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What does it take to live a truly good life? Money, success, great love? Robert Waldinger and Marc Schulz, the current director and associate director of the Harvard Study of Adult Development, attempt to answer this age-old question in their New York Times best seller The Good Life: Lessons from the World’s Longest Scientific Study of Happiness. The book is the result of the “longest in‑depth longitudinal study of human life ever done.” Launched in 1938, the study—which is still ongoing—traces the lives of 724 participants and more than 1,300 of their descendants. Its takeaway thus far, unpacked in The Good Life, should come as no surprise: that deep, healthy relationships keep us happier. Waldinger and Schulz’s industrious use of research and data, as well as their thoughtful and relatable storytelling, serve as a welcome alternative to traditional self-help fare and a heartwarming guide for those of us plagued by the chaos of modern living. —Rachel Sonis

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