It’s time for the next installment of Happier with Gretchen Rubin.
Update: This is the month of #trypod, when we’re all trying to help people discover new great podcasts. And our current producer Kristen Meinzer and our former producer Henry Molofsky are both involved in terrific podcasts.
In the new podcast By the Book, Kristen and her co-host comedian Jolenta Greenberg zealously follow the precepts of a particular self-help book, to see if the advice actually works. First up: The Secret. It’s funny, thought-provoking…just terrific. By the Book is part of a pilot project run by Panoply, so you can vote for the podcast to get greenlit here.
Henry is the producer over at the blockbuster mega-hit Missing Richard Simmons. In 2014, the exercise guru and very public figure Richard Simmons vanished from view. In the six-part series, Dan Taberski tries to figure out what happened. Very suspenseful, and really makes you think about many different issues — the podcast has generated a lot of analysis and discussion. My own view of what happened? Obliger-Rebellion! But listen for yourself.
Very Special Episode: Loneliness.
Loneliness is one of the biggest, most serious happiness stumbling blocks out there. One of the keys — maybe the key — to happiness is strong connections to other people. The lack of these bonds, even temporarily, is a major happiness stumbling block.
When we know what kind of loneliness we’re feeling, it’s easier to see possible ways to tackle it. For instance, have you experienced…
For instance, have you experienced…
- New-situation loneliness
- I’m-different loneliness
- No-sweetheart loneliness
- No-time-for-me loneliness
- Untrustworthy-friends loneliness
- Quiet-presence loneliness
- No-animal loneliness
- No-friend-group loneliness
- I’m-alone-in-this-experience loneliness
- Parent-of-young-children loneliness/Empty-nest loneliness
- Everyone-else-is-having-fun loneliness
So what to do about loneliness?
- Take steps to connect with others (obvious, but important)
- Show up
- Revive a dormant friendship. We talked about this in episode 79.
- Nurture others.
I mention two books that I highly recommend: John Cacioppo and William Patrick, Loneliness: Human Nature and the Need for Social Connection, and Emily White, Lonely, a memoir about the author’s own experiences and research into loneliness. Also, in my books The Happiness Project and Happier at Home, I write a lot about how to build and strengthen relationships.
I also mention the immortal line from Russell Hoban’s brilliant picture book A Bargain for Frances: “Do you want to be careful, or do you want to be friends?” (If you’d like to read a New York Times piece I wrote about my love for Frances, it’s here.)
Demerit: Elizabeth skipped a Moms’ Night Out.
Gold Star: I give a gold star to Eliza and Eleanor for encouraging (nagging?) us as a family to get a dog. Our dog Barnaby makes us very happy.
If you want easy instructions about how to rate or review the podcast, look here. Remember, it really helps us if you do rate or review the podcast — it helps other listeners discover us.
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, including postage and a digital scale — just enter the promo code HAPPIER.
Also check out Texture. Get access to all your favorite magazines — including back issues and bonus video content — in one super-convenient place. Try the app Texture for free by going to Texture.com/happier.
And check out Smith and Noble, the solution for beautiful window treatments. Go to smithandnoble.com/happier for 20% off window treatments and free in-home or on-phone design consultations and free professional measuring.
We love hearing from listeners:
To sign up for my free monthly newsletter, text me at 66866 and enter the word (surprise) “happier.“ Or click here.
If you enjoyed the podcast, please tell your friends and give us a rating or review. Click here to tell your friends on Twitter.
Listeners really respect the views of other listeners, so your response helps people find good material. (Not sure how to review? Instructions here; scroll to the bottom.)
How to Subscribe
If you’re like me (until recently) you’re intrigued by podcasts, but you don’t know how to listen or subscribe. It’s very easy, really. Really. To listen to more than one episode, and to have it all in a handier way, on your phone or tablet, it’s better to subscribe. Really, it’s easy.
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.