Hector is a Parisian psychiatrist who has a bit of a crisis of psychiatric faith; his patients and their trivial complaints have begun to wear on him. The novel Hector and the Search for Happiness by Francois Lelord is the story of Hector’s travels around the world (China, Africa and the United States). From each experience he learns something more about happiness. His list includes, “Making comparisons can spoil your happiness” and “Happiness is doing a job you love.”

This follows the study-of-happiness trend set by Eric Weiner’s  travelogue, The Geography of Bliss(see previous blog post).

And more recently, Thrive: Finding Happiness the Blue Zones Way. Dan Buettner, like Weiner, searches the world (Denmark, Mexico, Singapore and others) for secrets to happiness. San Luis Obispo, California is singled out as a city that made conscious decisions about favoring pedestrians, no smoking zones and building a greenbelt  years ago. This  has produced a healthier, happier city (ranked first in well-being according to a recent survey).

No excuses then for being down in the dumps, when there’s a wealth of research telling you how (and where) you can be happy.

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