Walking on Sunshine: 52 Small Steps to Happiness by Rachel Kelly and Jonathan Pugh (Illustrator)

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Walking on Sunshine: 52 Small Steps to Happiness by Rachel Kelly and Jonathan Pugh

Category: Lifestyle
Rating: 4/5
Reviewer: Sue Magee
Reviewed by Sue Magee
Summary: A tip a week to help you lead a more positive and fulfilling life. I was impressed by how many of them resonated with me. Definitely recommended.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 144 Date: November 2015
Publisher: Short Books
External links: Author's website
ISBN: 978-1780722528

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How would you like 52 tips on how to be happier? No this isn't an offer to sign up to a dodgy website - it's a small book which you could pop into a bag and which will give you tips, tools and positive idea about how you can make your life happier, less complicated and more fulfilling. Open it at random, if that's what you feel like doing, or work your way through it reading one tip per week - they're helpfully divided into the four seasons - and savour just a couple of pages of elegant writing which will give you something to think about or something positive to do (or not do - if you see what I mean).

I empathised with Rachel Kelly immediately: she's overcome depression and like anyone who has been in that pit she knows that the road out is steep and it's all too easy to slither back down again. She knows that she needs strategies to help her through what Freud calls ordinary human unhappiness - the ups and downs of everyday life. She describes the book as 52 small sanity-saving tools, recognising that happiness is not a switch you can flick, but often a byproduct of the way we live our lives.

Sometimes the entry is an inspirational piece of poetry or ways of turning negative traits into positive ones: turn control into curiosity. Help someone. I particularly liked her mindful moments : a way of taking a few moments out of a stressful situation by doing something which you would normally do without thinking (hand washing, polishing your glasses) and concentrating on the action. Prayer is not going to be for me, but strangely, I found great solace in Jonathan Pugh's cartoon of a dog kneeling at the side of his basket and praying. Perhaps one of the most useful tips for me was the three-step breathing exercise.

You get the idea? Good. Now you might think that I've cherry-picked the best ideas, but I haven't. I've simply taken the first few and given you the gist of them. None of the tips are long - they never exceed two pages and they're ideal for those waiting room moments, and they'd be particularly calming if the waiting room belonged to the dentist. I'd like to thank the publishers for sending a copy to the Bookbag.

We were also quietly impressed by How to Be Happy (or at least less sad): A Creative Workbook by Lee Crutchley.

Buy Walking on Sunshine: 52 Small Steps to Happiness by Rachel Kelly and Jonathan Pugh (Illustrator) at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Walking on Sunshine: 52 Small Steps to Happiness by Rachel Kelly and Jonathan Pugh (Illustrator) at Amazon.co.uk.


Buy Walking on Sunshine: 52 Small Steps to Happiness by Rachel Kelly and Jonathan Pugh (Illustrator) at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Walking on Sunshine: 52 Small Steps to Happiness by Rachel Kelly and Jonathan Pugh (Illustrator) at Amazon.com.


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