Entries by Jonathan Rauch

‘Where does individual agency fit in?’

David C. asks: Nice piece and tracks with experience: rough 40s and now happier in early 50s. But here’s the wrinkle: I’m happier (I think) because I tackled some major issues in my life. I changed careers, changed relationships, and moved to a different city. Your article suggests we’re often unhappy in mid life for […]

Is the happiness curve ‘overhyped’?

At EconoSpeak blog, Barkley Rosser, a distinguished economist at James Madison university, has a critique of The Happiness Curve. A few thoughts… 1. Rosser sets up a false dichotomy that defines away the interesting question. He is correct that the happiness curve is a statistical projection of the effect on subjective wellbeing of aging, isolated […]

“Apparently, I am quite normal!”

Laura writes: I will turn 50 next year.  I have spent the last five years struggling with and succumbing to all of the internal rumination you so accurately articulated, although mine did spiral down as deep as clinical depression. With the help of therapy and medication, and a huge boost of serendipity, I managed to […]

“Maybe I need to create more goals”

An email from Nick: I’m turning 38 at the end of May and have a great life. In the last 10 years, I’ve written down numerous goals and have checked them all off, surprising myself along the way. Yet I felt a malaise these past few months and I couldn’t identify it. I thought, “maybe […]