Our DNA doesn’t want to make us happy. It prefers to keep us forever anxious about potential threats and in need of new rewards that will never quite satisfy us. Our biological self is naturally unhappy, as the 10th century Caliph of Córdoba discovered when he counted the days he had felt happy in his whole life and found they amounted to only 14.

Through a series of conversations with his patients – some funny, others poignant – Rafa Euba reflects on the futility of chasing happiness as a goal, while accepting that money, pills, sex and food sometimes make this quest more agreeable. Yet, even then, the so-called “Paradox of Hedonism” stops us from enjoying ourselves too much, and not even our dreams at night offer respite from our biologically-determined unhappiness.

Rafa Euba is a seasoned psychiatrist, who can’t help constantly pondering about the flaws and wonders of human nature, even when he should be doing other things.

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