Happier Podcast with Gretchen Rubin and Elizabeth Craft
"Try This at Home" List
This is a collection of all the "Try This at Home" advice from the podcast. A “Try This at Home” suggestion, for some easy habit you can try, as part of your ordinary routine, to boost your happiness—something like setting an alarm to signal your bedtime, or using the one-minute rule, to help yourself stay on top of small nagging tasks.
All the "Try This at Home" information on this page belongs to Gretchen Rubin and her podcast, this is simply a curated list of these suggestions to use in my week/daily planning. I love this podcast and strongly suggest that you subscribe and listen for more information on the "Try This at Home" suggestions.
**Try-This-at-Homes that proved most popular with listeners
Choose a category to see all the "Try This at Home" suggestions related to that topic.
The one-minute rule, as a way to keep clutter under control.
Set an alarm to help yourself get to bed on time.
Make your bed.
Keep a one-sentence journal.
Embrace good smells.
Try a weekly “Power Hour.”
Treat yourself like a toddler. A cranky toddler.
Give warm hellos and good-byes.
Treat yourself (not to be confused with “treat yourself like a toddler” from episode 7).
No suggestion - special episode.
Make the positive argument.
Sometimes, it’s nice to indulge in a modest splurge.
Stop reading a book if you don’t enjoy it.
Cultivate a shrine.
Be a tourist in your own city.
Imitate a spiritual master.
Have an exact place for everything.
Buy an experience.
Enjoy the fun of failure.
No suggestion - special episode.
Join or start a group.
Save string — which is a phrase from journalism that means, find ways to save your little bits of ideas.
Choose an office TV show.
Take photos of everyday life. Never forget how easy it is to forget.
The hilarious writer A. J. Jacobs, suggests a bunch of try-this-at-home tips: stand up straight, brainstorm for fifteen minutes a day, use sustainable honesty, and eat from the fridge, not the pantry.
Pick a one-word theme for the year.
Choose the bigger life.
Don’t interview for pain.
Lower the bar. In other words — cribbing from Voltaire — don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good.
Eliza suggests, “Give yourself a mission when you have free time.”
Observe a threshold ritual.
Raise the bar (yes, you remember that right, in episode 29 we suggested lowering the bar; the opposite of a profound truth is also true). What works for you — lowering or raising the bar, or both?
Try a boot camp for yourself.
Have an uncomfortable conversation.
Take the Four Tendencies quiz here.
Think about a few people in your life, identify their Tendencies, and try to put that knowledge to use.
If you’re an Obliger, or you’re around an Obliger (which you surely are), help the Obliger to figure out a system of outer accountability so the Obliger can meet an inner expectation.
Try to come up with a motto for your Tendency.
Many suggestions - special episode Listener Try This at Home.
Take one thing with you. A clutter-busting strategy.
Act the way you want to feel.
Reach out to other members of your Tendency, to talk about possible strategies to manage the limitations of your Tendency–and also to compare notes about how you see the world.
Have an end-of-the-year ritual.
Identify your special places.
Don’t get organized. If you get rid of that stuff, you don’t have to organize it!
Control your exit.
Create a temporary photo gallery in your house.
Travel without tears.
Ask for a favor.
Disguise the fact that you can’t remember something important about someone—such as that person’s name.
Ask yourself, “What would happen if I ignore this?”
Put the word “meditation” after any activity you’re finding dull.
1 year anniversary show; fan favorites "Try This at Home" are #1, 2, 6, 18, 24, 26
Have a system for switching bags.
Schedule time to worry.
Choose a mantra for the day.
Find your “area of refuge.”
Find your lucky charm.
Let people do their job.
Don’t accumulate excessive amounts of things. Soy sauce packets, freebie mugs, egg cartons, rubber bands, etc.
In episode 61, they asked listeners for answers to Emily’s question about how to manage online passwords. The answer: have a strategy.
Go slow to go fast. Lots of proverbs for this! Make haste slowly. Take your time, especially when you’re in a hurry.
Enjoy your home’s special features. Gretchen wrote about this issue in her book Happier at Home.
Only give advice when it’s asked for. Harder than it sounds.
Design your summer.
Show up on time. First question: why are you late?
Give someone a surprise treat. This is fun!
Remember to ask for advice. People can really be helpful.
Choose a signature color. This is a big commitment!
Have room of your own. Maybe not an entire room, but some room.
Get rid of something as soon as it becomes useless. Harder than it sounds!
Pick your “yearbook quote.”
Develop a minor expertise. Right now, Gretchen is obsessed with color. The most fascinating, delightful subject ever.
Write your own manifesto.
Go on an “errand date.”
Seek out silence.
Revive a dormant friendship.
Know your love language - Five love languages
Give people something specific to talk about.
Make a to-do list, or a could-do list.
Read three magazines that you don’t usually read.
It’s often easier to do something every day than to do it some days.
Have something to look forward to.
Be the bearer of good news (at least sometimes).
Identify your “Happiness 911” song. You can find the Spotify list here or on your smart-phone app, you can find the playlist by searching “happierwithgretchenrubin” (one word).
Celebrate a holiday breakfast.
Control the cubicle in your pocket.
Figure out what you’d do using the Essential Seven, to make your life happier, healthier, more productive, or more creative.
Delete or disable soul-sucking, productivity-depleting, creativity-sapping apps.
Leave something unsaid.
When you’re feeling blue, find something to admire — an idea we lifted from Eliza’s podcast, Eliza Starting at 16.
Don’t treat yourself.
Practice mise-en-place. In cooking, cooks “put everything in its place” — the idea is to get all your tools and supplies together, so that once you start working, you can work easily and well. Preparation is a true stage of working.
