Be forewarned: Dave Romanelli’s “happy” energy comes through loud and clear from the moment you lay eyes on this book. The bright yellow cover immediately captures your attention with a graphic sparkling sunburst, bold capitalized and italicized letters, and an exclamation point at the end of the subtitle. You will not need an energy drink while reading this book. And for some readers, that will be a good thing: Romanelli’s warm personality, inquisitive nature, and zest for life make him a (mostly) wonderful guide.
The book starts with what Romanelli calls his three guiding principles for life:
- Now is always the best moment;
- Wellness is a state of mind; and
- Happy is the new healthy.
He shares anecdotes from friends, family members, mentors, and strangers to illustrate his principles — and places an emphasis on the daily practice of yoga, meditation, mantras, and positive thinking throughout the book.
As I read his thirty-one ways to live a happier, more celebratory life, I sometimes grew tired of Romanelli’s extreme enthusiasm. The pages are bursting with big, capitalized letters, large-font numbers, bold graphics, dramatic spacing, off-margin boldface tips enclosed in bolded squares, and plenty of exclamation points(!!!).
Depending on my mood as I read, it either invigorated or distracted me; there was no middle ground. Sometimes I just want to read plain, old-fashioned print and let the words set the stage.
If you take away all the visual hype, however, the writing style is conversational, concise, and easy to follow. Reading the text at times is like having a late-night heart-to-heart with a wise, close friend about your struggles. And each topic takes up fewer than ten pages, so you can easily select one or two according to how you’re feeling on a given day.
Romanelli asks us to think of this not as a “self-help” book, but as a “bust loose book!” If you feel the need to try a “bust loose” approach to life, and you could use the help of a yogi protege to motivate you, then this is a good read.
In one chapter, Romanelli instructs us to “Freakin’ Go For It!” Again, if that isn’t your thing, you might want a quieter resource. But after reading Romanelli, I feel almost like I know him. I would even consider attending one of his seminars or book signings — something I rarely consider after reading a self-help book.
Happy Is the New Healthy: 31 ways to Relax, Let Go, and Enjoy Life NOW!
Skyhorse Publishing, January 2015
Hardcover, 192 pages