Experience the Helper’s High: Have your say on my book’s cover.

Ready to have your say immediately? Click here to vote!

An Amazon.com reviewer of The Healing Power of Doing Good, a 1992 book written by social campaigner Allan Luks, said he decided to put the book’s claims to the test.

So what were those claims?

Broadly the book reported on a study of over 3,000 volunteers, showing that when they helped others, they also benefited, leading to an effect now known as the “Helper’s High”.

In fact, Luks’s book introduced both the concept and the term “Helper’s High”.

The Amazon reviewer (Frank) reported that he started teaching English to someone who didn’t already speak the language – for just two hours a week – and in only a couple of weeks noticed a change in his own sense of well-being.

He said he left the tutoring sessions on a kind of high, then later felt more calm and focused.

It’s worth remembering that helping someone else can be a fantastic way to give yourself a boost when you need it.

Perhaps you’d like to experience this right now?


With humble apologies for the remarkably self-serving nature of this experiment, it’s actually me who’d like your help.

You see, the wonders of modern printing technology mean we have the luxury of being able to make design decisions about my book’s cover with less than three weeks until it’s published, so I’d love your vote on which design you prefer.

Please click on the link below where you’ll see a few different concepts.

Click here to vote!

Then have your say by voting, and also feel very free to add your thoughts in the Comments section below.

Who knows, lending a hand might even give you a modest helper’s high yourself.

60 thoughts on “Experience the Helper’s High: Have your say on my book’s cover.

  1. I like the progressing weather symbols that indicate the a long term change of mood is a journey and isn’t necessarily a big ass leap all in one bound (although it could be).

    I like the (as we say now in the UK following a very successful tv advert campaign) this cover to me “does what is says on the tin”. It gives you all you need to know about what’s gonna be inside with some neat graphics to illustrate the journey you’re hopefully about to take.

    Hope that helps.
    Good luck!
    I’ll be looking out as to how to order a copy here in Blighty.

    1. Hi there – my preference was definitely A – the weather symbols. For me, the green cover really stood out and was instantly appealing and uplifting.

    1. I think No 1 will stand out amongst other books. The illustration demonstrates clearly what the book is about. I prefer No 2 as a piece of art- would make a good poster! However my vote is definitely for No 1.

  2. As a picture I liked B, but it was similar to lots of others, particularly books on mindfulness, whereas D stands out in a way that would catch my eye.

  3. The stepping stones one, looks the calmest and gives an impression of this book takes you seriously and does it with an approach of caring and calm

  4. Hi,
    Preferred 1 as great colours, simple & bolder – more uplifting than the darker B.
    D domino style more corporate.
    2nd favourite planting the seeds although the flower was looking weak and wobbly
    Who is yr book aimed at? That will be very relevant.

    Wishing you great success. 🙂

  5. I love the first one and of course that’s how I voted. Please not the stones, they look so heavy more like Trudge your Way to Happiness and the little flower looks so light and airy that I know that’s not possible. The last one looks dark and techy so really you only have one choice and I can’t remember the fifth!

  6. Our household voted A or D so I voted twice! Thought D was clever and A very clear and bright. If the stones were much lighter, maybe, but then that’s been done a lot I think…

  7. design A to me looked like a cheap ebook cover. D looked the most professional to me as well as made it seem the content was doable.

  8. I feel that the plants growing had a clean fresh optomistic look and got my vote.
    As the first comment pointed out, the stones did not raise hope for the future for some reason. Usually stepping stones draw you to them, these did not.
    Wish you luck with your choice of cover (and sales of your book)
    P.S. A would get my second vote.

  9. I prefer the flowers. It is friendly and represents an opening out of a person to growth and happiness. Maybe the title could be a little more dark to stand out more. I feel the stones are too dreary and suggest heavy weight meditation to me. Words only front evokes nothing in me and perhaps looks a bit too ‘textbooky’. Dial is visually boring and could be mistaken as a car servicing book! Pushing the wooden blocks suggests sequential falling, the opposite intent of the book’s title.

  10. I like the stepping stones the best. I get the sense of taking small natural feeling steps. I also feel peace and space.

