One of my happiness-project resolutions is to “Be a storehouse of happy memories.” Research shows that remembering happy times from the past helps us to feel happier in the present, so I take steps to preserve good memories.

For instance: Every February, I make sure to get a great photo of my two daughters. I put the photo in a red, white, pink, white, or silver frame, and around Valentine’s Day each year, I take all these photos out of storage to make a Valentine’s Day holiday gallery. 

Because these photos are on display for a short time, we really look at them and appreciate them.

Last year, I didn’t remember to put the photos on display until after Valentine’s Day, so I’m glad that I was more timely this year.

5 Things Making Me Happy​

Have you ever been bothered by an “earworm”—a tune that keeps running through your mind? (Such a great term for it.) I don’t experience them very often, and when I do, it’s often the intro music from one of my favorite podcasts. I was interested to read this article about why we get them

Here are the books I read in January. If you can’t read the title on that little volume, it’s The Mansion by Henry van Dyke. Two books that stood out were Thomas Heatherwick’s Humanize and J. L. Carr’s A Month in the Country. They have something in common: they both consider how our emotions, habits, and relationships are shaped by our surroundings. 

One item on my “24 for ‘24” list is to watch the final season of the TV show Succession. Done! As I watched episode 9, I was excited to see the action take place at the Church of St. Ignatius Loyola. This church is in my neighborhood, and I walk by it constantly, and a few years ago, I spent some time watching the filming of this episode. When the shot pulled back, I looked to see if I could spot myself on the sidewalk on the opposite side. Nope. 

I visit the Met every day, and I’ve seen some pretty surprising things during my visits. But one thing I haven’t seen: a marriage proposal. In an recent email newsletter, the Met’s director Max Hollein reported that the Met was the site of 52 marriage proposals in 2023. I wonder: How did they arrive at that number? And what gallery is the most popular site?

I asked people to share the best relationship advice they ever received. So many people responded—here are just a few highlights.


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This week on Happier with Gretchen Rubin


We talk about why it’s valuable, not frivolous, to be polite in our everyday interactions. We explore the different types of rewards and recognition that people find most satisfying, such as praise-seekers and trophy-hunters, and we also tackle the distinction between “aims” and “goals.”

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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.