5 Things Making Me Happy


In my part of the world, yesterday was the first day of autumn. Where did the summer go? The days are long but the years are short—and this year, the summer seemed especially short.

Often, I’ve found, a calendar date can act as a catalyst for reflection and change. We often make resolutions prompted by dates such as New Year’s Day (“new year, new you”), Valentine’s Day, Halfway Day, or a personal date like a birthday or anniversary. I collect ideas for dates for my “Calendar of Catalysts,” and a thoughtful Happier listener reminded me that September 22 was the 265th day of the year. So, if you’re thinking about starting a habit, if you start today with a “don’t break the chain,” you’ll be counting down from 99 – which feels auspicious. I’m going to try to keep my email inbox under 150 every day….wish me luck.



Gretchen Rubin

5 things making me happy


I love Dani Shapiro’s terrific podcast, Family Secrets, and I was very excited when I started listening to the latest episode—and realized that she was in conversation with my friend Rich Benjamin about family secrets in his life. It was such a fascinating discussion.



Researching the five senses has made me realize how deeply our senses are intertwined. I drink enormous amounts of coffee, and I was fascinated by this article exploring how the choice of coffee “vessel”—its color, size, shape, material, and more—affect our experience. Who knew that tilt angle was so important for a great cup of coffee?



Speaking of coffee, if you’re a coffee drinker, do you prefer your beverage hot or iced? I love hot coffee, and I drink my coffee iced only on the very hottest days. I was surprised to read in The New York Times that even in winter, cold drinks now make up at least 60% of Starbucks beverage sales.



Because of my research of the five senses, I’ve thought a lot about Marcel Proust and his famous tea-dipped madeleines. So I was astonished to find out that in earlier drafts, Proust describes the memories as having been evoked by toast with honey—or by a hard biscuit.   



A thoughtful listener sent me this article about a pop-up ice-cream shop in London. I can’t say these flavors sound delicious, but I would love to try them. I’m so curious about soy-sauce ice cream, mayonnaise ice cream, and especially ketchup ice cream. I’ve become convinced of the magic of ketchup.



  • This week I spoke to Morra Aarons-Mele for her podcast, Anxious Achiever. It was a great, in-depth conversation. Among other things, we discussed introversion and extroversion. (I’ve been told I’m an ambivert.) 
  • This week, I launched a limited-edition newsletter on LinkedIn. The first edition is about procrastination. You can read it here.

Pouring out ideas is better for creativity than doling them out by the teaspoon.


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Episodes and blog posts

A Little Happier

A Little Happier Podcast

A Story from the Ancient World Reminds Me to Be Grateful for Literature



Amy Impellizzeri (a lawyer-turned-novelist) and Liz Brown (a Harvard-grad-turned-law-partner-turned-undergrad-professor) feel strongly about the need for lawyers and law students to innovate and pivot.
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Happier Podcast

Happier Podcast

396: Observe the Birthday of a Spiritual Teacher, Plus the “Arrival Fallacy” and Happiness Bullies


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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.