5 Things Making Me Happy


Although I’m not Catholic, my most significant spiritual teacher is St. Therese of Lisieux. October 1 is her feast day, so I’ve been reflecting on some of my favorite passages from her haunting, brilliant spiritual memoir, Story of a Soul.

For instance: “When one loves, one does not calculate.” “For the love of God and my Sisters (so charitable toward me) I take care to appear happy and especially to be so.” “The splendor of the rose and the whiteness of the Lily do not take away from the perfume of the little violet or the delightful simplicity of the daisy.” “Since we see the way, let us run together.” “I choose all.” “I am very far from practicing what I understand.” “It isn’t enough to love; we must prove it.”

I have a shelf full of books about St. Therese (and I can hardly resist the impulse to write a book about her—one day, perhaps). Many thanks to everyone who has sent me St. Therese-related items over the years; I keep them alongside my book collection.

Do you have a spiritual teacher? I find it extremely valuable to think about St. Therese and her teachings. Read more about my thoughts on finding a spiritual teacher here.



Gretchen Rubin

5 things making me happy


This isn’t a purchase that would appeal to everyone, but I was happy to find “STET!” It’s a grammar-based game, where players compete by spotting the errors in sentences. It’s based on Benjamin Dreyer’s terrific book, Dreyer’s English: An Utterly Correct Guide to Clarity and Style.



A while back, I decided to visit the Metropolitan Museum every day for a year—and I’ve kept going for much longer than a year, because I love this daily museum time so much. It’s both calming and energizing, and by giving me the opportunity to let my mind off its leash, it sparks my imagination. A thoughtful listener sent me this article about how psychiatrists are offering a “museum prescription” for people facing burnout, depression, and anxiety.



As someone who reads a lot of books and who also writes books, I love looking at beautiful books. I’ve always admired the old-fashioned style pictured above, which, I now know, dates from 1820-1914. These covers are so beautiful. What are some of your favorite book jackets?



Because of my study of the five senses, I’ve become much more aware of sounds, including the soundscape of New York City. A thoughtful listener sent me this fascinating short essay about the sounds used by street vendors in Mexico City—including examples of sounds used. Scroll through the article to hear the sounds of Mexico City.



While accepting an award at this year’s Nashville Songwriter Awards, Taylor Swift talked about her writing process. When she’s working on lyrics, she imagines writing them with the type of pen that’s appropriate for the tone of the song. Her three categories of lyrics are “Quill Lyrics,” “Fountain Pen Lyrics,” and “Glitter Gel Pen Lyrics.” Fascinating. My handwriting is so illegible that even in my imagination, I don’t write with a pen; it’s always a keyboard for me. But I like the idea of making a choice that sets the mood for a certain kind of creation.



  • My podcast, Happier with Gretchen Rubin, is now also on YouTube. It’s great to make Happier more accessible and to be able to show things when Elizabeth and I talk about them. (I didn’t realize how much I’d wanted to do that before.) If you like a visual with your audio, or you already spend time on YouTube, you can follow my channel here.

What we do every day matters more than what we do once in a while.


Share this on Twitter

Episodes and blog posts

A Little Happier

A Little Happier Podcast

Does Love Make You Think, “I Must Be at My Very Best?”



Alex Budak: “I Believe That Becoming a Changemaker Is an Inclusive Identity That We Can All Step Into.”
Read More
Happier Podcast

Happier Podcast

397: Stop “Phubbing” People, Plus Hacks to Get Organized, Clear Clutter, and Take Medications


You may also like


Consider Getting a Dog (Elizabeth Did). Do You Celebrate Moments? Spend 20 Minutes on Joy Each Day.

Listen now>



Have You Ever Saved Anyone's Life?

Read more>

Additional resources

Looking for more strategies for happiness and good habits?

Subscribe to receive bi-weekly tips for practical ways to make our lives happier, healthier, more productive, and more creative.

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.