The Happiness Curve by Jonathan Rauch

The Happiness Curve

Why Life Gets Better After 50

Why does happiness tend to get harder in your 40s? Why do you feel in a slump when you’re successful? Where does this malaise come from? Most important: will it ever end?

Drawing on cutting-edge science and human stories, The Happiness Curve shows that happiness follows a U-shaped trajectory, declining from the optimism of youth into what’s often a long, low slump in middle age before starting to rise again in our 50s—and then offering an unexpected bounty of contentment and wisdom.

The Happiness Curve doesn’t just illuminate the dark forest of midlife, it helps you find a path through the trees. It also shows how we can—and why we must—do more to help each other through the woods. Learn more…

“Essential reading for everybody over 40.”

GEORGE VAILLANT, MDprofessor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, director of the Grant Study of Adult Development, and author of Triumphs of Experience

“This brilliant book is chock-full of unexpected findings, revelatory insights, and consoling wisdom about aging, happiness, and the stages of life.”

SCOTT STOSSELauthor of My Age of Anxiety

“Inspired take on midlife crises.”

Publishers Weekly

“Psychologists agree that the midlife crisis is a myth. But why are so many middle-aged people so dissatisfied with their lives? Sifting through happiness studies and conducting his own interviews and surveys, Rauch discovers a pattern. …  This thoughtful study is sure to find an audience.”

Booklist Online review

‘Fascinating… powerful and uplifting… The Happiness Curve is filled with useful, interesting facts and shows us how to steer through the different stages of life’  The Lady

Patricia MerrickThe Lady Magazine, UK

‘I wish I had known about the research behind The Happiness Curve long ago, as it would have prepared me for the last few years. … The Happiness Curve should be given to everyone on their 40th birthday. Required reading.’  Joshua Kim

Joshua KimInside Higher Ed

“This absorbing book encourages moody midlifers to believe that things will get better. And he makes a good case that they will. Life begins at 50. That’s what I’m taking away from this book anyway.”

– The Times (London)

Damian WhitworthThe Times (London)
The Happiness Curve by Jonathan Rauch