Dry January Isn’t Just a Challenge to Check Off—How the Month Can Transform Your Life

I have a love-hate relationship with the New Year’s wellness frenzy. On the one hand, I love any excuse to lean deeper into the habits and routines that help me feel my best. But on the other, in our all-or-nothing culture, following weeks of parties, drinks, and our favorite indulgent foods, I’m overwhelmed by the shift to restriction. What’s more, I often find that many people make January resolutions with little intention or forethought—instead latching on to whatever’s trending. (75 Hard and 10K daily steps, I see you.) And while I once thought that Dry January was an unnecessarily tortuous, month-long challenge, any break from alcohol can help you become a more aligned and authentic version of yourself.

As I’ve been reflecting on and reconsidering my relationship with alcohol, this year’s Dry January came as an opportunity to explore sober curiosity further. Several weeks in, not only do I physically feel better—those “mysterious” headaches have disappeared—but I see myself transforming into a more confident and carefree woman. One who trusts in her ability to have fun entirely sober. With those results as proof, I’m convinced that Dry January is a month for all of us to practice embodying our highest selves. Doesn’t that sound like a good way to kick off 2024?

Editor’s note: This article is not intended to treat alcohol addiction. If you are struggling with substance abuse, consult with your medical provider or call the SAMHSA National Helpline at 1-800-662-4357 for support.

Dry January Tips to Make 2024 Your Healthiest Year Yet

Recent post-Covid years have seen a significant uptick in Dry January participants. Last year, 35% of consumers took part, up from 21% in 2019. Interestingly, 74% of Dry January participants reported succeeding in the challenge, compared to the 8-10% who saw their resolutions through.

But while many aim to take on the month without alcohol, anecdotally, I’ve observed people doing so without support or resources. Oftentimes, what this achieves is little beyond abstaining for the month, only to revert to old habits come February.

And sure, while some take on Dry January intending to maintain abstinence, most want to cultivate a more intentional relationship with alcohol. So how do you make that happen? By taking a more mindful approach.

This is everything you need—from affirmations to supportive mental and physical practices to books to yes, zero-ABV drinking alternatives—to help level up your Dry January. Who knows, it must just change how you approach everything.

Dry January Benefits

I connected with Marcus Sakey, co-founder of Ritual Zero Proof, to discuss why Dry January is a growing trend, particularly among younger consumers. Many approach it as a reset, he notes, “for both mental and physical health.” A hard reset at that. Post-holidays—a celebratory time of year—many swing to the opposite end of the spectrum, cutting out any and all indulgences. But as Sakey observes, Dry January is also an opportunity to explore a lifestyle of moderation.

While the timeline may vary depending on how much and how regularly you’re currently drinking, abstaining from alcohol may lead to the following benefits.

  • Better sleep. Sure, that glass of red wine might help you doze off, but it can disrupt sleep later on, leading to an overall lower-quality snooze. By taking a break from alcohol, you’ll sleep more soundly and wake up feeling better rested.
  • Brighter skin. The skin is the body’s largest organ, and what’s on the outside indeed reflects what’s within. Case in point: the relationship between alcohol and your complexion. Because alcohol is known to accelerate facial aging and increase the risk of rosacea, Dry January could also support your 2024 skin goals.
  • More energy and mental clarity. Goodbye, brain fog, and hello to a headache-free year. Alcohol is dehydrating and can cause your blood sugar levels to fall, leading to feelings of weakness and fatigue.
  • Improved sex life. While many of our dating lives may involve going out for drinks or we’re quick to cite the 2009 study that named red wine an aphrodisiac, alcohol consumption can impair sexual function in both men and women.
Champagne cheers.

Dry January Tips

Of course, for anyone who’s experienced the majority of their adult life socializing around alcohol, abstaining from it can pose a slew of challenges. It can be hard to know how to connect with others or even go out to dinner when a glass of wine sounds so good. But with a few simple Dry January tips up your sleeve, you can navigate these difficulties with ease. Not only that, but you may discover that you appreciate these moments of connection all the more.

Simple Ways to Get the Most From Your Dry January

  • Identify a support person. When we undergo something new, it’s important to have someone we trust and can lean on in our corner. This person doesn’t necessarily have to be doing Dry January, but it can be helpful for them to understand the specific challenges you’re facing.
  • Connect with like-minded communities. The beautiful thing about Dry January is that it’s an international movement—and you’ll find plenty of local or virtual communities to join. Visit Meetup to see what sober-curious groups are gathering in your area.
  • Explore zero-ABV options. If you still crave your signature drink, opt for a tasty non-alcoholic alternative. Ritual Zero-Proof, Non, Apothékary, and Figlia are all great options. Explore even more of our favorites.
  • Pour into your hobbies. With fewer weekend bar hops and Saturday mornings spent recovering from the previous evening’s festivities, you’ll find that you have more time to explore the activities that bring you joy and energy. At a loss for ideas? Here’s how to find a hobby.
  • Look at Dry January as an exciting challenge. One that’s “full of possibility,” Sakey says. Making significant behavioral changes inevitably opens us up to new ways of living and spending our time. Sakey encourages having fun with spirit alternatives and finding your new go-to mocktail. Be mindful of how you’re benefiting from this choice—mind and body—and be present for the ways in which it’ll positively impact your life moving forward.

21 Gifts For The Wellness Enthusiast In Your Life (And Yes, It Might Be You)

It’s gift-giving season, ya’ll. And for the wellness-obsessed friends in your life, look no further. Before we dive in, we all know that wellness is quite multifaceted. It can mean anything these days: a morning cup of matcha and mental health walk, lathering on a face mask and lighting a non-tox candle, or pouring a glass of organic wine. Meditating, journaling, and even sleeping can be categorized as wellness. It’s all up to interpretation! At the end of the day, taking care of your mind, body, and spirit looks different for each of us. So in the spirit of individuality, we’ve gathered an array of wellness gifts. These are modern-day tools, experiences, and products to make wellness what it should be: accessible and fulfilling.

Image by Jenn Rose Smith

21 Empowering Wellness Gifts

No matter which category your health enthusiast falls into, there are wellness gifts for everyone. Ultimately, it’s important to remember that healthy living doesn’t have to be expensive or complicated. Sure, we love going all out on a massage, relishing in an hour-long hot yoga class, or whipping up an adaptogenic latte, but the foundation of healthy living is all about simplifying. Ahead, discover the best wellness gifts for everyone on your list.

Every product is curated with care by our editors and we’ll always give an honest opinion, whether gifted or purchased ourselves. If you buy something through our links, we may earn a small commission at no cost to you.

Daily Drills Oversized Crew

A good loungewear set is essential. Between R&R days spent with your journal and your go-to modes of self-care, travel days with hours on a plane, and moments out and about when you simply want to look cute and feel comfy—this oversized crewneck sweater is a must. It comes in a range of colors both neutral and bright with something for everyone. Complete the look with the matching, super soft sweat shorts. Chic and cozy, as all the best wellness gear should be.

Arrae Rest & Digest Kit

Bloating, while totally normal, is also one of life’s uncomfortable inevitabilities. The “Bloat” capsules are the most effective supplements I’ve tried to date, while “Calm” is a near-instant stress reliever. Pair together for a synergistic routine designed to optimize digestion and experience true relaxation.

Bala The Play Mat

The fitness equipment darling du jour, Bala’s offerings now include the ultimate yoga mat. (Because we know you’ve searched high and low for the perfect option.) The modern shape and nonslip, moisture-wicking material are great for yoga, pilates, and any on-the-go workout.

Casa Zuma Harvester Pasta Bowl

Eating from bowls > eating from plates. It’s just a fact. For salads, nourishing soups, oatmeal, and everything in between, this handmade, stoneware bowl is the perfect dining piece for any and every Instagram post.

Seasons SONI SM Portable Ultrasonic Diffuser

While I’ve loved my Vitruvi diffuser for years, the promise of a portable version is enough to influence a new purchase. Simply fill with water and drop in your favorite essential oils. Its unique design is attention-grabbing while still soothing to the wellness-loving soul.

