Get a free audiobook

10% Happier

How I Tamed the Voice in My Head, Reduced Stress Without Losing My Edge, and Found a Self-Help That Actually Works
Written by: Dan Harris
Narrated by: Dan Harris
Length: 7 hrs and 50 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (223 ratings)

CDN$ 14.95/month after 30 days. Cancel anytime.

Publisher's Summary

Nightline anchor Dan Harris embarks on an unexpected, hilarious, and deeply skeptical odyssey through the strange worlds of spirituality and self-help, and discovers a way to get happier that is truly achievable.

After having a nationally televised panic attack on Good Morning America, Dan Harris knew he had to make some changes. A lifelong nonbeliever, he found himself on a bizarre adventure, involving a disgraced pastor, a mysterious self-help guru, and a gaggle of brain scientists. Eventually, Harris realized that the source of his problems was the very thing he always thought was his greatest asset: the incessant, insatiable voice in his head, which had both propelled him through the ranks of a hyper-competitive business and also led him to make the profoundly stupid decisions that provoked his on-air freak-out.

We all have a voice in our head. It's what has us losing our temper unnecessarily, checking our email compulsively, eating when we're not hungry, and fixating on the past and the future at the expense of the present. Most of us would assume we're stuck with this voice that there's nothing we can do to rein it in but Harris stumbled upon an effective way to do just that. It's a far cry from the miracle cures peddled by the self-help swamis he met; instead, it's something he always assumed to be either impossible or useless: meditation. After learning about research that suggests meditation can do everything from lower your blood pressure to essentially rewire your brain, Harris took a deep dive into the underreported world of CEOs, scientists, and even marines who are now using it for increased calm, focus, and happiness.

10% Happier takes listeners on a ride from the outer reaches of neuroscience to the inner sanctum of network news to the bizarre fringes of America's spiritual scene, and leaves them with a takeaway that could actually change their lives.

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying reference material will be available in your Library section along with the audio.

©2014 Daniel Benjamin Harris (P)2014 HarperCollinsPublishers

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    160
  • 4 Stars
    45
  • 3 Stars
    15
  • 2 Stars
    2
  • 1 Stars
    1

Performance

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    158
  • 4 Stars
    29
  • 3 Stars
    13
  • 2 Stars
    1
  • 1 Stars
    1

Story

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    142
  • 4 Stars
    43
  • 3 Stars
    11
  • 2 Stars
    4
  • 1 Stars
    1
Sort by:
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • kd
  • 2018-02-08

Happy I heard this book (with caveats)

You will enjoy this more if you watch US network news, as it is in large part autobiography. I am only vaguely familiar with that industry, but nonetheless thought the book was very valuable as a way of understanding mindfulness. It was very thoughtful and well researched. It contains a considered analysis of Buddhism and the secularization of it as mindfulness. I appreciated Dan's open, honest exploration of the topic and his insights as to the ways mindfulness has helped him, and his challenges in developing a practice.

I felt the writing was affected, heavy handed and unnecessarily full of big words, which often got in the way of the very sincere message he was trying to deliver. Almost like he was trying to show off his extensive vocabulary. Despite all that, I'm curious about his other books and got alot out of this one.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Changed my way of thinking!

I absolutely loved this book. There was a lot of build up to the getting happier part but it was worth it. I am now meditating daily and I am really happy this is the first book I finished this year. Thanks Dan!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

A great read.

I liked this book a lot. I really enjoyed Dan's Story and his humble journey into stopping that inner critic.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

it wasn't what i expected but a pleasant surprise.

I bought this after hearing Dan on Sam Harris's podcast. I was expecting more of a science book, my own mishap, this is a personal journey of sorts, interesting and funny, Dan is good at rehashing his life and awakening, so to speak. he talks fast, as I usually listen in bed I found this irritating, but that's no reflection on the content. I'm happy I stumbled upon this book and may need to have another listen. recommended but not profound.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

beautifully written

very eye opening helping me realize that the voice in my head and my anxiety should not be running my life.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Really enjoyed it.

Good practical story about mindfulness. Nicely addresses any concerns about being both mindful and productive.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Worth a listen!

