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The Joy Diet: 10 Daily Practices for a Happier Life [Kindle Edition]

Martha Beck
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (62 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $17.99
Kindle Price: $9.99
You Save: $8.00 (44%)
Sold by: Random House LLC

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Book Description

Welcome to The Joy Diet, a menu of ten behaviors you can add to your way of living and thinking to enhance every day’s journey through the unpredictable terrain of your existence. You can add these behaviors gradually and watch your life become steadily more vivid and satisfying. Or you can go on a “crash Joy Diet” to help you navigate life’s emergencies.
The ten menu items are:

• Nothing: Do nothing for fifteen minutes a day. Stop mindlessly chasing goals and figure out which goals are worth going after.

• Truth: Create a moment of truth to help you unmask what you’re hiding—from others and from yourself.

• Desire: Identify, articulate, and explore at least one of your heart’s desires—and learn how to let yourself want what you want.

• Creativity: Learn six new ways to develop at least one new idea to help you obtain your heart’s desire.

• Risk: Take one baby step toward reaching your goal. The only rule is it has to scare the pants off you.

• Treats: Give yourself a treat for every risk you take and two treats just because you’re you. No exceptions. No excuses.

• Play: Take a moment to remember your real life’s work and differentiate it from the games you play to achieve it. Then play wholeheartedly.

• Laughter: Laugh at least thirty times a day. Props encouraged.

• Connection: Use your Joy Diet skills to interact with someone who matters to you.

• Feasting: Enjoy at least three square feasts a day, with or without food.

No matter what your long-term goals are, The Joy Diet, written with Martha Beck’s inimitable blend of
wisdom, practical guidance, and humor, will help you achieve the immediate gift of joyful living in the here
and now. Begin your journey today.

From the Hardcover edition.

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Beck, author of the bestselling Finding Your Own North Star and columnist for O magazine, delivers another useful and sure-to-be-popular self-help guide. The Joy Diet, designed for the soul rather than the body, is composed of 10 steps that, once learned, are to be practiced on a daily basis to achieve greater fulfillment and a happier life. Beck strongly suggests becoming thoroughly familiar with each step, by practicing it for a week, before adding the next step. According to the author, the first step, spending 15 uninterrupted minutes a day doing nothing (meditating, engaging in repetitive physical activity, staring at some natural motion like flowing water), is the hardest to learn and the basis for all the other activities. She contends that a daily period of mindful silence provides a sanctuary that no one can ever take from you. The other nine steps include methods for dealing with emotional pain, identifying true desires, employing creativity to realize yearnings and taking appropriate risks. Beck advocates daily self-nourishment through play, humor and the enjoyment of at least three personalized treats. Written in a down-to-earth, positive tone, the author's thoughtfully designed exercises, inspirational anecdotes and gentle advice should fall on fertile ground. National publicity.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.


'the greatest thing you'll learn from actually practising The Joy Diet is that money, love, success, and, even physical health and fitness are the products of a joyful life, not the cause.' Martha Beck

Product Details

  • File Size: 655 KB
  • Print Length: 242 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0609609904
  • Publisher: Harmony; 1 edition (May 26, 2008)
  • Sold by: Random House LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B001A6ZWLA
  • Text-to-Speech: Not enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #171,335 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
229 of 232 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another "wow" from a very special author May 26, 2003
People who visit my site often assume I'm getting commissions from Martha Beck. I wish I were: I've recommended Finding Your Own North Star to just about every client and every person I know.
I was afraid her follow-up book would not be able to keep up the pace, but she's exceeded my expectations. The joy diet is not about food, she clarifies right away. It's a ten-step program to bring more joy into your life.
Beck does not promise that joy will also bring money, sports cars and mansions into your life. If you read carefully, she warns that you need to work hard for what you want. But if you follow the ten steps she proposes, it's hard to imagine that you won't find more success than you ever dreamed possible.
I was a little nervous as I read the chapter on risk. As a coach myself, I am very leery of encouraging people to take big risks, like quitting a job without another one waiting. Beck offers some good questions to ask before you take the leap, such as, "Is this the only way?"
Everyone will find a favorite chapter and mine was "truth," because I've never seen this material anywhere else. It's not the usual spiel about integrity - it's about facing your own reality, which can be tough.
The most challenging step for many will be "connection." During a transition, as she says, you have to leave some people behind, and for awhile -- often a long while -- you are on your own. That's why so many people hire a coach or counselor.
As before, Ms. Beck combines insight and wisdom with a delightful sense of humor. She doesn't talk down to us, her readers, and she doesn't offer bromides and easy answers. And I especially enjoy watching a Harvard-trained social scientist attack career and life challenges, combining intelligence with commonsense. I'm a fan.
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80 of 86 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
I was thrilled to see a new book from Martha Beck, and since I work in a bookstore, I was able to start reading it before it was released. I meditate, so although I wouldn't say that the first "menu item" is easy, I was able to skip to week two automatically. Don't skip it if you don't do it! It certainly is essential to my life, and helps me stay focused. Each week/chapter adds another dimension to the "diet", and expands your life in some other way. As I am impatient, I can't simply read a chapter a week, so I am finishing the book and then incorporating the weeks as I go along. I appreciate Ms. Beck's sense of humor and frank honesty. She has been a lifestyle coach for quite a few years and offers excellent advice. If you missed "Finding Your Own North Star", be sure and check it out.
"Excuse me, My Life is Waiting" and "Extreme Success" are also excellent titles along this same line.
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31 of 33 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a prescription for joy April 8, 2005
I've been through a really trying year and after reading Martha's columns in O magazine I decided to try this book.

