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Can books make a difference in your life? The answer is yes- and that’s why we’ve put together a list of some of the best positive psychology books out there.

Whether you’re looking to improve your self-esteem, increase your happiness, or just learn more about how to live a good life, these books have something for you.

Positive psychologists research topics such as happiness, well-being, resilience, and hope. They develop interventions and programs designed to promote positive social change.

In addition to conducting research and providing interventions, positive psychology researchers also work to train other professionals in the field of psychology.

So dive in and start reading- you may be surprised at how much they can help!

The Best Positive Psychology Books

Given the many psychology books on the market, it can be tough to know which ones will help you. We've done the hard work for you and have curated a list of the top positive psychology books that will help you with everything from personal development, relationships, positive leadership, and how to maintain positive emotion.

Whether you're looking for a book to help with stress management or want to learn more about happiness, we've got you covered so you can achieve overall psychological wealth.

Psychological wealth includes your attitudes toward life satisfaction, social support, spiritual development, material resources, health, and the activities in which you engage.  We hope you all of this ad more as you explore this list we have put together for you.

The How of Happiness

Excellent book for boosting and sustaining happiness

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1. The How of Happiness (Positive Emotions)

The How of Happiness is a book that aims to help people understand the elements of happiness and how to sustain it in their lives. The book is based on years of applied positive psychology research and is filled with happiness strategies, exercises, and quizzes. The How of Happiness is a powerful contribution to the field of positive psychology and will help people who have sought to take their happiness into their own hands. The positive psychology concepts in this book can be used by individuals, psychologists, and therapists to increase happiness in their clients or patients.


Demonstrates how a positive state of consciousness can be controlled to achieve an optimal experience.

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2. Flow

If you’re looking to improve your life and increase your happiness, consider picking up one this positive psychology book. From understanding the science of happiness to learning how to achieve flow states, this book offer valuable insights into how to live a good life.

This book is for beginners because it describes positive psychology as it is and doesn't attempt to influence future research directions.

Positive psychology concepts have revolutionized the way we think about happiness and well-being. Their groundbreaking research reveals certain things we can do to increase our happiness, satisfaction with life, and overall psychological wealth.

One of the most important concepts to come out of positive psychology is the idea of flow states. Flow states are moments when we are completely absorbed in an activity and lose track of time. Flow states have been linked with increased creativity, happiness, and own happiness.

Meaning in Positive and Existential Psychology

A broad overview regarding the meaning and purpose in life from the perspectives of positive psychology and existential psychology.

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3. Meaning in Positive and Existential Psychology

This book is only partially about psychology. The book is about how psychology can be used to improve your life and the lives of those around you. It's about how to use psychology to make yourself happier, healthier, and more successful.

The book is divided into three parts. The first part is about the science of happiness. It covers the latest research on what happiness is, how it is measured, and what factors contribute to it. The second part is about applying this knowledge to your own life. It provides concrete suggestions for how to increase your happiness and the happiness of those around you. The third part is about using positive psychology to overcome challenges and achieve goals.

If you're interested in learning more about how to use psychology to improve your life, this is the book for you.

Positive Psychology in a Nutshell

Covers all of the topics of positive psychology one would expect - happiness, positive emotions, strengths, hope, love, optimism, and flow. 

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4. Positive Psychology in a Nutshell  

A life-changing book, Positive Psychology in a Nutshell: The Best Book on Positive Psychology is full of scientific evidence and useful tips on how to create a happy life.

This book is a great option for people struggling to achieve greater positivity in their life, or just anyone looking for actionable ways positive psychology research can help them.

Positive psychology is the study of what makes life worth future research directions in positive psychology. Positive Psychology in a Nutshell: The Best Book on Positive Psychology explores the latest thinking on the topics of happiness, flow, positive emotion, motivation, character strengths, and love. The book also provides readers with practical tools and tips for applying positive psychology to their daily lives.

The positive psychology book is an engaging read that is packed with useful information. If you are looking for a book that will make a difference in your life, Positive Psychology in a Nutshell: The Best Book on Positive Psychology is the book for you.

Man's Search for Meaning

"A book for finding purpose and strength in times of great despair"

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5. Man's Search for Meaning

Man's Search for Meaning is a book by Viktor Frankl that chronicles his experiences as a concentration camp inmate during the Holocaust.

