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Podcast 195: Do Something Scary, the Challenge of Planning Holiday Visits, and Dealing with Earbud Dilemmas.

The Happiness Project spotted in the airport

Update: My husband has sending me photos from various airports where he has spotted The Happiness Project Tenth Anniversary Edition—very exciting to have it out in the world!

What a joy it has been to work on this book, for all ten years! If you're planning to give a copy of the book as a gift, you may want to request a personalized, free bookplate to put in it, or request a bookplate for yourself. Sign up here. U.S. and Canada only, I'm afraid—mailing costs.

Elizabeth and team are almost done shooting The Fix! A huge milestone for a TV show. If you're curious to hear more about the process of making a television show, listen to Happier in HollywoodElizabeth's other podcast, with her writing partner Sarah Fain.

Try This at Home: Do something scary.

Eleanor, my father, and Eliza at Go Ape Zip Line & Treetop Adventure

We discuss Elizabeth Bernstein's piece in the Wall Street Journal: “Using Fear to Break Out of a Funk.”

I mentioned Go Ape Zip Line & Treetop Adventure in Kansas City. Scary, challenging, and fun.

Happiness Hack: Instead of asking your children to make a "wish list" for gifts, ask them to make a "likes list."

Happiness Stumbling Block: We discuss the challenges of cellphone etiquette. Using smartphones and earbuds is still such a new behavior that it's not clear what's polite—and what's not. Elizabeth is naturally more considerate than I am, so I peppered her with questions that have been puzzling me.

Listener Question: A listener asks how to keep Thanksgiving a pleasant holiday, when she and her husband, new parents of a four-month-old, have to divide their time among four sets of parents.

Adam and Jack at the Spartan Race

Gretchen's Demerit: I've been talking and writing about the value of holiday breakfasts for years! It's a section of my book Happier at Home, and I've blogged about it, and we've talked about it here on the podcast. And I utterly forgot to do a holiday breakfast for Halloween this year. It never even crossed my mind, until days later.

Elizabeth's  Gold Star: Elizabeth gives a gold star to her husband Adam and other parents at Jack's school for challenging themselves to complete the grueling Spartan Race.


  1. Would you like to get an email update whenever I have a new blog post? For example, I have interviews with authors; each month I share a list of the books I read that month; and I write all kinds of blog posts with strategies related to happiness and good habits. If you're interested, you can update your subscription preferences here.
  2. Want to read a a sample chapter of my book The Happiness Project? You can get it here.
  3. In January, I'm launching a new course called “The Happiness Project Experience.” Sign up for the wait list at Stay tuned for a flash sale in December. I'm so excited to start this course!

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