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Podcast 216: Give Someone an Unusual Compliment, Try This Hack to Help You Carry Your Stuff, and Elizabeth Reports on Her Stress-Eating.


Update: Elizabeth and I are taking the Happier podcast on the road! Our disembodied voices will be live on stage for the “Happier Hour” in New York City, Detroit, Milwaukee, and Minneapolis.

We have four live shows currently booked, with more to come:

Information here. If you have any questions about buying a ticket, contact the venue. They'll have the answers you need.

Try This at Home: Give someone an unusual compliment.

Happiness Hack: Happiness worlds collide! Elizabeth's writing partner and co-host of Happier in Hollywood (and friend from high school) Sarah Fain gives a happiness hack that builds on my happiness hack in episode 193, where I talked about how much I love the Bandolier phone case that allows me to wear my phone around my neck.

Sarah's hack is to add the matching, attachable Bandolier pouch, so you don't need to bring a purse or bag with you. The pouch is big enough to hold a small wallet, some cash, metro card, key, etc. You can leave the house with all the essential items and with your hands free.

I've ordered this pouch for myself.

Know Yourself Better: What's your favorite time of day?

I mention the terrific book, Till Roenneberg's Internal Time: Chronotypes, Social Jet Lag, and Why You're So Tired.

Listener Question: A listener who's generally an Abstainer doesn't want to give up junk food altogether. She asks whether there's a way for an Abstainer to indulge occasionally.

Yes! With a planned exception.

I explore this question in my book about habit change, Better Than Before.

Elizabeth's Demerit: Elizabeth has been doing a great job of eating more healthfully—"#6" is one of the items on her "19 for 2019" list—but recently, with the launch of the TV show The Fix, she's been stress-eating.

We talk about the Strategy of Distraction, which is one of the twenty-one strategies we can use to make or break our habits that I detail in Better Than Before.

Gretchen's Gold Star: I give a gold star to the weekly magazine The Economist. It's interesting, well-written, analytical, and covers many interesting subjects.


  • Are you intrigued by the Four Tendencies framework? If you’d like to present an in-person workshop with a group of adults to teach them about my Four Tendencies framework, you can learn more here.
  • If you'd like to download a free sample chapter from Better Than Before, my book about how to make or break our habits, you can get it here.

Join the conversation! I do a live show on Facebook called: “Ask Gretchen Rubin Live.” You can check the schedule.

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