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What Happy Women Know: How New Findings in Positive Psychology Can Change Women's Lives for the Better Paperback – April 1, 2008

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What Happy Women Know: How New Findings in Positive Psychology Can Change Women's Lives for the Better + What Happy People Know: How the New Science of Happiness Can Change Your Life for the Better
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin; 1st edition (April 1, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312380593
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312380595
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 6.3 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #348,550 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Happiness is in many ways gender specific, says Baker (What Happy People Know), because women's brains are wired to allow them to feel more, and more frequent, positive feelings than men. Baker, founding director of Canyon Ranch's Life Enhancement program, and Greenberg (What Happy Companies Know) draw on positive psychology to show women how to find happiness. Negative traps prevent women from achieving happiness, they say. These traps are easily recognizable: perfectionism, thinking you'll never be happy without a lot of money or a man, focusing on work as opposed to relationships. Happy women, on the other hand, have a sense of personal responsibility, the ability to find opportunity in adversity, a sense of purpose and courage. Writer Yalof helps make all this accessible, but many of these ideas are truisms, and the authors sometimes characterize women with facile generalizations, for example: Most women don't know themselves well enough to determine what their special qualities are. Still, women who find themselves in one of the negative traps may find help here in learning how to look on the bright side. (July)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Dan Baker, PHD, is a medical psychologist dedicated to the study of human behavior within an organizational setting. For the last 20 years, he has carried out his research in the perfect laboratory--the world-renowned Canyon Ranch in Tucson, Arizona--where he was the founding director of the award-winning Life Enhancement Program. He is also the best-selling author of What Happy People Know and What Happy Companies Know.
Cathy Greenberg, PhD, has held leadership positions at two of the world's most recognized consulting firms, CSC's Global Organizational Change Practice and the Accenture Institute for Strategic Change. She has traveled the globe through her work as an organizational consultant and executive coach. She is the coauthor of What Happy Companies Know.
Ina Yalof is a writer with a background as a medical sociologist. She is the author or coauthor of 11 books. She teaches writing for Dartmouth College's ILEAD program.

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Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
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See all 19 customer reviews
My daughter actually read the book first.
Deborah K. Nitzsche
Reading, absorbing and applying the practical wisdom found in this book could change your life for the happier.
Sharon Michaels
I have read many self-help books and this one is very good.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

22 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Sharon Michaels VINE VOICE on June 2, 2008
Format: Paperback
Focusing on the positive has the power to change your life for the happier. It sounds simple enough but for many, it takes desire, practice and a certain amount of discipline. What Happy Women Know by Dan Baker and Cathy Greenberg, shares the why's and how's for focusing on a happier life.

I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book! After all, who wouldn't want more happiness? What Happy Women Know by Dan Baker and co-author Cathy Greenberg is an interesting, insightful and hopeful book to read. It's a good mix of information, inspiration and practical how-to advice.

Honestly, I was a little skeptical to read a book about women's happiness written by a man. The author, Dan Baker, Ph.D., earned my respect with his insightful research and twenty years of day-to-day work with the women who visited the famous health/spa facility, Canyon Ranch in Tucson, Arizona. Dr. Baker is the founder of the Life Enhancement Program at Canyon Ranch.

This well thought out paperback book is filled with real life examples for using positive psychology to change your life for the better.

What if you could learn from other women who've come before and found ways to be happier and more self-satisfied? Wouldn't you want to tap into their wisdom? If the answer is "yes," then you'll want to read this book.

Here's an example of a couple of the lessons from What Happy Women Know:

Happy women understand the three steps to self-forgiveness:
*Acknowledge the lesson you learned.
*Recognize that you're now in a different place.
*Know that you may make a new mistake tomorrow.

Here's another one: Men and women experience happiness differently. For men happiness is the pursuit of power and for women, happiness is the pursuit of relationships.
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22 of 26 people found the following review helpful By Cinnamon Girl on July 13, 2007
Format: Hardcover
I'm halfway through this book and wanted to write a review now because of the one negative review which might dissuade someone from getting this book. If you have the opportunity to peruse it in a bookstore, you'll see for yourself that there is a lot of sharp insight. I get the feeling from reading that Dan Baker really likes women and wants for them the happiness they (we) say we desire. He really cares. The authors address many typical behaviors and beliefs women have about themselves and who they think they're suppose to be/how they're expected to behave that are counterproductive to happiness. It doesn't matter that there is discussion of things most of us have heard/read/thought about before. This book takes those things and expands on them and, personally, I have an even clearer understanding...or more passion about changing those things/concepts/beliefs/self-expectations that are still, sometimes subtly, a part of me. Highly recommended book.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Galia BarHava-Monteith on June 28, 2008
Format: Paperback
This book is an easy read. It lays out the premise of positive psychology and relates it squarely to women. Dan Baker weaves research and theory with concrete case studies from his work with women. There are enough important topics covered in the book that I believe all women will find something that appeals. You might find yourself skimming some chapters but being totally riveted by others. In my book club, everyone had a different perspective on what appealed to her the most. And each of us found something worthwhile to take away.
To give you a taste for the topics coveredin the book's ten chapters, I'll list a selection:. perfectionism, always saying yes, the revenge rut, feeling nothing without a man, transcending loss, the career track and much more.

When I thought about writing this review, I decided that rather than focusing on the topic covered in the chapters, I'd focus on the overall impressions I was left with and some enduring concepts I took away.

Personally, I just LOVED the evolutionary explanations put forward to explain some of women's most self-defeating tendencies, such as perfectionism, needing to please others, and even obsessive shopping! You have to read it to believe it. But once I read these evolutionary explanations, things did completely make sense.

Take obsessive shopping as an example; our ancestors lived in a place and time of great danger. Food was always scarce and getting it cost men's lives. When the men were hunting, the women where frantically gathering plants to ensure there was enough food if the men returned empty-handed.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Yvonne Gittelson on November 4, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I bought this book after really appreciating What Happy People Know, also by the same author. Both are excellent self-help resources, inspiring and affirming. Dr. Baker approaches self-help concerns from a positive orientation, and recommends against endlessly examining and reviewing the problem, which so many others promote. Instead, he starts from the point of view of what works, and what can we learn from people who seem to be able to maintain their happiness no matter what life throws at them. In this book, the emphasis is on exploring the typical issues that cause women to get off-track and feel bad about themselves, like perfectionism and image issues, along with the pursuit of material comfort and money. There is excellent advice, and affirming reminders are offered for overcoming challenges to our self esteem and feelings of self-worth. My dog ate my first copy, so I actually re-purchased this book! (I think the dog was trying to remind me that happy women know that having a dog is an important part of keeping humor in my life...!)
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