Getting her happy-ever-after plunged Jill into the darkest period of her life, forcing her to ask if she’d been sold a lie. What if all the things that she’d been told would make her happy were red herrings? Could it be that the relentless pursuit of happiness was making her miserable?
From the ashes of Jill’s epic breakdown comes this raw, funny, and uplifting exploration of our age of anxiety. Charting her own life-long battles with mental-health problems, Jill asks why, in a western world with more opportunity, choice, and wealth than ever before, so many of us are depressed, anxious, and medicated. When we’ve never had more ways to connect, why do we feel so profoundly disconnected?
Happy Never After is a soul-searching journey from despair to clarity and a forensic examination of our troubled times. Road-testing neuroscience’s latest psychological frontiers in compassion, acceptance, gratitude, play, hope, and solitude, Jill turns the happiness fairytale on its head, and swaps the ‘quick fix’ approach to mental ill health for the long road back to herself.
In the end, Jill has a hard-earned question for us. 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 and meaning in places we least expected?
‘This is a book we need. Highly, highly recommended. Puts a deft finger on many things that I guarantee have been quietly troubling you for a while. A book for our times.’
Susan Carland, author of Fighting Hislam: Women, Faith and Sexism
View all reviews
‘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.’