National Happiness,” and Iceland, whose citizens are happy despite winters spent in near-total darkness.
On Your Smartphone
This website, created by journalist Maria Popova, focuses on writing, art, science, and other creativity-linked topics and is a fascinating weekly read if you’re interested in learning more about happiness. It is filled with hundreds of interesting posts—from excerpts of Albert Einstein’s letters to children about creativity to Anaïs Nin’s writings on exploring the unfamiliar. Start with this book review about increasing your optimism and other posts tagged “happiness.”
On a Podcast
According to scientists, the secret to happiness isn’t material possessions. Beyond a certain level of financial security, it’s experiences, like travel, learning a language, or refining a hobby, that bring us lasting joy (read more in this CNN Money article).
So, why not use your commuting time to add a little happiness to your life with a language-learning podcast, like CoffeeBreak Spanish? If language learning doesn’t appeal to you, explore podcasts about music, drawing, or science—if there’s an activity that makes you happy now, imagine the emotional rewards when you incorporate more of it into your weekly routine!
The follow-up to Rubin’s previous how-to bestseller about seeking happiness (The Happiness Project), Happier at Home follows the author as she experiments with practical solutions to make her home and family life more enriching. A lawyer and former Supreme Court clerk, Rubin is measured and analytic, which will appeal to readers who feel that the pursuit of happiness is usually a little too New Age-y to relate to.