The Antidote is out in paperback in the US today

"Takes every self-help book you've ever read and turns it inside out… a deeply insightful and entertaining book" – Héctor Tobar, Los Angeles Times


I'm very pleased to announce that my book THE ANTIDOTE: HAPPINESS FOR PEOPLE WHO CAN'T STAND POSITIVE THINKING – about the upsides of failure, insecurity, uncertainty, pessimism, death, that sort of thing – is published in paperback in the United States today, by Faber & Faber. It features a splendid new cover design (look over to your right, or here). The short video above provides a good summary of what the book's about; you can also read the Guardian excerpt or my New York Times op-ed or hear me on NPR's All Things Considered. There's a brand-new reading guide for book groups (PDF link). And for praise from people and publications who are somewhat less biased than me, see my books page.

Here's what it says on the paperback back cover:

Self-help books don't seem to work. Few of the many advantages of modern life seem capable of lifting our collective mood. Wealth – even if you can get it – doesn't necessarily lead to happiness. Romance, family life, and work often bring as much stress as joy. We can't even agree on what 'happiness' means. So are we engaged in a futile pursuit? Or are we just going about it the wrong way?


Oliver Burkeman introduces us to an unusual group of people who share a single, surprising way of thinking about life. Whether experimental psychologists, terrorism experts, Buddhists, hardheaded business consultants, Greek philosophers, or modern-day gurus, they argue that in our personal lives, and in society at large, it's our constant effort to be happy that is making us miserable. And that there is an alternative path ot happiness and success that involves embracing failure, pessimism, insecurity, and uncertainty – the very things we spend our lives trying to avoid. Thought-provoking, counterintuitive and ultimately uplifting, The Antidote is the intelligent person's guide to understanding the much-misunderstood idea of happiness.

Naturally, I think all intelligent, forward-thinking people ought to buy a copy (or several!) and I'd love it if you did. The Amazon link is here and other options are here.

Oliver Burkeman I'm a writer for The Guardian based in Brooklyn, New York. My new book The Antidote: Happiness for People Who Can't Stand Positive Thinking explores the upsides of negativity, uncertainty, failure and imperfection. Each week in This Column Will Change Your Life I write about social psychology, self-help culture, productivity and the science of happiness, and make unprovoked attacks on The Secret.

I also blog about things for Guardian US and write a monthly column for Psychologies magazine. Hello.

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