Moon Juice Ting

Moon Juice’s array of supplement powders is a functional and delicious addition to any wellness routine. We love Mini Dew for added electrolytes, Magnesi-Om to relax before bed, and Ting to boost energy, metabolism, and mood. The delicious mango flavor is refreshing and not overly sweet—exactly how we want to get our B vitamins from now on.

Sunday Citizen Snug Crystal Weighted Blanket

Weighted blankets are a key part of any supportive sleep arsenal. The gentle pressure coaxes even the most restless sleepers to a restorative, soothing slumber. Select from six colors and different weights to find the perfect fit.

Esker Body Plane Set

Wellness tools are our weakness. This teak wood and stainless steel body plane pairs with the hydrating body oil for the ultimate exfoliating duo. It’s a lovely ritual to incorporate into a post-shower routine. I like to think of it as a dry brushing/gua sha for your body practice all in one.

Bink 27 oz Water Bottle

Water bottles, like mugs, are one of those things it feels like we can never have enough of—despite multiple kitchen cabinets housing our collection. But as far as my line-up of water vessels is concerned, this bottle is my be-all, end-all. It’s sleek and modern, and comes in colors we love. What’s more, the time-marked glass makes it easy to keep your hydration habit going strong.

Maude Couple’s Libido

ICYMI: Prioritizing sexual wellness is a key part of realizing your healthiest self. These libido gummies are blended with adaptogens and botanicals proven to take things up a notch (i.e., elevate your sex drive). This duo comes with both female and male gummies, which can also be purchased separately.

Alo Grounded No-Slip Towel

Every good yoga mat (see above) needs a no-slip towel that’ll keep them grounded. If hot yoga is your giftee’s go-to for warming up throughout the winter, they’ll love this fast-absorbing towel that feels great underfoot.

Eat Plants, Be Happy: 130 Simple Vegan and Vegetarian Recipes

While many of us have reintroduced grass-fed, sustainably raised meat into our diets, we still love prioritizing plants to support both our health and the planet. This colorful, inspiring cookbook is full of recipes like roast sweet potato with miso and ginger caramel and sweet potato gnocchi with sage burnt butter that help us feel like our healthiest, most vibrant selves.

All in Motion™ Percussion Massage Gun

Massage guns are the easiest way to bring the spa experience home. And PSA: you don’t need to shell out hundreds to create a stress-relieving, muscle-soothing routine. With four speeds and various attachments, this massage gun will always be exactly what your body needs.

Caraway Food Storage Set

Last year, I swapped out my mismatched collection of Tupperware for this streamlined set of ceramic-coated glass containers. With small, medium, and large containers, it’s complete with everything you need for leftovers and lunch. An aesthetically pleasing refrigerator awaits.

Ninja 0.5qt CREAMi

Inspired by my own holiday wishlist (hint, hint), the Ninja CREAMi is my ultimate wellness covet item. Make dairy-free ice creams, low-sugar milkshakes, and sorbets blended with whole fruits. I’ve tested a few treats from my friends’ CREAMis, and I can attest to the smooth, creamy texture it always delivers. I’m so tempted that I might skip ahead and buy it for myself on Black Friday…

Kinto Glass Teapot

I’ve been in my tea era for all of 2023, and I expect the ritual to continue well into the next year (and beyond). This glass pot features a built-in strainer for a minimalist, streamlined way to prepare a soothing, cozy cuppa.

Intelligent Change Mindful Affirmations Deck

Anyone will be delighted to open this deck filled with positive self-love, self-care, and mindfulness affirmations. The wooden display lets your recipient keep each affirmation visible for inspiration all throughout the week. With 52 cards (one to reflect on every week of the year), it’s a lovely way to kick off 2024.

Modern Sprout “Wild(flower) About You” Grow Kit Bundle

While we love December’s winter whites, January through March is another story. Let a friend or family member delight in these wildflowers’ vibrant colors during a particularly dreary time of year. They’re easy to grow and unbelievably low-maintenance. Even the black thumbs in your life will love it.

Slip Sleep Mist

Who doesn’t love a good nighttime routine? (Particularly one that coaxes you to a restful, rejuvenating slumber.) Alongside golden milk, a silky pillowcase, and the coziest pajamas, this sleep mist is essential. Spritz the blend of chamomile and lavender over your bed, breathe deeply, and slip under the covers for your best-ever slumber.

Hatch Restore 2

PSA: It’s finally time to ditch your smartphone alarm. (And keep it far, far away from your nightstand.) And while we balked at the price tag on this smart alarm clock before finally giving in, we can confirm: it’s worth the hype. The Hatch Restore 2 features nature-inspired sleep sounds and bedtime light settings to help anyone enjoy a peaceful oasis.

Do It For Yourself Journal

Guided journals are an easy way to start your practice strong. This empowering, inspiring journal features 75 prompts designed to kickstart your creativity and take any goal from start to finish. It’ll help you overcome any setback and move forward with intention.

Equilibria Deluxe Wellness Set

Greens powders are the ultimate buzzy wellness buy. And while some brands make overblown promises about everything from curing your bloat to clearing your skin, Equilibria’s Daily Nutri-Greens sit perfectly at the intersection of effective and affordable. (Not to mention the apple-banana flavor is absolutely delish.) Combined with the Sleep Gummies that I always turn to for a good night’s sleep and the Daily Drops for boosted mood and regulated stress, this is the best wellness bundle that anyone will be thrilled to receive.

This post was originally published on December 3, 2022, and has since been updated.

Gift Guide for Her: The 20 Best Gifts of 2023 for the Ladies in Your Life

Mother, daughter, aunt, sister, friend, sister-friend—She contains multitudes. She’s the manager of the family calendar, the fun aunt, the thoughtful friend, and, let’s be honest, she’s probably so freakin’ tired. We built this gift guide with HER in mind because we know her, we love her, we are her. She loves gifts with heart, gifts she can use, and gifts that are trend-aware but classic at the same time.

And so, to borrow a phrase from my friend, Isabelle, I “shook the Internet upside down” to bring you the Internet’s most tightly curated gift guide for her. Trust me, there’s not a dud to be found. There’s a classic trench coat that never goes out of style, an affordable pair of viral earrings, the weekend bag our team swears by for easy holiday travel, and more. Without further ado, our 2023 Gift Guide for Her.

Gift Guide for Her: The 20 Best Gifts of 2023

Every product is curated with care by our editors and we’ll always give an honest opinion, whether gifted or purchased ourselves. If you buy something through our links, we may earn a small commission at no cost to you.

Classic Trench Coat

Year after year, the effortlessly chic trench coat pops up on trend lists across fashion publications, down runways, and on social media. It’s the ultimate trend-that’s-not-a-trend piece. If she lacks a great trench coat in her wardrobe, our pick is affordable and classic.

Sandalwood Yuzu Shampoo

You know them for their aesthetically pleasing (and delicious) olive oil, but our friends at Wonder Valley continue to innovate with their luxurious beauty products. Give her something she’ll use regularly—the gift of a long and lavish shower. (And treat her to a set with the Sandalwood Yuzu Conditioner.)

Red Slouch Socks

Red is the current darling of the fashion world. The bold, vibrant color is often paired with a neutral outfit for a pop that says, “Yeah, I know what’s up.” Red socks are an easy entry into the trend, offering a fun flash of color when paired with long pants.

The Best Water Bottle of the Year

Chances are, she already has one. Chances are, she wants another. The water bottle that stole TikTok’s heart has gone viral for its ability to keep your drink of choice cold, look pretty while doing it, AND fit into the car cup holder.

Eau Rose Eau de Parfum

In the world of luxurious scents, no one does it like Diptyque. The iconic rose fragrance is made in France—a fact that might just sell itself. The bottle can be refilled as many times as you like, and you can make it a special one with personalization in-store.

Yoga Mat

A yoga mat is just about a necessity and the Warrior Mat from Alo is our pick across the board. The no-slip grip is cushioned and anti-odor. Plus, it’s free of toxins so she can stretch and sweat without worry. Throw in a refresh spray for a complete gift.

Ballet Flats

Combine the year’s two biggest trends (the color red and ballet flats) with a French-girl shoe she’ll slip into year-round. And if red isn’t her vibe, choose from 13 more colors—all handmade in Spain and ready for effortless outfits.

