Get weekly newsletter updates from Gretchen.

Podcast 292: Create a Hidden Delight, a Hack to Encourage Exercising, and Accepting Something as a Gift vs. Paying for It.


Update: We've announced our next book club choice: Yaa Gyasi's unforgettable novel, Transcendent Kingdom (AmazonBookshop). Start reading, and post your questions and comments here or on social media using #happierpodcastbookclub.

Try This at Home: Create a hidden delight.

Here is the little painted frog I mention and Elizabeth's makeup case:


I quote from one of my favorite books, Christopher Alexander’s odd, brilliant A Pattern Language. (Amazon, Bookshop)

Here's the "Drunk Monkeys" wallpaper from Astek Home:

Happiness Hack: A listener suggests that on the days when you enjoy the comfort of wearing workout clothes, you have to exercise. On the days when you enjoy skipping the workout, you have to wear "real" clothes.

This is a brilliant application of the Strategy of Pairing from Better Than Before, my book about how to change habits.

Know Yourself Better Question/Listener Question: How do you respond when someone offers to pay for something? When should we repay, when should we accept a gift?

Elizabeth Demerit: Elizabeth put a moratorium on buying books, then she bought James Michener’s 1,124-page tome Alaska. (Amazon, Bookshop)

I mention Andrew Roberts's biography Napoleon: A Life (Amazon, Bookshop).

Gretchen Gold Star: I give a gold star to the Netflix TV show Dark, a German science-fiction thriller. Complex, interesting, absorbing.

If, like me, you love the short-story collection Exhalation by Ted Chiang, Dark reminded me of the story "Anxiety is the Dizziness of Freedom." (Amazon, Bookshop)


  • My book The Four Tendencies: The Indispensable Personality Profiles That Reveal How to Make Your Life Better (and Other People's Lives Better, Too) (Amazon, Bookshop) turned three years old this month. If you’d like to read a sample chapter, click here and scroll down to “The Four Tendencies” to download it for free.
  • Don’t forget to enter my latest Instagram giveaway for your chance to win a signed, personalized copy of Outer Order, Inner Calm (Amazon, Bookshop). Follow the simple instructions on this giveaway post to enter.

Thanks to Our Sponsors

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.