What’s the actual secret to happiness? Great memories! Meik Wiking—happiness researcher and New York Times bestselling author of The Little Book of Hygge and The Little Book of Lykke—shows us how to create memories that make life sweet in this charming book.
Do you remember your first kiss? The day you graduated? Your favorite vacation? Or the best meal you ever had?
Memories are the cornerstones of our identity, shaping who we are, how we act, and how we feel. In his work as a happiness researcher, Meik Wiking has learned that people are happier if they hold a positive, nostalgic view of the past. But how do we make and keep the memories that bring us lasting joy?
The Art of Making Memories examines how mental images are made, stored, and recalled in our brains, as well as the “art of letting go”—why we tend to forget certain moments to make room for deeper, more meaningful ones. Meik uses data, interviews, global surveys, and real-life experiments to explain the nuances of nostalgia and the different ways we form memories around our experiences and recall them—revealing the power that a “first time” has on our recollections, and why a piece of music, a smell, or a taste can unexpectedly conjure a moment from the past. Ultimately, Meik shows how we each can create warm memories that will stay with us for years.
Combining his signature charm with Scandinavian forthrightness, filled with infographics, illustrations, and photographs, and featuring “Happy Memory Tips,” The Art of Making Memories is an inspiration meditation and practical handbook filled with ideas to help us make the memories that will bring us joy throughout our lives.
Wiking, who explored the Danish concept of cozy contentment in The Little Book of Hygge, returns to the well of happiness in this fresh exploration of memories and memory making. Providing insight on the concept and history of nostalgia, the author offers guidance on how readers can use memories to find comfort or stave off loneliness. Wiking presents studies some conducted by his own Happiness Research Institute to support his theories on how what one remembers shapes one's life and identity. In order to create happy memories, he recommends seeking out "first" experiences, making occasions "multisensory," rehashing peaks and struggles afterward, and telling stories. Personal anecdotes and plenty of references to movies and literature (Proust's madeleine makes an appearance) will also keep readers engaged. Then, turning from creating memories to remembering them, Meik's advice includes many suggestions that can be easily incorporated into everyday life, such as wearing perfume, employing a soundtrack for certain months, and reconnecting with loved ones. The assertion that one has some agency in what one remembers will be an inspiration to those who have believed memory retention to be beyond their control. Wiking's focus on the pleasure and solace created by happy memories will make this accessible book great for deep study and casual perusal alike.