A World-Famous Jumpsuit

Imagine this jumpsuit in pink and you’ll know why it’s the jumpsuit seen ’round the world. Director Gretta Gerwig donned this damn-near-perfect jumpsuit on the set of Barbie and women everywhere said, YES. A one-and-done outfit is the kind of energy we’re looking for and, good news for us, this jumpsuit comes in multiple colors.

Viral Drop Earrings

Who knew earrings could go viral? The full size came into popularity as a dupe to Bottega Veneta’s chunky earrings and now they come in multiple colors and sizes. These are hollow so they’re light and easy to wear.

Cloud-Like Slippers

Listen, moms might not want robes but they DO want slippers. Warm little clouds for our feet when we’re hitting the cold, hard floor at 6 a.m. to get the kids off to school on time? That’s self-care at its finest. I wear my Haven Well Within slippers every single day and let me tell you, the little things matter.

Everyday Leggings

Perhaps one day we’ll release a gift guide for her that doesn’t include the perfect legging, but that day is not today. Vuori continues to dominate with comfortable leggings that stay put and come in multiple colors and sizes.

Cuff Bracelet

Silver cuffs are making moves in the fashion world. It’s an easy, affordable accessory that makes styling your clothes (vs. wearing your clothes) a feat as simple as the influencers make it look.

A Great Set of Linen Pajamas

I know not a single woman who wouldn’t love a new set of pajamas. It’s the perfect gift—and one I’m usually craving around the holidays when travel and family time necessitate something beyond an oversized t-shirt. This set is ultra cozy and so cute in multiple colors and patterns.

OSEA Pillow Spray

On the gift hunt for the woman who has everything? This calming pillow mist is your answer. According to OSEA, the vagus nerve activates the body’s relaxation response and helps regulate stress. Simply spritz before bed, breathe deep, and drift away.

Ivory Cropped Jacket

Hop aboard the quiet luxury trend with this chic cropped jacket with gold buttons. It’s a piece that’s easy to pair with anything but just happens to look amazing with jeans or trousers.

The Best Travel Bag

Camille introduced us to the wonder of her BEIS weekend bag when she packed it as her personal item to Japan. It’s small enough to count as such, but large enough to fit ALL the necessities. Computer or tablet, snacks, toiletries, books, change of clothes—you get it. If she’s traveling at all next year, consider this bag the perfect gift.

Linen Napkins and Great Cookbook

When I started curating this guide I posed this scenario to a few friends with great taste: Imagine you’ve just been given a gift by an acquaintance. You’re expecting the worst, but instead open it up to find an amazing gift. What is it? Behold, one of my favorite answers. If the lady in your life loves to host or try new things in the kitchen, linen napkins and a new cookbook should be at the top of your list.

Starter Set for a More Sustainable Kitchen

It is a fact that the most singular source of stress in a woman’s life is her storage container drawer. You could be her unsung hero by bringing calm to a stressful place with this waaay cute sustainable set. No more rogue red lids, no more fights with the clingwrap box, and, ultimately, no more waste.

The Only White Button-Down She’ll Ever Need

And finally, this very well may be the only shirt she’ll ever need. When it comes to gifting clothes around the holidays, consider sticking to the classics. Sézane’s white button-down is the perfect drape and fit—a piece that’s versatile and easy to wear. Chances are, she’ll want one in every color. (Camille wore it well in denim.)

21 Gifts For The Wellness Enthusiast In Your Life (And Yes, It Might Be You)

It’s gift-giving season, ya’ll. And for the wellness-obsessed friends in your life, look no further. Before we dive in, we all know that wellness is quite multifaceted. It can mean anything these days: a morning cup of matcha and mental health walk, lathering on a face mask and lighting a non-tox candle, or pouring a glass of organic wine. Meditating, journaling, and even sleeping can be categorized as wellness. It’s all up to interpretation! At the end of the day, taking care of your mind, body, and spirit looks different for each of us. So in the spirit of individuality, we’ve gathered an array of wellness gifts. These are modern-day tools, experiences, and products to make wellness what it should be: accessible and fulfilling.

Image by Jenn Rose Smith

21 Empowering Wellness Gifts

No matter which category your health enthusiast falls into, there are wellness gifts for everyone. Ultimately, it’s important to remember that healthy living doesn’t have to be expensive or complicated. Sure, we love going all out on a massage, relishing in an hour-long hot yoga class, or whipping up an adaptogenic latte, but the foundation of healthy living is all about simplifying. Ahead, discover the best wellness gifts for everyone on your list.

Every product is curated with care by our editors and we’ll always give an honest opinion, whether gifted or purchased ourselves. If you buy something through our links, we may earn a small commission at no cost to you.

Daily Drills Oversized Crew

A good loungewear set is essential. Between R&R days spent with your journal and your go-to modes of self-care, travel days with hours on a plane, and moments out and about when you simply want to look cute and feel comfy—this oversized crewneck sweater is a must. It comes in a range of colors both neutral and bright with something for everyone. Complete the look with the matching, super soft sweat shorts. Chic and cozy, as all the best wellness gear should be.

Arrae Rest & Digest Kit

Bloating, while totally normal, is also one of life’s uncomfortable inevitabilities. The “Bloat” capsules are the most effective supplements I’ve tried to date, while “Calm” is a near-instant stress reliever. Pair together for a synergistic routine designed to optimize digestion and experience true relaxation.

Bala The Play Mat

The fitness equipment darling du jour, Bala’s offerings now include the ultimate yoga mat. (Because we know you’ve searched high and low for the perfect option.) The modern shape and nonslip, moisture-wicking material are great for yoga, pilates, and any on-the-go workout.

Casa Zuma Harvester Pasta Bowl

Eating from bowls > eating from plates. It’s just a fact. For salads, nourishing soups, oatmeal, and everything in between, this handmade, stoneware bowl is the perfect dining piece for any and every Instagram post.

Seasons SONI SM Portable Ultrasonic Diffuser

While I’ve loved my Vitruvi diffuser for years, the promise of a portable version is enough to influence a new purchase. Simply fill with water and drop in your favorite essential oils. Its unique design is attention-grabbing while still soothing to the wellness-loving soul.

Moon Juice Ting

Moon Juice’s array of supplement powders is a functional and delicious addition to any wellness routine. We love Mini Dew for added electrolytes, Magnesi-Om to relax before bed, and Ting to boost energy, metabolism, and mood. The delicious mango flavor is refreshing and not overly sweet—exactly how we want to get our B vitamins from now on.

Sunday Citizen Snug Crystal Weighted Blanket

Weighted blankets are a key part of any supportive sleep arsenal. The gentle pressure coaxes even the most restless sleepers to a restorative, soothing slumber. Select from six colors and different weights to find the perfect fit.

Esker Body Plane Set

Wellness tools are our weakness. This teak wood and stainless steel body plane pairs with the hydrating body oil for the ultimate exfoliating duo. It’s a lovely ritual to incorporate into a post-shower routine. I like to think of it as a dry brushing/gua sha for your body practice all in one.

Bink 27 oz Water Bottle

Water bottles, like mugs, are one of those things it feels like we can never have enough of—despite multiple kitchen cabinets housing our collection. But as far as my line-up of water vessels is concerned, this bottle is my be-all, end-all. It’s sleek and modern, and comes in colors we love. What’s more, the time-marked glass makes it easy to keep your hydration habit going strong.

Maude Couple’s Libido

ICYMI: Prioritizing sexual wellness is a key part of realizing your healthiest self. These libido gummies are blended with adaptogens and botanicals proven to take things up a notch (i.e., elevate your sex drive). This duo comes with both female and male gummies, which can also be purchased separately.

Alo Grounded No-Slip Towel

Every good yoga mat (see above) needs a no-slip towel that’ll keep them grounded. If hot yoga is your giftee’s go-to for warming up throughout the winter, they’ll love this fast-absorbing towel that feels great underfoot.

Eat Plants, Be Happy: 130 Simple Vegan and Vegetarian Recipes

While many of us have reintroduced grass-fed, sustainably raised meat into our diets, we still love prioritizing plants to support both our health and the planet. This colorful, inspiring cookbook is full of recipes like roast sweet potato with miso and ginger caramel and sweet potato gnocchi with sage burnt butter that help us feel like our healthiest, most vibrant selves.

