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The Power of Play: A Key to Happiness and Well-being

October 19, 2022

The Power of Play: A Key to Happiness and Well-being
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In the podcast "What Makes You Happy with Jake Pearson," Jake is interviewing Bobbie Malatesta, a podcaster and founder of Recovery Playgrounds. Bobbie explains that playing and not taking oneself too seriously is a key aspect of happiness for her. As part of the recovery playgrounds, Bobbie believes that playing is preventative medicine for addiction and helps adults let out their inner child. Jake mentions the idea of creating an adult bounce house and Bobbie agrees that there is a market for it. Bobbie also suggests that a playful approach to life, not just activities, is important for happiness.

What Makes Bobbie Malatesta Happy?

In this 5 minute episode, I sit down with Bobbie Malatesta, a Podcaster & Founder of Recovery Playgrounds, to discuss the ins and outs of her happiness.

Connect with us on Instagram at: What Makes You Happy?

Connect with our guest: Bobbie Malatesta

Podcast Summary: 


  • Introduction of the show


  • Bobbie starts off by saying that she's "awesome"


  • Bobbie mentions two points about what makes her happy: Reflecting on what makes her happy and playing.


  • Jake loves the phrase "playing" and thinks that it's significant when it comes to happiness.


  • Bobbie mentions how playing keeps her happy and how it's important to release good chemicals in the body.


  • Jake suggests creating an "adult bounce house" business.


  • Bobbie agrees that there's a market for the adult bounce house and mentions an actual company that travels the US with a bounce house.


  • Bobbie suggests not taking life too seriously and having a playful demeanor to live a happier life.



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Jake Pearson  00:00

Are you trying to figure out the secret to happiness, we're here What Makes You Happy with Jake Pearson, we want to make that happiness more accessible for you in your life. So stick around as we interview everyday people, inspirational leaders and your favorite celebrities on what makes them happy.


Welcome back to the podcast where we ask the simple question, what makes you happy?


My name is Jake Pearson. And today we have with us a podcaster and the founder of recovery playgrounds. Bobbie Malatesta, from Naugatuck [phonetic 00:40], Connecticut, United States of America. Bobbie, how are you?


Bobbie Malatesta  00:45

I am awesome, Jake. It's great to be here. Thanks for having me.


Jake Pearson  00:49

I'm super excited that you're awesome and just pumped to do this podcast to talk a little bit about what makes you happy? Would you start off with that for us?


Bobbie Malatesta  01:00

Of course. And I love this question, Jake. And it's funny, reflecting on how to answer it to best serve your audience has been interesting. And I think the thing I want to share two points:


  1. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to reflect and think about all the things that do make me happy, because we don't always pay attention to that. It's very easy to hang out in the not happy places.


  1. Part of the recovery playground. And my mission is to teach adults to play again. And to me, it's preventative medicine for addiction. If we let our inner child out, if we play in a bouncy house, if we go roller-skating, if we do fun things, then we are less apt [phonetic 01:45] to do the not so fun things or the escapism through alcohol and in gambling and drugs and all the things.


So that's how it ties in for me, playing keeps me happy.



Jake Pearson  01:55

I really love the phrase 'playing' because I've recorded a podcast about 12 hours ago, and somebody else mentioned the same phrase 'playing' and it must have some significance tying in to happiness going back and doing the things that we loved as children just engaging in things, like you said, they're jumping castle, I haven't done that in so long. I want to do that. I want to go and play on a jumping castle until I'm exhausted and just lay down. That sounds phenomenal.


Bobbie Malatesta  02:24

Yes. So I don't have kids. So there's a little selfishness to this, too. There's no place that you can go for these kinds of activities where there's not children, it's usually about the parents experience, right? And if a parent is there with a child at a bouncy house, it's about paying attention to the kid are they safe and blah, blah, blah, and, and they're not getting to really envelop and get the technical stuff, the good chemicals, the happiness-- stuff that happens physiologically in our body. So that's why it's important to get us feeling good actively, which I imagine you appreciate coming from fitness.


