As one of my exceedingly minor hobbies, as I go through the world, I try to spot “portmanteau” words—words that combine the sounds and meanings of two different words. For instance, I love the word “wayfinding” and Lewis Carroll’s “chortle” (chuckle+snort). Today, during my visit to the Met, I learned a new one. As I’m sure you can guess without my explanation, “findspot” is used to describe the exact location where an artifact was found during an excavation.

5 Things to Try This Month


Try my new AI Happiness Helpline.

One item on my “24 for 24” list is to “Learn and experiment with AI.” As part of that effort, I just added a useful new tool to my website: an AI chat feature called the “Happiness Helpline” that uses my books, articles, and podcast episodes to answer your questions. Embracing new technology helps me cultivate an atmosphere of growth, and I can’t wait for people to give it a try. Ask it anything about happiness and habits—but remember, it’s just a machine. Visit my website and click the icon in the lower right corner.


Walk your dog. 

To prod themselves to exercise regularly, many Obligers use their dogs as accountability partners. They know their dog will be happier and healthier with regular exercise, so they go on the walks to benefit their dog. They’re right to think that those walks are good for their dogs; I was fascinated to read this article about why being able to explore outside of an overly familiar backyard is so important to dogs’ well-being. Obligers—and all of us—if we’re thinking about skipping that walk, remember how disappointed our dog will be.


Allow a tradition to evolve.

Life changes over time—circumstances, values, priorities—so it’s a good idea to check in with our traditions to make sure they’re still working for us. This way, we can ensure they don’t become a drag rather than making life richer and keeping us close with the people we care about.


Kick off spring cleaning.

If, like me, you find that outer order contributes to inner calm, join this month’s habit jump-start in the Happier™ app. You’ll get concrete prompts to tackle different types of clutter every day, and by the end of the week, you’ll have made meaningful progress on your spring cleaning to-do list. It’s free to join and starts this Sunday, March 17th.


Have a hard conversation while walking.

If you have to have a stressful conversation or talk about a difficult subject, try having that conversation while walking. Whether you’re outside in nature or using a treadmill desk, walking gives your stress an outlet, especially if you tend to get physically agitated or restless when stressed. When you’re walking, that nervous, uncomfortable energy isn’t building up in your body, so it’s easier to stay calm.

Life in Five Senses paperback book cover


Pre-order Life in Five Senses on paperback

Life in Five Senses is coming to paperback on April 30th. Pre-order today and get access to a “secret chapter” that was cut from the final version. If you know anything about me, you’ll be very surprised by the particular adventure I describe.

Dive Deeper

Clean dining table with vased full of cherry blossom branches


Do You Like Spring Cleaning? Here Are Some Ideas If You Do (Even More Helpful If You Don’t).


472: “No-Spend February,” Have a Hard Conversation While Walking, and Use Your Non-Dominant Hand

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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.