Introducing Happiness: A Practical Guide

A Practical Guide to Happiness published in 2012 by Icon Books, and coming out in a new edition in 2018, is a brief and breezy tour through a range of philosophical approaches to happiness – from the ancient Stoics, Epicureans and Cynics, to the sages of China and India, to the modern-day positive psychology movement – backed up by loads of practical exercises, so that you can put these various philosophies to the test.

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“A wonderful surprise!”
Suryacitta, author of “Happiness and How it Happens”.

Many books on happiness promise you the secret of happiness, the One True Path to earthly bliss. In this book, I attempt to do something different: to offer a way of helping the reader navigate through the many claims that are made about happiness, to better judge which of these claims are plausible, what kinds of happiness are desirable, what approaches to happiness are the best, and also what other things, besides happiness, may also matter.

This is a guide, in other words, that aims to raise more questions than it answers, and that – through a mixture of philosophical and practical approaches – aims to help the reader explore questions about happiness, human meaning and mattering more deeply than before.

“I got a wonderful surprise when I read this book. Not only is it an introduction to happiness but for me an introduction to Philosophy too. For the first time I have understood what all these Philosophers have been saying. Normally the language around philosophy is turgid and heavy going. But this book explains it all in a way I understood and I was actually very grateful to the author for writing in this way.”

Suryacitta, author of Happiness and How it Happens.


A brief podcast with an overview of Introducing Happiness, exploring questions such as ‘what is happiness?’, ‘why should I never marry a philosopher?’ and other important issues.


Length: Five Minutes

Music: “Blue Piano Stomp” by Johnny Dodds (Public Domain, The Internet Archive).

Content © Will Buckingham 2012



The Introducing Books website should soon have a sneak-peek uploaded to the book’s dedicated page. See the link here.


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