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389: Take Time to Do What You Do Best, a Hack to Avoid Injury, and Are You Drinking Enough Water?


Update: After hearing our suggestion in episode 387 to "Create a Five-Senses Portrait," a listener decided to create these portraits of her parents after they died, to hold on to her memories of them.

Try This at Home: Take time to do what you do best. Research showed that when people spent time using their strengths, they were less likely to report feeling worry or stress.

You can read about this study in Dr. Samantha Boardman's book Everyday Vitality: Turning Stress into Strength.

Happiness Hack: When handling something heavy, be especially careful in moments of transition — literally and figuratively.

This advice comes from my instructor Mike Rogers of Saber Strength + Performance.

Happiness Stumbling Block: People worry because they don’t drink enough water, but research shows that most people don't need to worry about it much.

I mention Better Than Before, my book about how to make or break habits. I also mention the water bottles in my shop.

You can read more about this issue in Scientific American, in "Fact or Fiction? You Must Drink 8 Glasses of Water Daily."

Listener Question: A listener doesn't like going to amusement parks, but her husband and children love to visit. Should she make herself go with them?

Demerits & Gold Stars:

  • Gretchen’s Demerit: I was annoyed at Jamie for not telling me he'd brought me breakfast — even though it was a thoughtful thing to do
  • Elizabeth Gold Star: She gives a gold star to Jack’s camp, Gold Arrow Camp, for being so responsive and pleasant to deal with.


  • To get a beautiful quotation every day, sign up for my free “Moment of Happiness” newsletter. Head to and select “Daily Moment of Happiness” to sign up.
  • Looking for new books to read? You can follow me on Goodreads, check the hashtag #GretchenRubinReads on social media for my weekly photo of what I read that week, or read the monthly post on my site where I share a quick description or response to each book I read that month.

What we’re reading:

  • Elizabeth: From the Moon and Back: A Childhood Under the Influence by Lisa Kohn (Amazon, Bookshop)
  • Gretchen: This Year You Write Your Novel by Walter Mosley (Amazon, Bookshop)

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