Book Review: Against Happiness



Reviewing Against Happiness, a book by Eric G. Wilson


Early on in this book the author makes it clear: “I don’t want to romanticize clinical depression”. This book may not be helpful to those within a deep depression.


However, for anyone that may experience momentary spells of sadness (I’d imagine this to be everyone), this book may help normalize, and even capitalize on, these uninvited moods. This book is not a naive guide to tell people who suffer from sadness, melancholia, and depression to view their emotional drag as some gift they should be grateful for. What this book does suggest is that we should not all be striving towards a shiny idea of happiness that, once achieved, will leave us problemless and fulfilled.


Sadness sucks. But there is great power, beauty, wisdom, and (dare I say) magic in the darker side of one’s psyche. That said, we don’t want to overstay our welcome here, either. This book proposes that we should not run away from sadness, nor run towards happiness, but instead idealize internal peace and balance.


Without some sadness, we only live half a life. What I love about this book is Wilson’s offering of a refreshing position on what it means to be human, and how to tap into ourselves...fully.


Review written by Artesian Collaborative Therapist, Ben Tudor, M.A.