All in Motion™ Percussion Massage Gun

Massage guns are the easiest way to bring the spa experience home. And PSA: you don’t need to shell out hundreds to create a stress-relieving, muscle-soothing routine. With four speeds and various attachments, this massage gun will always be exactly what your body needs.

Caraway Food Storage Set

Last year, I swapped out my mismatched collection of Tupperware for this streamlined set of ceramic-coated glass containers. With small, medium, and large containers, it’s complete with everything you need for leftovers and lunch. An aesthetically pleasing refrigerator awaits.

Ninja 0.5qt CREAMi

Inspired by my own holiday wishlist (hint, hint), the Ninja CREAMi is my ultimate wellness covet item. Make dairy-free ice creams, low-sugar milkshakes, and sorbets blended with whole fruits. I’ve tested a few treats from my friends’ CREAMis, and I can attest to the smooth, creamy texture it always delivers. I’m so tempted that I might skip ahead and buy it for myself on Black Friday…

Kinto Glass Teapot

I’ve been in my tea era for all of 2023, and I expect the ritual to continue well into the next year (and beyond). This glass pot features a built-in strainer for a minimalist, streamlined way to prepare a soothing, cozy cuppa.

Intelligent Change Mindful Affirmations Deck

Anyone will be delighted to open this deck filled with positive self-love, self-care, and mindfulness affirmations. The wooden display lets your recipient keep each affirmation visible for inspiration all throughout the week. With 52 cards (one to reflect on every week of the year), it’s a lovely way to kick off 2024.

Modern Sprout “Wild(flower) About You” Grow Kit Bundle

While we love December’s winter whites, January through March is another story. Let a friend or family member delight in these wildflowers’ vibrant colors during a particularly dreary time of year. They’re easy to grow and unbelievably low-maintenance. Even the black thumbs in your life will love it.

Slip Sleep Mist

Who doesn’t love a good nighttime routine? (Particularly one that coaxes you to a restful, rejuvenating slumber.) Alongside golden milk, a silky pillowcase, and the coziest pajamas, this sleep mist is essential. Spritz the blend of chamomile and lavender over your bed, breathe deeply, and slip under the covers for your best-ever slumber.

Hatch Restore 2

PSA: It’s finally time to ditch your smartphone alarm. (And keep it far, far away from your nightstand.) And while we balked at the price tag on this smart alarm clock before finally giving in, we can confirm: it’s worth the hype. The Hatch Restore 2 features nature-inspired sleep sounds and bedtime light settings to help anyone enjoy a peaceful oasis.

Do It For Yourself Journal

Guided journals are an easy way to start your practice strong. This empowering, inspiring journal features 75 prompts designed to kickstart your creativity and take any goal from start to finish. It’ll help you overcome any setback and move forward with intention.

Equilibria Deluxe Wellness Set

Greens powders are the ultimate buzzy wellness buy. And while some brands make overblown promises about everything from curing your bloat to clearing your skin, Equilibria’s Daily Nutri-Greens sit perfectly at the intersection of effective and affordable. (Not to mention the apple-banana flavor is absolutely delish.) Combined with the Sleep Gummies that I always turn to for a good night’s sleep and the Daily Drops for boosted mood and regulated stress, this is the best wellness bundle that anyone will be thrilled to receive.

This post was originally published on December 3, 2022, and has since been updated.

15 Genius Gift Ideas for the Teens (or Tweens!) in Your Life

Walking into your teenager’s bedroom can feel like walking into a mini Apple store. Cords and plugs and neon and devices—everywhere. Dings and bells and things that go TikTok in the night. It’s a world that most of us parents take part in but still exist on the periphery of, making the task of finding the best gift ideas for teens all the more difficult. It’s like an exclusive online club that we aren’t considered cool enough to be invited into—and one we still don’t entirely grasp. 

We can sometimes feel not just decades, but a planet away from the interests of our techie teens. But, despite ditching landlines for the latest iPhone, replacing the communal family computer with personal laptops, and swapping out babydoll dresses for baggy jeans and crop tops—so. many. midriffs.—what if “kids these days” are actually much more similar to how we were as teens than we realize? They just require a little more battery life. 

Featured image from our interview with Ty Haney by Kristen Kilpatrick.

Image by Michelle Nash

15 Gift Ideas for Teens They’re Sure to Obsess Over

We surveyed teenagers of all ages and found that their wants mirror many of the same wishlists we would’ve wanted back in the 90s. With a twist, of course. Keep reading for the most creative, useful, and won’t-be-returned gift ideas for teens to buy this holiday season.

Every product is curated with care by our editors and we’ll always give an honest opinion, whether gifted or purchased ourselves. If you buy something through our links, we may earn a small commission at no cost to you.

Stanley IceFlow™ Bottle with Fast Flow Lid | 24 oz

Everyone knows the famous 40-ounce Stanely has sat in the spotlight for a few years now. However, Camille says this 24-ounce version with the fast-flow lid is on her list for Phoebe this year. It’s the perfect size for backpack storage without compromising the ice-cold water you’ll enjoy all day long.

Sézane Jute Toiletry Bag

A quality toiletry bag is something not every teen wants, but definitely needs. A prominent memory of getting older was my first toiletry and makeup bag that I proudly brought to all of my sleepovers. Feeling put together with all of your belongings in one place brings forward feelings of maturity that every teen is looking for.

Customized Neon Light

Who isn’t mad for a bit of neon? Your choosy teen will be all aglow for a bright, customized neon hanging sign to liven up their bedroom.

Polo Ralph Lauren Americana Bear Socks

If Uggs and ballet flats are the viral shoes of the season, these are their cozy-boosting counterparts. Apparently, they’re everywhere across TikTok and make the perfect stocking stuffer that won’t break the bank.

Madewell Swiss Dot Babydoll Pajama Set

They’d wear their jammies morning, noon, and night if you allowed it. Make the vision of your child lounged out one you can (cutely) get on board with. This is perfect for warmer nights or kids who aren’t comfortable sleeping in long sleeves or pants.

Outdoor Voices BeachTree Hoodie

Athleisure is the driving force of most teens’ closets, so cute up their clothing with a streamlined hoodie. And if your teen is recently tennis-obsessed, they’ll love this dress that they can wear on and off the court.

Baggu Go Pouch Set

With all the tech they carry around, teenagers need a little help keeping it all together. Why not dress up the details with these cute pouches? In true Baggu fashion, they come in an array of colors to help them express their personality best.

FP Movement Get Your Flirt On Shorts

Even cooler temps can’t compete with your teen’s shorts obsession. Shop the rainbow of athletic shorts from Lululemon or FP Movement for an instant holiday win.

Nike Blazer Mid ’77 Vintage

Stepping in style, teens are smitten with the black and white, gender-neutral pair of Nikes. (For those dressing outside the box, they come in brighter styles, too.)

Museum of Peace & Quiet Wordmark Dad Cotton Logo Cap

My kids are the masters of stealing my clothes (I take it as a compliment), so with this gift, I’m fighting back. We all love a good dad hat, particularly one that sports a tranquil message and aesthetic vibe.

Kitsch Velvet Scrunchies

90s hair—and all its accouterments—are making a comeback, and we are here for it. This means scrunchies are also one of the hottest hair accessories in middle and high school. Plus, who doesn’t love a tie that’s cute and causes less damage? Sign me up!

Threshold™ Textured Faux Fur Reversible Throw Blanket

Receiving a cozy gift like this faux fur blanket never gets old—no matter your age. I especially love it as a gift for any college-age kiddo home for the holidays. It’ll quickly become a soft and warm reminder of all the love waiting for them at home.

Lululemon Everywhere Belt Bag 1L

I really didn’t start carrying a purse until I turned twenty, but if the Lululemon belt bag had existed before the second decade of my life, it would have been my first pick. SO many cute colors exist on this line, from a sandy tan to this pastel baby blue. It’s a great way to transition into purse-carrying in a sporty way.

Cloud Faux-Fur Camel Bean Bag Chair

Bean bag chairs are highly underrated. When I was in high school, I never missed an opportunity to lounge in my friends’ bean bag chairs during sleepovers or after-school hangouts. They’re a great place to settle in with a good read or just to take a five.

