348: Make a Choice (Like an Actor). Do a Favor for Your Future Self. Liz Lange Talks About Secrets, Success, Loss


For the Happier Podcast Book Club, we’ll talk to Kate Bowler about her terrific new memoir, No Cure for Being Human (AmazonBookshop), in upcoming episode 349. Send us your questions and comments to podcast@gretchenrubin.com, or leave a comment here.

Many workplaces are becoming more flexible, and the 5-days-a-week-in-the-office schedule is less common. How is your organization dealing with this? What steps are people taking to build office culture, help new people feel part of the team, and otherwise deal with this change? What are you doing differently, yourself? I am so curious.

Try This at Home

Make a choice (like an actor). I got this idea from the terrific podcast Office Ladies, where they often talk about actors’ choices.

Elizabeth mentions two actors: here are Debbie Morgan and Kiara Barnes on the set of Fantasy Island.

Happiness Hack

Do a favor for your future-self–by getting a head start on your holiday shopping. By all reports, it’s going to be a difficult year for shopping.

You can also do a favor for your future-self by signing up for my “Five Things Making Me Happy” free weekly newsletter. In it, I write about five things making me happy, plus I give bonus content, previews, discounts, and recommendations.

 Interview: Liz Lange

Liz Lange is an American fashion designer and entrepreneur. She is the Creative Director and CEO of Figue and the founder of Liz Lange Maternity.

Screenshot of Gretchen and Liz interviewing Liz Lange

She has a terrific new podcast, The Just Enough Family, which is hosted by the New Yorker staff writer Ariel Levy (author of The Rules Do Not Apply (AmazonBookshop)):

Staggering success, unexpected loss, over-the-top parties, shocking betrayals, and profound intimacy are woven together into a high-profile family-therapy session. The Just Enough Family follows the meteoric rise and staggering fall of the Steinbergs, once one of America’s richest families, through the eyes of Liz Lange— successful fashion designer, captivating storyteller, and niece of the infamous corporate raider Saul Steinberg….It’s about new money, old secrets, and the fine line between success and excess.

We discuss…

  • how Liz and Ariel Levy came to make the podcast
  • whether it was hard to be so candid about her family and her experiences
  • how the process of being interviewed for the podcast gave her a new understanding of her own history
  • given everything that she’s been through, what are her insights into the relationship between money and happiness
  • how her relationship with her sister has changed over the years
  • how she responded to learning that her father has a second family

Elizabeth and I mention something that Anderson Cooper said in our interview with him in episode 344. Actually, I mis-remembered the phrase that had stuck with him; for him, it was “Saving money is like making money.‘”

Liz’s Try This at Home: She gets up and gets dressed in a real outfit.

Elizabeth’s Demerit: She’s been gossiping.

Gretchen’s Gold Star: Gold star for all the listeners who send me such great insights, recommendations, and resources. I so appreciate it!


  • October 20th is National Day on WritingIf you want to start or continue a writing-related habit, you can download a free (and newly redesigned!) Resolutions Chart here.
  • Want to give one of my books as a gift? Or want to personalize your own copy? I’m happy to mail you signed, personalized bookplates. You can request them here. U.S. and Canada only, sorry, mailing costs. Feel free to request as many as you want (within reason).

What we’re reading

  • Elizabeth: Sag Harbor by Colson Whitehead (AmazonBookshop)
  • Gretchen: Eavesdropping: A Memoir of Blindness and Listening by Stephen Kuusisto (AmazonBookshop)




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