Nothing makes me happier than a great podcast! Why?
- Podcasts are free
- I already have a smartphone, so no need to buy additional gizmos
- They fit every mood or interest. Some podcasts teach me fascinating information (20,000 Hertz), some help me fall sleep (Sleep with Me), some make it possible to think about Game of Thrones at any time (Binge Mode: Game of Thrones), some keep me current with changes in the media business (Recode Media with Peter Kafka)
- They don't take up space or create trash
- They're experiences, not things
- They make irksome activities more enjoyable and make challenging habits easier to cultivate. It's more fun to sit for a long car ride, go for a walk, wash my face at night, or load the dishwasher because I can listen to a favorite podcast—this is the Strategy of Pairing, as I describe in Better Than Before, my book about habit change. Podcasts are terrific for the Strategy of Pairing.
How do I record the Happier with Gretchen Rubin podcast?
The Happier podcast is created and distributed through Cadence 13. The great folks there record the show, edit it, upload it, book the ads, give us ad copy, and so on. So I don't handle anything related to the technical side of production.
From my daughter Eliza, however, I've seen that producing your own podcast is pretty easy. For a few years she had a podcast, Eliza Starting at 16, and she did the whole thing herself. She used a Blue Snowball microphone and Hindenburg editing software, and she figured out how to do it in about thirty minutes. (I wish she'd start recording new episodes! But she doesn't seem interested, alas.)
If you're thinking of starting your own podcast, good luck! I highly recommend the podcast medium. If you'd like to see the Podcast Manifesto that Elizabeth and I use as our guide in creating Happier, it's here.
What is "The Onward Project?"
"The Onward Project" is a family of podcasts brought together by me—they’re all about how to make your life better. If you like our podcast, you’ll probably also like Happier in Hollywood, Elizabeth’s other podcast with her writing partner and co-host Sarah Fain (because one podcast just isn’t enough!); Chris Gullebeau’s brilliant show Side Hustle School; and the terrific new podcast, Do the Thing, from Whole30’s Melissa Hartwig Urban.
I wanted to start The Onward Project because when I like something, I always start to look for something similar. I loved J. K. Rowlings's book Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, so I wanted to read Nnedi Okorafor's Akata Witch. I loved the podcast 99% Invisible, so I wanted to try 20,000 Hertz. I thought it would be great to create a family of podcasts where you'd know, "Hey, I like this podcast, so there's a good chance I'll like these other podcasts as well."
In many ways, these podcasts are very different from each other, but they all explore practical, realistic ways to make our lives happier, healthier, more productive, and more creative. They all create that feeling that I describe as "Onward!" It's optimistic, forward-looking, concrete way to think about our lives. And all of the podcasts are entertaining and information-dense.
Where can I find information about a sponsor?
From the very first show, you could always find sponsor information by scrolling down in the online show notes, below the Comments section.
Over time, however, I realized that a lot of people couldn't readily find the sponsor information there. So I created a dedicated page where you can find sponsor names, info, links, and promo codes.
How do I subscribe and listen?
If you want to listen to a podcast, how do you do it? I'll use my podcast, Happier with Gretchen Rubin, as an example.
The easiest way is to subscribe (for free).
- Find the Podcasts icon on your phone's home screen
- Tap to open
- Tap "search"
- Type "happier"
- Tap on the Happier logo
- Tap "subscribe"
- Tap to listen
If you subscribe, you'll never miss an episode.
(Want a free bookmark printed with these directions? Email me at [email protected] with your mailing address.)
If you'd rather not subscribe...
You can go to my website and click on "Podcasts" on the top navigation bar.
Or go to a dedicated URL for podcasts: happiercast.com/podcasts to see a list.
Or to get an email alert every time a new episode goes live, sign up here.
How do I rate and review?
If you listen to Happier (or to just about any podcast), you hear the hosts ask listeners to rate and review the show. Why? Listeners really respect the views of other listeners, so by rating and reviewing—assuming you have good things to say!—you make other people get interested. Rates and reviews also build buzz around the show, by helping us get on recommended lists and top charts. So this is really a tremendous help to Elizabeth and me.
I know that I always look at the number of ratings, as well as the number of stars, to get a sense of how strong an unfamiliar show might be. With so much content these days, we're all looking for clues about what's worth our precious time and attention.
It's easy to rate and review—once you know what to do! Here's how for an iPhone. Android is very much the same.
Important note as you begin (this confused me for a long time): if you're already subscribed to Happier (and we hope you are), you still need to SEARCH for Happier in the search box, in order to be able to rate and review.
- Open up the Podcasts App.
- Hit “Search” in the bottom right-hand corner.
- Make sure the “All Podcasts” option is highlighted in purple at the top.
- Type in “Happier.”
- Tap the podcast logo.
- Scroll down [this is confusing, this screen looks like it just lists all the episodes, but mid-way, the screen switches to other functions.]. About three-quarters down the page, you'll see the stars to rate the show—we so appreciate it if you give us a rating.
- And you’ll also see a sample review. Right under that, in purple, you’ll find “Write a Review.”
- Tap it.
- You may have to re-enter your iTunes password at this point. You're almost there!
- Tap the stars to leave a rating, enter the title of your review (like a subject line), and write a review.
- Tap “Send."
Word of mouth
In the end, however, word of mouth is most important. When I'm deciding whether to read a book, watch a TV show, or try a podcast, I'm far more likely to do it if a friend says, "Wow, you can't miss this, it's great." We hear from so many listeners who say "I got my whole office listening to your show" or "My friend kept talking about it so much, I had to check it out myself," and we so appreciate the people who spread the word about Happier!
So give yourself a gold star if you've subscribed, rated, reviewed, or recommended the show. It really is a huge help.
What does it mean to give "The Gift of a Podcast"
Because it's such a happiness-booster to discover a great new podcast—or even better, to learn how to listen to podcasts in the first place—I created The Gift of a Podcast. (I have to say, I'm super-proud of this.) Go to giftofpodcast.com to download the "gift certificate" and the cheat-sheet of instructions. This makes it easy for you to "give" a podcast to someone who will love it.
Where can I listen to the complete theme song for the podcast?
What are your favorite podcasts these days?
I'm always eager to hear about new great podcasts to add to my list! I listen each morning during my long walk in Central Park—one of my favorite parts of my day.
One Last Thing
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