Sunday, December 04, 2016

Weekly Inspiration 12/4: Happier Podcast

Usually, my Weekly Inspiration posts focus on inspirational quotes from books I've read or an inspiring TED talk or other presentation, but today I thought I'd tell you about a podcast I've been enjoying that I find both inspiring and entertaining.

You may recall that I often enjoy listening to book podcasts (here is a blog post on some of my favorites), and I sometimes listen to other podcasts, too, especially those focused on pop culture and humor. Earlier this year, I began listening to a new podcast: Happier with Gretchen Rubin.

Some of you may recognize Gretchen Rubin's name from her best-selling books: The Happiness Project, Happier at Home, and Better Than Before. In case you didn't guess, she writes mostly about happiness, as well as habits, knowing yourself, and self-improvement topics. I haven't actually read any of her books yet, but I've heard of them and have been intrigued by them.

When I first gave the Happier podcast a try, it wasn't necessarily love at first listen, but it's grown on me. She and her sister, Elizabeth, do the podcast together and talk mostly about topics from her books, as well as other topics related to happiness, habits, and self-improvement. But, after listening for a while now, I have to admit I am hooked and often start my day listening to one of their podcasts while I cook and eat breakfast. It's a very positive, cheerful way to start my day, and it also helps me to remember to focus on what's important.

As examples, here are some of the topics they've covered in recent podcasts:
  • What's Your Happier 911 Song? - they discussed their favorite songs to listen to when they need a boost or pick-me-up. This topic was so popular with listeners, who sent in their own suggestions, that they've now compiled a Happier 911 Playlist on Spotify that I've enjoyed listening to.
  • Leave Something Unsaid - each episode features a Try This At Home segment, and a recent one focused on learning to hold your tongue and not say everything that pops into your head, an especially important topic with the holiday season upon us and so many family gatherings!
  • Control the Cubicle in Your Pocket - this feature focused on gaining control over your smart phone, e-mails, social media, etc. I still don't have a smart phone, but I do spend a lot of time on my laptop and on social media for my blogs, so this was an interesting one!
  • Celebrate Holiday Breakfasts - another Try This At Home feature focused on celebrating smaller holidays & occasions with a special breakfast instead of pushing yourself to go overboard with a big celebration, and how small celebrations like this can bring joy to your life. Since I often write here about celebrating the small joys in your life, you know I liked this segment!
  • Have Something To Look Forward To - another topic I often write about here and elsewhere - making sure there are things in your life - big and small - to look forward to, to help bring more joy into your life.
Full episodes are usually under an hour long (some only 35 min), and Gretchen has quick few-minute episodes in between with a single tip called A Little Happier. Some of their full episodes are Deep Dives or A Very Special Episode, delving deeper into something Gretchen has written about in her books.

Overall, I have found this podcast to bring me happiness and joy, and it's been helpful as well. Since she often echoes things that are important to me - small joys, celebrations, goals, good relationships - I find most episodes interesting and inspiring. And sometimes Gretchen gets laughing so hard that she can't catch her breath - like when she does her Golem voice and talks about "her precious" - which always brings a smile to my face!

Have you listened to the Happier podcast yet? Give it a try (the link includes many different ways to listen and subscribe), and let me know what you think.

What are the podcasts (or maybe audiobooks or other media) that you listen to for inspiration?


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