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Podcast 221: Do You Yearn for a Re-Set, Tips for Looking Better in Photographs, How to Break the “Snooze” Habit, and Why Voice-to-Text Can Be So Helpful.


Announcement: We've picked our next book for the Happier Podcast Book Club! Another memoir, to our surprise: Small Fry by Lisa Brennan-Jobs. A New York Times and New Yorker Top Ten Book of the Year. Thought-provoking, beautifully written, fascinating. Here's the book description:

Born on a farm and named in a field by her parents―artist Chrisann Brennan and Steve Jobs―Lisa Brennan-Jobs’s childhood unfolded in a rapidly changing Silicon Valley. When she was young, Lisa’s father was a mythical figure who was rarely present in her life. As she grew older, her father took an interest in her, ushering her into a new world of mansions, vacations, and private schools. His attention was thrilling, but he could also be cold, critical and unpredictable. When her relationship with her mother grew strained in high school, Lisa decided to move in with her father, hoping he’d become the parent she’d always wanted him to be. Part portrait of a complex family, part love letter to California in the seventies and eighties, Small Fry is a poignant coming-of-age story from one of our most exciting new literary voices.

Try This at Home: This is a shallow concern, but hey, it's something most of us think about: how can we look better in photographs? Focus on lighting, angle, and expression.

My daughter Eliza swears by the "golden hour."

As promised, here are photos of Elizabeth and me taken in Portrait Mode.

A hack from the Happier in Hollywood podcast: Have a good photo of yourself to use as a head-shot. These days, just about everyone needs a head-shot.

Happiness Hack: In episode 217, I talked about how I was falling behind on my notes. Our listener Melissa sent in a great suggestion: use your phone's voice-to-text for note-taking.

Know Yourself Better: Do you yearn for a re-set? This desire for a re-set can be a sign of drift, of Obliger-rebellion, or of feeling overwhelmed or unheard.

It’s very helpful to recognize this feeling, because then you can try to figure out a create that moment of re-set yourself; it's rare that something magically happens from the outside to give us a fresh start.

If you want to read my post "A Problem in Happiness: Drift,"  it's here.

If you want to read my quiz, "Are you drifting?" it's here.

If you want to watch a fifteen-minute presentation I gave on the subject of drift, watch here.

I write about the "Strategy of the Clean Slate" in Better Than Before, my book about how to make or break habits.

Listener Question: A listener named Terese has tried every trick in the book to get over her snoozing habit, without success.

Gretchen's Demerit: While in line to board a plane in the Denver airport, I let feeling self-conscious get in the way of connecting with someone who enjoys my work. Note to self: never put oil in my hair again.

Elizabeth's Gold Star: Elizabeth gives a gold star to her sister-in-law Michelle, for the thoughtful gift of pajamas with shorts! A new discovery for Elizabeth.


  1. If you’ve recently discovered my Four Tendencies framework and want to learn more, you can read my book, The Four Tendencies, or if you prefer video learning, join my video course at You can do it in five weeks, or go at your own pace.
  2. It's graduation season! Do you have a high school or college graduate in your life? Consider giving the gift of my book Better Than Before or The Happiness Project

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

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