This is a review of Suitcase of Happyness by Mark Jaffe.
I was sent this book for free in exchange for an honest review.
Overall Rating: ★★★★☆ (4.5 stars)
Content Rating ★★★★☆
Writing Style Rating: ★★★★★
Synopsis as it appears on Goodreads:
Can you honestly say “I’m a happy person?” Think about it – you’ve worked hard, you’ve had great results, you have people that love you, you’re a good person. Why does it still feel like something is missing? What would it be like to just be happy and feel good every day? “Happyness” is a new way to feel, a new way to live. A state of being that lasts and endures. In Suitcase of Happyness: A Roadmap to Achieve and Enjoy Your Happiest Life, Mark Jaffe will show you how to achieve contentment and satisfaction and peace, with an everyday state of being that includes pleasure, fulfillment, and meaning. You will learn how to move from the disappointment of life not showering you with the happiness you always wanted, to the gratitude and appreciation for the happyness you can now experience, and that is yours to keep. You will be able to take yourself from the feeling of lacking something, to a new place that feels complete and whole and rich. A new place that offers joy and elation and bliss and delight … along with calmness, serenity, congruence, and harmony. In other words, a place that just simply feels good! It doesn’t matter how old you are or how much money you have. It can be yours even if your obstacles are in your head. Or you feel them in your body. There are real and practical ways to be happier. They are easy to do. They work. Mark will take you down the ten pathways you can follow as you pack your suitcase of happyness and take it with you on the road of life. Your happiest life is waiting for you.
Most of you know that non-fiction isn’t my usual genre, but I had to make an exception for this book; and I am so glad I did! Mark Jaffe has so many insightful things to say about being happy. The way I explained this book to my husband (because he thought this seemed a bit…cheesy? Personally, I love the smiling suitcase!) is that almost everything in this book could be called “common sense,” but Jaffe puts it all into an easy-to-understand-and-digest format. Common sense tends to desert us during times of stress or depression, so it was great seeing it all written down in clear, concise book format. I found Suitcase of Happyness to be an extremely enjoyable and insightful read.
The first thing I’d like to tell you about is the term “happyness.” Jaffe deliberately chose this spelling over the customary spelling of “happiness” because he is referring to more than a happy feeling. When he mentions “living your happyest life,” he is talking about choosing daily to see the happy moments. He makes it very clear that happyness isn’t so much an emotion as it is a lifestyle.
This book outlines ways to live your happyest life as well as the physical benefits of happyness. For instance, did you know that 100 belly laughs give your body a workout equivalent to 10 minutes on a rowing machine? I always had an unconfirmed hunch about it, but I never realized how truly healthy it is to be happy!
Jaffe covers topics such as identifying barriers to happyness, keeping things in perspective, overcoming anger, and living a life of gratitude. What I appreciate most about this book is that he makes it clear that possessions are not what makes you happy. Money is great, but you can be lonely, sad, and unhappy while wallowing in your piles of money (my words, not his 😉 ). Happyness (and happiness) is a choice more often than not. We can choose to see the positive things, to focus on the happy parts of the day, to be grateful for what we DO have. And when you focus on finding that happyness, you will find it.
As I’m writing this, I can’t get the song “Don’t Worry, Be Happy” out of my head and that is NOT helping! 😀 But it reminds me that happiness is kind of underrated, if you think about it. We think of it as only an emotion–either we’re happy, or we aren’t. But really, it’s so much more than that. It doesn’t have to be simply an emotion; it can be a lifestyle. And when it is, our lives can change for the better.
Living a life of happyness doesn’t mean we are never sad, stressed, let down, or angry; rather, it means that we choose to hold on to the happy parts of life and dwell on them instead of the sad times.
Mark Jaffe’s writing is fabulous and this book is an easy, quick, inspiring read. I highly recommend you pick it up! I can’t do this book justice with only a brief review. (Actually, it was literally all I could do to not let the “college kid” instincts kick in and write an entire essay!) Start filling up your suitcase of happyness today. 🙂