From time-to-time, I need to hit the reset button on life and have a little refresh. I find self-reflective books focused on positivity tend to do the trick, and I plan to share these types of reads occasionally in case they uplift someone else, too. I was invited to read Joyful by Little, Brown, and it publishes on September 4, 2018. I’m excited to share some of my thoughts with you!

My Thoughts:

There is no dearth of books out there teaching us that positivity comes from within, and that we need to work on ourselves first in order to feel happy. But what if you could find joy from your external surroundings, too, and how do these two work hand-in-hand? It completely makes sense that a cozy reading spot would bring us joy, right? Even just looking at it? And what about a wonderful sunset, or an amazing view of the mountains?

The author, Ingrid Fetell Lee, is a designer offering a unique perspective on joy.  Using research from psychology and neuroscience, she explores how various settings can promote different types of feelings (e.g., competitiveness, comfort, acceptance, sharing). These are interesting ideas and gave me much to think about.

Overall, I appreciated Fetell Lee’s theories, and I found the book user-friendly and invitingly-written. The best thing she offers- most aspects of joy can be found in the simple and easy. It’s not far out of reach, and we can obtain it. That message is simple but always empowering. I think this book would be remarkable for anyone to read, but especially employers, as they could set up workplaces for success via joyful employees.

Thank you to Little, Brown for the complimentary ARC. All opinions are my own.


A groundbreaking look at how small changes to our surroundings can lead us to happier, healthier, more fulfilling lives.

Have you ever wondered why we stop to watch the orange glow that arrives before sunset, or why we flock to see cherry blossoms bloom in spring? Is there a reason that people — regardless of gender, age, culture, or ethnicity — are mesmerized by infants, and can’t help but smile when they see a burst of confetti or a cluster of colorful balloons.

We are often taught that our external environment has little or no impact on our inner joy. Increasingly, experts urge us to find balance and calm by looking inward – through mindfulness or meditation – and muting the outside world. But what if the natural vibrancy of our surroundings is actually our most renewable and easily accessible joy?

In JOYFUL, renowned designer Ingrid Fetell Lee explores how the mundane spaces and objects we interact with every day have surprising and powerful effects on our mood. Drawing on cutting-edge neuroscience and psychology, she explains why one setting makes us feel anxious or competitive, while another fosters acceptance and sharing — and, most importantly, she reveals how we can harness the power of our surroundings to live fuller, healthier, and truly joyful lives.

Have you read Joyful, or is it on your TBR? Do you read “self-help”/self-reflective books? Happy Reading! ~ Jennifer THR