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A Merry XXXmas!

If you had to choose between food and sex, which would you go for? I pose the question because, as regular readers of my blog will know, there does seem to be a trade-off. Revel in food and the resulting spare tyre means you can’t revel in sex as much as you would have done. […]

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Leveson and happiness

In the same week that we had the Leveson report on the British ‘press’ we also had the Rory Peck Awards for freelance journalists. They are the men and women who risk their lives, without even a salary, to expose the terrible things that are going on all over the world. So it’s unfortunate that […]

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Pain, Happiness And Sex

My latest project is a book on pain relief. It obviously ties in with Help Yourself To Live Longer, first published in 2008 and with a new edition in 2010. But what does it have to do with happiness, a subject on which I write frequently? Quite a lot, actually. The fact is, it’s just […]

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Nobel Happiness Prize

Congratulations to the European Union for winning the Nobel Peace Prize. It’s well-deserved. To explain why I quote the following: Imagine there’s no countries It isn’t hard to do Nothing to kill or die for No religion too Imagine all the people Living life in peace…   Those, of course, were the words of the […]

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How To Be Happier

I’ve just heard from my publisher that my book How To Be Happier has now sold over 50,000 copies. Okay, it’s not quite in the Dale Carnegie league, but it’s a significant number of books. And the fact that it’s the most successful of my self-help titles suggests there are a lot of people who […]

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Olympic Gold For Happiness

The Olympics have provided us with a fascinating lesson in happiness. We’ve seen athletes thrilled to win bronze medals and we’ve seen athletes devastated at winning ‘only’ silver. The contrast between swimmer Rebecca Adlington and rowers Mark Hunter and Zac Purchase could not have been greater. Rebecca came third in the 800 metre freestyle and […]

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Stephen Covey And Self-Help

Stephen Covey, author of Seven Habits Of Highly Effective People, has died at the age of 79. In his lifetime he is believed to have sold some 20 million books. And on the BBC’s Today programme this morning, businessmen Luke Johnson and Mark Constantine revealed that they both read and take inspiration from self-help books. […]

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Happiness, Money And Drugs

The unfortunate death earlier this month of Eva Rausing, wife of Hans Kristian, the Tetra Pak heir said to be worth 5 billion, suggests that fabulous wealth doesn’t automatically translate into fabulous happiness. She was found dead at home after her husband was arrested on suspicion of possessing Class A drugs. The couple, who met […]

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Drugs, Wealth And Misery

Ever since I wrote How To Be Happier people have been telling me that I’ve been missing something. ‘Isn’t it true that you need money to be happy?’ they say. Well, it’s certainly true that being unable to pay the bills causes a lot of unhappiness. And it’s also true that a bit of money […]

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Alan Turing, Sex And The Law

This is the centenary of the birth of Alan Turing, the mathematical genius awarded the OBE in 1945 for the role he played in breaking German codes at Bletchley Park. But in 1952, everything changed for him. That was the year he was arrested for homosexuality. He lost his security clearance and, rather than go […]

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It’s Never Too Late

Last weekend Arthur Gilbert completed his 41st triathlon, comprising a 500 metre swim, a 20 km bike ride and a 5km run. His time was a very creditable 2hr 47 min 22 sec – working out at about 1 kph for the swim, 5kph for the run and 17 kph for the ride. Creditable, that […]

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Depression And Exercise

You may have seen the reports this week that physical exercise is ineffective as a treatment for depression. Well, I don’t agree. John Campbell, Professor of General Practice and Primary Care at Peninsula College of Medicine and Dentistry at Exeter University, described it as a ‘carefully designed research study’. But was it? Here’s what happened. […]

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