5 Things Making Me Happy


Every year, I celebrate the date of January 9th — the anniversary of the happiest day of my life. On January 9, 2015, my husband Jamie was declared “cured” of the hepatitis C he contracted from a blood transfusion during a childhood heart operation. Thank you, science! Thank you, doctors, nurses, researchers, technicians! I will never take this day for granted.

Also, I was impressed to learn that England is on track to eliminate hepatitis C by 2025.


Gretchen Rubin

5 Things Making Me Happy


Have you ever done “Dry January?” With alcohol, or with caffeine, sugar, TV, or something else? More and more, I hear about people experimenting with this approach. I’ve developed many strategies for how to build or change a habit, and one thing I’ve learned is that people don’t like the feeling of being deprived. While for some, it’s fun to experiment for a month, others find it difficult, or they find it challenging to maintain that deprivation beyond the four weeks. I was delighted when a friend suggested a way to make deprivation easier: Turn deprivation into indulgence. Read more about this approach here.


The bluebird is a symbol for happiness, so a bluebird appears on the cover of my book The Happiness Project. Over the years I've amassed a collection of bluebirds: Christmas-tree ornaments, bluebird T-shirts that my sister Elizabeth gave me, a bluebird figure sewed by a friend, two framed drawings of bluebirds, a glass bluebird from my grandmother, and more. Encountering a bluebird brings me great pleasure. Do you have a collection of something that makes you happy?


These days, I see many Christmas trees lined up along the streets. I love to smell the sweet, sharp smell of pine as I pass by.


Every January 1, I’m very interested to read the Center for the Study of the Public Domain’s report that highlights some of the most important, interesting works that enter the public domain that year. This year, works from 1927 become open to everyone! (In the U.S.; more or less.) The list includes some books that I love: Virginia Woolf’s To the Lighthouse, Willa Cather’s Death Comes for the Archbishop, Thornton Wilder’s The Bridge of San Luis Rey, Marcel Proust’s Time Regained. Plus movies, music, and more.


I love a good “before-and-after,” especially the “after.” We finally got our sofa reupholstered, so the stuffing isn’t coming out of the worn-out spot anymore.


  • Our community challenge for 2023 is to go outside for 23 minutes every day: #Outside23in23. Starting Sunday the 15th in the Happier app, you'll find seven days of concrete, actionable prompts to help you establish a daily habit and enjoy your time outdoors.

Episodes and Articles

A Little Happier

A Little Happier

Advice from Mr. Rogers that’s Useful to Both Children and Adults.



There’s no one-size-fits-all solution for happiness and good habits. If January 1 feels like an auspicious day to begin, embrace it. If not, don’t.

Happier Podcast


412: Turn Deprivation into Indulgence, Creative Ways to Make a “23 in 23” List, and a Fun Tradition


You May Also Like


More Happier: We Celebrate Four Big Milestones: in Hollywood, Health, Holidays, and More Happier.

Listen now >


New Year’s Resolutions: What Not To Try

Read more >

We are happy when we are growing.


Additional Resources

Want to be the first to know about new products and exclusive offers from The Happiness Project?

Sign up to get a deeper dive into featured products and tools, sneak peeks into new projects, and exclusive discounts and offers.

Click here to subscribe >


You signed up to receive this newsletter at gretchenrubin.com
Was this email forwarded to you? Subscribe here so you don't miss the next one.

{{ organization.name }} {{ organization.full_address }}

No longer want to receive these updates?
Update your preferences or {% unsubscribe %}

Subscribe to Gretchen’s newsletter.

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.