Attention spans being what they are, the home can be a distracting environment for teens just starting to dive deep into homework and studying. These headphones are a great option to block out extra sounds so that your teen can really get in the zone.

This post was originally published on November 16, 2022, and has since been updated.

My Sex Life Is Better Than Ever—This Is My Secret

A few years ago, a friend gave me something that amplified my life. “Try this,” she said as she handed me a small box, her mouth turned upward. Inside was a bottle of Foria Awaken Arousal Oil, a product meant to enhance female sexual pleasure, alone or with company. Had I been having sex or even feeling sexual at the time, I would have ripped it open that night. Finding the best lubricants and intimacy oils intrigued me.

It took me a while to try it. When I finally did with my now partner, I felt like I was in the last scene of Fight Club, where Ed Norton holds Helena Bonham Carter’s hand as the buildings fall. Everything I’d known about feeling sexual came crashing down and, in its place, entered a Technicolor world of pleasure to explore. 

The Best Lubricants for Every Desire

“What Foria has done is prioritize female pleasure by deeply understanding what activates it, what keeps it going, and where pleasure comes from,” says Kiana Reeves, chief content officer for Foria Wellness and a somatic sexology and intimacy educator. “We haven’t been taught about how important our arousal is.”

Reeves is answering all my questions about the best lubricants and intimacy oils over Zoom. My queries are rapid-fire. Never have I been more curious about a collection of products. In the past year, intimacy oils and lubricants have catapulted my sex life, I tell her. My orgasms are stronger. My connection to my partner is deeper. Why is that? I ask. 

“It’s helping your body just do what it’s meant to do,” responds Reeves, specifically talking about intimacy oils. “That’s why it’s so powerful. People start to notice the power of their bodies.”

To understand the deeper functioning behind these products, as well as the difference between an intimacy oil and a lubricant, I asked Reeves about it all. (Also, if you’re curious about trying a new product but don’t know how to broach the subject with your partner, read on.)

Your Guide to Intimacy Oils

Nobody had been focusing on female arousal. Our erectile tissue structures are the same as someone with a penis, and they’re dispersed in different areas, but they light up at different times. So someone with a female anatomy has an arousal trajectory that is different from someone with a penis. We focus on female pleasure with these different products and components. One is our Awaken Arousal Oil, which helps to physically get blood flow to the genitals to enhance arousal and pleasure. These active botanicals work to help to get you as aroused as possible. 

In tandem with arousal, which is the physical component of pleasure, you have the desire component. For many people, what gets in the way of their desire is either discomfort, pain, or a feeling that they’re not ready. What our Awaken oil does is it works from the body up. You start to activate your body first. From there, you start to retrain the nervous system and your relationship with sexual pleasure, either with yourself or with a partner. You go, oh, not only does this feel good, it feels amazing!

How do lubricants work?

The vaginal tissues and vulva mucosal membrane need to be wet to enjoy touch, and so there isn’t too much friction. Otherwise, those tender membranes can tear easily. So a lubricant, even if you are naturally a well-lubricated person, is important because it helps protect the integrity of your tissues. Many clients I’ve worked with have experienced numbness, pain, and scar tissue from poorly lubricated sex, either intravaginally or otherwise. 

“What’s so exciting is there’s always more pleasure to explore.” – Kiana Reeves.

Studies show that pleasure will increase just by using lube alone for all people involved. So lube is amazing to have on hand. What we did with ours—our Intimacy Sex Oil—is make it the cleanest available because lubes have historically contained chemicals that are bad for the vulva and vagina. Also, our lube is for vaginal and rectal use.

Image by Teal Thomsen

Are there any rules for using an intimacy oil or lubricant?

No rules. The cool thing, and I say this particularly about Awaken because it’s universal for solo play to partner play to party play, is that it’s about understanding that your pleasure is in your own hands. You can notice where you’re at. Maybe you’re not yet highly aroused, so you might massage yourself or have a partner massage you. It’s taking the time to massage the labia, the clitoris, or the thighs. It’s about just being with that part of your body and allowing it to open in its own time. 

Also, the beautiful thing is none of the [Foria] products are gender specific. They’re anatomy-specific because we’re working with a particular anatomy that hasn’t been studied or understood as much as others. 

Editor’s note: Some oils and lubricants are not compatible with certain condoms, so be sure to do your research for what’s important to you and your partner(s).

What to keep in mind when looking for an intimacy or arousal oil and a lubricant

The main thing is that it’s clean and natural. These are still marketing terms where there’s no standard for being able to say “clean.” Look for ingredients you recognize. If they’re plants, are they organic? I would also look for how much education the company is offering. Peruse the website to see if they’re invested in their mission or if they’re making a product because it’s easy and cheap. A brand invested in its mission will be invested in and able to stand by its formulations. On our products, we have a QR code where you can see the batch tests we’ve done, which check for all types of toxins, pesticides, and heavy metals. 

What if someone is curious to try an oil or lube with a partner but they have reservations about suggesting it? What are your tips for starting the conversation?

The larger conversation here is talking about sex with your partner—about what you love and what may be harder to discuss, such as what you want more of, what doesn’t feel so good, or what you’re struggling with. Talking about sex, in general, can be vulnerable, and when you’re bringing in a new product, that’s an added layer. It’s important to know that your partner wants you to feel pleasure—whether or not you are nervous to share with them. And you also want your partner to experience pleasure.

Think of it like the Oreo metaphor, where it’s sandwiched between two wonderful positive things and then the meat of it, which is the question or the desire, is in the middle. You can say positive things like, ‘I love the sex we’re having.’ ‘It feels so amazing.’ ‘You are an amazing lover.’ And then you can say what you’re experiencing or wanting more of. ‘I’m finding that I want to explore more of what my own body’s capable of.’ Or, ‘I haven’t shared this with you, but it’s hard for me to reach climax and here’s what I think might be able to help me.’

Keeping the idea of inviting them in is beneficial for everyone. It’s truly about wanting to explore more with one another.

The Best Lubricants for Deeper Arousal and Pleasure

Every product is curated with care by our editors and we’ll always give an honest opinion, whether gifted or purchased ourselves. If you buy something through our links, we may earn a small commission at no cost to you.

This post was originally published on October 27th, 2022, and has since been updated.

Restless Nights? These 11 Products Will Give You the Best Sleep of Your Life

When I’m feeling nostalgic, I think back to the days when staying up late was a rite of passage. I resented my 7 o’clock bedtime and hoped against hope that my parents would let me stay up just a couple more hours. Even as a college student, all-nighters were the norm and forgoing sleep felt like the only way to have a social life. Well, needless to say that I, along with many of you, no longer want to function on too few hours of sleep. We’re big fans of sleep around here and will try almost anything to ensure we’re getting at least 8 hours a night. That’s why we’ve rounded up the best sleep products. Here’s hoping they help you get some restorative shut-eye, too.

Our evening routines are on lock. We shut the phone down a few hours before bedtime, keep the bedroom cool, and eat a light dinner. (And of course, wear our favorite breathable pajamas.) But what happens when your body or mind just won’t let you fall asleep? Thanks to a lot of testing (re: sleepless nights), I’ve got the answers. 13 to be exact.

Featured image from our interview with Remi Ishizuka by Michelle Nash.

Image by Michelle Nash

The Best Sleep Products for a Peaceful Slumber

From calm-inducing capsules to relaxing pillow mists and the most luxurious sleep mask you’ve ever slipped on, these are the tried-and-true products that’ll help us all ease into a peaceful slumber. As always, consult your physician if you have specific needs or questions! 

Fleur Marché Sleep, Plz Patches

If you want to feel calm and relaxed, stat, these patches are your answer. My partner and I tried them for the first time a few nights ago and we were floored by just how quickly we were whisked off to sleep. Not only that, but we woke up with energy levels we hadn’t felt in months (busy summer schedules will do that to you). Simply apply to your inner forearm and let the patches work their magic. Pro tip: these work great for long flights.

Equilibria Sleep Gummies

These (totally delish) cherry-flavored gummies are your ticket to a luxurious night’s sleep. It’s composed of 25mg full-spectrum hemp and 5mg hemp-derived compounds as well as our favorite sleep power players L-theanine and chamomile. I love taking this after a long day of running or being on my feet. These gummies also doesn’t have the terrible aftertaste that other edible sleep supplements leave behind.

