The surprising power of ordinary things to create extraordinary happiness


Random House presents the audiobook edition of Joyful, written and read by Ingrid Fetell Lee.

Have you ever wondered why we stop to watch the orange glow of a sunset or flock to see cherry blossoms in the spring?

We are often made to feel that the physical world has little or no impact on our inner joy. Increasingly, experts urge us to find balance and calm by looking inward – through mindfulness or meditation – and muting the outside world. But what if the natural vibrancy of our surroundings is actually our most renewable and easily accessible source of joy?

In Joyful, designer Ingrid Fetell Lee, whose TED talk has been viewed over 1 million times, explores how the seemingly mundane spaces and objects we interact with every day have surprising and powerful effects on our mood. Drawing on insights from neuroscience and psychology, as well as design, she explains why one setting makes us feel anxious or competitive while another fosters delight and sharing – and, most important, she reveals how we can harness the power of our surroundings to live fuller, healthier and truly joyful lives.

Includes a downloadable PDF of further material

‘This book has the power to change everything’ Susan Cain
‘A completely original treatment of a completely new and original idea’ Arianna Huffington
A ground-breaking exploration that turns everything we think we know about happiness on its head


  • This book has the power to change everything. Writing with depth, wit, and insight, Ingrid Fetell Lee shares all you need to know in order to create external environments that give rise to inner joy.
    Susan Cain, author of QUIET and founder of Quiet Revolution

About the author

Ingrid Fetell Lee

Ingrid Fetell Lee is a designer and the founder of the blog The Aesthetics of Joy. She has been featured as an expert on design and joy by outlets such as the New York Times, Wired and Fast Company, and her 2018 TED talk received a standing ovation. Lee was formerly Design Director at global innovation firm IDEO and was a founding faculty member in the Products of Design programme at the School of Visual Arts in New York City. She holds an MA in Industrial Design from Pratt Institute and a BA in English and Creative Writing from Princeton University.
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