The book has been called "one of the outstanding contributions to psychological thought" by Carl Rogers and "one of the great books of our time" by Harold Kushner. It is considered a classic work to influence future research directions in psychology.

The book has sold over 16 million copies and has been translated into more than 50 languages. The scientific and practical explorations of the human will to find meaning despite the worst adversity continue to inspire readers today.

Average to A+

"Provides insights into what strengths are and practical suggestions for how to spot them in yourselves and others."

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6. Average to A+

Humans have always strived to be better than average. To be the best that we can be. To reach our full potential. And yet, so few of us know our strengths clearly, or how to make the most of them. Until now.

Average to A+ is the seminal volume for identifying and maximizing our strengths. Written by an international thought leader in the field, Average to A+ presents the state-of-the-art understanding of strengths, including their evolutionary origins and what this means for us in modern times; the golden mean for optimal strengths use; the royal roads to identifying strengths in ourselves and other people; and how we can make the most of strengths in ourselves, in our children, and at work.

Throughout the book, you will see how using strengths is the smallest thing that makes the biggest difference. With actionable advice and compelling real-world examples, Average to A+ will change the way you think about your strengths – and show you how to unleash their power in your life, work, and relationships.

Toward a Psychology of Being

"Maslow clearly defines what it means to simply "Be" as opposed to striving to "Become.""

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7. Toward a Psychology of Being

It also discusses how positive psychology can be applied in various settings, such as education, work, and relationships, and describes positive and effective psychological interventions.

This book is an essential read for anyone interested in positive psychology and learning more about how to fuel success, satisfaction, and a life well-lived.

Now in its third edition, Toward a Psychology of Being continues to be a go-to resource to find career success and satisfaction. The book has been updated to include the latest research in positive psychology and provides an overview of positive psychology theories, methods, and interventions.

If you're looking for a book that will help you understand positive psychology and learn how to apply it in your own life, Best Positive Psychology Books is the perfect place to start.

A Primer in Positive Psychology

A comprehensive overview on positive psychology, offering a mix of theory, case study, exercise, and resources for more exploration.

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8. A Primer in Positive Psychology

A Primer in Positive Psychology is a textbook that provides students with a thorough introduction to the field of positive psychology.

This book is thoroughly grounded in scientific research and covers major topics of concern to the field, such as positive experiences, positive traits, and social institutions. Every chapter contains exercises that illustrate positive psychology, a glossary, suggestions of articles and books for further reading, and positive psychology research.

This book is an essential resource for anyone interested in learning more about positive psychology. Authentic happiness derives from the satisfaction of a person's basic emotional needs.

A new branch of psychology, positive psychology, has arisen to address this challenge. It is the scientific study of what goes right in life, from birth to death, and at all stops in between.

Positive psychology as an explicit perspective has existed only since 1998, but enough relevant theory and "research now exist at peak performance, to fill a textbook suitable for a semester-long college course."

Character Strengths and Virtues

Character Strengths and Virtues classifies twenty-four specific strengths under six broad virtues that consistently emerge across history and culture. Each strength is thoroughly examined in its own chapter, with special attention to its meaning, explanation, measurement, causes, correlates, consequences, and development across the life span."

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9. Character Strengths and Virtues

Character Strengths and Virtues is a groundbreaking handbook of character strengths and virtues that is the first progress report from a prestigious group of researchers who have undertaken the systematic classification and measurement of widely valued positive traits.

The book approaches good character in terms of separate strengths-authenticity, persistence, kindness, gratitude, hope, humor, better relationships, and so on--each of which exists in degrees. It provides explanations of the meaning, measurement, causes, correlates, consequences, and development across employee performance, family, schools, the media, religion, and the larger culture.

This book demands the attention of anyone interested in psychology and what it can teach the book describes how to live a good life.

This book is important because it systematically defines character strengths and virtues and provides explanations of why these strengths and virtues are important for a good life.

The book also discusses how character strengths and virtues can be measured, developed, and cultivated. This is an essential book for anyone interested in psychology and character development.

On Becoming A Person

"A landmark book offering a therapist's perspective on psychotherapy—a must-read for anyone interested in clinical psychology or personal growth."

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10. On Becoming A Person

On Becoming A Person is considered one of the most influential books in psychology, as it introduced the concept of client-centered therapy. In this book, Dr. Carl Rogers takes the reader on a journey through the different stages of development, explaining how each stage impacts our lives and relationships. He also offers insight into how we can use this knowledge to improve our lives and well-being.

