Top 10 books to understand happiness

The science of happiness is complex, but alongside psychologists and neurologists, larks from the likes of Spike Milligan and Terry Pratchett have useful things to impart

Everyone knows it. Everyone wants it. But what is happiness, really? What’s going on in our brains when we experience the much-sought-after emotion? That’s what I wanted to find out when writing my new book, The Happy Brain. What did I find out? Essentially, that it’s very complicated, as is typically the case when looking at anything produced by the brain. One of the only firm conclusions I arrived at is that anyone offering a simple “secret” or “key” or “five easy tips” for happiness that work for everyone is either hopelessly naive or actively misleading.

In truth there are so many things that influence our happiness; our environment, our age, our relationships and community, our jobs and ambitions, our health, our wealth, our ...