Why parents are less happy than people with kids- my new piece on the Guardian

My new piece on the Guardian talks about why parents are less happy than the childfree, and what we might be able to do about this.

Read it here!

And if you are interested in reading more about why our obsession with happiness is making us anxious and miserable, you can order my book here.


Come and see my new Facebook Author page

I have set up a Facebook Author page, where I will sharing updates about new writing, events, other happiness related shenanigans and everything related to my book, The Pursuit of Happiness and Why It’s Making Us Anxious (Hutchinson, Penguin.)  I hope you will come and visit and me over there, and even ‘like’ me (if that doesn’t sound too needy!)

Check out my Facebook page here

And if you want to order the book, you can do so here.






Great review for the Pursuit of Happiness in the Sunday Times

I was thrilled to receive a great review for my book, The Pursuit of Happiness and Why It’s Making us Anxious in the Sunday Times today, who hilariously flatteringly describe me as the “whip-sharp British Bill Bryson.”

“She has Bryson’s sharp ear for language and its potential for absurdity….This is not merely a personal voyage of enlightenment, however, nor an extended eye-roll at wacky Americans. The book’s serious underpinning is a warning about how happiness is being weaponised by governments and employers, directed towards their people to make them work harder and longer…..

With warm wit and chilling logic, The Pursuit of Happiness shows that the human desire for contentment can be manipulated and distorted until it is barely recognisable, Big Brother as smiley face, a frown turned upside down and back to front.”

Buy the book on Amazon

Buy the book at Waterstones


My book is out!

The Pursuit of Happiness

My book, The Pursuit of Happiness, and Why It’s Making Us Anxious (Hutchinson, Penguin) is out this week in the UK! (US release in October.)

“a whip-sharp British Bill Bryson”- The Sunday Times.

(Chosen as one of Newsweek’s Nine Books That Will Change the Way you Think in 2016)

Are you happy? Right now? Happy enough? As happy as everyone else? Could you be happier if you tried harder?

“As your average cynical Brit, when Ruth Whippman moves to California, it seems to her that the American obsession with finding happiness is driving everyone crazy. But soon she starts to get sucked in. She meditates and tries ‘mindful dishwashing’. She attends a self-help course that promises total transformation (and learns that all her problems are her own fault). She visits a strange Nevada happiness dystopia (with one of the highest suicide rates in America), delves into the darker truths behind the influential ‘science of happiness’, and even ventures to Utah, where she learns God’s personal secret to eternal bliss. Ultimately she stumbles upon a more effective, less self-involved, less anxiety-inducing way to find contentment.

Hilarious and honest, this is an eye-opening look at what happiness really means.”

Order it on Amazon

Order it at Waterstones

Order it at Foyles

Order it at WHSmith


What do you do when another woman breastfeeds your toddler, and other dilemmas from the crazy badlands of California parenthood.

It’s hard to believe we’ve been in California for nearly three years.  Come check out my column about some of the loopier aspects of being a parent over here, for new British lifestyle magazine Motherland.  If you like it, why not come and visit me on my new website ruthwhippman.com (and sign up for email updates over there)

California Screaming

“I have a dilemma, and I need your advice” my friend Jennifer confides. We are at her house for a social arrangement that back in London would have been pitched as “come over and we’ll ignore the children,” but over here is known as a “playdate.” The kids are jacked up on organic figs and running round in maniacal circles, screeching. In California this is called ‘self-directed play’.

“What’s up?” I ask.
“I think my daughter’s been breastfed by another woman.”

Read more here