More Happier: A Great Icebreaker Question, a Startling Realization About Where We Live, and How to Know When Work Is an Escape

Something Making Us (More) Happier

  • Elizabeth: She’s going to a Succession finale party.
  • Gretchen: On my book tour, I had the chance to meet several book clubs that attended as a group, and one group told me that they’re reading my books, one after another, one chapter at a time. Also, I loved the April 18, 2023 episode of the Wiser Than Me podcast where Julia Louis-Dreyfus gives a five-senses description of growing up.

I’ve Been Meaning to Tell You

A great icebreaker question is: If you were going to propose the construction of a museum, what would be the organizing theme? I like the idea of a Museum of Hair.

Spotlight on a Tool

The end of the school year and the beginning of the summer are good times to use a Memento Journal. For 30% off, enter KEEPSAKE30 at checkout.

I’ve Been Meaning to Tell You

I tell Elizabeth that I realized that I’ve lived in this apartment longer than I lived in Kansas City!

I quote from the poet Robert Southey:

Live as long as you may, the first twenty years are the longest half of your life. They appear so while they are passing; they seem to have been so when we look back on them; and they take up more room in our memory than all the years that succeed them.


I’m itching to get to my medical clinic, where there’s always more to do and it always matters. But I’ve learned to resist that impulse. Years ago, when Sasha and I were struggling with Lincoln, my habit of “fleeing” to my clinic almost cost me my marriage. Since then, I’ve subjected my impulses to leave for work to a three-step protocol: 1) Is it necessary that I go at this moment? 2) Is there something at home that I want to avoid? 3) Will I letting anyone down by leaving right now? — The Candy House, Jennifer Egan (Amazon, Bookshop)




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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.