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

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

by Helen Russell


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When she was suddenly given the opportunity of a new life in rural Jutland, journalist and archetypal Londoner Helen Russell discovered a startling statistic: the happiest place on earth isn’t Disneyland, but Denmark, a land often thought of by foreigners as consisting entirely of long dark winters, cured herring, Lego and pastries.

What is the secret to their success? Are happy Danes born, or made? Helen decides there is only one way to find out: she will give herself a year, trying to uncover the formula for Danish happiness.

From childcare, education, food and interior design to SAD, taxes, sexism and an unfortunate predilection for burning witches, The Year of Living Danishly is a funny, poignant record of a journey that shows us where the Danes get it right, where they get it wrong, and how we might just benefit from living a little more Danishly ourselves.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781785780233
Publisher: Icon Books, Ltd. UK
Publication date: 04/12/2016
Pages: 354
Sales rank: 38,554
Product dimensions: 5.10(w) x 7.70(h) x 0.90(d)

About the Author

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 Daily Telegraph, London.

Table of Contents

Prologue: Making Changes - The Happiness Project ix

1 January - Hygge & Home 1

2 February - Forgetting the 9-5 35

3 March - Leisure & Languages 61

4 April - Great Danes & Other Animals 87

5 May-Traditions & Getting Told Off 105

6 June - Just a Girl 131

7 July- Going Away & Playing Away 159

8 August-The Kids are Alright 183

9 September-Butchers, Bakers & Culture Makers 211

10 October-In Sickness & in Health 239

11 November - 'Here comes the Snow/Sleet/ Soul-destroying Darkness…' 259

12 December-Trusting the Taxman (or Woman) 283

13 Christmas - God Jul! 303

Epilogue: Made in Denmark 337

Top ten tips for living Danishly 349

Acknowledgements 353

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