Moon Juice Magnesi-Om

If powders and drinks are more your style, Moon Juice’s Magnesi-Om is a great alternative. With magnesium and L-theanine, this one also helps you wind down (body and mind) and tastes like a bedtime treat. 

Ritual BioSeries™ Melatonin

We know and love Ritual for its hero multivitamin. But now, alongside the releases of gut health, pre-natal, and skin-boosting supplements comes its take on melatonin—and we’re obsessed. It promotes a natural sleep-wake cycle by releasing a steady stream of melatonin through the night. And unlike other melatonin supplements, you won’t wake up feeling drowsy. This one is best for those who are highly stimulated throughout the day and need a hand in finding mental and physical calm.

Vitruvi Move Diffuser

Pour a few drops of your favorite lavender essential oil and prepare to drift off. The updated cordless version of the brand’s viral diffuser is a great way to level up your bedroom—and any room for that matter. If you want to get fancy, pair it with Vitruvi’s Nightcap diffuser blend. Featuring black pepper, blood orange, and ginger, it’s the trifecta of smoky-sweet, sleep-inducing scents.

OSEA x Parachute Sleep Time Bath Salts

If you’re a bath-before-bed type, look no further than these bath salts with lavender and essential oils to help relax your body. 

OSEA Vagus Nerve Pillow Mist

The vagus nerve is the longest cranial nerve in the body and activates the body’s relaxation response, while helping regulate stress. It’s a light and subtle scent that we like spraying on our linens just before crawling into bed. 

Lunya Washable Silk Sleep Eye Mask

Sometimes it really is the simplest things that work best. A few nights ago, I couldn’t fall asleep for the life of me. I was exhausted and nothing was working. Then I realized there was a bit of light creeping in from the moon, popped my sleep mask on, and fell asleep within minutes. This viral, silky eye mask is well worth the hype. Trust.

RE.VITYL Sleep Mist

A few spritzes of this sleep mist on my pillow at night make my bedroom feel like a luxe hotel experience. Featuring a soothing blend of organic lavender, rose, and chamomile essential oils, this mist is designed to promote melatonin release and ease your mind. Call it science or sleep magic—either way, you’ll soon be drifting off to dreamland.

Nodpod Weighted Eye Mask

If I need to nap off a headache or go to bed awash with anxiety, this weighted eye mask does just the trick. I love that the four weighted pods fit your unique facial structure, offering a soothing pressure that coaxes me toward a restful night’s sleep.

Kin Euphorics Dream Light

While that 8 p.m. glass of wine might make you feel drowsy, it actually disrupts your sleep mid-snooze—preventing you from waking up feeling totally restored. Consider this a better nightcap. With calming Reishi mushroom, sleep-promoting melatonin, and digestion-supporting botanicals, it’s a smoky-spicy sipper that’s perfect for ending the evening.

This post was originally published on March 17, 2022, and has since been updated.

Restless Nights? These 13 Products Will Give You the Best Sleep of Your Life

When I’m feeling nostalgic, I think back to the days when staying up late was a rite of passage. I resented my 7 o’clock bedtime and hoped against hope that my parents would let me stay up just a couple more hours. Even as a college student, all-nighters were the norm and forgoing sleep felt like the only way to have a social life. Well, needless to say that I, along with many of you, no longer want to function on too few hours of sleep. We’re big fans of sleep around here and will try almost anything to ensure we’re getting at least 8 hours a night. That’s why we’ve rounded up the best sleep products. Here’s hoping they help you get some restorative shut-eye, too.

Our evening routines are on lock. We shut the phone down a few hours before bedtime, keep the bedroom cool, and eat a light dinner. (And of course, wear our favorite breathable pajamas.) But what happens when your body or mind just won’t let you fall asleep? Thanks to a lot of testing (re: sleepless nights), I’ve got the answers. 13 to be exact.

Featured image from our interview with Remi Ishizuka by Michelle Nash.

Image by Michelle Nash

The Best Sleep Products for a Peaceful Slumber

From calm-inducing capsules to relaxing pillow mists and the most luxurious sleep mask you’ve ever slipped on, these are the tried-and-true products that’ll help us all ease into a peaceful slumber. As always, consult your physician if you have specific needs or questions! 

Fleur Marché Sleep, Plz Patches

If you want to feel calm and relaxed, stat, these patches are your answer. My partner and I tried them for the first time a few nights ago and we were floored by just how quickly we were whisked off to sleep. Not only that, but we woke up with energy levels we hadn’t felt in months (busy summer schedules will do that to you). Simply apply to your inner forearm and let the patches work their magic. Pro tip: these work great for long flights.

Equilibria Sleep Gummies

These (totally delish) cherry-flavored gummies are your ticket to a luxurious night’s sleep. It’s composed of 25mg full-spectrum hemp and 5mg hemp-derived compounds as well as our favorite sleep power players L-theanine and chamomile. I love taking this after a long day of running or being on my feet. These gummies also doesn’t have the terrible aftertaste that other edible sleep supplements leave behind.

Moon Juice Magnesi-Om

If powders and drinks are more your style, Moon Juice’s Magnesi-Om is a great alternative. With magnesium and L-theanine, this one also helps you wind down (body and mind) and tastes like a bedtime treat. 

Ritual BioSeries™ Melatonin

We know and love Ritual for its hero multivitamin. But now, alongside the releases of gut health, pre-natal, and skin-boosting supplements comes its take on melatonin—and we’re obsessed. It promotes a natural sleep-wake cycle by releasing a steady stream of melatonin through the night. And unlike other melatonin supplements, you won’t wake up feeling drowsy. This one is best for those who are highly stimulated throughout the day and need a hand in finding mental and physical calm.

Vitruvi Move Diffuser

Pour a few drops of your favorite lavender essential oil and prepare to drift off. The updated cordless version of the brand’s viral diffuser is a great way to level up your bedroom—and any room for that matter. If you want to get fancy, pair it with Vitruvi’s Nightcap diffuser blend. Featuring black pepper, blood orange, and ginger, it’s the trifecta of smoky-sweet, sleep-inducing scents.

OSEA x Parachute Sleep Time Bath Salts

If you’re a bath-before-bed type, look no further than these bath salts with lavender and essential oils to help relax your body. 

OSEA Vagus Nerve Pillow Mist

The vagus nerve is the longest cranial nerve in the body and activates the body’s relaxation response, while helping regulate stress. It’s a light and subtle scent that we like spraying on our linens just before crawling into bed. 

Lunya Washable Silk Sleep Eye Mask

Sometimes it really is the simplest things that work best. A few nights ago, I couldn’t fall asleep for the life of me. I was exhausted and nothing was working. Then I realized there was a bit of light creeping in from the moon, popped my sleep mask on, and fell asleep within minutes. This viral, silky eye mask is well worth the hype. Trust.

RE.VITYL Sleep Mist

A few spritzes of this sleep mist on my pillow at night make my bedroom feel like a luxe hotel experience. Featuring a soothing blend of organic lavender, rose, and chamomile essential oils, this mist is designed to promote melatonin release and ease your mind. Call it science or sleep magic—either way, you’ll soon be drifting off to dreamland.

Nodpod Weighted Eye Mask

If I need to nap off a headache or go to bed awash with anxiety, this weighted eye mask does just the trick. I love that the four weighted pods fit your unique facial structure, offering a soothing pressure that coaxes me toward a restful night’s sleep.

Kin Euphorics Dream Light

While that 8 p.m. glass of wine might make you feel drowsy, it actually disrupts your sleep mid-snooze—preventing you from waking up feeling totally restored. Consider this a better nightcap. With calming Reishi mushroom, sleep-promoting melatonin, and digestion-supporting botanicals, it’s a smoky-spicy sipper that’s perfect for ending the evening.

This post was originally published on March 17, 2022, and has since been updated.

How to Be More Spontaneous—and Why It Could Transform Your Life

I won’t lie—I never used to prioritize spontaneity in my life. (Truthfully, I was a little intimidated by the thought.) Instead, determined and organized, I planned every area of my life to a compulsive tee. But with therapy as my north star, I began to peel back the layers of the fears hiding behind my carefully thought-out routines. And while always knowing the next step can help you feel safe and secure, learning how to be more spontaneous can open up new possibilities and opportunities for a joyful, fulfilling life.