    NOTE: I have tried to select in the form but it didn’t let me select any options. I will try again as it might be a glitch.

  11. I like A, but find the presentation too clean and unmessy, as if it’s a quick fix to becoming untroubled. I chose B because it really is stepping stones, it’s real and of this world. The other designs look trashy to me, but the dominoes one is again too clinical. However there is one thing about B, choose a cleaner and less jazzy looking font for the title.

  12. Sorry to be a bit negative, but I confess I didn’t love any of them! However, the stones were the least worst option for me. The cartoons looked a bit childish, the dominoes had a negative connotation for me, and the speedometer felt too technical and aggressive. I would have preferred a sans serif font, as it is cleaner looking, and easier to read. Before I saw the choices, I think I was imagining some sort of calendar page, maybe with hand-drawn emoticons, getting happier?

  13. I like the dominoes cover as it is the only one that conveys movement – the mental nudging that Jon’s posts help us with.

  14. I love the growth one (c) as it is powerfully positive and grounded in nature and therefore reliable.
    I don’t like the dominoes because they are being knocked over! The weather one is ok but too brash for me…stepping stones…too cliched! The smiley meter is a bit black!
    The content is the thing though and anyone who has ever read anything by Jon Cousins knows of his full hearted approach and can rest assured that they are in safe hands for their journey!

  15. I like D because it indicates that there is an active element in overcoming obstacles and finding happiness ; the finger is pushing over the dominoes in its path.

  16. Absolute gut reaction and without thinking about it, which is how I’d be attracted or otherwise in a bookshop. C, because it’s simple and happy. Others looked to heavy or reminiscent of other books. Good luck!

  17. I was torn between A and D, and voted D as I thought it looked the most professional, it’s a cover I would notice in the book shop and delve into. Good luck with all this Jon, I look forward to purchasing said item. You must be so excited that D-Day is almost here.
    Best wishes to you and the family.

  18. I voted for the first one but also really liked the last one with the smiley meter, just not in black. I think it would work really well in a brighter, more positive colour.

  19. My preference is definitely D gives a visual image of a small effort to happiness having a, well not to be too obvious a domino effect. Nice neutral colours, not in your face. Looks very classy & gender neutral.

  20. All of these give a bit of a “self-published” vibe…the smiley meter is the one that looks less so. I don’t know that the concept is right, but it is gives less of it.

  21. Voted for the dominoes as I liked the subtle message, but was also attracted by the growing flower. Depends which mood I’m in when I look at them: flower when I’m cheerful, dominoes when I’m despondent. The dark and heavy ones might send me to the gin bottle (and I don’t even like gin).

  22. Obviously all just opinions:
    – I’d avoid anything that looks too generic or self-published. Stepping stones could be about anything (plus the picture touching the edge looked wrong, minor detail!). Weather symbols has something right about it, but made me think self-published (so maybe that design could be refined).
    – I think the cover portraying progression makes sense. I liked the dominos from an aesthetic POV, but they don’t really convey going from one place to another so I wasn’t convinced they were relevant.
    – I voted Smiley meter because it looks like a book I’d expect to see in a book store, it is clean and tidy, and it shows a progression (as you “fill the happiness tank” or whatever!).

  23. I went with gut feel and chose the flowers. Then on reflection……

    The flowers for me evoke feelings of spring, renewal, growth – and were instantly appealing.

    I liked the weather symbols too, but felt that there wasn’t sufficient ‘quality’ in the image, just not crisp enough.

    The stepping stones and the domino images seemed a bit too ‘heavy’ and abstract to me.

    The ‘happiness gauge’ was a bit too dark – if you could lighten it up and make the rest of the image more crisp then it could be ok.

    Good luck with the book Jon, I am sure that as with all your writing it will be excellent; thought provoking, full off insight and entertaining too.

  24. Definitely A because it’s sunny, clear and bright over all (like the contents?). The design is schematic but so is the notion of a 30-day plan.

    The others aren’t nearly as apt, in my opinion.

    Looking forward to buying a copy. Thank you, Jon.

