Happy Never After: why the happiness fairytale is driving us mad (and how I flipped the script)

Happy Never After: why the happiness fairytale is driving us mad (and how I flipped the script)

4.07 (96 ratings by Goodreads)
  • Paperback
By (author) 

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Jill Stark was living a dream. She had a coveted job as a senior journalist, she was dating a sports star, and she'd just achieved a lifelong ambition by publishing a book, which was rapidly becoming a bestseller. After years of crippling anxiety, striving for the fairytale ending, it finally seemed she'd found her ticket to contentment.

But then it all started to go wrong. Getting everything she'd ever wanted plunged Jill into the darkest period in her life, where she struggled with acute anxiety and fell into a deep depression.

The experience forced her to ask if we've been sold a lie. Could the relentless pursuit of happiness actually be making us miserable? Why, in a western world with more opportunity, choice and wealth than ever before, are so many of us depressed, anxious and medicated?

In this forensic examination of our age of anxiety, Stark explores how we can unplug, keep calm, and find meaning in a frenetic world designed to drive us mad. With humour, insight, and razor-sharp wit, she tells of her own struggles with a lifetime of anxiety against the backdrop of a stressed-out modern world, where many are drowning in a sea of digital distraction and white noise.

We're all looking for answers. We all want the happy ever after. What would happen if we stopped chasing, stayed still, and found calm amid the chaos?
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Product details

  • Paperback | 352 pages
  • 153 x 234mm
  • Carlton North, Australia
  • 1925713105
  • 9781925713107
  • 46,832

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Review quote

`A moving, insightful analysis of our collective pain and how we can heal. Australia needs this book.' -Johann Hari, author of Lost Connections

`Funny, wise, poignant and compelling, Happy Never After is a brilliant intersection between searing personal experience and the wisdom of the elders: nothing brings us closer to despair than the relentless pursuit of our own happiness.' -Hugh MacKay, author of The Good Life

`Faced with the crippling paralysis that comes with anxiety and depression, Jill Stark doesn't completely crumple. Instead, she does what a good journalist does: looks it directly in the face in order to explain, investigate, and reveal. Anyone who reads this book who lives with anxiety will be a beneficiary of its courage and clarity.' -Benjamin Law, author of Gaysia and The Family Law

`By looking back on her childhood, interviewing experts and amassing anecdotal data, Stark expertly links her lifelong struggle with anxiety with a collective social malaise that is exacerbated by our constant connectivity, underfunded mental healthcare systems and the pervasive `happiness myth' ... The book's resounding takeaway that there are multiple `happy-in-betweens' instead of one `happy-ever-after' is an uplifting and liberating one.' - Books+Publishing

`With the same keen eye evident in her previous book, Happy Never After is full of far-reaching and astoundingly thorough research ... this is a must-read for anyone who has either struggled with mental health themselves or knows someone who has - and according to Stark, that's most of us.' -Readings

`Her personal experience with anxiety gives readers an insight into why we should hit the brakes on our quest for happiness.' -Mercury
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About Jill Stark

Jill Stark is an award-winning journalist and author with a career spanning 18 years in both the UK and Australian media. She spent a decade on staff at The Age covering health and social affairs as a senior writer and columnist and now works as a media consultant and freelance writer contributing to ABC Online, SBS Digital and The Saturday Paper.
Her first book, High Sobriety- my year without booze is a best-selling memoir that was long-listed in the Walkley Book of the Year Awards and short-listed in the Kibble Literary Awards. Her second book will be published in 2018.
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Rating details

96 ratings
4.07 out of 5 stars
5 47% (45)
4 20% (19)
3 28% (27)
2 4% (4)
1 1% (1)
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