Positive psychology gurus and coaches give lots of advice about how we should lead our lives. Their threat is that if we don’t follow their advice, we will not only be unhappy, we risk sickness and death.
When Barbara Ehrenreich’s Bright-Sided: How the Relentless Promotion of Positive Thinking Has Undermined America was published outside of the United States, the book was retitled Smile or Die. The publisher was concerned that non-native English speakers might not understand the play on words in the original title. I think the retitling is actually more apt in capturing the message of positive psychology: buy our advice, buy our books, attend our workshops or die.