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Podcast 242: Buy Some Happiness, Plus Hacks for Taking Medication Regularly.


We’ve been having so much fun touring! Coming up, we have more shows: Kansas City, Chicago, Providence, Philadelphia, Washington DC, Atlanta, Charlotte, and Brooklyn. Information and tickets here.

Book Club: We're excited to announce our next choice—I.M. by Isaac Mizrahi. It's a brilliant, thought-provoking memoir. Start your reading! It's so, so good. We'll discuss the book in December.

Try This at Home: Buy some happiness.

Money can't buy happiness, but spent wisely, it can buy many things that contribute mightily to a happy life. For instance, it can buy experiences, convenience, time, can help us keep our good habits, allow us to support other people and causes, and create savings that give us a feeling of serenity and freedom.

I mention the terrific magic show SECRET presented by Derren Brown. I also highly recommend his book Tricks of the Mind.

Indulging in a modest splurge” can make life more beautiful and fun. Even for under-buyers.

Happiness Hack Roundup: In a recent episode, we talked about a question from a listener who wanted ideas to help her husband take his daily medication.

This is a big issue for health and happiness—research suggests that of people who are prescribed medication for a chronic condition, about 50% don’t take it as prescribed. This can have a huge influence on people’s health, their quality of life, their symptoms, and their outcomes. About $300 billion of avoidable health care costs have been attributed to medication non-adherence annually in the United States. Nearly 3 out of 5 American adults take at least one medication each day.

As researchers point out, and as we all know from experience, what’s called “medication adherence” can be complex. 

  • Several people mentioned apps, which is great example of how technology can be a happiness booster, when used wisely. They suggested MyTherapy, Medisafe, Streaks, and Don’t Break the Chain.
  • Julia suggested using the alarm and snooze button on your phone. She notes: "The key is actually to press 'snooze' even if you’re on your way to go do the task, because those of us with ADHD can easily become distracted while going from point A to point B.”
  • Sara suggested putting medication next to something that you always need to take out of the house with you, such as your phone or your keys.
  • Recently, on our live tour, an audience member suggested that for morning medication, store it in your underwear drawer, and for evening, buy a large pill box and put in your pillow case.
  • Jess suggested using timercaps.
  • Many listeners used the Strategy of Pairing, when you pair something you want or need to do with a habit you want to strengthen—such as go to the bathroom or drink your morning coffee.

Listener Question: Lizzy asks about how to help her husband—an Obliger who seems to be getting close to Obliger-rebellion.

Don't know about the Four Tendencies? Learn more and take the free quiz here.

Gretchen's Demerit: For some mysterious reason, lately, I keep forgetting to zip up my pants. What's up with that?

Elizabeth's Gold Star: Elizabeth gives gold stars to two mothers in Jack's class who organized their class trip.


  1. You can now purchase my video course about the Four Tendencies in my app, Better. Search your app store for “Better Gretchen Rubin," download the app, set up a free account, and then look in the menu for “Courses.”  You can complete the course in five weeks with about 15-20 minutes per day, or you can go at your own pace. 
  2. If you use the promo codes from our advertisers when you purchase, you're supporting this podcast—and of course, you’re often getting a deal for yourself. I’ve created a page on my website that has all the promo codes and links for Happier podcast sponsors. You can always go to the show notes for the episode, or visit

Thanks to Our Sponsors

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