Leap Day is coming up! Do you have any Leap Day traditions?

My most memorable Leap Day was in 2016 when I picked up my two daughters from school on a Monday, and we went to Ripley’s Believe It or Not! in Times Square, then had dessert and hot chocolate. My vision for tying this plan to Leap Day was that it was a break-the-usual-rules adventure with a weekend activity on a school/work day as well as sweets for dinner. 

Recalling the fun of that afternoon, and remembering that novelty and surprise make experiences more memorable, has made me determined to plan something unusual with my family for that day.


Gretchen Rubin

5 Things Making Me Happy​

It’s the ninth anniversary of the Happier with Gretchen Rubin podcast. Doing this podcast is such a huge engine of happiness for me. It’s endlessly fascinating and fun to swap ideas, hacks, and resources about how to make our lives happier. And, of course, I love collaborating  with my sister Elizabeth. For each anniversary episode, we look back to identify the highlights from the previous year; this exercise always reminds me of the value of occasionally taking time to reflect on previous activities or accomplishments. It’s so easy to forget all the things we’ve done.

I have a few friends who had such severe morning sickness that they had to be hospitalized, so I was very interested to read that scientists now believe that they understand what causes hyperemesis gravidarum. Knowing that this extreme nausea and vomiting is related to the hormone GDF-15 makes it more likely that effective treatments can be developed, which would be a tremendous benefit. 

Usually I love the fact that I have red hair, but I stumbled across this article “The Science Behind Red Hair: 12 Facts About Redheads You Never Knew” and I have to be honest—it wasn’t all good news. 

Writing Life in Five Senses made me much more aware of the importance of our sensory experiences. So I was very interested to read this piece: “‘I love to twirl the cord’: the young people pushing for a landline renaissance.” It turns out that some people really enjoy engaging with a physical phone, or they love the look of a landline phone, or they like being forced to sit in one place to have a conversation. Astonishing fact: 73% of American adults don’t have a landline.

One item on my “24 for 24” list is to learn to paint with watercolor, and I took an online course that also got me more interested in sketching. Here’s my attempt to sketch the Temple of Dendur at the Metropolitan Museum. I’m itching to visit this scene again; I see what I would do differently.


Last chance to join my habit workshop

Today is the last day to sign up for my upcoming habit workshop. In this workshop, you’ll get the tools and strategies you need to create a plan for your next new habit that’s tailored to you. Get 15% off with code NEWHABIT15 by tonight, February 23rd at 11:59pm PT.

This week on Happier with Gretchen Rubin


To celebrate the ninth anniversary of the podcast, we discuss the Try-This-at-Home ideas that have resonated most with listeners over the past year. We also review our favorite Happiness Hacks and some of our favorite moments and biggest milestones.

Listen now >

Listen to the Happier podcast?
Click here to read the show notes.

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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.