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The Other Side of Happiness


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An internationally acclaimed psychologist makes the surprising case that pain, difficulty and risk are necessary to achieve happiness.

About the Author

Dr. Brock Bastian is a social psychologist. He was trained at the University of Melbourne, Australia and has since held posts at the University of Queensland and the University of New South Wales, where he currently holds a prestigious Australian Research Council Future Fellowship. Dr Bastian's studies have been reviewed in leading news outlets such as Time Magazine, The Huffington Post, The Economist, The New Scientist, Scientific American, CNN, ABC, The Globe and Mail, The New Yorker, New York Magazine, and he has been interviewed on international radio stations including the BBC and ABC. His presentations have also been included on the ABC Radio National Big Ideas podcast.


Pain is bad, right? In this fascinating book, Brock Bastian will convince you otherwise. Drawing on both vivid everyday examples and surprising laboratory findings, he shows how pain, suffering, and struggle give us pleasure, make us kinder, focus our thoughts, and give our life meaning. Bastian is a brilliant researcher and deep thinker and THE OTHER SIDE OF HAPPINESS is a delight to read--Paul Bloom, author of AGAINST EMPATHY

Brock Bastian skilfully shatters the zeitgeist of positive thinking, showing how struggle and suffering are vital elements of a life well lived--Adam Grant, author of ORIGINALS and OPTION B with Sheryl Sandberg This is a marvellous, thought-provoking challenge to how we think about and go about the pursuit of happiness. If you're tired of all the simple minded books telling you to just cheer up and be happy, this is the book for you!--Roy F. Baumeister, author of WILLPOWER: REDISCOVERING THE GREATEST HUMAN STRENGTH Explains why hardship sometimes yields richer lives that are laden with meaning, deep social connections, and unexpected bliss. A beautifully written and important book that should be required reading for anyone who's ever wondered why well-being so often flourishes in unexpected places--Adam Alter, author of DRUNK TANK PINK

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