Whether you are looking to better understand yourself or others, this book is a must-read. The books on our list will introduce you to the most important concepts in psychology and help you apply them to your own life. If you want to learn about the human mind and what makes us tick, these are the books for you.

Authentic Happiness

"Excellent book that shows how we become really happy through positive thinking and the thoughts that occupy our mind."

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11. Authentic Happiness

If you're looking for a book that will teach you how to be happy, look no further than Authentic Happiness by Positive Psychology guru Dr. Martin Seligman.

Authentic Happiness is one of the best positive psychology books out there. In this groundbreaking work, Seligman focuses on strengths rather than weaknesses, asserting that happiness is not the result of good genes or luck. Instead, he teaches readers that happiness can be cultivated by identifying and using many of the strengths and traits they already possess, such as kindness, originality, humor, optimism, and generosity.

By frequently calling upon their "signature strengths" in all the crucial realms of life, listeners will not only develop natural buffers against misfortune and the experience of negative emotion, but they will also move their lives up to a new, more positive plane.

Drawing on years of psychological research, Seligman provides detailed instructions on how Positive Psychology is shifting the profession's paradigm away from its narrow-minded focus on pathology, victimology, and mental illness.

The book is accessible and provides readers with practical exercises, brief tests, and a dynamic website program to help them identify their highest virtues. This makes everyday life much more manageable and helps individuals find lasting happiness.

New positive psychology books are released every day, but few have the power or popularity of Authentic Happiness. If you're ready to learn how to be genuinely happy, Authentic Happiness is the book for you.

Positive Leadership

"Positive Leadership shows how to reach beyond ordinary success to achieve extraordinary effectiveness, spectacular results, and what Kim Cameron calls “positively deviant performance”—performance far above the norm."

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12. Positive Leadership

Positive Leadership is a book that shows how to achieve extraordinary success in leadership. Any business leader can find useful tips in this book, such as encouraging compassion in their employees and themselves, which can greatly improve their own well being, organization's health, and the happiness of everyone in that organization. The book cites research in organizational behavior, medical science, and psychology to show that leaders must focus on strengths, foster virtuous actions, encourage contribution goals, and enable meaningfulness in work to achieve exceptional success.

The book includes a self-assessment instrument to help leaders implement the positive leadership strategies described in the book that they can use in everyday life.

The high stress situations of leadership can often lead to negative emotions and thoughts. However, this book provides a positive perspective on leadership and how to achieve success.

To daily joys and happiness, leaders must focus on their strengths, think about the goals they want to achieve, and be grateful for what they have.

Practices like compassion, gratitude, positive thinking, resilience, meditation, and kindness in corporate settings are good traits for business leaders.

The book can live more meaningful lives by creating a positive environment in which they work. Leaders can encourage others to focus on their strengths, and set goals that contribute to the greater good, and organizational health. In doing so, they will not only achieve success but also build a positive, healthy workplace.

Positive Psychology 101

"Appropriate for anyone seeking an introduction to positive psychology and an ideal brief text for relevant college courses, this book surveys the origins and current state of what is known about this evolving field. It places a particular emphasis on well-being as the leading edge of positive psychology research and practice."

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13. Positive Psychology 101

An Introduction to the Science of Happiness is a book that surveys the origins and current state of positive psychology. It explains the key theories and research supporting positive psychology and discusses its three "pillars": subjective well-being and positive emotions, psychological traits, and positive institutions.

It introduces the foundational concepts and describes the specific strengths and virtues upon which it focuses. Woven throughout is the premise that gratitude matters to one's happiness. Does the book explore such major questions as What is happiness? How do one's circumstances impact happiness? What are the traits of well-being? Are relationships important to happiness?

With a nod to the expanding parameters of human interactions today, the book also examines the impact of electronic relationships on well-being. It discusses and responds to the most significant criticisms of the movement and helps readers to understand how the science of positive psychology can enhance their well-being. Insights into the past and future of positive psychology conclude this thoughtful text.

If you're looking for a book that can introduce you to the science of happiness, this book is a great choice. Written by a noted scholar and educator of positive psychology, this book provides a concise and accessible introduction to the field. It covers the major tenets of positive psychology and explains how it can help enhance your well-being. Whether you're new to positive psychology or already familiar with its concepts, this book is sure to provide valuable insights.

