It’s been a while since I’ve written about a podcast. I have become an avid podcast listener in a pretty short span of time. I don’t have time for audio books because I listen to so many podcasts! They each bring me satisfaction in different ways. Anne Bogel’s What Should I Read Next? podcast scratches my need for book talk, while The TED Radio Hour makes me think and feel smarter. Pop Culture Happy Hour makes me laugh and makes me feel more plugged in to pop culture even if I haven’t seen or heard what they’re discussing. On Being fills a spiritual niche, soothes my soul, and makes me feel better about the state of the world.
Happier with Gretchen Rubin is my most recent podcast addition, thanks to a recommendation from Smithereens. I’ve only started listening in January. They are coming up on their 2 year anniversary, so I have plenty of episodes to choose from! It’s funny, because I’ve read three of Rubin’s books, The Happiness Project, Happier At Home, and Better Than Before, and I’ve not given one of them more than three stars. There is something about her self-help books that annoys me, and I’m a fan of self-help books in general. I really think that I can only take Rubin in small doses, and reading an entire 300 page book by her is too much. She’s very Type-A, and I am so… not. Yet, when she was writing a monthly column in Good Housekeeping magazine, I loved it and looked forward to it every month. So clearly I think that she has good ideas, but maybe there’s something in the delivery.
But, go figure – I am really enjoying her podcast! It helps that her co-host is her younger sister, television writer Elizabeth Craft, and Elizabeth seems more laid-back and less annoyingly “together” than Gretchen. So they balance each other out. I particularly enjoyed a recent segment about doing something for your “future self.” The topic came from a listener who had read about the idea on Wil Wheaton’s blog (read the post here) and it can be summarized like this: do things for the future you, so that Future You is happier and healthier. Like, you may not want to go to bed at a decent hour, but Tomorrow You will be in a better mood if you do. Or, you may not feel like exercising regularly, but Future You will be so glad to be more agile, flexible, and spry when she’s 70. It’s a neat little re-framing device that can help you adopt good habits. In the same episode I learned about flying wish paper, special origami-like paper that you write wishes or burdens or whatever on and then when it burns up, it flies into the air. I like how each episode is divided into segments, and the episodes are fairly short, 35-45 minutes, usually. On Mondays there’s a bonus short episode called A Little Happier, which is only a few minutes long and is Gretchen reading a quotation or a message she’s found helpful in applying to her life.
This podcast is indeed making my commute happier because I like hearing about tips and strategies for a happier, more organized life (even if I don’t apply them!) I’m curious if you’ve ever listened to this podcast or read any of Rubin’s books. What do you think of them? Are you a fan of self-help books/articles/blogs/podcasts in general? Is there another podcast (on any topic) that you really love and you think I should try? Have you ever tried flying wish paper? Let me know in the comments.