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In Defense of Sadness: Happiness Is Overrated

Feb 14, 2008 (Talk of the Nation)

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Americans love to be happy — just look at the self-help section of your local book store. But writer and professor Eric Wilson thinks happiness is overrated. After trying yoga, salads, tai-chi, and a few of those self-help tomes, Wilson concluded: "The road to hell is paved with happy plans."

In his new book Against Happiness, Wilson argues that there is a vital need for sadness in the world and says we're missing out if we medicate it away.

Jerome Wakefield, a professor at New York University School of Medicine, also weighs in on happiness in America. He's the co-author of The Loss of Sadness: How Psychiatry Transformed Normal Sorrow into Depressive Disorder.

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