The happy secret to better work: A reading list

Feb 9, 2015 /

The key to success at work is being happy — not the other way around, says Shawn Achor (TED Talk: The happy secret to better work). To learn more about his positive philosophy of the workplace, meet the people who laid the groundwork for his thinking, in this list of must-read books and articles on happiness.

Learned Optimism
Martin E. P. Seligman
Vintage, 2006

“The book and the author that launched positive psychology.” You can also watch Seligman introduce this concept in 2004 in his TED Talk: The new era of positive psychology

Tal Ben-Shahar
McGraw-Hill, 2007

“This is a very accessible book written by the Harvard lecturer who turned me on to positive psychology.”

Give and Take
Adam M. Grant
Penguin Books, 2014

“This Wharton professor shows how giving at work can lead to greater happiness and success.”

Eat Move Sleep
Tom Rath
Missionday, 2013

“Chock-full of research findings on how to live a better life.”

10 Simple Things You Can Do Today That Will Make You Happier, Backed by Science
Belle Beth Cooper
The Huffington Post, November 11, 2013

“A great article on how to bring happiness to life.”

“Positive Intelligence”
Shawn Achor
Harvard Business Review, January/February 2012

“This article made the cover of the HBR and showed that happiness provides a competitive advantage.”

“How to Be More Productive and Happier During Times of Stress”
Laura Shin
Forbes, November 30, 2013

“A good article summarizing new findings on happiness.”

“Rethinking stress: The role of mindsets in determining the stress response”
Alia J. Crum, et al.
Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, April 2013

“Requires an academic connection to access, but useful.”

The Happiness Advantage
Shawn Achor
Crown Business, 2010

“My TED Talk is really a short version of my book.”

Daniel H. Pink
Riverhead Books, 2011

“A good book to read in conjunction with The Happiness Advantage to create more successful companies. Pink has a great TED Talk, too — The puzzle of motivation.”

Before Happiness
Shawn Achor
Crown Business, 2013

“The follow-up to my previous book includes the five essential elements we all need to develop a positive mindset for change.”