Happy, Joyous, and Free

Love your life, no matter what

Non-Fiction - Self Help
162 Pages
Reviewed on 05/29/2022
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    Book Review

Reviewed by Lesley Jones for Readers' Favorite

Everyone at some time or another has faced trauma, problems, or obstacles that seem impossible to overcome. Pain and problems are part and parcel of life - these experiences help us learn and grow as individuals. From the author's personal experiences, mentors, and her own clients, discover how we can face our problems positively, change how we interpret them, and use the negative experience in an empowering way. The principles outlined in Happy, Joyous, and Free by Melanie Yates have been tried and tested and will bring clarity to your own thought processes and behaviors that could be working against you. Explore how your brain has been programmed to deceive and misinterpret situations; then learn the techniques to question your thoughts and actions so you empower yourself. Discover why success, happiness, and love may have been eluding you and how you can fix it. Love plus choices equal peace; it is time to end the inner war within ourselves and decide to make life work for and not against you.

The content in Happy, Joyous, and Free by Melanie Yates is some of the most thought-provoking and life-changing I have ever come across. In fact, I laughed out loud through many of the chapters because the author absolutely nailed how negatively we talk to ourselves. I admired her brutal honesty as she spoke of her own personal journey and her destructive emotions of blame, criticism, and judgment of others. The wall analogies which cover your mindset when trying to reach a goal were visually powerful and I imagine many readers will recognize themselves in one of the examples. The line that we often create dramas around problems we have no control over will stay with me forever; this was such a simple but powerful statement.

There were so many golden nuggets of information, guidance, and wisdom throughout the book. I thought the questions to ask yourself to validate negative self-talk or situations were incredible and the section on why we continue to engage in negative behavior truly enlightening. I thought the tip to replace should with could is so beneficial. My favorite chapter covered gratitude and how we can learn to be grateful for any given situation. Anyone who reads this book will definitely be armed to distinguish facts from feelings, set healthy boundaries with toxic people, and learn to question every negative thought. This book will help you to cease hiding from the truth to take accountability for your actions and give you the steps to work through negative emotions.

Lois J Wickstrom

Happy, Joyous, and Free by Melanie Yates is the story of a woman who has made that endless stream of self-help books work in her life. She gives credit to a long list of them. She states their main ideas and tells stories of how these ideas played out in her life and affected her thoughts. She tells the reader about her mistakes, her reading, and the resulting changes in her thinking. The structure of her book is based on other self-help books she has read that helped her change her thinking and become happier. This book is God-based, but Melanie doesn’t care what you call God – a higher power, love, spirit, or any other name. A God by any other name... She says if you don’t like the God you have, fire it, and create a new one – one you can talk to, one you can love, one you can trust who always has your ultimate good in mind. You want one that is strong enough to trust with your happiness.

I know I’ve read plenty of self-help books. And I’ve received temporary benefits from them, but nothing life-changing, nothing permanent. Melanie Yates has been down this road. She’s read many of the books. She’s applied many of the ideas. Her happiness level has improved. Happy, Joyous, and Free is her journey, and her self-help story. I find it heartening that she has benefitted from applying the wisdom of other books. Her book now joins the ranks of books for helping others.

Jamie Michele

Happy, Joyous, and Free: Love your life, no matter what by Melanie Yates is a non-fiction self-help book intent on teaching readers how to reach a level of peace that may seem out of reach as we surround ourselves with the issues of the day, but is actually attainable and as fulfilling as we would all hope it to be. Yates opens with her own testimony of a life that left her feeling miserable, and how “the gift of desperation” was what was needed for her to start making changes. The book is broken down into four distinct parts: Obstacles, Love For Your Self, Love for Others, and Choices. Within each part, Yates gives us examples of where we may be struggling, whether it is through laziness or finding “worth-grabs” for self-esteem boosts, or by surrounding ourselves with physical clutter that clutters the rest of our lives.

Melanie Yates provides some sound pieces of advice in Happy, Joyous, and Free. I appreciated her incorporation of personal experience, which allowed me to connect on a level that I haven't been able to with other similar books. I am reminded of something my mother used to say, “You are alive for more than to pay bills and lose weight.” Perhaps it was the channeling of the tough love only someone who really cares for you can give you, which is where Yates comes in. It's clear that she cares about the reader even though she doesn't know them. She's been there, and she wants to help you be the best, happiest version of yourself. One part, in particular, has an activity where you select the five people you care most about to be most central to you on a corkboard, still maintaining connections with others outside the five, but centering your energy onto your five. This is one of many excellent morsels in the book and I think there are many who will find it empowering.