More Happier: Good News from Fantasy Island, Discovering Books from a Favorite Author, and More Dolly Parton

I mention my “Salt” t-shirt—which Elizabeth gave me, in honor of my one-word theme for 2022—and Elizabeth mentions her new “smile” necklace from Adam.

Selfie of Gretchen Rubin wearing a t-shirt that reads Salt

Selfie of Elizabeth Craft

Something Making Us Happier

  • Elizabeth: She and her co-show-runner Sarah Fain finished their last script for Fantasy Island — a huge milestone for Season Two.
  • Gretchen: I discovered that one of my favorite children’s authors, Noel Streatfeild, author of Ballet Shoes (AmazonBookshop) and many other wonderful children’s novels, also wrote many adult novels and memoirs. I mention her memoir, A Vicarage Family: A Biography of Myself (Amazon)and her novel, Parson’s Nine (Amazon) I also mention E. Nesbit’s wonderful novels for children, such as The Railway Children (AmazonBookshop) and Five Children and It (AmazonBookshop). And Betty MacDonald’s work! Read Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle (AmazonBookshop).

How’s That Going for You? 

I ask Elizabeth how her “team theme” for 2022 is working out: “What would Dolly do 2022.” (They discussed this theme in Happier in Hollywood episode 242.)

I didn’t get that quotation exactly right; here’s the right version, from Robert Browning’s poem “Andrea del Sarto”: “Ah, but a man’s reach should exceed his grasp/Or what’s a heaven’s for?”

Spotlight on a Tool

You can now use the Happier app with or without a subscription.

Now, you have the option to track one aim without a subscription — so you can test-drive the app and see if you like using it as a tool for habit change. Then, if you want to track additional aims, you can subscribe.

Here are some helpful questions to ask yourself if you’d like to find new ways to make progress toward your aim:

  • Are you using the right tool? Different tools work for different people, there’s no one-size-fits-all solution. Try starting your aim again with a new tool.
  • Tip: Did you know you can schedule a reminder for your aim? Turn on notifications and get a nudge when you need it.
  • Is your aim specific enough? Aims should be concrete and measurable. For example, “Walk 15 minutes daily” works better than “Exercise more.”
  • Do you need more accountability? Many people, not just Obligers, benefit from forms of accountability to achieve their aims. Try setting a reminder or checking in with a partner.

I can’t resist mentioning that the Happier app won a Webby for design! Very exciting.

I’ve Been Meaning to Tell You

Elizabeth explains that she’s decided that when writers come to her house for meetings, she’s just not going to worry about cleaning up, stocking the fridge, offering coffee, etc.


Now is life very solid or very shifting? I am haunted by the two contradictions. This has gone on for ever; will last for ever; goes down to the bottom of the world—this moment I stand on. Also it is transitory, flying, diaphanous. I shall pass like a cloud on the waves.

—Virginia Woolf, Diary (Amazon) January 4, 1929

I mention my “Moment of Happiness” newsletter — a great quotation about human nature every weekday, for free. Sign up here.




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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.