Set your holiday intention; in other words, figure out what you intend to get from your holiday experience.
Start your own happiness project. Gretchen wrote about her own “happiness project” in her book, The Happiness Project.
Have a quest (which is different from having a mission, which is slightly different).
Take personality quizzes to get to know yourself better.
Very Special Episode - ask the ladies anything!
Do something for your future self.
Find the missing puzzle piece from your life — the missing tool, item, or activity that’s missing.
Pick your moment. When we mindfully choose the moment for a challenging conversation or task, we do better. Easier said than done.
Have a “life story conversation.”
Leave on a high note.
Plan a secret date
Use your shower as a “happiness booth.”
Pay attention to the light.
Very Special Episode: Loneliness
Beware of storing things. Unless you’re storing things like holiday decorations or seasonal gear, “storage” often means “shoving it into a dark corner and forgetting about it for years.” Which can be draining and even expensive.
Pick a uniform.
Reclaim your dump zones.
Say you’re sorry.
Boost your energy
**Start a side hustle.
Write a haiku. A haiku is a form of three-line Japanese poem with one five-syllable line; one seven-syllable line; one five-syllable line.
Design your summer.
Make friends with people of different ages. Hearing about their different experiences is helpful, and also makes life richer.
Try the Better app — it’s free, fun, and informative. No try this at home for this very special episode.
Tackle a “Power Day.”
Shield yourself from worry.
Remember love. When someone is bugging us, often we can re-frame the situation by remembering: this person’s annoying behavior is an expression of love.
Plan a virtual move.
**Look for an under-used area of your home.
Make or accept a “repair attempt.”
Connect through television.
Remember that September is the other January.
Seven Myths of Happiness - no try this at home for this very special episode
Do ten jumping jacks. It will boost your mood and increase your energy.
**Feeling overwhelmed by the news, or by events in your life — or both? Consider reading children’s literature.
Create a place for things in transition.
**If you're feeling dragged down by your to-do list, try writing a "ta-da" list.
Plan a "virtual move," 2.0. In episode 125, they described one kind of virtual move; a listener wrote them to suggest a way to plan a "virtual move" that's also a great suggestion for boosting happiness.
Don't let yourself fall into "empty". Literally and figuratively. Don't let ourselves get too hungry or under-slept, or run out of gas, cash, printer paper, toilet paper, batteries, medicine, and so on. It creates unnecessary stress or hassle.
Always leave some extra room in the suitcase. Literally and figuratively.
Be full of desire, but easy to please.
Right and Wrong things to say - no try this at home for this very special episode
Find an oasis: a place in your week that you struggle to reach, and is delightful once you get there.
Schedule some daily transcendence. One popular way: daily transcendent readings.
Say "Down with boredom."
Be willing to delegate.
Holiday hack episode, no try this at home.
Introduce a note of whimsy. A little whimsy is a way to poke fun at yourself, lighten a difficult situation, or just make life more light-hearted.
Identify your "18 for 2018." Gretchen and Elizabeth's first five
If you want to make your 2018 a happier, healthier, more productive, and more creative year, use the Checklist for Habit Change. To get your copy, go here
**Identify your "18 for 2018." + Roz's Try This at Home tip is to "Try the ukulele."
Unplugged episode - no try this at home for this very special episode
Eleanor suggests keeping a running list of your favorite things.
Create a consistent body of work.
Say, "This is actually good for me."
**Wear "clothes" every day.
Choose a signature scent.
Kiss in the morning, kiss at night.
Third Anniversary - **review of all the Try This at Home that listeners love the most**
Create a standardized vacation.
Do something badly. Anything worth doing is worth doing badly.
Very Special Episode, Gretchen helps Elizabeth with her home office
Embrace the cheese. In Elizabeth's case, Valentine's Day.
Write it down. It's so obvious, but so true, and bears repeating: if you want to remember something, write it down. Secret of Adulthood: Always remember how easy it is to forget.
Have a weekly phone date
Don't assign or accept homework.
Have a "Power Down Weekend."
Watch old video clips of celebrities or famous people who catch your interest or whom you you admire.
Be a tourist in your own home.
Remind yourself, "Remember, this is supposed to be fun."
Try the strategy to "stop talking"
VSE 18 for 18 update
Question your limiting beliefs
Toss unnecessary papers
Ask, "What's my purpose?"
Make something by hand that you'd ordinarily buy
Plan a nice little surprise
Note the start date of any notable pain or symptom.
Create transition at the end of each stage of your day by using a "ten-minute closer".
Schedule a weekly playdate with yourself
Make each day of the week distinctive.
VSE Travel Hacks
Practice reverse gossip
Take a "scent snapshot" of your life
Go into "low power mode"
#HappierLaborDay - no specific try this at home
Make a "Facts of Life" book.
Create a "blues bag" for someone going through a tough time.
Plan a short trip.
Create a personal timeline.
Make life more complicated.
Think about your body. Your physical experience always colors your emotional experience.
Find your pacesetter.
Have people over. Elizabeth is finally doing this!
Celebrate a personal anniversary.
Make an introduction
Do something scary
Choose a holiday motto. We'll see how successful I am with my motto of "'Tis the season to be jolly." As Elizabeth notes, I can get irritable.
Plan to read more in 2019. Reading for pleasure is a habit that many people would like to cultivate.
Design your own happiness project.
Evaluate your "18 for 2018." Looking back on the year, how did you do? What can you learn from what you did and didn't accomplish?
VSE - no try this at home
Choose a one-word or one-phrase theme for the year.
Use the free one-page PDF "Checklist for Habit Change.” You can find it here (scroll down to "Better Than Before").
Make your "19 for 2019" list for the year