I have been listening to Dan’s 10% Happier podcasts so I figured it was time to listen to his book. I enjoyed it. It was an easy listen. I laughed out loud when he described his “monkey mind” when learning to meditate and I appreciated his openness with his personal struggles. If you are interested in meditation this is a good book to start with.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Entertaining

This was very entertaining and convincing - vortex was my favourite but this was awesome too! #Audible1

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Great for meditation-curious beginners

Dan Harris narrates his own book. I wanted to read this book after listening to a few of his podcasts, of the same title 10% happier. The book was interesting, and provides a lot of good reasons to start meditating. His style is honest, wry, witty and he is quite likeable. I was not bored at all. It has been part of my journey to learn more about meditation, and it is interesting to hear his personal story. He is not for everyone, he can come off a bit arrogant sometimes, but then mixes it up with self-deprecation - a bit of passive aggressive fluctuation that I was ok with because hey, we're all human.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

"Pretty good"

Don't let 3/5 stars dissuade you. By definition of the stars, it is "pretty good".

The book could be cut down by about 70%. Much of the content only helps portray the author as a skeptical intellectual. This makes me more receptive to his eventual message - but it is overkill. I also was somewhat left feeling that the author's main struggle was left unresolved.

For the actionable benefits, there is little I actually took away: Meditate, and if it's difficult, that's OK. It might help.

Sort by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Julie W. Capell
  • 2016-12-07

Inspired me to restart my meditation practice

I really enjoyed this book, for several reasons.

1. The author, a journalist with ABC who currently anchors Nightline and weekend Good Morning America, clearly knows how to tell a story. He spent years reporting on the war in Afghanistan and other hot spots around the world, and he takes the reader along as he negotiates the dog-eat-dog world of network television news. I found his behind-the-scenes tales of his love-hate relationship with Peter Jennings, rivalries between journalists and revelations about how anchors do their jobs worthwhile in and of themselves.

2. Beginning with his nationally-televised panic attack, Harris does not shirk from showing his “dark side.” Unlike most memoirists, he freely admits to being something of a jerk, and gives multiple examples of his jerky behavior. I found his candor refreshing and relatable
.
3. To get his increasingly out-of-control life back under control, Harris did what lots of people do, he read a self-help book. In fact, he read lots of self-help books. But unlike most people, he had access to the authors. So he went about interviewing gurus of the self-help movement like Eckhart Tolle and Deepak Chopra. He managed to keep on his journalist hat during these meetings and, unlike many others, is willing to say that the emperor has no clothes on. I have always felt vaguely uncomfortable about many of these gurus, and so having a nationally known journalist call them out for their completely unrealistic claims of never having an unhappy thought and all that bull about the law of attraction was terrifically validating. His self-deprecating stories of his first forays into meditation are some of the funniest parts of the book.

4. That someone as skeptical as Harris finds meditation helpful and eventually comes out of the closet to his coworkers about being “a meditator” made me reassess my own feeble attempts to meditate. Harris quotes some compelling evidence of the effectiveness of meditation and then shows how it has helped him in concrete ways. He does not claim to have had some amazing conversion, but rather says he continues to have negative thoughts and sometimes struggles to quiet the “jerk” inside his head. In other words, he’s a regular guy like you and me, and that is ultimately what makes this a five-star read.

[I listened to this as an audio book read by the author. His anchor voice serves the material well and I would highly recommend this version of the book.]

85 of 87 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Russell
  • 2015-05-11

You mean that voice can be tamed - Sign me up!

I really liked this book. While listening to Dan Harris contend with that irksome voice in his own head as he navigated his career and relationships, it gave me some strength in dealing with my inner nagging critic. To be really effective in gaining more happiness though, Dan has convinced me to try meditation.

Self help gurus like Deepak Chopra or Eckhart Tolle may have touched upon the power of meditation but they have so much other mystical baggage that ultimately I'm turned off following what they have to say. Dan's deeply skeptical mind mirrors my own and his wry witty observations makes for a very entertaining journey as he tries to figure out what is important and what is not of value with all the ideas that have flowed from an eastern Buddhist philosophy.

