Podcast 87: Live From Seattle! Pick Your “Happiness 911” Song, Deep Dive into Manifestos, an Interview with Chris Guillebeau, and More on the Four Tendencies.

It’s time for the next installment of  “Happier with Gretchen Rubin.

This episode was recorded live! Elizabeth and I were at Town Hall in Seattle on October 13. We had such a great time. Thanks to everyone who came.  Elizabeth and I had fun doing a live video on Facebook before the show. If you want to see what everything looked like, watch here.

Elizabeth mentions the Seattle-based  novel Where’d You Go, Bernadette? by Maria Semple.

podcastliveeventseattleegkristenTry This at Home: Identify your “Happiness 911” song. Please send us your Happiness 911 song! Email your choice here. We’re making a Spotify playlist, so we can all listen to everyone’s choices. You can find the Spotify list here or on your smart-phone app, you can find the playlist by searching “happierwithgretchenrubin” (one word).

Deep Dive: We take a closer look at manifestos. We talked about this in episode 76, and we’ve received so many great ones. (By the way, Adam loved Elizabeth’s Marriage Manifesto.)

podcastliveeventseattleegchrisInterview: Chris Guillebeau. His latest book is Born for This: How to Find the Work You Were Meant to Do.


Happiness Stumbling Blocks for the Four Tendencies. If you want to take a quiz for the Four Tendencies, to find out if you’re an Upholder, Questioner, Obliger, or Rebel, it’s here.

If you want to know when my new book The Four Tendencies hits the shelves, sign up here.

Happiness Hack Speed Round: We took happiness hacks from the audience. So many great ideas packed into a short time — thanks, everyone.

coloringbookhappinessprojectrubinIf you’d like to get my coloring book, you can pre-order one here. One of our audience members mentions the book Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children from Nature-Deficit Disorder.

Elizabeth’s Demerit: Elizabeth started using Candy Crush again.

Gretchen’s  Gold Star: Contact lenses!

Click here to get the Wedding Readings PDF now

If you want easy instructions about how to rate or review the podcast, look here.

Remember,  I’m doing weekly live videos on my Facebook Page about the podcast. To join the conversation, check the schedule. 

As always, thanks to our terrific sponsors

Check out Stamps.com. Want to avoid trips to the post office, and buy and print official U.S. postage for any letter or package, right from your own computer and printer? Visit Stamps.com to sign up for a 4-week trial, plus a $110 bonus offer — just enter the promo code HAPPIER.

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1pixHappier with Gretchen Rubin - Podcast #87

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Want to know what to expect from other episodes of the podcast, when you listen toHappier with Gretchen Rubin?” We talk about how to build happier habits into everyday life, as we draw from cutting-edge science, ancient wisdom, lessons from pop culture—and our own experiences (and mistakes).  We’re sisters, so we don’t let each other get away with much.

HAPPIER listening!

  • Marceline Stacey

    My “spree” has finally ended and now I will have to wait in anticipation each week for the podcast post !

    • gretchenrubin

      Thanks for listening!

  • vanessa

    Are you going to come to CA anytime soon? Would love to see you speak or do a live podcast!!!

    • gretchenrubin

      Thanks! We hope so!

  • Denita

    I need to see a Gretchen-with-glasses picture! Loved the live episode.

    • gretchenrubin

      No photo exists!!! Hehehe.

  • I’m a huge Disney fan. So my Happiness 911 Songs are all Disney – Prince Ali from Aladdin, Be Our Guest from Beauty & the Beast, & Sister Suffrages from Mary Poppins.

    • Sutika

      Love it ❤️

  • I have two Happiness 911 songs: “Victorious” by Wolmother (a bit on the rock metal side and gives me that pumped up feeling that “I can do it,” and “Going Up the Country” by Canned Heat for that ultimate, chillin’ out happy tune.

  • Questioning Obliger

    A year ago I took the four tendencies quiz and was diagnosed as an obliger( didn’t like it) Had a go at the test a few more times but still an obliger. Now, however I took the test again and tried to answer the question to the best of my knowledge(just as before) and voila; I am a questioner now. I am confused. Am I Questioner in an Obliger’s garb or vice versa?

    • gretchenrubin

      I think you’re probably an Obliger. But I’d have to know more!

      • Questioning Obliger

        Hey thanks for responding.love your show. The chemistry between u two is amazing.keep it up!

  • It was fun listening to your live show! I used my Audible credit to download “Born for This.” Great job!

    • gretchenrubin


  • statmam

    It’s old; it’s cheesy; but the endorphins still kick in whenever I hear my happiness anthem: “Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now” by Starship.

  • Audrey

    I’m writing a series on “Happiness Hacks” and was so excited to hear about people’s Happiness 9-1-1 songs on this podcast. Is the playlist up yet??

  • Deanna Lundquist Chevas

    Thanks for making me think about my Happiness 911 song. One just came up on my Pandora station: Something Good Can Work by Two Door Cinema Club. Always makes me jump around and dance with glee!

  • Stella Jervis

    Wow, this was by far my favorite episode, ever. I figured out that I am a rebel, so interesting! All this time I thought I was an obliger–I didn’t even bother to take the quiz until just now because I was so certain. I wonder how many artists are rebels… I’ve had to cultivate my “inner rebellion” because so many people kept telling me how to do my art, and even though I didn’t want to hurt their feelings, I just couldn’t follow their advice because it didn’t speak to what I was trying to do.

