Why does happiness get harder in your 40s? Why do you feel in a slump even when you’re successful? Where does this malaise come from? And, most importantly, will it ever end? Drawing on cutting-edge research, award-winning journalist Jonathan Rauch answers all these questions. He shows that from our 20s into our 40s, happiness follows a well-documented U-shaped trajectory, a ‘happiness curve’, declining from the optimism of youth into what’s often a long, low trough in middle age, before starting to rise again in our 50s. This isn’t a midlife crisis, though. Rauch reveals that this downturn is instead a natural stage of life – and an essential one.