What Are the Funniest Movies? 11 Suggestions to Get You Thinking.

I have a friend who’s going through a very rough patch, and I said to him, “You need to take short breaks from your worries. Why don’t you make an effort to watch funny movies? They’ll give you a little boost, when you’re feeling low. And taking good care of yourself will help you deal with this situation better.”

He agreed, but as we were talking about it, he said, “Maybe it’s because of everything I’m dealing with, but I can’t think of anything I want to see. The only funny movie I can think of is Caddyshack. And I’m not even a huge fan of Caddyshack.

So I want to make him a long list of funny movies, Some thoughtful, some goofy, some old, some new, so he has something for every mood. I’m sure this list could be much longer.

What movies have I overlooked — or never seen myself?

 

Watching funny movies or TV is a great way to get a quick mood boost. It’s true: laughter is good medicine.

It made me happier just to think about these movies! This list would make a great appendix to my book about happiness, The Happiness Project.

What movie can make you laugh, every time?

A Little Happier: Why General Eisenhower Sent a 15-Word Telegram Instead of an Elaborate Message.

This  story makes me choke up, every time.

I came across so many powerful stories like this when I was researching Forty Ways to Look at Winston Churchill. What a subject!

Have you ever had an experience like this — when you felt that you could say more, by using fewer words?

Sometimes, a lot of words only diminish what we want to convey.

Want to get in touch? I love hearing from listeners:

 

Happier listening!

One of the Biggest Happiness Mistakes that I Keep Making, Over and Over.

“One lives in the naïve notion that later there will be more room than in the entire past.”

–Elias Canetti, The Human Province

I continually remind myself of this truth. Too often, I tell myself, “I’ll have time for this when summer comes,” “Things will slow down in the fall, and I’ll be able to tackle this,” “Next year, I’ll do it.”

No. Now is the time to do the things that are important to me.

It’s false to believe that there will be more time in my future than there has in my past.

How about you? Do you promise yourself, “I’ll do this — later?”

Podcast 74: Choose the Quote for Your Yearbook Page, Use the Strategy of Pairing, and Some Thoughts about the Four Tendencies.

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

Update: If you want to take the Four Tendencies quiz, it’s here, to find out if you’re an Upholder, Questioner, Obliger, or Rebel. What would be some good questions to pose to children, to help identify their Tendencies?

Try This at Home: Pick your “yearbook quote.” What quote would you choose? Among others mentioned, Elizabeth’s quotation comes from Kurt Vonnegut’s Welcome to the Monkey House. Let us know: what quote would you choose?

If you want to sign up for the “Moment of Happiness,” my free daily email newsletter with a terrific quotation, sign up here.

Better Than Before Habit Strategy: The Strategy of Pairing is one of the simplest — and for many people, one of the most effective — of the 21 strategies of habit change that I identify in Better Than Before.

Listener Question: Laura asks, “Elizabeth and Gretchen, what are the Tendencies of your parents?” Interesting question. Again, if you want to take the Four Tendencies quiz, it’s here

Gretchen’s Demerit: I’m kicking myself for not realizing that Eleanor won’t have a way to take photos at summer camp — they have a strict no-cell-phone policy.

Elizabeth’s Gold Star: Elizabeth gives a gold star to her writing partner Sarah for encouraging her to go to the Podcast Movement conference.

Remember,  I’m doing weekly live videos on my Facebook Page about the podcast. To join the conversation, tune in Tuesdays at 1:00 p.m. Eastern.

As always, thanks to our terrific sponsors

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And check out Headspace. Experience the benefits of meditation in your busy life. Download the Headspace app for free, and begin their Take 10 program for ten days of guided meditation. Go to Headspace.com/happier.

 

Happier with Gretchen Rubin - Podcast #74

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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!

Want to Write Better? 21 Reminders about the Elements of Good Style.

Whether you write all the time, or only occasionally, you’ve probably thought about how to write better.

One of the best books about writing is The Elements of Style by William Strunk, Jr., and E. B. White. It has been in print for forty years.

I don’t know anything about Strunk, but I’m a huge fan of the writing of E. B. White.  I love his children’s books of course — masterpieces like Charlotte’s Web and The Trumpet of the Swan — and I also love his brilliant essays, like Here Is New York, and the Letters of E. B. White.

So I pay close attention to whatever he says about style.

The reminders from The Elements of Style include:

 

  1. Place yourself in the background. Zoikes, so I don’t adhere to this element. Not an auspicious start.
  2. Write in a way that comes naturally. Phew, I do better with this one.
  3. Work from a suitable design. I couldn’t agree more. Structure is the most important element. Whenever I write a book, a blog post, a podcast episode, the first issue is the structure.
  4. Write with nouns and verbs. It sounds so easy, right? But as we all know from reading, many people don’t grasp this principle.
  5. Revise and rewrite. Re-writing is my favorite kind of writing.
  6. Do not overwrite.
  7. Don’t overstate. This reminder is literally a life-saver.
  8. Avoid the use of qualifiers. Sometime, it seems, they’re a little unnecessary.
  9. Do not affect a breezy manner.
  10. Use orthodox spelling. I’m still standing against “donut.”
  11. Do not explain too much. My editors and I often disagree about this one.  They want me to explain at more length, and I think that what I’ve said is perfectly clear and doesn’t need further explanation. Nice to know I have Strunk & White on my side.
  12. Do not construct awkward adverbs.
  13. Make sure the reader knows who is speaking.  Wolf Hall, anyone?
  14. Avoid fancy words. This is tough for me. How I love fancy words. But they’re right, better to use the simple, direct words. I learned this from studying Winston Churchill’s speeches.
  15. Do not use dialect unless your ear is good.  Sidenote: I love Flannery O’Connor’s use of dialect.
  16. Be clear.
  17. Do not inject opinion. I think that sometimes opinion is acceptable.
  18. Use figures of speech sparingly. Yes! It’s a sign of cliche!
  19. Do not take shortcuts at the cost of clarity.
  20. Avoid foreign languages.
  21. Prefer the standard to the offbeat.

Which elements do you think are most important? I would say #16, #3, #4.

 

If you want to read more books about writing, here are My 5 favorite books about writing.  What books have I overlooked?