I hurt my toe, and while the injury isn’t very painful, it’s also not getting better. This experience has revealed something interesting: I experience pain more intensely when I’m worried about whether I’m making my condition worse with my actions. If someone said to me, “Oh, don’t worry about changing your routine. Nothing will make your toe get worse, it will get better in its own time,” I would ignore it. But because I’m worried about interfering with its healing, I think about my toe all the time—which focuses me on the pain.

I’m realizing that for too many years, I’ve taken my big toe for granted—a useful reminder of how extraordinarily grateful I should be for every single day that I experience good health.

5 Things Making Me Happy​

Speaking of health and healing, I recently had a fascinating conversation with Parsley Health Founder Dr. Robin Berzin about my Four Tendencies personality framework and how to use it to help us build habits around our health. Some key points: Many health-care professionals use the Four Tendencies to communicate more effectively with their patients; Questioners often don’t like to answer questions; and Obliger-rebellion is sometimes turned toward the self, toward a person’s own body.

According to this New York Times article, the art of calligraphy is experiencing a resurgence in popularity. It’s a slow, meditative activity that requires putting down your devices and using your hands in a creative way. You might use #Write24in24 to practice calligraphy or to work on your handwriting. (My own handwriting is almost unreadable.)

My husband Jamie and I often have a TV show that we watch together—it’s a companionable thing to do. Succession, Breaking Bad, Game of Thrones, Russian Doll, The Wire…Right now, we’re watching Hacks. It’s a real happiness booster, with interesting characters, hilarious dialogue, and great performances. Slight spoiler: At first, I found the show very stressful, but now I realize that while characters get into bad situations, everything resolves fairly quickly, so I don’t worry.

What’s on your summer bucket list? This Instagram user designed their summer with four different categories into a fun checklist.

We’re in graduation season, which got me reflecting on my own various graduations, and the graduations of my daughters. When my daughter Eleanor graduated from high school, I was thrilled and honored to be invited to give the commencement address. While I actually delivered this profound commencement address on that graduation day, in this More Happier episode, I share the practical commencement address that I never delivered. I love a hack!


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This week on Happier with Gretchen Rubin


As we do each year, we talk about how and why to design our summer. We also discuss whether we prefer comfort or adventure, as well as how to tell the differences among colds, allergies, and Covid. Plus we explore a listener’s question about feeling burned out by the friendship duties she usually enjoys.

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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.