On the Happier podcast, we’ve talked about why you should “Treat yourself like a toddler,” “Treat yourself like a dog,” and “Treat yourself like a professor.” Now we’ve added “Treat yourself like a factory.” See #5 to understand why.

5 Things to Try This Month


Battle frustration with an easy hack.

Are you feeling angry or frustrated? Try this: On a piece of paper, write down your complaints, arguments, criticisms. Then destroy the piece of paper by shredding or crumpling and tossing it. Research suggests that this kind of action will help alleviate your bad feelings. In my work on happiness and human nature, I’m particularly interested in how we can use our actions to influence our thoughts and moods, and I can’t wait to give this hack a try.


Take a quiz to get Father’s Day gift ideas.

Struggling to find the perfect gift for Father’s Day or graduation? Learn your recipient’s gift-appreciation profile–whether that person is an Easy-to-Please, a Tried-and-True, an Enthusiast, or a Connoisseur–to get ideas and inspiration for gifts. Now that I know that my father is an Easy-to-Please, I think about gifts for him in a different way.


Break down an overwhelming task.

One of the most familiar productivity tips is to break down a big, overwhelming project into smaller, more manageable tasks—but this is often easier said than done. A reader shared this productivity tool that breaks down a big task into a to-do list that you can customize to be more or less detailed.


Make time for play.

Research shows that regularly having fun is a key factor in having a happy life; people who have fun are far more likely to feel happy. But in the busyness of everyday life, things like goofing off, play, and relaxation often slip to the bottom of our to-do list—or disappear entirely. This month’s Jump-Start in the Happier™ app offers seven ideas for incorporating more play into your life. Starts Sunday, May 19th. Download to app and join for free.


Treat yourself like a factory.

In business, they talk about the cost of “planned downtime” or “unplanned downtime” or “planned maintenance” or “unplanned maintenance.” For instance, a plant may run on a run-to-fail maintenance plan—they stop for repair only when something breaks. Research shows that preventive methods work better to keep production running, and we can apply this idea to our own lives. Keeping up with maintenance on your car is more convenient than a breakdown. Making routine visits to the dentist is cheaper and less painful than waiting until you need major emergency surgery. Taking a break from work can help you prevent burnout.



Want daily tips & hacks?

In addition to powerful habit-tracking tools and fun challenges, discover daily tips for happiness and habits, thought-provoking quotations, and weekly self-knowledge prompts in the Happier™ app.

Dive Deeper

Child playing on a swing set


The Opposite of Meditation Is…Recess & I Need More Recess.


481: Avoid Avoidance, “Planned Maintenance,” a Cooking Hack, and Books on How Things Work

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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.