Five reasons for a happy ending: Why happy endings get you high and we simply can’t to do without them.

Happy endings are unfinished stories, say pessimists. Anyone who has doubts about happily ever after will probably not be able to enter into a relationship with confidence. After all, “I know it won’t work out between us” is not one of the most romantic phrases you can chant. And even if the divorce rates give commitment-phobes a strong argument, we still seem to flirt with anticipating happy endings. Because against our better judgement, we are in love with flirting, with falling in love and the idea of sweet happiness until the end of time.

And who is to blame? Literature. Quite a few scholars are of the opinion that romance is an invention of poetry. But that is not entirely true. Man had a penchant for sweet talk even before the cultural period of Romanticism. The oldest expressions of love were carved in stone in Egypt as early as 1300 BC. And the troubadours charmed women even in the dark Middle Ages with their minnesong. But despite our archaic desire for a happy ending, it is controversial among experts. Because a happy ending, they say, is usually a sign of a lack of originality. We at novum publishing want to contradict this thesis and today reveal five reasons that speak for a happy ending to your love story – whether real or invented is entirely up to you.

Five reasons for a happy ending.

Five reasons for a happy ending


A happy ending is a positive event. Positive events stimulate the production of endorphins in our brain. Endorphins act on us like opiates, in short, they put us into a state of intoxication, a natural high. This hormonal high promises several amazing effects. For example, happiness hormones ensure more restful sleep, strengthen the immune system and even reduce pain. Depressed readers should therefore consciously consider the outcome of their choice of books and prefer “Pride and Prejudice” to “Wuthering Heights”.

You can’t get enough of endorphins? These famous love letters from world-renowned scribes evoke big feelings.


Is it really true that a work only meets exacting artistic standards if it has an open or even morose ending? Would we still be fascinated by Romeo and Juliet if the Montagues and the Capulets had danced together at the wedding of the bittersweet couple after all? The question is justified. For all our love, we humans also have a small tendency towards tragedy. Nevertheless, there are enough examples from the world of literature that prove the opposite. Stories like “Jane Eyre” or “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” certainly enjoy the status of world literature and testify that a happy ending can be original. The prerequisite is that a happy ending is completely ruled out by the conflicts and complications of the plot. If the author succeeds in writing a plausible happy ending despite all the hopelessness, he or she is sure to be respected by the experts.

Reader loyalty

A devastating ending may impress the critics, but you are more likely to scare away your readers with a sad or bitter ending. A book without a happy ending plays on the audience’s tolerance for frustration – risk that authors should only take once they have reached a certain level of popularity. Physiological facts also speak for this. Did you know that the happiness hormone noradrenaline not only optimises brain performance but also memory? A reader who is treated to a happy ending by an author will not forget his or her name so quickly.

Surprise effect

Books that have a surprise ending are remembered for a long time. The less likely it is that a novel will end well, the greater the surprise effect at the end. A happy ending can certainly become a memorable ending if it follows two important commandments: It must be unpredictable and brought about by the protagonists themselves. Under no circumstances should a so-called deus ex machina resolve the basic conflict of the novel. In ancient tragedy, deus ex machina referred to the sudden appearance of a deity who solved the conflict of the story for its protagonists. Today, such a technique is much more likely to be perceived as lazy storytelling, since it seems arbitrary and deprives readers of pleasure. So, a happy ending is much less about the what and much more about the how.


According to Nietzsche, it was from dreaming that we learned to write, to make music, to paint. For it was only through dreaming that we discovered a world behind the world, that is, a world of the imagination behind the things that can really be perceived. So, when we read, we always dream a little too and allow ourselves to escape into a world of fantasy. When we deny ourselves happy endings, we also close the door to the idea that everything can still work out in the end. And even if not all of life can be poetry and candyfloss, a little hope now and then can’t hurt. In our dreams we remain free to believe in happily ever after.

Which books with happy endings can you recommend? We look forward to your book tips in the comments!

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Your team at novum publishing