Jake Pearson  03:04

Yes. I've just had this great idea. Someone in the audience, one of you people need to create the business called the adult bounce house [phonetic 03:14] I just feel like that would be the funnest thing for adults. Nobody under 18. Just adults go in there. Let all their stress, their anger out, their frustration and just bounce around until they feel like they've got enough joy and then leave. I feel like there is a market for that, don't you think?


Bobbie Malatesta  03:33

I absolutely agree. And my research actually, there's a company that has a traveling bounce house across the United States, they go in, they ran out farms, and they'll set up for like, a weekend or whatever. And they give adults one hour out of the whole weekend. There's adult hours. So you're absolutely right. There's a market [phonetic 03:50] for that.


Jake Pearson  03:51

Oh, that has got me pumped.


Bobbie Malatesta  04:01



Jake Pearson  03:53

Yes, well, 100% Absolutely. So would that tie into what you would suggest for our audience to work on their happiness in terms of getting back to their roots and experiencing a bit of play in their life.


Bobbie Malatesta  04:07

100%. One of the recovery communities I'm in, they have this rule 22 And it's like not taking yourself serious. So there's a playful approach to life too not just activities, it's okay to trip and laugh at ourselves, right like and just have this playful demeanor about ourselves. Instead of building all the stress because the stress comes from inside of us. So if we're playing, we're getting it out, sometimes beforehand, sometimes during but life's way more fun smiling and playing and being happy. I mean, the kids show us, if we watch children, they're showing us what it was like before all that noise filled our heads.


Jake Pearson  04:08

04:50 Oh, I can completely agree. Every time I see a video of a child, even just like with the dog and the dog and the child are just engaging and playing and the child's laughing and I'm like, oh that is just pure. There is nothing going up in their head, there's no stress, there's no anxiety. They're just in the moment, just laughing. And I feel like, you would like what you've said, just getting back to those moments of pure joy and experiencing that playfulness in life. And it doesn't have to be very formal, like we have to go and do this x activity. But just trying to adopt that. Do you think into our everyday life? How can we be a bit more playful in our day to day?


Bobbie Malatesta  05:27

So here's one example that just popped in my head and I'm smiling, just thinking about it. Let's say you're out for a walk with a friend. What if you skipped? What if instead of walking, you just skipped, I could feel that just thinking about that in my body, right? Like, being silly. There's a guy on social he calls himself the dad of jokes, and he does the corniest, silliest jokes, and it has to do with his delivery, and his vernacular. And it's like, Oh, my God, they're completely clean and innocent. And just, you can tell he's just having fun. He's playing with language. So it doesn't have to be complicated.


Jake Pearson  06:07

Joy can come from the most basic and simplest things. And is there an example, using language, the thing that we use in our very essence every day to communicate, to create joy. I love it. I really-- This podcast has been incredibly fun, Bobby,


Bobbie Malatesta  06:23

I agree, Jake, this is, like I said, I appreciate the opportunity to reflect myself and then to share the message that I believe in.


Jake Pearson  06:26

Now we really do appreciate you coming on the podcast to share what makes you happy and all things kind of your happiness. And if you'd love to connect with Bobbie, you can do so by clicking the podcast episode description below and heading over to the Instagram there as well. Really appreciative of your time. Any last words?


Bobbie Malatesta  06:49

Go play today. If you're listening, find a way to incorporate play in your day. It's free, and that many things are free, right? So play smile and be well.


Jake Pearson  07:00

Thank you, Bobbie, much appreciated. Have a lovely evening!


Thanks for listening to the podcast. We hope it gives you something to think about on your quest to discover what makes you happy. Make sure to check out to connect with today's guest and follow us on all our social media platforms and to stay up to date on what's happening next and what makes you happy. Don't forget to share this episode with a friend and we'll see you next time.