I read this book when I was feeling mildly depressed and it has helped so much I have bought copies for several friends. We all understand that if you want to keep your body fit there are several kinds of exercises you can do: strength training, cardio, flexibility etc. So why do we take our mental health less seriously?
I have a science background and work with statistics every day, so I was impressed with the depth and breadth of the research covered in this book. The engaging anecdotes keep it interesting, some moments made me laugh and others reminded me how easy it is to feel dragged down by the weight of circumstances in life. It's a very practical book, there are questionnaires to fill in and activities to carry out, the activities suggested all work in lifting your mood but some will have a more long lasting effect than others - there is even a quick quiz that will help you find out which activities will suit you best, depending on your personality type, likes and dislikes.
The only thing I disliked about this edition was the subtitle 'A practical guide to getting the life you want' because as the book makes clear, happiness is not something you get. If it were you would get used to it and go back to being the way you were before. A happy life is something you can actively choose to live, by strengthening your friendships, expressing your gratitude properly, celebrating successes, taking time to savour the good things in life and giving generously of your time and gifts. It's not easy and it takes effort and application - but so does staying physically fit. So maybe it should be a guide to living the life you want, or being the person you want to be.