The Good Life: Lessons from the World’s Longest Scientific Study of Happiness

By Robert Waldinger, MD, and Marc Schulz, PhD – Simon and Schuster, 2023

We live in an age of hyper-connectedness, and yet people are dying of loneliness. It is more important than ever to cultivate solid and positive relationships—family, friends, romantic partners and even casual connections, at every stage of our lives. Feeling like your life makes a difference to another person provides motivation and resilience for the tough times we all experience. 

The authors draw on the ongoing Harvard Study of Adult Development. Initiated 85 years ago, it is the longest-running study of its kind. The Good Life features compelling personal stories of study participants, shedding light on their experiences and how their lives unfolded. The simple but not always easy takeaway is that positive relationships keep us happier and healthier and help us live longer. While the book is grounded in the Harvard study, it also incorporates insights from other research, as well as the authors’ own experiences, to create a comprehensive and practical approach to finding happiness and creating a fulfilling life.