369: Burned Out? Identify the Problem! Plus Kathryn Schulz Talks Love and Loss

Try This at Home

If you’re feeling “burned out,” the very first thing to do is to identify the problem. If we don’t identify the right problem, we can’t tackle it effectively. 

Happiness Hack

Instead of a hack, we have a resource. It makes us happier to support the causes we believe in. On February 24, 2022, Russia attacked Ukraine, and we’ve watched with such sorrow and anger at what is happening—and with such admiration for the brave determination of the Ukrainian people. It can be challenging to figure out where to donate money. Some reputable organizations include:


Interview: Kathryn Schulz

Kathryn Schulz is on the staff of The New Yorker magazine where writes about many subjects, often about books and authors. In 2016, she won the Pulitzer Price for her story on seismic risk in the Pacific Northwest. Her previous book was Being Wrong: Adventures in the Margin of Error (AmazonBookshop), and now she has a new memoir that just came out, Lost & Found (AmazonBookshop).

Eighteen months before Kathryn Schulz’s beloved father died, she met the woman she would marry. In Lost & Found, she weaves the stories of those relationships into a dazzling exploration of how all our lives are shaped by loss and discovery—from the maddening disappearance of everyday objects to the sweeping devastations of war, pandemic, and natural disaster; from finding new planets to falling in love.

We discussed questions such as…

  • the meaning of the title and the structure of the book — “Lost” “&” “Found”
  • whether it was more difficult to write about loss, found, or “&”?
  • specifically, the challenges of writing about happiness
  • whether she set limits on how revealing she’d be in her account
  • as a journalist, what it was like to write about her own experience
  • what it was like to write this memoir while married to another writer

Kathryn’s Tendency: Upholder.

Kathryn’s Try This at Home: For Lent — or for any forty days — give up complaining. 

Demerits & Gold Stars 

Gretchen’s Demerit: Even though I know it’s better to do my high-intensity strength-training in person, I’m still doing it by video. 

Elizabeth’s Gold Star: A blast from the past — our mother gets a gold star for decorating Elizabeth’s studio apartment, years ago, when Elizabeth was living in New York City.


  • For my Calendar of Catalysts, I’ve been gathering unconventional, whimsical dates we can use as catalysts for reflection. If you’d like a free, printable version of the calendar, head to happiercast.com/catalysts to download it.
  • We recently launched a new Home Goods section of The Happiness Project Collection. If you’re interested in getting a deeper dive into featured products and tools, early looks at new projects, and receiving exclusive offers a few times per month, sign up for Product Spotlight emails here.

What we’re reading

  • Elizabeth: Just finished Lost & Found. (AmazonBookshop)
  • Gretchen: The Philosopher’s Pupil by Iris Murdoch (Amazon

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