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Spontaneous Happiness: A New Path to Emotional Well-Being Paperback – January 1, 2013

4.4 out of 5 stars 192 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"A comprehensive roadmap for the prized path to true happiness...Weil provides sensible, accessible advice...Immensely beneficial information for those seeking a self-galvanized life lift."―Kirkus Reviews

"Weil's program aims for 'positive emotionality'-a far better destination than the roller-coaster ride between bliss and despair. This is more than a New Age prescription for contentment. Weil's revelations and insights from his own lifelong battle with depression lift this guide from a hip and clinical 'how to' to a generous and heartfelt 'here's how.'"―Publishers Weekly

"If you use this book as a tool to help you change your life, you might be surprised by what it can do for you."―Yahoo! Voices

"Spontaneous Happiness spells out some amazing guidelines on becoming a healthy individual."―Seattle Post Intelligencer

"Like all of his books, Spontaneous Happiness is a refreshing combination of clarity, science and practical wisdom. But it's also warm and, indeed, personal: Dr. Weil includes not only anecdotes from people who've written to him over the years, but also his own experience in battling mild depression."―iVillage

About the Author

Andrew Weil, MD, is the founder and program director of the Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine. He is the author of many bestselling books, including Spontaneous Healing, 8 Weeks to Optimum Health, and others.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Little, Brown and Company; Reprint edition (January 1, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0316129429
  • ISBN-13: 978-0316129428
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.8 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (192 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #73,579 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
I've always found Dr. Weil to the be the sound of reason and the perfect balance between natural health and science. I happened to see a Dr. Oz show that he was on and he was giving a few natural alternatives to antidepressants. Being someone who has always suffered from some level of melancholia that every so often leads to a deeper level of depression and anxiety, I listened closely. I decided to try the Holy Basil he recommended because it sounded like something safe I could try with no side effects. Keep in mind I had been mildly to moderately depressed for the last year with bouts of anxiety. I took it for the first day and felt nothing. The second day I started excitedly planning for the future and walked around especially happy. Later on in the day, I wondered why I was suddenly in such a great mood and feeling so motivated and optimistic and remembered the Holy Basil! Anyway, it worked so well it really sparked my interest and so I ordered the book. Everything is so relevant to not only me and my life with all it's stresses and anxiety but to everyone in this day of information overload. I found this book to be life altering. It's extremely well written and interesting to read and doesn't just address problems, it tells you what to do about them. I urge everyone to read this book, not just those who are depressed. It's about well-being and about reducing stress because stress leads to all sorts of problems... mentally and physically and this is something we can all benefit from.
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Format: Hardcover
I am a Psychologist and Pharmacognosist (ethnobotanist), in large part because of being inspired by Dr.W's first books, "The Natural Mind" and his book about the miracle like qualities of mushrooms, and his classic book "From Chocolate to Morphine". His ability to speak to the reader in a conversational way while explaining complex subjects backed by a broad and firm base of scientific research is unique among scientists. He makes the reader comfortable with the concepts, the science, and the practical approach to overcoming depression and anxiety without talking down to the reader. Dr.W. is entertaining and has the nack of making you feel like you are listening to an old friend. Having heard him give a talk in the mid 1970's and reading everything he wrote, I know how truly exceptional he is as a scientist and physician, but he is remarkable in his ability to bring together the biology, psychology, and spiritual nature without resorting to quick fixes and aphorisms based on pseudo-science and secret knowledge. Dr.W' has done the work and spent a lifetime researching the mind-body-spirit relationship and how it applies to health and healing of people around the world. The reader who has followed his work from the beginning will find a continuity in this new book and will be familiar with many of the concepts from his earlier books. I always find his newest book to be based on his earlier work but still able to fascinate and inform me on his newest topic. This book did not disappoint, it goes on my shelf as my latest text book and further it is a book I will recommend to all of my colleagues and patients who are struggling with life. I plan to send several of my friends who fight depression and anxiety this book for Christmas.Read more ›
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I came across this timely quote in Dr. Weil's latest book:

The thankful receiver bears a plentiful harvest.

--William Blake

Like many of his followers, I have read his other books and refer to them often. This new book shares a wealth of research on how many little things over time contribute to inner contentment--from gratitude, forgiveness, and laughter to meditation, nutrition, and spirituality.

My favorite part of the book is the section: "An 8-Week Program for Optimum Emotional Well-Being." In adddition to offering practical and easy-to-follow suggestions, if you start on this program now, most New Year's resolutions will not even be necessary! Thanks to Dr. Weil for his diligent work over the years to provide us with this plentiful harvest.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I first learned about this book on the Dr. Oz show. I have been trying to cope with depresion for the last 8 years. Seeing up to eight different doctors all with pieces of the puzzle. Dr. Weil took 8 years of work and completed the puzzle in the first 20 minutes of the show. I now have hope and a clear path to a better life. I would like to thank Dr. OZ for putting me in touch with such a life changing Book and thanks to Dr. Weil for sharing his life experience with me.
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Format: Hardcover
I always enjoy Dr. Weil. I've heard him speak and have had some contact with the Integrative Program that seems to be his legacy. All of this is real, compassionate and makes sense. I also am a Registered Nurse and have been working in the Mental Health field for twenty years.

I found his chapter on the prevalence (and causes of) depression within our society interesting. I especially resonate with his descriptions of the lack of connection to good old fashioned "hard work" and being outside. Bravo! His discussion of alternatives is good. Especially his advocacy of the use of Fish Oil, Vitamin D and the B vitamins. Common sense!

There are a few things that bother me about Dr. Weil. I write these things as a fan of the man. A person who respects him and the work he does.

1. I'm not too enamored with the cult of personality surrounding the guy. Yes, I know that branding helps sell books. But does he really have to display his cherubic, monster bearded face on every book he writes? And must he really have a corporation attached to his name and his ideology?

2. Footnotes please! Yes, he states you can go on-line to get more information. And there is a short end note section. The bibliography is quite deficient for further reading. The book is written for a lay laudience, but that doesn't mean that we can't have a bit more intellectual rigor attached to his claims.

3. Culturally, this book comes from the White, Enviro, Suburban, BMW driving class. The book is written from, and for, the upper ends of the socio-economic ladder. Poverty is the number one predictor and cause of mental illness. There is no discussion of that in this book, with the exception to maybe glorify the hard life we used to have when we all farmed.

4.
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