Mental Health

Happiness and unhappiness should be measured separately

Bookmarked Happiness Is Two Scales by Uri (Atoms vs Bits)

The common way to talk about happiness is as a single scale: unhappy at one end, neutral in the middle, happy at the other end. I think that model is wrong.

If someone (including yourself) is struggling with low well-being, it’s important to ascertain which of two problems are happening:

  • not enough happiness
  • too much unhappiness

This is interesting and resonates with where I am now:

Removing unhappiness doesn’t actually increase happiness, it just…. removes unhappiness, which is good but unrelated.

Now that I am free of a stressful situation, I have space to add more happiness, but filling that opening with positive feelings isn’t a given.


When your space feels off

Bookmarked Fix your home’s funky energy with these 3 tips – The Aesthetics of Joy by Ingrid Fetell Lee by Ingrid Fettell Lee (The Aesthetics of Joy by Ingrid Fetell Lee)

The physical objects in our environment affect us, often without being obvious. If your space feels “off” try these 3 tips to change the vibe.

I think this is my house’s problem: there isn’t a heart, a space anyone wants to be. We spend most of our time upstairs in our offices or bedroom. We have a living room and a reading nook area downstairs, but spend very little time there. Maybe it’s just that we do a lot of stuff on our computers, but I do plenty of reading so I don’t think it’s that.

I’ve tried adding blankets and pillows, and it’s decorated with art I love. I’ve tried furniture in various configurations. But, for the most part, we’d rather be upstairs. Could be the lighting. Could be the high ceiling. Could be that it’s cooler than upstairs. Could be the big windows that make you feel a little exposed (though they’re now covered with curtains 🤔).

I’m tempted to hire a professional to help me make the house feel cozier – it’d be nice to actually use the rooms in our house 🤷‍♀️ But I imagine I’m too cheap 😅 I keep thinking, well, maybe I try a few more things first myself, but that’s probably just wasting my money on the wrong stuff.

I think part of my problem is I’m buying things based on how they look, and then they don’t work as well as I’d like or aren’t that comfortable. The stuff I have mostly looks nice  – except for the coffee table I hate and have been wanting to get rid of for the whole pandemic but haven’t wanted strangers in the house. I’ll feel dumb if replacing the coffee table is enough to change the feel of the room 😅

Somehow we’ve been in this house for eight years, putting up with a bunch of crappy spaces we don’t like. After being mostly cooped up in here for two years, and who knows how much longer, I’m really sick of not feeling at home in my home.


A Question of Scale

Quoted Dense Discovery / Issue 113 (

Welcome to DD Issue 113 – a weekly newsletter helping you be productive, feel inspired, and think critically.

A question worth asking:
What scale do you want to operate at/work on? That is: Does working on a product touched by a billion people excite you? How about one used by a thousand? Understanding your scale goals help whittle down what you choose to work on day after day.

— Craig Mod