Why We Play

Why We Play

How to find joy and meaning in everyday life

Joanna Fortune


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Discover how to reconnect with the child in you and unlock the transformative power of play to live a more joyful life.


Can you remember the utter delight of playing chase in the park, flying a kite in the summer breeze, or sinking your hands into a box of paints? As children, playing is how we make sense of the world and our place in it. Why then, as adults, do we forget how to play?


Drawing on over twenty years of neuroscientific research, psychotherapist Joanna Fortune has discovered that play is the key to living a happier and more meaningful life. She shares the social, emotional, and physical health benefits of why it’s so good for us, including how to:


  • Practice micro moments of joy to boost positive mood
  • Embrace wonderment to help unlock creativity and problem solving
  • Find the fun in your everyday to alleviate stress
  • Use storytelling to heal from trauma and find emotional resilience
  • Nurture a holiday state of mind to rest your brain and recharge
  • Utilise simple techniques to repair and strengthen relationships


From the first blissful sip of freshly brewed coffee to an immune-boosting good laugh with close friends, this ground-breaking book shows how play is rooted in our daily experiences. With helpful insights, tips, and exercises, you’ll discover the tiny changes that will revolutionise your life and why you’re never too old for play.


Fans of Atomic Habits and Solve for Happy will love Why We Play.


Read what everyone is saying about Why We Play:


Brilliant… joyful and transformative.’ Stefanie Preissner


I absolutely adore this book and it was a such a treat to read.’ Goodreads reviewer, 5 stars


A necessary book for those aiming to improve their day-to-day lives through something as easy as PLAY!’ Goodreads Reviewer


‘A great book… highly recommend.’ Angelic Light Book Review


An excellent reference guide to how we can introduce play and fun into every aspect of our lives, including the workplace where “a curious mind is a playful mind”. The exercises are terrific!’ NetGalley reviewer, 5 stars


‘A great book… The activities are varied, extensive… a book I would 100% recommend to any adult who wants to enjoy life and live their best life.’ Goodreads reviewer


Joanna Fortune:
Joanna Fortune is an accredited psychotherapist, trainer, supervisor and author. She founded the Solamh Parent Child Relationship Clinic (www.solamh.com) in Dublin in 2010 where she works with families around a variety of issues, specialising in attachment therapy and the parent–child relationship. She is a recognised supervisor, trainer and conference speaker in her field. In 2017 she delivered a TEDx Talk on the topic ‘Social media – the ultimate shame game?’ Having previously written a parenting column for the Sunday Times (Ireland Edition) she continues to write and contribute to articles on child development and parenting in various other print publications. She is also a regular media contributor to a variety of Irish radio and TV shows including regular appearances on Ireland AM and RTE Today Show amongst others. She is the consultant on the weekly parenting slot on Newstalk FM’s Seán Moncrieff Show. She has contributed to a number of books and publications. The 15-minute parenting series is her first solo written series.