Mindset: The New Psychology of Success

"Stanford University psychologist Carol S. Dweck, Ph.D., discovered a simple but groundbreaking idea: the power of mindset. In this brilliant book, she shows how success in school, work, sports, the arts, and almost every area of human endeavor can be dramatically influenced by how we think about our talents and abilities."

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14. Mindset

Mindset: The New Psychology of Success is a book by psychologist Carol Dweck, published in 2006. The book argues that the mindset of individuals is key to their success or failure in life.

Dweck conducted years of research on the topic of mindsets and concluded that there are two types of mindsets: fixed and growth.

People with a fixed mindset believe that their talents and abilities are set in stone – they are either born with them or not. People with a growth mindset, on the other hand, believe that their talents and abilities can be developed over time through effort and practice.

Dweck's research has shown that people with a growth mindset are more likely to achieve success in life than those with a fixed mindset. This is because people with a growth mindset view failure as an opportunity to learn and grow, whereas people with a fixed mindset see failure as a confirmation of their lack of ability.

If you want to achieve success in life, you must develop a growth mindset. This book will show you how to do that. It is packed with useful information and practical tips that you can use to change your mindset and achieve your goals.

I highly recommend this book to anyone who wants to improve their life. It is an essential read for anyone who wants to achieve success.

Stumbling on Happiness

"Harvard psychologist Daniel Gilbert describes the foibles of imagination and illusions of foresight that cause each of us to misconceive our tomorrows and misestimate our satisfactions. With penetrating insight and sparkling prose, Gilbert explains why we seem to know so little about the hearts and minds of the people we are about to become."

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15. Stumbling on Happiness

Stumbling on Happiness is one of the best positive psychology books because it brings to light scientific research in psychology, cognitive neuroscience, philosophy, and behavioral economics. This bestselling book reveals what scientists have discovered about the uniquely human ability to imagine the future, and our capacity to predict how much we will like it when we get there.

The book is written in an engaging and witty tone, making it accessible to a wide audience. Gilbert does an excellent job of explaining the foibles of imagination and illusions of foresight that cause each of us to misconceive our tomorrow and misestimate our satisfaction. If you're looking to improve your self-esteem, increase your happiness, or just learn more about how to live a good life, this book is a great resource.

Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance 

"Angela Duckworth shows anyone striving to succeed that the secret to outstanding achievement is not talent, but a special blend of passion and persistence she calls grit.”

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16. Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance  

In today's society, it seems that the word "happiness" is thrown around a lot. We are constantly told to find our passion and live our best life. But what does that mean? And how do we achieve it?

For many of us, the answer lies in positive psychology. It is the scientific study of the strengths and virtues that enable individuals and communities to thrive. It is based on the belief that people want to lead meaningful and fulfilling lives, and that happiness is within our reach.

Many psychology books can help us learn more about how to live a good life. In this article, we will discuss some of the best positive psychology books that can help you improve your self-esteem, increase your happiness, and achieve your goals.

Love 2.0

"Barbara L. Fredrickson gives us an entirely new way of understanding love and appreciating its benefits."

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17. Love 2.0

Love 2.0 by Barbara L. Fredrickson is a book about the power of love and connection in our lives. Based on research from her lab, Fredrickson shows that love is not a static emotion, but something that can be measured and strengthened.

This book includes informal and formal practices to help readers unlock love in their lives, generate compassion, and self-soothe. With its wide scope and positive message, Love 2.0 is a valuable resource for anyone interested in improving their mental and physical health. Positive psychology researchers and practitioners will find this book essential reading.

This book has the potential to change how we think about love and its place in our lives. Fredrickson’s research on love and micro-moments of positivity is groundbreaking, and her theory has important implications for our health and wellbeing. Love 2.0 is a must-read for anyone interested in positive psychology.

The Happiness Advantage

"The Happiness Advantage reveals how small shifts in our mind-set and habits can produce big gains at work, at home, and elsewhere."

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18. The Happiness Advantage

The Happiness Advantage: How a Positive Brain Fuels Success in Work and Life is a book by Shawn Achor that posits that happiness fuels success, not the other way around. Drawing on research in psychology, Achor provides strategies for rewiring our brains for positivity and optimism to reap the benefits of a happiness advantage in our lives, careers, and health.

