Get weekly newsletter updates from Gretchen.

Podcast 239: Tackling Life’s Big Questions with Kate Bowler, and an Office Morale-Booster.


We're going on tour! Kansas City, Chicago, Providence, Philadelphia, Washington D.C., Atlanta, Charlotte, and Brooklyn! Tickets now on sale for our live "Happier Hour with Gretchen Rubin" shows in the fall. Details and tickets at

If you want to make sure you get notified if we're coming to your city, sign up for my newsletter at

Try This at Home: Make a concrete offer. Be specific about how you might help—it helps the recipient if we make a concrete offer, and it demonstrates a sincere desire to be helpful.

We talk about Emily McDowell's book There Is No Good Card for This: What to Say and Do When Life Is Scary, Awful, and Unfair to People You Love.

Happiness Hack: I recently spoke at the Kansas Women’s Attorney Association, and I was impressed by the organization's way of helping people to break the ice, get to know each other, and connect: they gave everyone a sash and various badges. 

Button-makers are easy to order, and not terrifically expensive. For instance, here's one for $113.

We’re always looking for great ways (other than bringing donuts!) to help people connect more easily—this seems super-easy and fun. Even designing and making the buttons could be a fun activity.


Interview: Kate Bowler.

About four years ago, Kate Bowler was living an ordinary life: she was 35 years old, she was a professor at Duke Divinity school, married, with a new baby—when she was diagnosed with stage IV colon cancer.

This experience forced her to reckon with her mortality. In a truly extraordinary way, she has grappled with this experience. She has a terrific podcast, which we highly recommend, called Everything Happens, and she has a wonderful memoir called Everything Happens for a Reason: And Other Lies I’ve Loved.

Kate's try-this-at-home suggestion is: Remember that no matter what you're going through, you have something to give.

Gretchen's Demerit: I forgot to take my traditional first-day-of-school photo for Eliza.

Elizabeth's Gold Star: She loves the new TV show BH90210.


  1. If you'd like to get an email update every time I have a new blog post, sign up for my newsletter. For example, I have many interviews with other authors, I share book suggestions, and I write about ideas and strategies related to happiness and good habits. If you're already subscribed to my primary monthly newsletter, you can update your subscription preferences at
  2. Due to popular demand, I created a PDF that includes all the “Try This at Home” suggestions from every episode. I update it a few times a year. You can download it for free at

More Episodes For You

icon onward

One Last Thing

Want a new podcast to listen to?

With the same vibe as “Happier,” The Onward Project is the family of podcasts that I’ve launched, for podcasts that are about “your life, made better.”

Learn More

Get My Weekly Newsletter

Sign up to get my free weekly newsletter. It highlights the best material from here, my Facebook Page, and new original work.