400 Episodes! Listeners Share the Podcast Ideas That Have Done the Most to Make Them Happier

Very Special Episode!

For this 400th episode, I have an announcement, and we highlight ideas and hacks that have resonated most with listeners over our many episodes.

I launched my newly redesigned website! I worked with the terrific team at Global Prairie and my own brilliant team to do it. They did such an outstanding job.

This photo was taken in my parents’ bedroom.

The new design is far easier to search, more visually appealing, more streamlined, and more accessible. It’s much easier to find what you’re looking for — for instance, the Resources section is much easier to use.

Can you find the hidden image in my name? It’s a subtle reference to a symbol of happiness.

Here are the hidden logos in Fed-Ex and Hershey’s Kisses that I mention.

400th Episode — Highlights 

  • do a regular “update” or newsletter with family or friends—remember, it’s okay to be boring!
  • if you’re trying to force something open, look for a logical way to open it
  • whenever you leave a restaurant/taxi/etc., always look back to see if you’ve left anything behind
  • if you can’t find something, look hard where it ought to be
  • “Don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good”
  • use the app TouchNote to mail postcards made from photos on a smartphone
  • consider the Essential 7, now the Vital 9—these appear in the Happier app
    1. Energy: exercise and sleep
    2. Productivity: focus, work, progress
    3. Relationships: connect and deepen
    4. Recharging: relax and rest
    5. Order: clear and organize
    6. Purpose: reflect, identify, engage
    7. Mindful Consumption: eating, drinking, spending, scrolling
    8. Mindful Investment: save, support, experience
    9. Creativity: learn, practice, play

  • Four Tendencies framework: as a Questioner, use knowledge of the Four Tendencies to achieve aims
  • Create a 22 for 22
  • Four Tendencies: as an Obliger, understand Obliger-rebellion
  • Four Tendencies: as a Rebel, use the Strategy of Identity
  • take the Four Tendencies quiz
  • Use September as the beginning of a New Year
  • Remember that “Things that can be done at any time are often done at no time”
  • if you can’t quite maintain a habit for a certain period of time, keep a placeholder habit
  • give warm hellos and goodbyes
  • do things for your “future self”
  • Remember that if you slip up, blaming yourself only sets you back; we’re experts at misleading ourselves; and being “better than before,” not perfect, is what matters (all ideas from my book Better Than Before)
  • Choose the bigger life
  • Remember G. K. Chesterton’s observation: “It is easy to be heavy: hard to be light”
  • keep “ta-da” list (if you want a sticky pad on which to record your ta-da lists, check out this Tackle Box)
  • consider whether you’re a Lark or Owl
  • brush your teeth soon after dinner and prepare for bed early before you get too tired


Some of Elizabeth’s favorites:


Some of Gretchen’s favorites:

  • Choose a one-word theme for the year — our themes for 2022 are “Salt” and “Step”
  • The yearly challenges – 22 for 22 lists and also the 22 in 22.
  • Celebrate a minor holiday
  • My “A Little Happier” episodes — here’s one of my favorites, “We’ve had our dog Barnaby always.”


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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.