Gretchen Rubin

Gretchen Rubin

My experiments in the pursuit of happiness and good habits


Is There a Line of Poetry that’s Become Your Mantra?

October 22nd, 2015

Episode 151 of 372 episodes

Interview: Rachel Kelly. An old friend told me about about Rachel Kelly’s memoir, Black Rainbow: How Words Healed Me: My Journey Through Depression. In it, she describes her struggle with depression, and how she was able to use her love of poetry to help her during this time. In this memoir, she recounts her experiences, as well as the poetry that moved her so deeply. For me, the opposite of happiness is ordinary unhappiness; depression is its own third, urgent category. But happiness, unhappiness, and depression are all worth studying, for insights into one brings insights into the others. I was eager to hear what Rachel had to say about happiness and good habits. Gretchen: What’s a simple habit that consistently makes you happier? Rachel: A habit that consistentlymakes me happier is to recite inspirational quotations in my head, mantra-style. Myfavoritesinclude “My strength is made perfect in weakness”from Corinthians in the Bible,as well asa line from a poem by George Herbert:“Love bids me welcome,”which reminds metokeep returning backtoa place oflove and compassion. MymemoirBlack Rainbow hasfifty poemsinit;allfull of great inspirationallines thathavehelped mechange thenarrativein my head and feel less alone. What’s something you knownow about forming healthy habits that you didn’t know when ...