5 Things Making Me Happy


If you live in the United States, next week is the deadline to vote in this year’s fall election.

I love to vote. Like reading the Preamble to the Constitution, or listening to the song “The Farmer and the Cowman” from the musical Oklahoma!, it gives me my “America Feeling.” This year, I couldn’t wait to vote—I wanted the opportunity to put my values into the world. Lucky for me, my early polling site was the Metropolitan Museum, so I was able to able to cast my vote, get my sticker, and make my daily visit to Met in a single trip.

Have you made your plan to vote? Studies show that many more people plan to vote than who actually do vote—and also that people are much more likely to follow through when they make a concrete plan for how and when to vote.


Gretchen Rubin

5 Things Making Me Happy


Reading is my favorite activity. This October, I read a wide range of books from children’s to horror to humor. You can see my full list here. So many books, so little time! Years ago, I decided to stop reading a book if I didn’t like it, and this month, I decided to raise my standard: I will stop reading a book if I’m not actually enjoying or learning from it. There are just too many books I want to read—or re-read—to spend time on books that don’t really grab me. Why is it so hard to stop reading a book once I start? I have no idea.


Because of my research into the five senses, I’ve become much more aware of touch and texture. When I walked through Central Park’s Pinetum, I couldn’t stop running my hands across the needles of this beautiful pine tree.


A friend told me about Nikon’s Small World photography competition. I love miniatures, and this competition takes smallness to an entirely new level. It covers “photomicrography,” i.e., photos taken through a microscope. What is more beautiful than the structure of nature?


One of my aphorisms is “Keeping information secret unfailingly makes it more interesting.” When I was walking through the Met’s Tudor exhibit, I headed straight to this artwork the minute I spotted it. The fact that it was covered by a curtain instantly sparked my curiosity.


I was very sorry to learn of the death of the writer Julie Powell, author of Julie and Julia: My Year of Cooking Dangerously. As someone who loves a great yearlong self-experiment, I took special pleasure in her approach. I often reflect on a passage from the conclusion of that memoir:

Sometimes, if you want to be happy, you’ve got to run away to Bath and marry a punk rocker. Sometimes you’ve got to dye your hair cobalt blue or wander remote islands in Sicily, or cook your way through Mastering the Art of French Cooking in a year, for no very good reason. Julia taught me that.

That observation is a great reminder that for each of us, a happiness project looks different—and that as different as we are, we can all learn from each other.


  • In honor of the extra hour provided by Daylight Savings Time, we’re holding a flash sale!
    Use code “EXTRAHOUR30” to get 30% off our original journals from now until Sunday, November 6th at 11:59pm PT. (Promo includes: One-Sentence Journal, Memento Keepsake Journal, Know Yourself Better Journal and Don’t Break the Chain Habit Tracker)

Episodes and Articles

A Little Happier

A Little Happier

If You’re Going to Say That, You’d Better Be Holding My Hand



Becky Blades's new book, Start More Than You Can Finish: A Creative Permission Slip to Unleash Your Best Ideas just hit shelves.

Happier Podcast


402: Why We Might Buy Ourselves Flowers, How to Find an Extra Hour, and Writing a Personal Manifesto


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Happiness comes not from having more, not from having less, but from wanting what we have.


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Additional Resources

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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.