The Year of Living Danishly

The Year of Living Danishly : Uncovering the Secrets of the World's Happiest Country

3.97 (24,028 ratings by Goodreads)
By (author) 

Free delivery worldwide

Available. Expected delivery to the United States in 10-13 business days.

Not ordering to the United States? Click here.



'A hugely enjoyable romp through the pleasures and pitfalls of setting up home in a foreign land.'- Guardian

Given the opportunity of a new life in rural Jutland, Helen Russell discovered a startling statistic: Denmark, land of long dark winters, cured herring, Lego and pastries, was the happiest place on earth.

Keen to know their secrets, Helen gave herself a year to uncover the formula for Danish happiness.

From childcare, education, food and interior design to SAD and taxes, The Year of Living Danishly records a funny, poignant journey, showing us what the Danes get right, what they get wrong, and how we might all live a little more Danishly ourselves.

In this new edition, six years on Helen reveals how her life and family have changed, and explores how Denmark, too - or. her understanding of it - has shifted. It's a messy and flawed place, she concludes - but can still be a model for a better way of living.
show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 368 pages
  • 129 x 198 x 22mm | 292g
  • Duxford, United Kingdom
  • English
  • Reissue
  • Illustrations, black & white
  • 1785780239
  • 9781785780233
  • 10,847

Review Text

When she was suddenly given the opportunity of a new life in rural Jutland, journalist and...
show more

Review quote

A hugely enjoyable romp through the pleasures and pitfalls of setting up home in a foreign land. -- PD Smith * Guardian * Brilliant - I've actually fallen out with friends I've recommended it to so many people * Rob Beckett * Russell is possessed of a razor-sharp wit and a winning self-deprecation - two of the things that make this book such a delight. * The Independent * A lovely mix of English sensibility and Danish pragmatism. Helen seems to have understood more about the Danish character than I have! My only worry is that it will make everyone want to have a go and my holiday home area will get overcrowded. -- Sandi Toksvig A wryly amusing account of a new life in a strange land. * Choice Magazine * if you can't up sticks and move to Denmark... don't despair: here are a few tips and tricks I've picked up for getting a slice of the Danish work-life balance wherever you are. * Metro * Russell's husband takes a contract with Lego and they are catapulted into rural Jutland, in Denmark.
Russell, who is a fast living journalist in London, is at first overwhelmed with the silence, the people, the sheer differences of living in a very foreign country.
She then discovers that Danish people have the highest-rated happiness scores in the world... what's their secret? Why are they so damn happy?
I'll let you know, it's a lot to do with something called "Hygge". * Brighton and Hove Independent * Giving up isn't always a bad thing; being a dropout can even change your life for the better. Helen Russell was a high-flying glossy magazine editor before moving to rural Jutland in Denmark which, despite its long dark winters, is also statistically the happiest nation on earth. While there, Helen soon discovered there's more to Danish life than cured herring and Nordic knits, as she described in her book, "The Year of Living Danishly". * The Simple Things * Ever bought a book for a friend and ended up reading it yourself? I dipped into this and ended up buying my own copy so I could finish it * The Comet (Stevenage) * A hugely enjoyable autobiographical account of upping sticks... to the sticks. * National Geographic Traveller *
show more

About Helen Russell

Helen Russell is a journalist and former editor of She now lives in rural Jutland and works as a Scandinavia correspondent for the Guardian, as well as writing a column on Denmark for the Telegraph.
show more

Rating details

24,028 ratings
3.97 out of 5 stars
5 30% (7,131)
4 43% (10,339)
3 23% (5,468)
2 4% (908)
1 1% (182)
Book ratings by Goodreads
Goodreads is the world's largest site for readers with over 50 million reviews. We're featuring millions of their reader ratings on our book pages to help you find your new favourite book. Close X