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on 17 May 2013
You don't need to be depressed to benefit from this book. It's full of realistic techniques to help you flourish and reach your potential in life, whatever your emotional starting point. One of my favourites is asking yourself three simple questions: `What's going right in my life right now? What is there to be pleased about? What is there to be grateful for?' It's easy to do and a guaranteed way to lift your mood at any point in the day. What I also love is that it's fantastic value for money, as for the cost of one book, you also get the condensed wisdom of several others, in an easy-to-understand format. In fact, it works as a concise and readable introduction to positive psychology and it's a great source of ideas for further reading - I have this book to thank for introducing me to the wonderful Carol Dweck and her inspiring book Mindset. Highly recommended.
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on 8 September 2014
As a fellow UEL MAPP (Masters in Applied Positive Psychology) I was concerned that this book might not offer me anything new. However, I was pleasantly surprised. Miriam has an excellent writing style, sharing her own experiences and setting out the case for using PP in moderately depressed individuals. Her angle is very much about building a more positive present rather than raking over the past which can be self defeating for many of us. It's a great example of bringing positive psychology into practical application. I would recommend it for those who feel they could be happier. I would also recommend it for coaches as it provides many suggestions for practical interventions.....for anyone out there who has experienced the blues, it's definitely worth a try.
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on 21 October 2014
Probably the first self help book on depression which didn't annoy or bore me. It focuses on learning to savour the good in our lives, feeling gratitude for small blessings and developing the habit of mindfulness. It encourages us to pay attention to our strengths which can be explored in a Strengths Questionaire for which a link is supplied. It is easy to read - important for depressed people whose thinking may be slowed up. I will definitely recommend this to my depressed clients.
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on 4 February 2012
This is the first book I've read about depression that hasn't made me feel depressed. It's uplifting, inspiring, hopeful, often amusing and of course - positive.

I urge everyone to read it, not just people who have been or are depressed. As Miriam explains, the Positive Psychology aspect of this book isn't just about getting out of depression, its about moving into a positive emotional state - happiness!

There are lots of simple and practical suggestions and exercises to do and Miriam shares her own personal experience and journey from a downward spiral of depression to an upward spiral of positivity.

I read this book in 2 days because I couldn't put it down! Although there is lots of research evidence to support Miriam's suggestions, this does not read like a dreary textbook and each concept is explained in simple and easily understood terms.

Reading this book will cheer and encourage you, whether you have depression or not! :-)
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on 10 December 2013
I have been looking at various strategies to cope with stress. I bought this book as I am interested in taking positive steps to improve my well- being. The author has a very engaging writing style. This book is a good resource and easy to read. The author provides practical strategies and tips to improve various aspects of well-being (e.g learning optimism, building resilience) supported by research from various experts. I find that I am using this book as a handbook- dipping into it on a regular basis. This is a very helpful book.
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on 16 February 2012
Miriam Akhtar's excellent book breaks new ground, being the first self-help guide for depression that is based on Positive Psychology. It is well-written, accessible and reflects the latest research that applies Positive Psychology (which is often referred to as 'happiness science') to helping people who are in emotional distress. Of course, there is the disclaimer that this book is not a substitute for professional help, and those who are experiencing severe clinical depression will certainly need the help of a professional clinician, but there is growing acknowledgement that much can be done to aid recovery, to build resilience, and to reduce the risk of subsequent relapse by helping people to address aspects of their outlook and their lifestyle. This is what this book does extremely well. Miriam Akhtar is very well-versed in positive psychology research and she presents a well-informed guide to increasing optimism, cultivating an attitude of gratitude, engaging in mindfulness and other strategies for building resilience and turning a vicious circle into a virtuous circle in which things get better and better. Martin Seligman has said that when he was successful in treating people with depression he recognised that he didn't generally leave them happy; he often left them empty. There is increasing proof, and increasing recognition, that continued well-being comes from having a lifestyle that is engaged and meaningful. The need to strategically create a life of meaning and engagement is especially strong for people who are vulnerable to depression or other kinds of emotional distress. This very readable and thoroughly sensible book will help people to manage their thinking and their lifestyle so that they reduce their current distress and reduce the risk of future distress. There is growing interest in the application of positive psychology ideas and strategies to clinical issues and this book is an excellent early example of what might well become a highly significant movement.

Professor Neil Frude, Consultant Clinical Psychologist
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on 25 June 2013
This is just what I needed... A book that helps me to turn my life around, is research based but has not lost its' humanity. Superb doesn't really cover it.
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on 15 March 2015
I bought this book for my depressed boyfriend, and ended up turning to it during my own low point. I found it an easy and informative read, with a wonderful tone and really practical ideas that I used to my advantage. If you're struggling in a sea of self-help books, this is a good one to go for. I bought my own copy! I hope I don't need it too much, but its support and wisdom is there for when I do. Recommended.
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on 27 October 2012
A brilliantly practical book. Some tips are a bit 'pink and fluffy' but far more are logical. Much preferred Miriam's style of approach to that taken by CBT books as they are too clinical. If you are in need of logical and practical help in a time when you are very low (like I was) this is the book for you. I am re-reading parts of this book everyday to reinforce the ideas.
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on 15 June 2015
Life changing! Everyone should read this, even if they're not suffering depression, but especially if they are.
It's a game changer - GP's should be giving this out instead of counselling or medication. Positive psychology is the way forward!
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