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Podcast 271: Make Lists to Make Memories, a Way to Make Zoom Meetings More Fun, and a Discussion about Meditation with Dan Harris of 10% Happier.


Update: We’re doing daily Instagram Live "Coping with COVID-19 Conversations" Monday-Friday at 4 pm ET/1 pm PT. (If you miss one, you can watch the replay for up to 24 hours. Follow me on Instagram—I'm @gretchenrubin—and click on my profile image to join once weve started, or to watch the replay.) You can also check the schedule to see upcoming guests. And if you’d like to join these daily Live conversations on desktop rather than mobile, you can participate using this link.

The next choice for our Instagram Live Book Club (which isn't the same thing as the Happier Podcast Book Club) is David Sedaris's Me Talk Pretty One Day. We'll talk about it on May 21.

Try This at Home: Make a list to make memories.

In our bonus episode about coping with COVID-19, we talked about why you might want to keep a journal during this historic time.

Our listener suggested keeping a journal by keeping lists, such as a list of "Buzzwords," "Things I'm grateful for," and "Things I'm grieving." Other ideas include: "Favorite healthy treats;" "Items of clothing you wore;" "TV shows you binge-watched;" "New activities;" or "Foods you ate all the time."

Also funny to consider—"Items that sold out," such as yeast, hair dye, toilet paper, phones, puzzles, hand sanitizer and soap, fitness equipment, lounge-wear, laptops, printers, and webcams.

I mention the board game Ticket to Ride. Elizabeth mentions Pop-a-Shot.

Happiness Hack: Wear a costume for Zoom. Whimsy!

Interview: Dan Harris.

Dan is co-anchor of the weekend edition of Good Morning America on ABC, he’s a New York Times bestselling author of books such as 10% Happier and Meditation for Fidgety Skeptics, he’s host of the terrific 10% Happier podcast, and he’s the founder of the meditation app Ten Percent Happier.

We’ve talked to Dan before, way back in episode 19, but we wanted to have him return to talk about meditation, because so many people are meditating, returning to meditation, or taking up meditation for the first time, as part of their response to the pandemic.

You can check out the daily meditation hosted by Dan here.

Dan is an Upholder, no surprise to me. (Want to know if you're an Upholder, Questioner, Obliger, or Rebel? Take the free, quick quiz here.)

Dan's Try This at Home: Try the "loving-kindness" form of meditation.

Elizabeth's Gold Star: Elizabeth gives a big gold star to Suzanne, her beloved friend from childhood who recently died after a long illness. Elizabeth recalled the time when, in high school, Suzanne stayed up all night to type Elizabeth's paper.


  • Is eating better a habit you’d like to adopt? (It is for many people.) Learn tips for improving your eating habits with my guide “Eating Better Than Before.” You can download the free PDF at (scroll down to “Better Than Before”).
  • Mother's Day is coming up soon! If you’re thinking about Mother’s Day gifts, The Happiness Project One-Sentence Journal for Mothers makes a great gift for a mother in your life. It's a manageable, fun way to keep track of little memories and moments. Available everywhere books are sold or visit to purchase.

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