379: Summer Songs, Family Traditions, and Trouble with a Full Cup of Coffee


If you’d like to hear Elizabeth and her writing partner Sarah Fain talk more about the happy significance of the schedule change for Fantasy Island, they discuss it in Happier in Hollywood episode 262. If you want to take the free Four Tendencies quiz to find out if you’re an Obliger, Questioner, Rebel, or Upholder, you can take it here

Try This at Home

Choose a summer song—look for the big popular song of the summer or choose your own. We both chose “I’ve Got a Feeling” from the Beatles, because we’re both still talking about the Get Back Beatles documentary. This idea is partly inspired by our recent conversation on More Happier about the terrific site the Nostalgia Machine

Happiness Hack

If you’re looking for a great graduation gift, consider the Know Yourself Better Journal. Graduation is a time for self-reflection, and this journal is designed for anyone who wants more insight into themselves—but needs more direction than a blank page.  

Photo of the Don't Break the Chain journal

Deep Dive II: Family Traditions 

In episode 376, a listener with a new baby asked for suggestions for family traditions. In episode 378 we talked about some ideas, but listeners suggested even more great traditions:

  • Swear walks
  • Playing Bingo after Thanksgiving
  • Assigning a red plate to anyone celebrating something special
  • Buying an ornament for a child each year
  • Planning a weekly “Dinner and a Documentary”
  • Breakfast for dinner before the first day of school
  • Instead of buying individual gifts for adults, make a meaningful donation to a worthy non-profit organization–and give each family a “giving tree ornament” to memorialize that year’s donation
  • Use number candles on a birthday cake, so photos show which birthday is pictured
  • Re-use cards so they become keepsakes
  • Don’t stress out if some ideas don’t stick
  • For more ideas, take a look at The Book of New Family Traditions: How to Create Great Rituals for Holidays and Every Day by Meg Cox (Amazon)

Demerits & Gold Stars

  • Gretchen’s Demerit: Even though I know better, I held an over-full cup of coffee over my keyboard, and almost spilled on it.
  • Elizabeth’s Gold Star: Elizabeth gives a gold star to Sarah and herself for handing in the draft of the last script of Season Two of Fantasy Island. This is a huge milestone.


  • I’ve created two new Know Yourself Better Journals, filled with thought-provoking prompts about Embracing Change and Building Connections. Get 15% off when you pre-order with code HAPPIERPRE15 at checkout. Offer ends May 31 at 11:59 pm PT.
  • I’ve created a free PDF celebrating the wisdom of teachers with some “Proverbs of the Teaching Profession.” 

What we’re reading

  • Elizabeth: One of Us Is Dead by Jeneva Rose (AmazonBookshop)
  • Gretchen: To Siri, with Love: A Mother, Her Autistic Son, and the Kindness of Machines by Judith Newman (AmazonBookshop)




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