Melissa's Questioner Crisis + Our Personal Notes on Joyful (Ingrid Fetell Lee)

As a follow-up to episode 8, Joyful by Ingrid Fetell Lee, in this episode Em and Melissa talk about whether this book actually made them joyful, and what elements, if any, they’ve incorporated into their daily lives. They also revisit episode 1, The Four Tendencies to discuss Melissa’s personal identity crisis over her previously labeled tendency as an Obliger. It turns out, she may have been misdiagnosed.

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Have you ever wondered why we stop to watch the orange glow that arrives before sunset, or why we flock to see cherry blossoms bloom in spring? Is there a reason that people — regardless of gender, age, culture, or ethnicity — are mesmerized by baby animals, and can't help but smile when they see a burst of confetti or a cluster of colorful balloons?

We are often made to feel that the physical world has little or no impact on our inner joy. Increasingly, experts urge us to find balance and calm by looking inward — through mindfulness or meditation — and muting the outside world. But what if the natural vibrancy of our surroundings is actually our most renewable and easily accessible source of joy?

In Joyful, designer Ingrid Fetell Lee explores how the seemingly mundane spaces and objects we interact with every day have surprising and powerful effects on our mood. Drawing on insights from neuroscience and psychology, she explains why one setting makes us feel anxious or competitive, while another fosters acceptance and delight — and, most importantly, she reveals how we can harness the power of our surroundings to live fuller, healthier, and truly joyful lives.


Show notes

To read the full show notes and takeaways from Joyful, click here

In this episode, we also reference…

Share your takeaways

If you’ve read this book, we’d love to hear about it! Let us know if you kept a Joy Journal (the bookmarked activity from last week’s episode) or had any aha moments about where your joy comes from or how to create more of it by emailing us at You can also leave us a voicemail at 929-515-BOOK (2665).


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