Podcast 341: Find Something Unconventional to Celebrate, How to Deal with a Happiness Regret, and Listeners Suggest Ways to Deal with a Talkative Co-worker


Happy September! Because September is the other January, I’m announcing something new!

I’ve launched a new website, the-happiness-project.com, a one-stop shop where you’ll find all the practical tools, resources, and insights you need to start—or continue—your own Happiness Project. Whatever your aims, this collection will be your personal happiness toolkit where you can discover the particular tools that work for you to build the life you want, starting today.

You can learn whether you’re an Upholder, Questioner, Obliger, or Rebel—because when you know your “Tendency,” you’ll find it much easier to set yourself up for success.

If you like to hold a tool in your hands, I offer physical tools, like journalstrackers, and productivity aids.

If you prefer the convenience of digital tools, there are free online resources right at your fingertips.

If you’re discouraged because you’ve tried and failed to achieve your happiness aims in the past, this site can help. There’s nothing wrong with you, you don’t need to change yourself! Change the tools you use, so you’re working in the way that’s right for you. Whatever you need, you’ll find it here.

The Happiness Project is still expanding. I’m continuing to create more tools, so stay tuned.

Try This at Home

Find something unconventional to celebrate—like “Garbage Eve.”

Happiness Hack

Save voicemails from people you love.

Listener Answers

Deep Dive: In episode 339, we raised a question from a listener who had gone back to working in the office, where she found herself constantly interrupted by a talkative co-worker. Listeners suggested…

  • setting aside a specific time for conversation, like “tea time”
  • using brisk, breezy language that doesn’t assume ownership of the problem (e.g., no “Sorry, I’m swamped”)
  • asking her manager or H.R. director to intervene
  • use a physical sign, like a stop sign or “do not disturb” flag

Listener Question: 
A listener who just finished reading The Happiness Project is enthusiastic about starting her own Happiness Project, but she’s feeling a lot of regret about not starting her Happiness Project sooner.

Gretchen’s Demerit: I saw Eliza dealing with two large suitcases, and when she said she didn’t need help managing them, I didn’t insist on helping.

Elizabeth’s Gold Star: Elizabeth gives a gold star to her friend Mike for driving over to her house to drop off a pack of child-sized KN95 masks before their trip to Kansas City.


  • Follow me on Instagram! Find me on @gretchenrubin where I often share stories from my Metropolitan Museum Experiment, or let you know when I checked something off my “21 for 2021” list. You can also follow along with my newest project @hereisthehappinessproject or join in using the hashtag #MyHappinessProject to share insights from your own happiness project.
  • As we often talk about on Happier, different strategies work for different people. I have a free online quiz to help you learn whether you’re an Upholder, Questioner, Obliger, or Rebel—because when you know your “Tendency” you can find the tools that are most likely to work for you when trying to achieve your aims. It takes less than five minutes and you get the result instantly. Visit quiz.gretchenrubin.com. 

What we’re reading

  • Elizabeth: Vanderbilt: The Rise and Fall of an American Dynasty by Anderson Cooper and Katherine Howe (AmazonBookshop). We’re interviewing him in a few episodes!
  • Gretchen: The Years by Virginia Woolf (AmazonBookshop) for my Summer of Virginia Woolf




Like what you see? Explore more about this topic.

Subscribe to Gretchen’s newsletter.

Every Friday, Gretchen Rubin shares 5 things that are making her happier, asks readers and listeners questions, and includes exclusive updates and behind-the-scenes material.