Podcast 106: Second Anniversary! Our Most Popular Try-This-at-Home Tips, Before-&-After Stories, and Favorite Moments.

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

It’s our second anniversary! Hard to believe. The days are long, but the years are short.

As I mention, if you’d like to buy a cotton Happier t-shirt, in honor of our second anniversary (which is the “cotton” anniversary), email us here for info.


Try-This-at-Homes that have proved most popular with listeners:


Our listener Ashley had some questions and reservations about how we do Demerits and Gold Stars. So we explain our theory and pattern.

Before-and-After stories from listeners:

So fascinating!


Favorite moments:


Gold Star: For everyone! Listeners, thanks for listening, writing in, calling in, and gold star for us, too, for our second year.

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Happier with Gretchen Rubin - Podcast #106

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Want to know what to expect from other episodes of the podcast, when you listen to the award-winning Happier 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!

Want a new podcast to listen to, with the same vibe as Happier? The Onward Project is the family of podcasts that I’ve launched, for podcasts that are about “your life–made better.” The first shows are Side Hustle School and Radical Candor. Elizabeth’s show with her writing partner, Sarah Fain, will be Happier in Hollywood, so stay tuned for that.

HAPPIER listening!

  • Courtney Hunt

    Happy anniversary!!

  • I loved this anniversary podcast! I wanted to speak to the problem of finding a signature color, with the caveat that I may be way off since I haven’t listened to that episode yet (I’m a recent subscriber). Anyway, I’ve found that I’m more of a *pattern* person. Even though I don’t feel particularly drawn to a specific color, I do love to see patterns, especially stripes! Once I identified stripes as my signature pattern, I’ve been seeing them on street signs, rooftops, even sunlight and shadows. That shirt I love, but never wear? Striped! My bedspread? Striped! My house coats, journal, and pillowcases? Striped, striped, striped! Maybe you’d feel more drawn to florals, houndstooth, checkers or plaid.

    I also wanted to let you know about the five languages of apology, which you can find here: http://www.5lovelanguages.com/profile/apology/ Its such a wonderful resource for better resolving conflict with those you love and knowing how you yourself can find peace after conflict from those you love. If you like the Five Love Languages, I’d check out this quiz as well.

  • Faye Lehn

    One tip on a signature color for those of us who don’t want to commit to just one, is decide which colors you don’t like. For example, I don’t like red or pink much and don’t wear them or have them in my house. It helps narrow things down when I shop.

  • Evelyn Theiss

    I simply cannot wait for Elizabeth’s Happier in Hollywood podcast. Is it still scheduled to start in March?

    • gretchenrubin

      Yay! Stay tuned for more details. I’m dying for it to start, too.

      Gretchen Rubin

      Visit my blog

      My podcast, Happier with Gretchen Rubin
      My books:Better Than Before —New York Times bestseller
      The Happiness Project —#1 New York Times bestseller
      Join the discussion on Facebook @gretchenrubin

  • Suzanne

    I want to weigh in again on Elizabeth’s trouble with thank you notes. I said before that I love handwritten notes but don’t always find them realistic. This year, my 13-year old daughter used the Evite thank you option, and wrote very thoughtful notes. The other easy thing we’ve done is take a group photo at the party, or make a collage of multiple party photos (all the major photos sites offer this service) and print it is as a 5×7 to send as the thank you note. If you don’t have time for personal notes about gifts, I think this still shows your gratitude, and the guests have a wonderful memento from the party.

  • Carlana Chen

    When Elizabeth mentioned she was busy writing down who gave Jack which gift at his party, it reminded me of how we keep track of this. Every time one of my kids opens a gift, I snap a quick picture with them and their friend together with the gift. This way we can forever remember who gave them which gift and also it is a great opportunity to have a picture taken with each of their friends. We also do this at Christmas with each gift given by a relative.

  • Kelly Krause

    For signature color I’m having a hard time committing too – what are your thoughts for picking a signature color for just a year, a season (like yellow for spring) or even just an occasion like a vacation? I’m thinking It could be fun when on vacation to have a bolder color than I might usually choose and order food, drinks, buy/wear a fun accessory, souveneer, etc in that color

  • Leah Chavez

    Here is my newly discovered happiness hack. This year for my daughters birthday I had her sign thank you notes and we put them in with the party favors. This way once the party was over there was nothing else to do. Now when I remember the party I do not have any guilt hanging over me.

    • gretchenrubin

      This gets into the question of what “counts” for a thank-you note. There’s much dispute about what counts! Many people would say this doesn’t really suffice. But others do! It’s a complex issue.

      Gretchen Rubin

      Visit my blog

      My podcast, Happier with Gretchen Rubin
      My books:Better Than Before —New York Times bestseller
      The Happiness Project —#1 New York Times bestseller
      Join the discussion on Facebook @gretchenrubin

  • Daphne Simotas Bloore

    For the record, I would like to tell Elizabeth that I personally would love to get an electric Ped Egg. First of all it works great. Second, I am generally an under buyer and don’t like the idea of giving a gift that is unused. Knowing that someone will get good use out of something makes me feel that the gift is truly appreciated. Gift-giving is a bit tricky. You need to know your audience. If you think you your gift and the person you are buying it for are a good match then why not?

  • Monica Requejo

    Thanks for reading my thoughts on “pick your moment” for your anniversary podcast! It made my day, week, month…!!!

    • gretchenrubin

      Terrific! Great that you heard it!

      Gretchen Rubin

      Visit my blog

      My podcast, Happier with Gretchen Rubin
      My books:Better Than Before —New York Times bestseller
      The Happiness Project —#1 New York Times bestseller
      Join the discussion on Facebook @gretchenrubin

  • I have a suggestion for Gretchen and Elizabeth, or really anyone, who is struggling to commit to a Signature Color. I suggest picking a color or the year, rather than trying to say this one color is my signature color forever and ever, amen! You don’t even have to pick the beginning of the year to start. You can choose your birthday or other special day as a starting point. If the year is too much of a commitment, try a color of the season and let that color be your guide for that season. I am not a colorist. I love all colors at different times and for different reasons, so picking one color is impossible to be my signature color for life. But finding a smaller time period to focus on my love for that color, that I can do. I hope this helps make your life, “a little happier!”