  25. Immediately, I liked the flowers. Simple, explanatory, cheerful. I also like the stones though less and they’re done often. I had a pretty negative reaction to the first one since it felt too mechanical and I really didn’t like the dominoes. Even though I understood it with my mind, I *felt* like I didn’t understand its meaning. the speedometer didn’t do anything for me. So wonderful that you’re book is coming out and how nice that we get to give feedback on it — a moodnudge for me, just as you point out. Good luck with it, Jon. I like starting my day with your messages.

  26. Hi John, It’s got to be A with the weather symbols and the bright colour for me. I feel our moods can be so like the weather which is highly unpredictable now, especially in Northern England where I am – sometimes I’m bright and breezy when I wake and other times it’s somewhat downcast until I do the uplifting things that set me straight. Moods cope helped me from the outset to track my mood and my migraine profile and it was influential in changing my lifestyle and experiences to a much more positive place, so I wish you well and think you need to choose A, if only that it’s A for Angela! Good luck!

  27. I liked the weather symbols which I thought would particularly resonate with British people and were childlike and friendly. I also liked the green and yellow and the typeface, but on reflection I voted for the dominoes which I thought the most professional and yet not scary of the other images

  28. I voted for the dominoes because this is a nice concept, and also because the look on the cover attracted me more than all the others: So my choice was dictated both by my intellect and my emotions.
    I did not ask my heart to vote, because I am biased by the fact that I have followed all you do for so many years and feel like you are a personal friend I would never say anything harsh to: I am so impressed at your work! Good luck!

  29. Wow, that was hard and fun.I mean who doesn’t like to give their opinion. You had some great design concepts.

    Good luck with the sales!

  30. I like the C – growing sunflower as a book cover as it imparts the feeling of growth and wellbeing. Growth is what we try to achieve. Such progress is not guaranteed as a result or on a timeline. It’s organic. Also sunflowers look joyful, and the oil and seeds can benefit us as part of our food intake too. So the image conveys much positive input simply. I like it!!


  31. I went for the stepping stones as a professional & clear image not likely to date as weather symbols might. Also whilst all of the covers look like progress in mood is a linear process the stepping stones can also mean you might stay on one for a while to admire the view or go back & redo steps just as mood does in fluctuation. I do hope I get to the other side but experience has taught me it’s not so simple as a domino effect or plant growing-if only!

  32. ‘A’ gets my vote. ‘Nudge’ is a difficult concept to portray and this cover best reflects gentle change and movement towards brighter, better days. Go well.

  33. A..except..I didnt really like that colour of green and I prefer the more plain fonts of the other covers..but the weather symbols were the best. This cover gave me the impression that the book would be easy to read, and perhaps light hearted..

  34. I liked book cover A a lot, but voted for book cover C because it made me happy to seeing closed bud plant blossom into a happy smiling flower and watching the bee buzz nearby made me think of ‘cheerful work’ as the bee buzzes around the flower…and that makes me think of ‘collaboration’ as the bee uses pollen from the flower to create more flowers, and that thought makes me VERY HAPPY to think of as I love flowers! Good luck with the outcome of this voting and I look forward to seeing your book hit the stores soon!

  35. I voted for the flower but actually preferred the last one however in the end decided I didn’t like the black font used

  36. My vote is for the spring flowers. The only other one that would be in the running for me would be the weather related one. Best wishes!

  37. Hi Jon,

    I personally voted for the Dominoes one, but only because it’s the most well-designed of the lot. In fact I think it is awfully generic. If you combined the typography of that with a better layout and the mood of one of the other designs, you might find some good new ideas.

    – fellow designer

  38. covers one and five have positive conotations for me whilst the other three have the opposite.
    One marginally wins over five because the three weather symbols more nearly ‘feel’ like a month than does the instrument face.

  39. Liked stepping stones and weather. If you chose stepping stones I would rather the colour of the font take in the green of the moss on the stones…feels like a natural progression to happiness.
    The weather symbols were good too but again I didn’t quite like the font, as I see others have said too.
    Can’t wait to see the book, Jon, good luck!

