The Happiness Industry Verso 2015

The Happiness Industry

William Davies


What was a Buddhist monk doing at the 2014 World Economic Forum in Davos lecturing the world's leaders on mindfulness? Why do many successful corporations have a chief happiness officer? What can the chemical composition of your brain tell a potential employer about you? In the past decade, governments and corporations have become increasingly interested in measuring the way people feel: the Happiness index, Gross National Happiness, well-being and positive psychology have come to dominate the way we live our lives. As a result, our emotions have become a new resource to be bought and sold. In a fascinating investigation combining history, science and ideas, William Davies shows how well-being influences all aspects of our lives: business, finance, marketing and smart technology. This book will make you rethink everything from the way you work, the power of the Nudge, the ever-expanding definitions of depression, and the commercialization of your most private feelings. ‘The Happiness Industry’ is a shocking and brilliantly argued warning about the new religion of the age: our emotions.