The Happier Approach


People would describe you as accomplished, responsible and successful. From the outside, you look happy, in control and on top of things. But secretly you feel tired, disillusioned and overwhelmed. The truth is you are in survival mode…checking things off the to-do list, making everyone happy and for what??

All the experts say to practice gratitude, repeat mantras and think positive, and you do but it isn’t really helping. So you push down the feelings of exhaustion and negativity and sing the chorus of ‘so blessed’ and ‘everything Is wonderful’. But at the end of the day, you are just surviving. You just want to make it through the day without counting down the minutes until you can crawl into bed.

After almost 20 years of working with people as a coach and counselor, I have come to realize that the #1 thing that prevents us from feeling happier is the negative voice in our head.

That nasty voice, you know the one that says your hair is too gray, you are a terrible mom, or you failed yet again at work. The catch 22 is that your Monger convinces you that you need her to become a better version of yourself.

We are told to practice self-compassion…but what does that even mean?!? Especially when your whole life you were taught that being kind to yourself will make you soft and cut your competitive advantage.

Through humor and storytelling you will learn::

  • How to unhook the belief that being kind to yourself will make you soft and cut your competitive advantage.
  • When your Monger has taken over and what to do next.
  • Why your BFF can steer you in the wrong direction.
  • How to unleash your Biggest Fan so you can make decisions for your life without shame, or guilt and be genuinely happier.

You don’t need to stay in survival mode. You just need a different approach…The Happier Approach.

The Happier Approach is a book for people who are tired of being a slave to their Monger, who want to break free of survival mode and who want to start living, a more productive genuine life.

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Praise for The Happier Approach

“I love this book! It’s so accessible and immediately useful – and the examples and stories are perfect. While the model she offers for shifting our patterns of self-talk is simple, creating this kind of change in ourselves is absolutely not easy. The stories and examples Nancy shares in this book make it so actionable immediately. You can pick up this book and begin systematically changing the conversation is your head in a very real way. I’m so excited to recommend this book to my clients and friends. I can already think of so many people I know whose lives will be so much better after they read and implement Nancy Jane’s many-years-of-experience advice. I know my own life is changed by it already! Get this book!”

–Michelle Barry Franco, Owner Brilliance at Work

A happier approach to life, like all worthy endeavors, requires practical tools that people can utilize in their daily lives. It is one thing to want to be happier; it is quite another to build skills to experience one’s sense of authentic happiness. Nancy Jane Smith provides a vivid framework and concrete tools to support the pursuit of happiness. For anyone curious about a straightforward way to address blocks and tap into more happiness, this book is for you.

–Erin McHam MA, LPCC-S

“I don’t typically go searching for self-help books because ones I’ve read either don’t offer new information or the advice is not very practical. The thing I liked most about The Happier Approach is how approachable it is. The author’s personality and lightheartedness drew me in and then the bite-size steps toward improvement were actually implementable for this busy, entrepreneurial mom. The three characters are a strong, concrete visual that helps the advice feel more manageable.”

–Katy Osborn

“I’ve done a lot of inner critic/inner mentor work and just when I thought I’d heard it all, enter Nancy and her book, The Happier Approach. Wow! Nancy’s kind and compassionate approach to the inner critic is refreshing and new, and she fills in the gaps where people often get stuck. This book offers the piece that is missing from so many self-help books and should be your first read if you’re looking to get unstuck and find more peace and happiness. As practical and wise as Martha Beck and as shame-free as Brené Brown, Nancy’s book, The Happier Approach, is a real gift and has already earned top-shelf status on my bookshelf. Thank you, Nancy!”

— Nita Apple


Nancy Jane Smith, MSEd., LPC is a Licensed Professional Counselor and coach and trainer. She graduated with her BA in Psychology from Miami University and earned Masters of Science Degrees in both Counseling and Higher Education from the University of Dayton. Nancy also completed her postgraduate training in Gestalt Therapy at the Gestalt Institute of Central Ohio and is a Certified Daring Way™ Facilitator. A highly experiential methodology based on the research of Dr. Brené Brown

She has 13 years of private practice and 20 years of working as a counselor/coach. Helping people build new coping skills and stop being controlled by their High Functioning Anxiety. Nancy hosts a weekly podcast exploring the topic of High Functioning Anxiety called The Happier Approach

In addition to The Happier Approach™, Nancy has written two other books each with tips, lessons and, stories on Living Happier. Juice Squeezed: Lessons Learned in a Quest to Live Happier and This Stuff is Hard: Making Peace with Your Anxiety.