Some of the strategies he discusses include the Tetris Effect (how to retrain our brains to spot patterns of possibility so we can see and seize opportunities all around us), social investment (how to earn the dividends of a strong social support network), and the ripple effect (how to spread positive change within our teams, companies, and families).

The Happiness Advantage is an engaging, uplifting book that provides valuable insights into the power of happiness and how it can be used to improve our lives.


"Self-Compassion: Stop Beating Yourself Up and Leave Insecurity Behind offers expert advice on how to limit self-criticism and offset its negative effects, enabling you to achieve your highest potential and a more contented, fulfilled life."

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19. Self-Compassion

Self-Compassion: The Proven Power of Being Kind to Yourself by Kristin Neff is one of the most important positive psychology books available today. Why? Because it has the power to help you improve your self-esteem, increase your happiness, and learn more about how to live a good life. This book is full of exercises and action plans for dealing with every emotionally debilitating struggle, be it parenting, weight loss, or any of the numerous trials of everyday living. Best of all, it is backed by years of research showing that self-compassion is one of the most effective tools we have for increasing happiness and well-being. If you are looking for a book that can make a difference in your life, this is it.

The Best Place to Work

"A captivating look at how companies can foster office culture that fuels creativity, productivity, and a sense of belonging and community among employees. A must-read for the future of work." 

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20. The Best Place to Work

Are you looking for ways to make your workplace more successful? In The Best Place to Work, award-winning psychologist Ron Friedman, Ph.D. reveals the latest research from the fields of motivation, creativity, behavioral economics, neuroscience, and management to show leaders at every level how they can use scientifically-proven techniques to promote smarter thinking, greater innovation, and stronger performance in their organizations.

Friedman combines powerful stories with cutting-edge findings to provide a detailed look at what makes a successful workplace. He explains how learning to think like a hostage negotiator can help you diffuse a workplace argument, why successful companies reward failure, and what casinos can teach us about building a happy workplace. He also provides insights on how to design an office that enhances both attention to detail and creativity.

If you're looking for ways to improve your workplace, The Best Place to Work is a must-read. Friedman's extensive research and real-world examples provide valuable insights that any leader can use to create a more successful organization.

How We Choose the Best Positive Psychology Books

It might be difficult for someone to learn how to manage their mental health and keep a positive attitude. It is tough for someone to pick the appropriate self-help book for their circumstances. We read thousands of reviews on Amazon to find the best positive psychology books for you so that you may learn everything from relationship building to sustaining positive emotions. Find a book that will assist you in bettering your mental health or increasing your happiness.


What are the 5 pillars of positive psychology?

The scientific study of what goes right in life, instead of what goes wrong. The 5 pillars are Positive Emotion, Engagement, Relationships, Meaning, and Accomplishment.

What are the 5 key concepts of positive psychology?

The first concept is that there are three routes to happiness: the pleasant life, the good life, and the meaningful life.

The second concept is PERMA/PERMAH, which stands for Positive Emotions, Engagement, Relationships, Meaning, Achievement / Happiness, Accomplishment, and Health.

The third concept is that everyone has unique strengths and values that they can use to build a satisfying life.

The fourth concept is grit, which refers to the ability to persevere through challenges and setbacks.

Finally, gratitude is another important element. Gratitude allows people to appreciate the good things in their lives even during tough times. It has been linked with increased levels of happiness, health, and well-being.

What is Martin Seligman's best book?

Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience is considered one of the best books on positive psychology. Seligman's work focuses on how people can find happiness and satisfaction in their lives.

What is the best positive psychology book for self-improvement?

The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin is a great book for those looking to improve their lives. Rubin provides readers with actionable steps they can take to increase their happiness.

What is the best positive psychology book for depression?

The Depression Cure by Stephen Ilardi is a great resource for those struggling with depression. Ilardi provides an overview of the causes of depression and offers practical tips for overcoming it.

Who is the father of psychology?

Wilhelm Wundt is the man most commonly identified as the father of psychology. Born in 1832 in Germany, Wundt was fascinated by the workings of the human mind, and he devoted his life to studying consciousness and perception.


If you're looking to improve your self-esteem, increase your happiness, or just learn more about how to live a good life, these books are a great place to start. We hope you find something on this list that resonates with you and helps you on your journey to a more positive life.

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