By Sarah Begley
June 16, 2016

Anyone who’s moved to a new city knows that the transition can be exciting–and deeply unsettling. In This Is Where You Belong: The Art and Science of Loving the Place You Live, journalist Melody Warnick, who has moved six times in her adult life, puts forth a series of research-backed ways to be happy in a new home. Shopping at a locally owned store, for instance, can foster meaningful ties with business owners and other shoppers; it also supports your new community financially, in turn improving your own quality of life. Finding a place to volunteer is also a good way to meet like-minded friends while investing in a cause you care about. Small tricks work too, like Googling the flora and fauna native to your new area or returning to the same restaurant often enough that the servers know your name. If all else fails, Warnick writes, just fake it till you make it: “If you want to love your town, act like someone who loves your town would act.”

–SARAH BEGLEY

This appears in the June 27, 2016 issue of TIME.

Contact us at editors@time.com.

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