Buoyant, funny, and relentless, this inspirational guide to finding "chronic happiness" makes the case that anyone who’s been knocked down or lost their way can, with focus and dedication, become “happy AF”—and if you’re squinting at the last two letters of the title, unsure what they mean, this sharply chatty, breezily profane, and always happiness-obsessed book isn’t for you. Romero has packed its pages with buzzy slang, fresh coinages, raw and transparent anecdotes, and much relatable advice, offering an engaging resource for people who might usually be skeptical of self-help books—Happy AF has been crafted for readers more interested in brain science about positive thinking and heartfelt accounts of coming back from “rock bottom” than they are in fairy dust or drinking from “the woo woo fountain.”
That’s not to say the book won’t challenge its audience. “I’m talking committing, 100 percent, to the practice of being happy AF,” Romero writes, with her customary bounce and insistence. Each chapter introduces new habits of mind and living, or practical advice about adjusting perceptions and mindsets, often supplemented with engaging, relatable storytelling—while the prose is highly polished, all sparkling straight talk, Romero writes about her own journey to happiness as if she’s dishing with friends. She lays out steps to optimize established tactics like meditation, journaling, and exercising to boost endorphins, building to a three-tiered "happiness check" at the end of each chapter that encourages activities like going on a gratitude walk, creating a vision board, and creating a personal affirmation.
While the guidance here naturally overlaps with some familiar mindfulness practices and classic business success tips (establish micro- and macro- goals, “remove ‘should’ from your thinking”), Romero packages that and her many original practices into a clear, encouraging whole that acknowledges that happiness demands work and commitment—even when things are going well. Romero’s especially good on the subject of failure, both not setting yourself up for it and then bouncing back afterwards. What sets the book apart, though, is Romero’s voice, an agreeable companion for when life might bring you down..
Takeaway: An inspirational, interactive, funny resource for cultivating happiness.
Comparable Titles: Vex King’s Good Vibes, Good Life, Faith G. Harper’s Unf#ck Your Brain.
Production grades Cover: A Design and typography: A Illustrations: N/A Editing: A Marketing copy: A
2023 Best Book Awards Finalist in Self-Help: General
“Happy AF is an inspiring self-help book that suggests a spirited approach to becoming happy, no matter what.”
“An absolute treasury filled with clever, brilliant, and practical tips for finding happiness and meaning throughout life’s challenges.”
—Megan Logan, LCSW, author of the Self-Love Workbook for Women and Be Kind to Yourself
“A sharp, sometimes witty, often helpful map for pointing your life in the direction of happiness.”
“An inspirational, interactive, funny resource for cultivating happiness.”
—Publisher’s Weekly BookLife
“Smart, witty, and insightful...up your happiness game and realize your greatest potential.”
—Dr. Nicole LePera, The Holistic Psychologist and New York Times best-selling author
“Refreshing, motivating, and encouraging—Happy AF is a reliable companion that meets readers where they are, gently shepherding perspective and experience from ordinary to extraordinary in a beautiful, honest, and witty way.”
—Laurie Buchanan, Ph.D., author of Note to Self: A Seven-Step Path to Gratitude and Growth
“Genuine, authentic, and down to earth—Beth Romero's soulful Happy AF shares the secrets of transformational journey with practical wisdom to help you live your best life!”
—Jane Enright, award-winning author of Butter Side Up: How I Survived My Most Terrible Year & Created My Super Awesome Life and Jane's Jam: Inspiration To Create Your Super Awesome Life
Romero’s motivational guide aims to put readers on the road to happiness.
The author, like millions of other people around the world enduring the global pandemic, had a horrible 2020. Here she tells the story of how she bounced back and offers lessons for others trying to get back on track. In the period covered by the text, the divorced Romero experienced a new romance that quickly ended in infidelity, the loss of her job, and the death of her father from Covid-19. Though the author doesn’t like the term “self-help,” this is essentially a self-help book, full of tips to help hone the mind, body, and soul. Each chapter includes what Romero calls a “happiness check,” including exercises to help the reader achieve happiness. The first happiness check includes a deep-breathing tutorial, an exercise to help the reader feel empathy for someone who has wronged them, and guidance for developing a personal affirmation. Other topics include retraining your brain to be happy, staying resilient, maintaining gratitude and faith, practicing grace, setting goals, and finding a purpose. The author holds a degree in psychology and asserts that all of her advice is supported by clinical research—she backs this up with a number of citations that lend credibility to her arguments. At the same time, the book is enjoyable; Romero’s a sharp, straightforward writer. Sometimes, though, she tries a bit too hard: The book is littered with gratuitous pop culture references (Sharknado, J. Lo., Survivor, Oprah, Judge Judy, Pete Davidson), making Romero seem at times a bit like the mom who wants to be cool around her kids’ friends. She also seems to think she’s being relatable with her use of expletives, which is constant (“F*ck you, 2020. You seriously kicked my ass”). There’s nothing really wrong with that; it’s just that, coming from an adult professional with grown children, it can appear calculated and patronizing. This should not deter the curious, however—this guide is filled with information that just might help the most unhappy of us.
A sharp, sometimes witty, often helpful map for pointing your life in the direction of happiness.