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Podcast 296: Establish Your Personal Policy, a Simple Reading Hack, a Deep Dive into Listeners’ Hidden Delights, and a Demerit That’s Common These Days.


Update: For our upcoming Very Special Episode 300, we're doing an "Ask Us Anything." Send us your questions! Ask away in the comments on the show notes, leave us a voicemail message at 774-277-9336 (77 HAPPY 336), or drop us an email at

Try This at Home: Establish your “personal policy."

We mention my Four Tendencies personality framework. If you want to find out if you're an Upholder, Questioner, Obliger, or Rebel, you can take the free, quick quiz here. More than three million people have taken this quiz.

We mention the lively debate about thank-you notes in episodes 63 and 67.

Happiness Hack: Improve your reading light. Proper light makes reading so much more pleasant.

Deep Dive into Hidden Delights: We got wonderful responses to our Try That at Home from episode 292, "Create a hidden delight."

Responses include:

  • use maps as drawer liners, as a reminder of favorite destinations and trips
  • look for the hidden "Easter eggs" in Jeeps
  • when ordering a sandwich, ask for one slice of jalapeño
  • post Mass and memorial cards where they can be seen every day
  • use bright paint for the inside of medicine cabinets
  • post art at work that inspires you (we mention Elizabeth's other podcast, Happier in Hollywood)
  • check out the cunning memo pad that reveals Hogwarts Castle as you use up the paper
  • put stickers around the house
  • copy song lyrics onto paper to discover unexpectedly
  • hide cash in unexpected places
  • display children's art inside cabinet doors or closets
  • use the photo of a beloved face as your phone's lock screen
  • post a photo of a cat who has died inside the cupboard of pet food, as a reminder
  • add a book nook to your bookshelves—I ordered one of these! Delightful.

Elizabeth's Demerit: With the pandemic, Elizabeth stopped weighing herself every day, which is a practice that had worked really well for her for years.

Gretchen's Gold Star: I give a gold star to our neighbor John, who read in my weekly newsletter that my daughter Eleanor had been doing a lot of beading, so he gave her two big boxes of beads and jewelry-making tools. She was ecstatic and has had hours of fun exploring these materials.


  • Follow Elizabeth and me on Instagram. I often share stories from my Metropolitan Museum Experiment, or let you know when I checked something off my “20 for 2020” list. Elizabeth shares photos of her #Walk20in20 progress and other things that make her happier in Hollywood. Follow us @gretchenrubin and @lizcraft.
  • Created by popular demand! You can download and print our PDF of Happiness Hacks from the Happier podcast. Click here to download it for free.

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