Happy Ever After

Escaping The Myth of The Perfect Life

by Paul Dolan

Subject categories
ISBNs
  • 9780241284445
  • 9780241284452

'A passionate, provocative book. It isn't just a self-help book. It is a manifesto for a better society' Sunday Times

'One of the most rigorous articulations of the new mood of acceptance...a persuasive demolition of many of our cultural stories about how we ought to live' Oliver Burkeman, Guardian

Paul Dolan, the bestselling author of Happiness by Design, shows us how to escape the myth of perfection and find our own route to happiness.

Be ambitious; find everlasting love; look after your health ... There are countless stories about how we ought to live our lives. These narratives can make our lives easier, and they might sometimes make us happier too. But they can also trap us and those around us.

In Happy Ever After, bestselling happiness expert Professor Paul Dolan draws on a variety of studies ranging over wellbeing, inequality and discrimination to bust the common myths about our sources of happiness. He shows that there can be many unexpected paths to lasting fulfilment. Some of these might involve not going into higher education, choosing not to marry, rewarding acts rooted in self-interest and caring a little less about living forever.

By freeing ourselves from the myth of the perfect life, we might each find a life worth living.


  • Penguin Books Ltd; January 2019
  • ISBN: 9780241284452
  • Read online, or download in secure ePub format
  • Title: Happy Ever After
  • Author: Paul Dolan
  • Imprint: Penguin
Subject categories
ISBNs
  • 9780241284445
  • 9780241284452

In The Press

[Praise for Happiness by Design] Dolan is especially illuminating when it comes to bigger life-choices . . . His book is a powerful reminder not to get caught up in overthinking things, but to focus instead on maximising what actually delivers joy . . . and most of us would benefit from listening to him


About The Author

Paul Dolan is Professor of Behavioural Science at the LSE. He is an internationally renowned expert in human behaviour and happiness. Amongst various other roles, he wrote the questions that are being used to monitor national happiness in the UK and has advised many governments, charities and corporations on how to influence behaviour to improve wellbeing. His debut book, Happiness by Design, was a Sunday Times bestseller and dubbed 'the book that will make you quit your job'.