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Happy: Simple Steps to Get the Most Out of Life Hardcover – April 27, 2010

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Editorial Reviews


"An excellent motivational and insightful self-help guide, Happy lives up to its title." - Midwest Book Review

From the Back Cover

Become the person you want to be!

In Happy, Smith reveals the sometimes surprising secrets of enduring happiness: you don’t have to overhaul your life to change its tone.  Simple steps you can start today will put you on the path to your own personal high-water mark of positive feelings.


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press; First Edition edition (April 27, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312606354
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312606350
  • Product Dimensions: 5.9 x 0.9 x 8.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #937,664 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Ian K. Smith, M.D. is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of SHRED, SUPER SHRED, THE 4 DAY DIET, THE FAT SMASH DIET and EXTREME FAT SMASH DIET among 7 other books including, SHRED Power Cleanse, SHRED Diet Cookbook, EAT, and Happy. His newest book, THE SHRED POWER CLEANSE, is available 12/29/15.

He is a former co-host of Emmy-winning "The Doctors" TV show, and a medical contributor to "The Rachael Ray Show."

He is the former medical correspondent for NBC News network and for NewsChannel 4 where he filed reports for NBC's "Nightly News" and the "Today" show as well as WNBC's various news broadcasts. He has appeared extensively on various broadcasts including "The Oprah Show," "Good Morning America" "CBS This Morning" "The View," "The Talk," "Dr. Oz," "Dr. Phil," "Anderson Cooper 360″ and "Showbiz Tonight."

He has written for various publications including Time, Newsweek, Men's Health, and the New York Daily News, and has been featured in several other publications including, Publisher's Weekly, Red Book, USA Today, Wall Street Journal, People, Essence, Ebony, University of Chicago Medicine on the Midway, Cosmopolitan, Women's World, and Black Enterprise.

Dr. Smith is the founder of two major national health initiatives--the 50 Million Pound Challenge and the Makeover Mile--that have helped millions of people lose weight and improve their health.

A graduate of Harvard, Columbia, and the University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine, Dr. Smith was appointed to the President's Council on Fitness, Sports, and Nutrition in 2010 and is serving a second term.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

54 of 57 people found the following review helpful By Book Lover Galore on April 28, 2010
Format: Hardcover
I got an early copy of this book and after finding so much success and wisdom's in Dr. Smith's other books, I couldn't wait to get started on HAPPY. I must tell you that right away I was taken in by this book. I don't read introductions often, but this introduction was so personal and opened up a window into Dr. Smith who I have watched on TV for many years, but didn't know much about his background. I read more than half of this book in one sitting and finished it up before I went to sleep. Once I started reading it, I simply couldn't put it down. So much of it made perfect sense and it was such an easy read. What I also love about the book is that Dr. Smith bases it on real scientific research. It's about about the real science behind happiness and what leading experts have found to be true when it comes to finding and holding on to happiness. I must admit that reading it made me see a lot of things that I've been doing wrong and it also showed me how to make small changes to start doing things right. I have had my own difficulties in life, so I have read a lot of books about being positive and living more optimistically. I must say that Dr. Smith's book is head and shoulders above the rest. Here are some of the things you learn:
The true secret of happiness isn't found in material measures of success. The secret is much simpler and closer to home. It's all about setting or re-setting your priorities, something HAPPY teaches you to do so easily. The book shows that studies reveal that happiness is 50% genetic, but 40% we can control. Dr. Smith focuses on this 40% has he gives us ways to immediately boost our happiness. He has an entire chapter dedicated to happiness boosters. I have tried most of them already and they WORK and they are so EASY!
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31 of 32 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on June 12, 2010
Format: Hardcover
I am using Dr. Smith's book with clients in my psychotherapy practice. The chapter which has been most useful is the "Silver Lining" which discusses in non-psychobabble language the fundamentals of cognitive behavioral therapy. Clients have purchased his book and have read it and it has complemented my explanation of the model of cognitive therapy. The only problematic point as a therapist is his focus on increasing social/family ties to promote self-happiness, when some people are happy pursuing more solitary or different 'happy' behaviors. Clients who have read the book are concerned that they are not being happy 'in the right way.' Now, when I recommend that his book might be helpful, it is with a caveat that factors which promote his happiness may be completely different from factors that promote their happiness. For example, I have had to counter client belief that if they are not being social then they will never be happy because Dr. Smith uses his family background as a frame of reference for happiness when there are many ways of being happy. If other therapists use this book as a tool in therapy, it should be used in conjunction with Seligman's work on positive psychology. A book I would recommend in conjunction with Dr. Smith's book is "Authentic Happiness." Being 'happy' carries the ability to have a healthy sense of selfishness independent of how that selfishness is expressed as long as it is not harmful to others in one's life. Suzanne B. Yellen, Ph.D., Licensed Clinical Psychologist (IL)
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful By bridget3420 on May 6, 2010
Format: Hardcover
All of us go through a time in our lives when being happy just doesn't seem realistic. When I was going through my divorce, I wasn't even able to remember what that five letter word meant. I wish that I would have had a copy of this book back then.

Ian breaks the emotions down for you in an easy to understand manner that has such a positive feel to it that you can't help but feel better. Here is what you will learn from reading this book:

--How to be optimistic

--Why optimism and realism are not opposites

--How to get outside yourself

--The importance of family and community

--Why involvement leads to contentment

--Shedding the treadmill mentality of getting and spending

--Tapping the power of simple pleasures

--Mastering modern life to live in the moment

--What we can learn from the Danish people

--How to be, not just to do

Ian is a natural writer who motivates and reassures readers that they are capable of happiness by setting their mentality and not giving up. This book would make a great graduation gift. I really enjoyed this book and all the lessons it taught me.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By BookCocktails dotcom on September 17, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Happy examines the quality of life. How we live and the way we respond to life challenges impact our state of happiness. Some questions worth pondering: Is having money the key to happiness? Having quality relationship with friends and family? Traveling? Is our happiness predestined by our genetic make-up? Not only does Dr. Ian explore these questions in Happy, he provides activity sheets throughout the book to help obtain happiness in your life.

One of my favorite sections of the book is the discussion of the "rocking chair test". The "rocking chair test" is simply fast forwarding your life to the age of 80 and reflecting on the decisions you made. Are you going to be rocking in your chair thinking about would've, could've, should've or will you be rocking in your chair knowing that you have lived a life of no regrets? It all goes back to the question, "Are you living or just surviving?"

The good news is that you can make a conscious decision today to allow more happiness in your life. You can find happiness in a job you dislike, challenges you face, or juggling a busy schedule if you actively pursue it. The benefits are enormous.

According to Happy, people who are happy enjoy a better quality of life, can appreciate the simple things in life, live longer, are healthier, and have better relationships with others. If you are always negative, depressed, and believe that everything bad in life always happens to you, I encourage you to pick up this book to learn how to release the happiness in you. When you are happy, you don't make a big deal out of little things. Happiness is contagious. People will want to be around you. However, it would be unrealistic to suggest that happy people aren't prong to problems.
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