Happier

One of my favorite treats lately has been listening to the Happier with Gretchen Rubin podcast. Rubin is the author of The Happiness Project, a book that I read about two years ago. The premise is that Rubin wanted to consciously make an effort to be happier in her life instead of let it pass her by. She researched various experts on happiness and came up with 12 resolutions that she undertook, one each month of the year, such as cleaning out her closets, being more affectionate with her husband, and setting aside time for friends. I remember thinking it was a bit corny, but a lighthearted and quick read with a few tips that I could apply to my own life.

The book had sat untouched on one of my shelves until my friend who works in publishing offered to give me a few books to take with my on my trip to Argentina last month. I decided to give her a few of my own that were cluttering my precious Manhattan apartment shelf space, and Rubin’s book was among my pile that I thought she would enjoy. My friend informed me that Rubin now does a weekly podcast with her younger sister called Happier. Although I’m not a big podcast person, which I credit to absorbing information much better by reading it than listening to it, I decided to give it a shot – after all, I did get very addicted to the Serial podcast last fall.

The Happier podcast is short and sweet, with about 25-minute episodes featuring the two sisters discussing tips to make your life a little better… and a little happier. Suggestions have included setting an alarm to signal bedtime, doing things you can accomplish in one minute or less immediately, and taking the time to appreciate now instead of constantly anticipating the next step. I like that the tips are quick and doable for nearly anyone. I won’t personally be setting an alarm for bedtime, but I like the idea of it for someone who has trouble getting themselves to go to sleep – I have the opposite problem, I love sleep so much that I am generous about letting myself go to sleep early and sleep in. However, I could certainly benefit from the other two sample pieces of advice and I have been inspired to clean out my closet by an episode where the two sisters cleaned out one of theirs. When times are chaotic, it can be useful to create outside order to achieve (some semblance of) inner peace. And although some of the suggestions can seem obvious, I also find it helpful to set aside a little time to think about strategies to make your life easier and better. The podcast has quickly become a bright spot in my week and I recommend it to everyone!

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