The 'New Age' movement emerged in the second half of the 20th century and New Age ideas became the vogue in the Western world. New Age is much concerned with personal quality of life and offers both a philosophy of life and various therapeutic practices, presumed to raise happiness. This paper first describes the main recommendations to be found in New Age books. Next it considers the probable effects on happiness of these, by examining both the theoretical plausibility and the empirical conditions of happiness. This paper concludes that several recommendations are likely to produce beneficial consequences. It is argued, however, that the advice will not fit everybody equally well and that some New Age practices may reduce happiness, e.g., practices that undermine a realistic outlook on reality.

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Journal of Happiness Studies
Department of Sociology

Berg, M.C. (2008). New age advice: Ticket to happiness?. Journal of Happiness Studies, 9(3), 361–377. doi:10.1007/s10902-006-9038-x