Dan actually does not get to trying meditation until the book is almost half over and that is fine. His life's voyage to this spot is entertaining and sets the stage for why he needs to do this and gives him a vehicle to explain how it makes a positive difference in his life.

The book closes with how science has embraced and backed up the benefits of meditation and mindfulness and a helpful list to follow. I have just downloaded the accompanying PDF that comes with the book and will follow the meditation instructions. Dan suggests I start with five minutes a day. Not a bad investment of time if we can get ourselves 10% happier.



154 of 159 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Patrick
  • 2014-04-08

Mandatory read before trying any self-help books

I've been around the block with the self-help books. From Chopra to countless others and wish this book was around years ago. It's basically a long news segment on an industry that can prey on people in their most vulnerable state of mind.

Harris gives fair assessment to the big names of the industry that he interviews and makes the reader think that he's finally found something that works, then he slams it by cutting through the BS. He's highly skeptical and doesn't get fooled easily, which I like. Out of the many books I've gotten here on Audible, this is one of the few that I can say was actually beneficial. I'm not saying I won't venture back into the realm of self-help topics, but I'll be more cautious and analytical next time.

I highly recommend as a pre-read before trying the works of Chopra or Tolle.

If this review helped you please click the button below...thanks.

662 of 693 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Lela
  • 2014-03-13

insightful, deep and highly entertaining

Where does 10% Happier rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

This books ranks at the top of my list of self-help memoirs.

What did you like best about this story?

I bought this audiobook by mistake. I thought I was buying a book by Sam Harris, who has had a way of shaking my reality just enough to make some small but important changes. As I embarked on listening to my new purchase, I was most disappointed when Sam Harris', by now familiar voice, all or a sudden sounded like television reporter. At first I thought there was something wrong with the recording. Then I realized that I was listening to a Dan Harris not Sam Harris. Reluctantly I surrendered to my mistake and decided to give this Dan a chance. After my initial disappointment, I began to appreciate this unexpected author. Dan Harris, whom, I, as non-television watcher, had never heard of before, was taking me on an interesting journey of the inner life of a successful, striding for ever more success, ABC News reporter in New York. At first he struck me as an arrogant, extremely driven and cut-throat person. Yet at the same time he was intriguingly honest and surprisingly self-aware, a very unusual combination, I thought. He tells his stories of being at the forefront of many history making events all over the world, with the professionalism of a great reporter. With that same hard-edged, no-nonsense attitude, he goes about discovering the world of self-inquiry and comes across mindfulness and meditation. He interviews Eckhart Tolle, Deepak Chopra, Joe Vitale, among others, with all of whom he is heart-wrenchingly but also refreshingly critical. The most critical though he is with himself. As he leads us, with an accuracy and bluntness that is admirable, through his own pitfalls and discoveries in his attempts to master meditation, he manages to shed a fresh light on this path, a light that is both entertaining and highly informative. He is able to describe his own difficulties and slowly but surely finds the gold nuggets of mediation with the drive and intuitiveness of a no-bullshit reporter. Listening to how mercilessly he "destroys" anybody he considers vague or spiritually fluffy, I cringe at the thought of how he would treat me, a seasoned meditator at the fringe of society. By the end of the book though, I have to admit to myself, that I had been as critical with television news reporters, and people in the cut-throat professional world, as he had been with the people in the spiritual world. It was time for me to shed this, up to this point unnoticed, arrogance of mine. This was an insight that immediately made me at least 10% happier!
I believe that with this book Dan Harris succeeds to not only build an important bridge between two worlds that have seemed far apart and somewhat incompatible, the professional world and spiritual world, but he also brings a unprecedented freshness and clarity to the latter. Nobody, in my 30 years of studying mindfulness, has been able to bring as bright a light to the conundrum of meditation versus ambition, as Dan has in this book.

Which scene was your favorite?

The scene where he describes his first ten-day meditation retreat is hilarious, heart-wrenchingly honest and brilliantly informative.

What’s an idea from the book that you will remember?

