Today is March 1. Do you follow the old superstition of saying “Rabbit, rabbit” on the first day of every month? I do. I find it easy to remember to say it—the hard part is remembering to say it before I’ve spoken any other words.

My adherence to this superstition reminds me of a (probably apocryphal) story about physicist Niels Bohr. Bohr noticed that a friend had a horseshoe mailed above his office door, and he asked why. When told that that the horseshoe brought luck, Bohr asked in astonishment, “Do you really believe in this?” His friend replied, “Oh, I don’t believe in it. But I am told it works even if you don’t believe in it.”

Research shows that when we think something is lucky—a lucky golf ball, a lucky t-shirt—we actually do perform better. Do I have better luck when I remember to say “Rabbit, rabbit?” Maybe!

5 Things Making Me Happy​

On the Happier podcast, Elizabeth mentioned the wonderful duet of Barbra Streisand and Judy Garland singing the songs “Happy Days Are Here Again” and “Get Happy” together. I went to watch that video, which then inspired me to watch Judy Garland singing “Get Happy”from the movie Summer Stock. If you have a few minutes, I highly recommend watching both videos—good examples of how we can use our senses of hearing and seeing to boost our happiness.

I enjoyed talking with Luvvie Ajayi Jones, author of Professional Troublemaker, about habits and happiness for a LinkedIn Live last week. In January, to lower the noise in her head, Luvvie gave up social media for a month. I was interested to hear how she used the twin strategies of Convenience and Inconvenience: On her smartphone, she moved her social-media apps away from her home screen, and replaced them with games. For instance, when she had that familiar urge to tap her screen, she was prompted to play Tetris rather than scroll through Instagram. 

As I headed into the “Empty nest” stage, I wondered if there might be a better metaphor for this stage of life. I asked for people’s suggestions, and I couldn’t believe how many great ideas people had. In the end, I chose “Open door.” I like this metaphor because it emphasizes that family members are going and returning, and it reminds me that I want to cultivate an atmosphere of freedom, welcome, and tenderness.

Do you get “earworms,” those bits of song that get stuck on repeat in the mind? I rarely do—maybe because I rarely listen to music. I have my own version of earworms, however, when a quotation runs through my head over and over for a few hours. A few days ago, I woke up with this line from Horace in my mind: “They change their sky, not their souls, who rush across the sea.” It repeated over and over and over until it finally faded out in the afternoon. I’ve never heard anyone else talk about experiencing this…

According to Google Trends, the “silent book club” search term reached a fifteen-year high last month, and is the top-trending type of “book club” over the past week. Silent Book Club describes itself as “Introvert Happy Hour,” where participants meet and read together in silence. Along the same lines, a few bookish friends and I have been talking about taking a reading vacation together, where we’d go to a beautiful place, hike in the morning, eat meals together, and spend all the rest of our time reading. Bliss. The Silent Book Club also reminds me of another variety of book club, the No Homework Book Club, where people read whatever they want to read, then get together to swap recommendations. (Especially good for Rebels.)


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This week on Happier with Gretchen Rubin


We explore why and how to allow an important tradition to evolve. We also share listeners’ suggestions about how to block the bothersome light emitted by devices, and we talk to author Bradley Tusk about his new workplace novel about the intersection of tech and politics.

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Every Friday, Gretchen Rubin shares 5 things that are making her happier, asks readers and listeners questions, and includes exclusive updates and behind-the-scenes material.