  40. I voted for the first one, Jon – the gradually changing weather symbols. I think it’s a great illustration of the gradual – an constant – process of change. I loved some of the other art work – like the stepping stones and the dominos – as art work for something like inspirational posters, perhaps – but I think the weather symbols might best capture what you are trying to convey and what a reader might be looking for help with. Can’t wait til your book comes out – whatever book cover you choose!!!!

  41. I like the first one.
    You write in such an engaging way – I look forward to getting a copy.

    Best wishes for its success!


  42. I have voted for option E the ‘Smiley meter’ as it appeals to me the most, but I also have a close second choice of the weather symbols (option A).
    My reasoning behind my choices (which may just add to the confusion )are:
    Smiley Meter: This appeals because it looks serious, professional and ‘blokie’ (if that makes sense) with just a hint of cheekiness in the image of the smiley. To me this suggests that your book (without having read it, of course), has serious topics being discussed in a more relaxed and easy written manner. This style should appeal to the main book reading public (in my opinion).
    Option A : The bright green cover along with the weather symbols is simple, bright and cheerful despite the nature of the book without looking childish. It looks interesting and bold and will certainly stand out on the shelf!

    Jon , I am very pleased to be able to support you with this project even in this small way and wish you all the success with this venture.
    Good luck and I hope your words help as many people as possible and that they are as pleased to read your ‘Nudges’ and words of support and advice, as I am.

  43. Hi Jon,
    I voted for the last one, the speedometer. I am looking forward to buying a copy of your book, am very excited it is all coming together for you. All the best….jackie

  44. I think it is better to say “A” 30 day workbook rather than “THE” 30 day workbook.

    Nobody has a monopoly on THE – as this implies `the one and only`.

  45. A for me Jon, the colours are so different and life affirming somehow. It’s the colour that sticks in the mind more than anything else, when recalling a book IMHO. Good luck! Sally S.

  46. Andy and I love the flowers with the bee because it makes us happy looking at it and we’d pick the book up thinking happy thoughts. We know it’s not as strong on the ‘nudge’ element… But we still love it 😉

  47. My preference is the weather one – I like the positive colour that feels fresh and alive. I really didn’t like the last one or the stepping stones – but many others did. Can you have more than one cover and see which sells best?

  48. Hi Jon
    Congratulations on your book. I prefer the first two – A or B. Weather symbols are of course symbolic and it is a simple effective uplifting design… It may though not stand out on the bookshelf. B I like the stepping stones as it conveyes small steps getting somewhere and I love the outdoors so for me this works. I really dislike the dark backgrounds like the last one which was black with the dial. The bee and the flower for me was a bit infantile. I personally don’t like the idea of dominos as it evokes to me everything crashing down! However I never judge a book by its cover and always read the blurb on the back and inside and even a random page or two before buying if it’s on a topic I’m interested in.

  49. I like design B because sometimes a person just has to nudge her or himself to take that first step – whether it is starting a project, finishing something, or to just go out and take that walk that would increase happiness and focus. If those first steps were thought of as something as pleasant and peaceful as stepping stones over water, more people would be inclined to take that first step and continue. That photo is both literal and figurative. Your cover with nature and stepping stones reminds us that happiness is attainable, beautiful, and truly in our “human nature”.

  50. Design ‘A’, the weather icons works the best of the bunch, conveying a nice progression in bright colours.

    I’d make the progress arrows less subtle — they didn’t pop out to be at the first look.

  51. Design B for a couple of reasons:
    * one could take the approach of turning ‘stumbling blocks’ into ‘stepping stones ‘
    *the cover feels calm and mindful
    Having said that I didn’t mind the smileometer although I wonder if it would look better as more of the focus, above the large font or even incorporated into it. ….maybe the ‘O’ in ‘your’, gives ownership perhaps? ?

  52. I voted A as it instantly appealed. The progression of the symbols seemed to fit with the wording ‘workbook’, but the ‘lightheartedness’ may me feel like it was going to be gentle…not hard.
    My second choice would have been E, I think it seems professional and does what it says but all the black made it feel quite harsh.
    Wishing you well.

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