Relationship Rescue

We asked three ESSENCE readers—a singleton, a dater and a newlywed—to let our experts have a quick look under the hood of their love lives. What we learned could help all of us sweeten our connections.

25 Life-Changing Secrets to Getting Happy

As Black women, we're prone to taking on too much, which means we're usually moving at such warp speed we seldom pause to take a breath, much less consider how we can bolster our sense of joy. It's not that we sit around moaning about how stressed we are. In fact, a recent University of Pennsylvania study found that Black women report more satisfaction with their lives than their White counterparts, in part because our expectations are more aligned with our economic realities. Yet, as we juggle our numerous commitments in a recession economy, many of us experience a slow leak in our joy. What we're really craving is the kind of contentment that puts a smile on our face no matter how low our bank balance drifts or how many nerves our loved ones are trampling. The problem is that happiness can feel so elusive. Like love and lightning, it seems to strike of its own accord...