Achieving happiness has become a national obsession, but no two studies seem to agree on what women need to do to "be happy": Get married as soon as possible! Wait until you’re 25 to get married! Have kids! Don’t have kids! Eat more salmon! “You know what I think? It's all bullshit,” writes Rebecca Traister for Salon. “I'm just not sure that ‘happiness’ is supposed to be the stable human condition, and I think it's punishing that we're constantly being pushed to achieve it."
An endless stream of advice is forced on us—particularly if we’re female—about how to live a perfect life, but all it’s doing is making us feel like failures for not “warbling and grinning” the days away. More importantly, “‘not happy’ has its own rewards,” Traister continues. “The elements of life that make us sad or upset or bored show us what we do not want; they give shape and specificity to what it is we do want and perhaps the motivation to work toward it.”
(Read more happiness stories.)