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Podcast 218: Invest in Your Identities, One Solution for the “Evil Donut-Bringer,” and Listeners’ Suggestions About Dealing with Chemotherapy.


Update: If you want information about our upcoming live shows, find information here. Detroit, Milwaukee, we're coming your way, buy your tickets, bring your friends! Minneapolis is already sold out.

Also, we should note that in the U.S., Mother’s Day is coming up on May 12—if you’re looking for a gift for a mother in your life, or want something for yourself, can we suggest The Gift of a Podcast? It's free, very valuable, takes up no space, and doesn't require errands! Or consider The One-Sentence Journal for Mothers or Happier at Home.

Try This at Home: Invest in your identities—with your time, money, energy, and relationships. We get out of things what we put into them.

I mention my episode of "A Little Happier" about my identity as a reader.

Happiness Hack: This hack tackles the familiar problem of the evil donut-bringer in the workplace. As a new boss, this listener made the rule that people could bring sweets to the office, but they had to keep them at their own desks. She reports: No one has brought sweets yet!

Listener Answers: Listeners gave many thoughtful, helpful suggestions about how to help someone go through chemotherapy—a question raised by a listener in episode 214. Chemotherapy is a real challenge, so it was terrific to hear so many concrete ideas about how to help.

One listener mentioned using the site Bonfire to order t-shirts or hoodies that express support.

Elizabeth's Demerit: Repeat demerit! Elizabeth didn't make a plan for their family spring break.

Gretchen's Gold Star: The Open Culture website is a terrific source for all kinds of free materials. A true treasure trove.


  1. Like me, do you love to read? Are you looking for reading ideas? Every month, I share a post with a list of every book I read that month at Or, if you sign up for my “book recommendations” newsletter, you'll receive the post in your email inbox.
  2. Are you thinking ahead about Mother’s Day gifts? Most of my books make great gifts for the mother in your life, and The Happiness Project One-Sentence Journal for Mothers is particularly suited to Mother’s Day. Visit or pick up a copy at your favorite bookstore.

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

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