Podcast 209: Fourth Anniversary! Our Most Popular Try-This-at-Home Tips, Happiness Hacks & Favorite Moments.


For our fourth anniversary, we’re highlighting what happened this year, our most popular Try-This-at-Home tips and Happiness Hacks, and also swapping some our favorite moments. 

In our personal lives, a lot happened. Elizabeth is waiting for her new TV show The Fix to premiere! March 18, 10:00 p.m ET. So exciting. I’m getting Outer Order, Inner Calm ready for publication. This year I also started working with my assistant Kyle, who among other things has helped me switch to a digital calendar—and I have to admit, although I still miss my beloved Filofax, a digital calendar is far, far more efficient. Our podcast moved to Cadence 13. It has been great to work with the team there. Question: What should we call our listeners? Happierites, Happier Heads, what? Try-This-at-Homes that proved most popular with listeners:

  • Elizabeth and I did a “live from Elizabeth’s messy home office” for episode 160, in which we described the process of clearing clutter. I love this episode!
  • Beware of procrasticlearing“—we discussed this common pitfall in episode 175.
  • In episode 183, we talked about “Low Power Mode.” People found this vocabulary to be very useful.
  • Create a blues bag” in episode 186 was inspired by the blues bag that Eleanor and I made for Eliza, to comfort her during her first year of college.
  • One of my very favorite discussions involved “Make life more complicated” in episode 189. For many people, including us, it was enlightening to reflect on why some people choose to make life more complicated—and why it works for them. If you want to hear Sarah talk about the Flemish Giant Rabbit, it’s episode 58 of Happier in Hollywood.
  • Choose a holiday motto” was a fun one for the holidays, in episode 196.
  • The idea to “Put a Band-Aid on it” really struck a chord with people, from episode 204. As Elizabeth says, sometimes you can put a Band-Aid on it, sometimes you need stitches.

Happiness Hacks

  • Episode 180 was a round-up of travel hacks. So many good ones!
  • We got a great mnemonic device for telling left from right, when driving, in episode 185.
  • I love my Bandolier! My favorite hack of the year, I think. As discussed in episode 193, I use it every day, to keep track of my phone.
  • Elizabeth loves the 5-second rule. In Outer Order, Inner Calm, I write about the “one-minute rule” but even one minute sometimes seems too much for Elizabeth. Five seconds she can do.
  • We have several hacks related to tracking lost objects. In episode 187, we suggest looking in the last place the item was supposed to be; in episode 197 we discuss a listener question about a spouse who won’t use the key bowl; and in episode 199, we talk about the Tile app which so many people recommend as a solution.

Favorite moments

  • Back to the “Make life more complicated” discussion in episode 189, I couldn’t stop laughing at hearing Elizabeth ask incredulously, of the Flemish Giant Rabbit, “Can it hop?”
  • In episode 154, we challenged ourselves to wear “clothes” for a month. We were astonished by how many people responded to this idea, and in episode 158, we did a deep dive into the subject.
  • In episode 176, we both loved our guest Mark Duplass’s Try-This-at-Home observation: “A failed meditation is often a successful nap.”
  • A highlight of the year was getting to record together episode 182 in a log cabin in Montana, with my daughter Eliza acting as our producer. We were there to celebrate our father’s and  my father-in-law’s milestone birthdays.
  • We thought #HappierLaborDay was a great success. We discussed it in episode 184, and plan to do it every year.
  • I loved creating “The Gift of a Podcast,” which we introduce in episode 196. Give someone the gift of a podcast!
  • Many listeners said they were happy to hear that Elizabeth, too, had struggled with her “18 for 2018” list. We did our update in episode 199. Remember, this list is supposed to be helpful and fun.
  • Recently, in episode 208, I couldn’t stop laughing as Elizabeth busted me for working so hard to acquire a tote bag—when I spend a lot of time trying to disinvest myself of tote bags! What was I thinking?
  • We’re thrilled to have launched our book club! We announced our first pick in episode 207Dani Shapiro’s Inheritance: A Memoir of Genealogy, Paternity, and Love. This book is generating a tremendous amount of buzz and acclaim, and no surprise, it’s a New York Times bestseller. We’ll discuss it in episode 212—listeners are loving this book. Don’t worry, you don’t need to “join” the book club; just read along. If you like, you can join the conversation on Goodreads. Need more time to read? Check out my one-pager Reading Better Than Before.

Gretchen and Elizabeth’s Demerit

We still haven’t convinced our parents to come on the show (unlikely), and we still haven’t had the husbands as guests (they’ve agreed, it’s just a scheduling challenge because we want to do it live when we’re all together).

Gretchen and Elizabeth’s Gold Star:

Gold star to everyone who has subscribed, rated, and reviewed the podcast! It helps us so much when you take these actions, and it helps other listeners discover the show. It’s not hard, but it’s not obvious. Here are instruction for Apple Podcast:

  1. Open up the Podcasts App.
  2. Hit “Search.”
  3. Type in “Happier.” Our podcast should come right up.
  4. Tap the podcast logo.
  5. Scroll down. About three-quarters down the page, you’ll see the stars to rate the show — we so appreciate it if you give us a rating.
  6. And you’ll also see a sample review. Right under that, in purple, you’ll find “Write a Review.”
  7. Tap it.
  8. Tap the stars to leave a rating, enter the title of your review (like a subject line), and write a review.
  9. Tap “Send.”

Thank you
to everyone who does this! We really do appreciate it.


  1. Download a free PDF excerpt from Outer Order, Inner Calm at GretchenRubin.com/resources. You can also listen to an excerpt of the audio-book there. (Yes, I am the person narrating the book.)
  2. Follow me on Goodreads. You can see what I’ve read each week, mark my books as “to read,” and you can join the Happier Podcast book club discussion on Goodreads as well.

Join the conversation! I do a live show on Facebook called: “Ask Gretchen Rubin Live.”
 You can check the schedule.




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