    I think the best thing about knowing that I am a rebel is that now I have the tools that will really help me go far. Like the rebels in the audience, I too, hate pesky reminder emails of any sort. I’m a part of a crossfit gym and I LOVE it. I was going every day… but then suddenly I started getting these horrible emails twice, three times a week. Advertising their services, encouraging me to go even more, spend more money. I was so turned off that I stopped going, even though I missed it. Funnily enough, I viewed it as an Obliger, and I was upset that this person didn’t know the right way to keep me accountable. Ha! But then after this episode, I figured out what to do: I simply blocked the emails. Now, I am free, and all set to get back into the gym.

    I feel like I’ve been finally given a hammer to hammer in my nails, when before I was using a fork. I’m excited that being a rebel doesn’t mean you are hopeless or that you’ll end up being a penniless hermit. Being a rebel, to me, just means that you no one can tell you how to shine your light. It doesn’t mean I can’t get along with others or be super friendly, it just means I’m de-light-ful in my own way.

    • gretchenrubin

      It’s terrific to hear that the Four Tendencies struck such a chord with you.

  • North_East_Rob

    My significant other and I usually devote Wednesday’s commute to listening to Happier. With the extra length of the live show, we’re not finished with this week’s yet, but two comments from the first half: You and Elizabeth both agreed that you should learn to dance at one point. We’ve been ballroom dancing for six years and it’s been a significant source of happiness, so we would definitely encourage you to follow up on that one.

    The audience member with the coloring book habit reminds me that you might be interested in following up on people’s artistic outlets some time.

    (And, a little unrelated: I also enjoy children’s literature on occasion; your recommended reading list the other week would make an interesting basis for a Happier episode, IMHO…)

    • gretchenrubin

      Great suggestions, all of these!

  • Kim Edsen

    So many good songs, but I’m going to throw out “I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles)” by the Proclaimers as one of my Happiness 911 songs – I’ve never tired of it. Love that Gretchen chose Fat Boy Slim’s “Praise You” – another favorite. Eagerly looking forward to the Spotify playlist! Thank you!

    • Marcia (Organising Queen)

      I love 500 miles too! One of my happiness songs.

      Also You can’t hurry love – Phil Collins
      Footloose – Kenny Loggins

  • Brittany

    This was a great episode. You and Elizabeth were great and so natural. And also I was so impressed by the Seattle audience giving their happiness hacks and manifestos. They were so eloquent and calm and funny!

    • gretchenrubin

      Yes, the audience was terrific!

  • Kim Hunt

    The first time I ever heard the Shambhala by Three Dog Night, I played it like 16 times straight. It is definitely my go to song for a boost!

  • Miss Honey

    I have to agree this was my favourite episode. The teaching manifesto made me tear up on the bus, and I loved all the great happiness hacks. Will also check out more of Chris. The only sad point was when the episode was over!

    • gretchenrubin

      Aww thanks!

  • mom2luke

    Loved the extra long show! And the manifestos were great! I didn’t love all the song choices, but understand we all have dif musical taste and that’s OK and the power of musical expression that makes us happy… Still I would not have dismissed the song “Because I’m Happy*… ” as too cliche. Cliches can be annoying, but many are not, they are just apt to the situation… most of the manifesto lines were also cliches but they become cliches for a reason: they are wise!
    * the line … “a room without a roof “is perfectly apt for your signature weekly “onward & upward” tag line

  • LizY

    One of my Happiness 911 songs: Shall We Dance – from the soundtrack of The King and I.

  • Lucy Pritchett

    Great show!!! I got a happiness boost as I really savored this show! Not sure where to comment this, but this is in line with Gretchen deciding to read the manual in “Better Than Before.” When I found my vacuum cleaner’s manual, I read it. I often use the hose and attachments. I found out that if I leave the hose attached at the bottom, it is an anti-tip “clip.” Talk about a happiness hack! Today I vacuumed, and the whole thing didn’t fall over on me. I didn’t have to hold it up or it accidentally hit me! I did have to pull a little harder on the hose, but totally worth it!!!

  • Susan

    My running playlist is full of happiness songs. But I will limit my suggestions to 3.

    Gonna Fly Now- the theme from Rocky
    I’m Alive- ELO. From Xanadu
    The Cup of Life- Ricky Martin


  • santaclams

    Lenny Kravitz’s music got me through my divorce–particuarly the song “Push”–and continues to be my Happiness 911 music, along with my Pandora station based on Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings.

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  • Amie

    You gotta be by Des’ree is my ultimate happier 911 song. Love the podcasts Gretchen and Elizabeth!!!!

  • Michelle Zapalski

    What was the name of the app one of the listeners spoke about that sets unusual alarms to remind her to call friends and family?

    • Eve Van Roekel Smith

      It’s called Alarmed but you can make customizations on the built in iPhone alarm feature

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  • slimandibratalink

    The Spotify idea is wonderful. One of my favourite quotes: Nothing has more power to turn sorrow into joy than music- Martin Luther (circa. 1540)

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