Of course, we love a good ritual. They ground us, center us, and help us welcome the world with curious eyes and an open heart. But like much in life, the energy we give to routines and shaking things up is a careful balance—one that creates space for everything we need. It’s true that spontaneity can be a catalyst for inspiration, innovation, and growth in our lives. And today, I’m taking you along the journey toward learning this key lesson of infusing spontaneity into your everyday life. Ahead, discover the tips and ideas to help you feel refreshed and reinvigorated each day

Featured image from our interview with Mary Ralph by Michelle Nash.

Image by Michelle Nash

Why Spontaneity Is Important

While change can be difficult, it’s also an inevitability of life. Even well into adulthood, every day sees us growing, shifting, and adopting new ways of being. Oftentimes, this happens because we—perhaps even unknowingly—put ourselves in the path of inspiration and influence. Think about it: What have been the most transformative experiences for you in the past couple of months? Did you visit an art exhibition that completely changed your aesthetic? Perhaps you said yes to a dinner invite that became a new job and career. Or maybe a new friend asked if you wanted to play pickle ball—and you’re now considering building a backyard court yourself.

Much of what happens to us in life is the result of surprising ourselves and learning to weave a healthy, consistent amount of spontaneity into our everyday. We meet new people, learn new things, and have new experiences because we trust ourselves enough to shake things up every so often.

Spontaneity isn’t something we simply chase after. Rather, it’s something we intentionally invite into our lives.

How to Balance a Spontaneous and Planned Life

Of course, just as we can’t spend every day planned out entirely, we also can’t move from one spontaneous activity to the next. Much of life is a dance between relying on our routines for support and sprinkling in spontaneous acts that keep us guessing and growing. Throughout all of it, it’s important to stay in touch with your feelings. Take stock and ask yourself the following:

  • What could I use more of in my life?
  • What parts of my routine feel most inspiring? What parts feel most draining?
  • How do I deal with change? Do I embrace it or shy away from it?
  • How do my habits support my growth? How do they hinder it?

By reflecting upon and thoughtfully responding to these questions, you can gain a clearer sense of what parts of your life and routines could use a bit of a shake-up. Remember: spontaneity isn’t something we simply chase after. Rather, it’s something we intentionally invite into our lives.

Image by Michelle Nash

How to Be More Spontaneous: 4 Tips That Will Change Your Life

Are you ready to learn how to be more spontaneous and start embracing a life of adventure and routines that support your growth? Ahead, discover five game-changing tips that will inspire you to be more creative with your time and trust the natural ebbs and flows of your life.

Embrace new activities

I was always that anxious kid who was scared to sign up for anything new. What if no one likes me on the baseball team? Will I have anyone to talk to at lacrosse practice? What if I make a fool of myself at play rehearsal? While it’s natural for children to experience these fears, we can’t pretend we don’t have these same anxieties as adults. But I’ve learned over the years, that the more I put myself out there, the more I practice that confidence muscle and prove to myself that everything will always work out. (Oftentimes, even better than I initially hoped.)

Trying new activities and hobbies has a beautiful way of changing our perspective and naturally shaking up our routine. What’s more, when you try something you’re genuinely curious about or interested in, chances are, you’ll connect with people who share your same interests. And if it’s social anxiety that’s keeping you from signing up, it’s true that when people do the same activities together, conversation simply flows. So join that knitting club, take up photography, or attend that lecture series. Trust, the reward will be worth the challenge.

Change up your environment

There’s a reason so many rom-coms involve a mid-movie montage of the protagonist frantically rearranging her entire apartment. It feels good and energizing to switch up our surroundings. What’s more, it’s a simple way to exercise our autonomy in our lives. We have the power to transform our work-from-home routines simply by moving our desk in front of the window. (Way more inspiring, tbh.) And we can improve our sleep by making our bedrooms a relaxing haven. Changing up your environment can inspire new ways of inhabiting your space and new behaviors that can lead to a more productive, happier life.

It’s possible to do this outside of the home as well. As much as I love being a regular at the coffee shop around the corner, try a new one further down the street. Maybe they make a chai you’ll obsess over, or perhaps a new friend is there now, reading your favorite book that you can’t help but gush over. My partner and I love visiting new neighborhoods in our city most weekends—shopping at new stores, trying new restaurants, and walking streets we’ve never been on before. You can do this with your commute, too. Even if it takes a little longer, get off the train at the stop before yours. Walk the rest of the way and notice how different the city looks by foot.

Little by little, the more we infuse change and novelty into our lives, the more we learn about ourselves, our cities, and the rhythms that make us feel our best. While change can invite discomfort, know that it can also lead you toward a richer, more vibrant life.

Image by Michelle Nash

Carve out free time in your day

As much as we swear by time-blocking to help us get sh*t done, it’s important to create space for unplanned pockets in your day. This challenges you to get creative in the moment, allowing you to connect with your intuition and spend your free time in a way that feels most authentic to you. When we leave time unplanned in our schedules, we have more opportunity to explore our instincts and get in touch with what they may signify. Perhaps you’ll discover that you love taking long walks in the evening, or the mid-morning is when you feel most creative and energized. With more freedom in our days, we can get curious and act upon our spur-of-the-moment ideas.

Be intentional with your “yes”

You’ve probably heard the expression: if it’s not a hell yes it’s a hell no. Well, it’s time to put it to practice. While some may say that learning how to be spontaneous means saying yes to everything, I’d disagree. Spontaneity requires a quality of intention, meaning that instead of randomly agreeing to something that entirely out of alignment with your wants and desires, pause to ask yourself if this opportunity will lead you to the sort of growth you desire. It’s okay to take your time with your decisions, and it being purposeful about your choices can even help you learn about yourself all the more.

Image by Michelle Nash

Final Thoughts

Many think that spontaneity is simply a trait that we’re born with—but like much in life, it’s a practice. We can orient ourselves toward more freedom and escape a repetitive cycle by consistently trying new things, shaking up our routines, connecting with different people, and creating more space for novelty in our days. Learning how to be more spontaneous can help you grow in ways you’ve never imagined and begin to get comfortable with the inevitable change that takes place throughout all of our lives. And truly, is there anything better than surprising yourself and experiencing something vastly different from how you imagined it? That’s the beauty of a little spontaneity.

What to Do With Your Life in October—40 Activities to Cross Off Your Bucket List

I like to think of September as a soft start to fall. When the first of the month hits, our cravings orient toward all things cozy: blankets, socks, warm drinks, and activities to help us make the most of the transition indoors. But October? She’s a full-on embrace of all that’s perfect about the season. The temps have officially cooled and we’re no longer drinking our PSLs iced—everything is about being as warm and as comfy as possible. So when it comes to things to do in October, buckle up. We have plenty of fall fun in store.

You can bet that pumpkins are in abundance—both throughout our homes and in everything we bake—and we’re all getting prepped for the spooky season to come. With the crisp mornings and vibrant leaves, we’re enjoying all that nature has to offer. But with school in full swing and the holidays right around the corner, October tends to fly by all too quickly. That’s why, with this list of things to do in October, our intention is to help you slow down, while still making the most of all the excitement and energy this month brings.

Featured image by Michelle Nash.

Image by Michelle Nash

40 Things to Do in October

This year, we want to slow down and relish in this month’s small joys without letting the season slip by. Ahead, we’re sharing our favorite things to do in October to help you live this month to the fullest. Grab your favorite sweater and a mug of something warm—things are about to get cozy.

1. Surprise a neighbor with some baked goods. Sweet treats are one of our favorite ways to let loved ones know we’re thinking of them. These pumpkin spice cookies are the ideal seasonal snack. Or, if you want to really treat someone, this pumpkin loaf cake boasts an out-of-this-world cream cheese frosting. And it couldn’t be easier.

    2. Visit your local farmer’s market and cook a seasonal dinner. Is there anything better than letting seasonal produce guide your way in the kitchen? Read up on everything that’s in season this fall and make a weekend morning out of shopping for all the fresh finds. When it’s time to cook, any one of these fall pasta recipes makes for the ultimate comfort meal. We also love this whole-roasted chicken. To make it seasonal, swap out the cherry tomatoes for diced sweet potatoes.

