Podcast 214: Try Giving Up Something for a Month, a Confession and Hack Related to Leather Pants, and a Question for Listeners about Chemotherapy.

Try This at Home

Try giving up something for a month. For instance, Elizabeth followed “Dry January” this year. As I mention, when I was studying habit-change while writing my book Better Than Before, I saw a potential complication from this approach. Read the chapter on the “Strategy of Reward” if you want to learn more about this phenomenon. I also mention the “hedonic treadmill” and the distinction between Abstainers and Moderators

Happiness Hack

Don’t buy an article of clothing if it makes you feel as if you’re wearing a costume. 

Four Tendencies Tip

Paying for piano lessons wasn’t enough to make this Obliger listener feel accountable, but after her music teacher said that her Ph.D. would be affected if her students didn’t show up for class, the Obliger never missed a class. Don’t know if you’re an Obliger, Questioner, Upholder, or Rebel? Take the free quiz here. More than two million people have taken this quick, free quiz. 

Elizabeth’s Demerit

At the last minute, and almost accidentally, Elizabeth bought eight boxes of Girl Scout cookies. 

Listener Answer

We want to hear from you: What are your suggestions for helping people to feel calm and vital while undergoing chemotherapy? Leave us a message at 774-277-9336 or podcast@gretchenrubin.com. 

Gretchen’s Gold Star

I love the Netflix eight-episode show Russian Doll. I’ve watched it twice! It’s absolutely terrific. As promised, here’s my copy of Emily of New Moon.


  1. I’ve put together a collection of readings suggested by readers and podcast listeners that would be appropriate for a funeral or memorial service, and another collection for wedding readings. Download either PDF at gretchenrubin.com/resources.
  2. If you love mugs like Elizabeth loves mugs, get your Happier podcast mug at gretchenrubin.com/shop.

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