Podcast Break: Happier with Gretchen Rubin

I didn’t think that I was a podcast person. I’m not really a radio listener, not even a music person. I listen to music for background noise because having grown up in a big, noisy family, I don’t care for silence. But then Serial happened and everyone was talking about it and to prevent myself from feeling left out (something I despise), I got in on it. And found that I actually liked listening to it. It took a different kind of concentration for sure – you do have to commit yourself to giving it your full attention, you can’t zone out like you do when you listen to your favourite album and it’s definitely not something I can listen to while I’m doing something else. But these are all things that I liked about it.

That said, once Serial was over (can we really call that an ending though?), I didn’t exactly dedicate myself to finding a substitute podcast to listen to.

And then happily, one found me.

I’ve been a fan of Gretchen Rubin’s since I read her book, The Happiness Project. For the uninitiated, maybe it sounds like a super hokey self-help book but I promise you it isn’t. In it, Rubin comes up with all of these brilliant yet deceptively simple everyday things that you can do to up your daily happiness quotient. She started looking at ways to up her happiness levels because despite living in a city she loved, with a husband she adored, two healthy children and a job she loved, she found that she wasn’t happy and she wanted to do something about it. For a year she spent each month focusing on different parts of her life to try and change her levels of happiness. But she does it really simply by cleaning out closets and tidying clutter before bed and being nice to her husband. Simple things we could all do if we thought about it.

But I know. We all have thirty thousand books already on our TBR lists and this one might already live on it but there’s no guarantee that we will get to it any time soon.

Well happily, Rubin has teamed up with her sister (aka the “happiness guinea pig”) Elizabeth Craft and created the Happier Podcast. It’s nice and short (around 20 minutes) and they talk about some of the same things Rubin wrote about in her book. Each episode includes a tip to try at home, a question that gets you looking at your own habits (eg. are you an abstainer or a moderator?) and then one or the other sister gives herself a happiness demerit for doing something that compromises their happiness and then the other gives a happiness gold star for something that has really contributed to their happiness over the course of the week.

Super simple, completely brilliant. Two episodes are currently available and I’m eagerly anticipating the third one. Who doesn’t want to find ways to be happier?

Speaking of eager anticipation, Rubin has a new book coming out this month that looks at our habits: Better Than Before: Mastering the Habits of Our Everyday Lives. It’s on the list, along with Happier at Home (which is part of my TBR Pile challenge so will get read at some point this year).