Learning to care and not to care. T.S. Elliot

234 of 246 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Karen
  • 2014-03-23

Not really a self-help book, but a great listen

Initially, I felt put off by this book's "self-help" label because it seems most books in that genre simply repackage stuff your mom told you for free. What changed my mind were reviews on Goodreads and audible.com where readers tend to be a tough crowd and a book generally has to be very, very good to rate a 4 or 5-star rating. So, I figured why not, and picked up the audio version. As I began listening, I found the author (who also narrates the story) to be funny in a self-deprecating way and disarmingly honest -- I also realized this isn't really a self-help book.

The author describes what contributed to his on-air panic attack on "Good Morning America" and the details of his subsequent journey of self-discovery. He describes interviewing self-help authors like Eckhart Tolle, Deepak Chopra and others... and rather than revering them as gurus, is skeptical about the uniqueness of their insights and approach. He decides the "voice in my head is an a--hole" and seeks actionable ways to cultivate a more effective coping mechanism. He ultimately tries meditation and finds it to be a useful way to cope with stress and cultivate compassion. This book has something for everyone:
- For folks who meditate, this story is a nice reminder of the benefits of meditation.
- For those not into meditation, it feels like listening an old friend tell his story of moving beyond a life altering event by "upping his game and becoming a leading man."
This is one of those books that would be good read on a Kindle or paperback, but is an absolutely great audiobook. Highly recommended.

208 of 225 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Natasha
  • 2014-03-25

Spoke to the cynic in me

What did you love best about 10% Happier?

I loved that it got a cynic like me to actually try meditation and get past my previous belief that there was no way I could ever do it. I really recommend this for anyone who thinks they wouldn't be able to 'clear' their mind or thoughts enough - that is what I thought and it turns out what the author started off thinking too. This book took me on a journey - one that I ultimately enjoyed. I felt like it was taking a while to get to the punchline but I'm glad I stuck it out - because this is the first book to explain mindfulness to me in a way I could understand.

Who was your favorite character and why?

I liked Dan Harris's refreshing honesty about himself and his own ego and mistakes. It made for some funny and also very touching moments, but it also gave me inspiration to be as honest with myself.

What about Dan Harris’s performance did you like?

It's great to hear the author of a memoir telling their own story, and his professional experience obviously helps make his performance as good as it is.

What did you learn from 10% Happier that you would use in your daily life?

Dan uses some great analogies throughout the book that sat really well with me - my favourite was of your thoughts being like water going over a waterfall and that the trick is not just to flow over with them but to try and sit behind the water and watch it. That really clicked for me for some reason.

Any additional comments?

Some people have said this isn't a self-help book but it has really helped me - even tho my meditation practice is slow going, I've just become more mindful of my thoughts and reactions since reading it. I think it will sit well with you if you are interested in meditation as a concept but not keen on the airy fairy incense burning reputation - I like that Dan investigates how to be calmer while not losing your ambition and competitive edge.

87 of 95 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Anonymous
  • 2015-05-30

It's all about Dan Harris not spirituality

If you love Dan Harris then you'll love this book; it's all about Dan, and how the universe effects Dan. If you want to learn about spirituality, listen to Mindfulness in the Great Courses Series.

48 of 54 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Sara P
  • 2018-03-15

I can’t believe I spent the time to listen to this

The TL;DR/L (listen): Dan Harris wanted to be a successful news anchor, put a ton of pressure on himself and was in stressful situations like war zones, started doing cocaine, had a panic attack on air (go figure), interviewed someone who piqued his interest in Buddhism and meditation, learned to meditate. It helped, as did stopping using cocaine. The end.

Listening to this drawn out to over 7 hours was painful. I should have quit listening earlier. He made a few funny jokes which made me think it would get better. It didn’t.

51 of 58 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Judy S.
  • 2015-08-03

Took to long to get to the point

What disappointed you about 10% Happier?

The narrator did a good job with the story but the point of the whole book could have been written in a blog post.

31 of 35 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Ryan
  • 2017-10-11

Exceeded All Expectations

This book is superb. From the first moments, it gripped my total attention and kept me engaged throughout. This witty and informative book is a definite must. I particularly liked how skeptical the author was interviewing the gurus of self improvement. The story of the author meeting and interviewing the Dalai Llama is over the top awesome.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

Sort by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • DL
  • 2018-02-24

Terrific book

Thanks Dan for a great story, an engaging narration, and plenty of food for thought.