    3. Start a book club with your friends. Being cozy doesn’t have to be a solitary activity! Gather your girlfriends, make a fall grazing board, and start plowing through the most anticipated books this fall.

    4. Host a chili cook-off. This sweet potato and black bean chili is vegetarian-friendly and always our go-to. Invite friends to come over with their favorite chili recipe and taste-test to determine the best.

    5. Make s’mores at home. No campfire necessary! Follow our tips for making gourmet s’mores in the oven.

    6. Treat yourself to a cozy fall candle. Is there a better season for candles? We think not. Browse our favorite fall candles—from cedar and sandalwood to, of course, the perfect pumpkin-spiced jar.

    7. Do a fall skin reset. Prep your skin for the cooler weather ahead. You’re nine easy, but luxurious steps away from your best-ever fall skin.

    8. Transition your breakfast for fall. Ayurveda tells us to gravitate to grounding and warm dishes when the temps start to drop. I love a bowl of kitchari in the morning for a detoxifying boost or my favorite pumpkin spice oatmeal. And if you can’t let go of your smoothie obsession, this pumpkin spice number has your name on it.

    9. Go for a fall hike with friends. While I love hiking in the summertime, there’s nothing better than putting on a few light layers and venturing out with friends to look at all the pretty fall leaves. Pick a weekend morning to hit the trail early, and convene at the end for a few fall treats.

    10. Go apple picking and whip up a batch of apple cider. Is there anything more fall than going apple picking? Depending on where you live, you’ll want to prioritize this at the start of the month, as apple season usually falls between mid-September and early October. Once you have all your apples gathered, whip up some homemade apple cider in the slow cooker or on the stovetop. Your entire house will smell amazing.

    Image by Michelle Nash

    11. Deck out your front porch with fall decor. Clearly, we’re fans of piling on the pumpkins when it comes to upping our curb appeal this time of year. But you can add large outdoor hurricane lanterns to round out the seasonal moment.

    12. Spend a weekend away at a cabin in the woods. It’s the most magical way to soak up the fall foliage. Find a cabin on Airbnb or book through sites like Getaway, where you can find tiny cabins just a few hours’ drive from most cities in the country.

    13. Switch up your phone and computer backgrounds. Browse Pinterest for a background that resonates and reminds you of all you want to cultivate this season. Or, create a vision board on Canva to represent your goals.

    14. Go antique shopping. And support some great small businesses in the process. Make a morning out of getting a fall beverage with friends and walking around town to visit the best antique shops in your area. The best part? You always end up with something unexpected, but absolutely perfect.

    15. Train for a 5K. Even if you don’t have aspirations of being a marathon runner, you can still get outside and enjoy a faster pace than usual. Train with a friend or your partner and sign up for a local 5K. Apps like Nike Run Club and Couch to 5k are excellent ways to find support throughout the journey.

    16. Make the best pumpkin bread ever. We found the winner.

    17. Cozy up your house with some new fall throws. Target has plenty of faves and we’re obsessed with this cotton oversized throw from Pom Pom at home.

    18. DIY an incredible Halloween costume. We have all the Halloween costume inspiration you could ever need.

    19. Shake up your pumpkin decorating skills. Sure, it’s fun to carve pumpkins, but we love adding a creative spin with a little paint, feathers, florals—anything! Try one or more of these no-carve pumpkin decorating ideas.

    20. Have a fall movie marathon. From the classics to comedy and everything in between, these are the best movies to stream this fall.

    Image by Michelle Nash

    21. Invest in a cozy fall wardrobe. When it comes to fall dressing, this season is all about the staples. Sweaters, trench coats, and the perfect boots—our editors share their fall-dressing faves.

    22. Plan the perfect fall date. As we’ve said, ’tis the season for getting cozy. And there’s no one we want to do that with more than our S.O. Try one of these cute and cozy fall date ideas to make the most of the season together.

    23. Have a fall picnic. PSA: picnic season extends past summer! Put together a moveable feast (we love a good charcuterie board tailored to the season) and pour some hot cocoa or cider into a thermos. Easy and effortless—as all the best meals are.

    24. Invite friends over for a bonfire. In addition to a fall picnic, bonfires are one of our favorite ways to gather with friends during the fall. Make it a potluck, supply some warm drinks, and make s’mores together at the end.

    25. Decorate your front porch with mums. Alongside pumpkins, mums are the ultimate representation of fall. Gather a few from a nursery or even the supermarket (they’re usually lined up out front this time of year), and let them add a nice colorful touch to your outdoor entryway.

    26. Tailgate a football game. Be it high school, college, or a professional game, I’m of the opinion that tailgating is the best part of any football showdown. Coordinate dishes with friends, bundle up in sweaters and blankets, and root for the home team!

    27. Take up a knitting or crochet project. Besides reading, knitting and crocheting are my favorite fall activities. Pick up some tips on YouTube or purchase a beginner’s kit complete with everything you need to teach yourself. Alternatively, local yarn shops almost always offer classes and knitting circles so you can learn from the pros.

    28. Visit a winery. Spend a Saturday afternoon winery hopping with friends. It’s a perfect way to take in the scenery and get caught up over a couple of glasses.

    29. Spend an entire morning reading. While I love reading, it seems that the only time I have for it during the week is before bed. And even then, I make it a few pages in and my eyes begin shutting on themselves. Dedicated a Saturday or Sunday morning entirely to reading. Cozy up on the couch with a blanket and a cup of tea and prepare to get lost in a new read.

    30. Make a fall playlist. There are some songs that perfectly evoke the fall. For me, that’s anything Gregory Alan Isakov, Andrew Bird, and Fleet Foxes. Pick your favorite fall songs and create a playlist complete with all of them. Press play whenever you want to immediately feel cozy.

    Image by Michelle Nash

    31. Re-watch Gilmore Girls, from start to finish. Gilmore Girls, undeniably, is the perfect fall show. Start from the very beginning and enjoy it season-to-season, all the way through.

    32. Find the best apple cider doughnuts in town. More and more, apple cider doughnuts seem to be making their way out of New England and all across the country. Pick up a bag of these delicious doughnuts from your town’s market, or if you’re lucky, you’ll find someone making them fresh at a local orchard or farm stand.

    33. Celebrate soup Sunday. If you haven’t heard, we’re hosting Soup Sunday over on Instagram. Join us every weekend to make our favorite Camille Styles soup recipes and to get cozy as a community.

    34. Have a weekly walking date. One of my girlfriends and I meet up every week to walk around our neighborhood. It’s the perfect way to get caught up on each other’s lives and to share the goings-on of our weeks. Plus, is walking not the most perfect form of exercise?

    35. Buy or DIY a fall wreath for your front door. We love this minimalist fall wreath DIY that completely refreshes your front door. Or, browse online for the perfect topper to your front porch fall decor.

    36. Carve a pumpkin and toast the seeds. Make a night out of pumpkin carving and save the seeds to toast in the oven. We love these easy recipes for toasted pumpkin seeds, three ways to satisfy every fall craving.

    37. Make a fall-scented simmer pot. It’s the easiest way to naturally scent your home. Gather cinnamon sticks, sliced apples, cloves—anything you want to waft through your home. Browse these 11 simmer pot ideas for inspiration.

    38. Do a puzzle with your partner, family, or roommates. Gather everyone in the house for an evening of puzzling. Could this autumn puzzle be any more perfect for the occasion? Break out the fall snacks (courtesy of Trader Joe’s, of course) and enjoy a cozy Octobernight with a few mugs of something warm.

    39. Start planning your holiday cards. While we love being in the moment and soaking up all the things to do in October, this is the perfect time to start planning your holiday cards. Find a date for taking pictures, purchase your stationary, and make a note of everyone’s address you’ll be sending cards to this year.

    40. Make caramel apples. While October is full of sweet treats, I have to say: caramel apples reign supreme. And luckily, it couldn’t be easier to make them. Try this three-ingredient “recipe” for caramel apples and spend an afternoon with the kiddos decorating to your heart’s content.

    This post was originally published on October 2, 2020, and has since been updated.