I don't really like most self-help books because their advice usually evaporates soon after reading.This doesn't. It sticks. I keep it by my bed and have been reading and re-reading it as needed.

Whenever I need a boost or a reminder to keep on track, I pick it up and get re-inspired. Hers is a very refreshing practical approach to making your life more joyful. Her writing style is funny and direct with a common sense attitude that is very appealing. Buy it!
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42 of 48 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Best Diet Ever :) October 12, 2004
I love Martha Beck's writing. She has such a simple yet intelligent voice. She also knocks me out with her humor. I love the moments when she places an incongruent word in a group that will just make you stop, pause and then laugh at the placement. (For example-not from the book-I love read novels, non-fiction, and the confused look on my teenager's face when I am talking about the 60's).

This book is a delight and really gives some great tips and great quotes to take away. I am especially going to use her actual to phrases about eating:

1-You must eat only what you enjoy eating

2-You must enjoy everything you eat.

(that means eat the candy bar instead of the brocolli but stop when full).

The whole book is about finding your real self and not masking it with food (my issue) or excuses. A delightful read.
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28 of 31 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars some good advice September 26, 2003
By C. Hill
Like many self-help books, there's a lot of common sense stuff in The Joy Diet. But I like the author's approach to the subject of seeking happiness in our life. As the title implies, the book is structured like a diet regimen. There are 10 life-enhancing "menu items," such as truth, laughter, play, and creativity. Some of what you'll read here is similar to what you'll read in a lot of other books. But it's written creatively and succinctly. I like how the book is organized and I like its relatively compact size. She gets to the point and summarizes neatly at the end of each chapter for quick reference or for anyone who prefers to skim. Overall, a nice little book.
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21 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars So glad this came into my life April 4, 2006
I am so glad this book has come into my life. It has helped me to find inner peace and to really connect with who I am. I can't put it into words what this book means to me. You just have to find out for yourself. I beleive it will affect everyone differently. It has that universal quality.

If you feel any kind of void in your life or like you're running on empty, this book will save you. You don't have to believe any certain religion or even follow one for that matter. You just have to want to know yourself and have a desire to be completely satisfied with you and your life.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Good book
I haven't read this book yet, but I love Martha Beck and have several of her books. She is a superb writer who is so informative and/or funny.
Published 15 days ago by Shirley
5.0 out of 5 stars Possibly my favorite book by Martha Beck
Possibly my favorite book by Martha Beck, and I think I've read them all. A little clearer than Steering By Starlight (for the beginning to this sort of self-help book) and quite... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Stephanie
5.0 out of 5 stars A Great Book for Everyone of All Ages
Excellent book and it has nothing to do with cooking or eating! It's about living on a diet of joy! Read more
Published 2 months ago by Amazon Customer
4.0 out of 5 stars I like more straight to the point
It is ok, I like more straight to the point.
Published 4 months ago by sew4u
5.0 out of 5 stars What can you do to live a more joyful life?
I recommend this former NYTimes best seller. Written by Martha Beck, a Harvard educated life coach (and I can hear many of you thinking, life coach from Harvard? Read more
Published 4 months ago by Kathryn Mayer
4.0 out of 5 stars but good food for thought
Interesting concept... Not everything truly practical, but good food for thought.
Published 4 months ago by MRuby
5.0 out of 5 stars Personal challenge
This could be life changing. Creative approach to personal growth and accountability. What a find! Thanks to Michael Hyatt for sharing this in his blog.
Published 5 months ago by Tom Donaldson
5.0 out of 5 stars Joy takes time
This is a book of easy practices that explore what is going on in your own life. How you think can change behaviors to a more positive reality. Read more
Published 5 months ago by G. R. del Pozo
5.0 out of 5 stars A Must Read
If you are curious on how to be a more proactive, focused, spiriutal, & successful person this audio book can be a great benefit. Read more
Published 6 months ago by Jazzy Judy
5.0 out of 5 stars Life Changing
A lot to digest. I read through once just to get the basics and am now on my second reading and starting to apply to my life. Wonderful.
Published 7 months ago by Heather Mosko
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More About the Author

Martha Beck is a writer and "life coach" who specializes in helping people design satisfying and meaningful life experiences. She holds a bachelor's degree in East Asian Studies and master's and Ph.D. degrees in sociology, all from Harvard University.

She worked as a research associate at Harvard Business School, studying career paths and life-course changes in today's economic and social environment. Before becoming a life coach, Dr. Beck taught sociology, social psychology, organizational behaviour, and business management at Harvard and the American Graduate School of International Management. She has published academic books and articles on a variety of social science and business topics.

Her non-academic books include the New York Times bestsellers "Expecting Adam" and "Leaving the Saints", as well as "Finding Your Own North Star: Claiming the Life You Were Meant to Live", "Steering by Starlight", and her newest book, "Finding Your Way in a Wild New World: Reclaiming Your True Nature". Dr. Beck has also been a contributing editor for many popular magazines, including "Real Simple" and "Redbook", and is currently a columnist for "O, the Oprah Magazine".

More information can be found at, including Dr. Beck's lively blog posts and video blogs, books, speaking appearances, and life coaching strategies and suggestions.

Dr. Beck lives in Central California with her family.


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