The Finnish Way: Finding Courage, Wellness and Happiness Through the Power of Sisu


Forget hygge–it’s time to blow out the candles and get out into the world! Journalist Katja Pantzar did just that, taking the huge leap to move to the remote Nordic country of Finland. What she discovered there transformed her body, mind and spirit. In this engaging and practical guide, she shows readers how to embrace the “keep it simple and sensible” daily practices that make Finns one of the happiest populations in the world, year after year.

Topics include:

*Movement as medicine: How walking, biking and swimming every day are good for what ails us–and best done outside the confines of a gym
*Forest therapy: Why there’s no substitute for getting out into nature on a regular basis
*Healthy eating: What the Nordic diet can teach us all about feeding body, mind and soul
*The gift of sisu: Why Finns embrace a special form of courage, grit and determination as a national virtue – and how anyone can dig deeper to survive and thrive through tough times.

If you’ve ever wondered if there’s a better, simpler way to find happiness and good heath, look no further. The Finns have a word for that, and this empowering book shows us how to achieve it.


Full disclosure..I have an obsession with all things Nordic. I’ve been delighted by the recent explosion of books on Fika, Hygge, Lagom, ect. The ideas are so wholesome and welcoming and just plain comforting.

Alas, I did not love this book.

The summary makes it sound excellent. Do I want to learn about strength, movement as medicine, forest therapy and healthy eating? YES! That all sounds wonderful! But that’s not what this book is about. It’s a self indulgent, 220 page love letter to swimming in freezing water in the winter (something you probably will never see me do, even if it would make my hair grow, cause me to be invincible and raise my IQ 10 points. Not. Gonna. Happen.)

So, my take on this book is, if you love doing laps in freezing cold water, read it. Otherwise, save your Nordic book reading for something like The Little Book of Lykke: Secrets of the World’s Happiest People by Meik Wiking.

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