In need of a little mood lift this week? Browse through my latest list of favorite things and enjoy, chill out, be inspired, or just escape from the persistent rain of depressing news.
This list should be read while munching on arugula salad with manchego, apples, and caramelized walnuts.
- Ten Most Relaxing Songs Ever
Feeling an overwhelming desire to relax? An article in Inc.com by Melanie Curtin describes neuroscience research on songs that produce the greatest state of relaxation. Weightless, one of the songs tested, reduced study participants’ overall anxiety by 65 percent. Curtin created a public playlist of the songs on Spotify.
On the other side of the music spectrum, there’s RockMyRun, a smartphone music app that is anything but relaxing – but in a good way. The app is DJ curated and tested with and by athletes to provide tunes that increases your exercise enjoyment and performance. There are thousands of music mixes to choose from. The ROCKSTAR Premium Membership is ad-free and allows you to save stations and personalize the music to your heart rate, steps, or personal preference.
This is my go-to music app at the gym.
- The Bitch in the House: 26 Women Tell the Truth About Sex, Solitude, Work, Motherhood, and Marriage, Cathi Hanauer (ed)
How did I not know about this book? This collection of essays describing the modern woman’s struggles with relationships, sex, marriage, parenting, and career is beautifully written, searingly honest, and intensely personal. I was struck by the incredible variety of experiences women have. As editor Cathi Hanauer says of the authors, “Their pieces reflect, in a chorus of different voices, the elations and disappointments of our lives as fervent and ambitious women today.”
- The Bitch is Back: Older, Wiser, and (Getting) Happier, Cathi Hanauer (ed)
I read the first Bitch book right after the sequel was published so I didn’t have to wait 10 years to find out what happened to nine of the original writers. These writers, plus 16 new contributors, offer their thoughts on love, sex, work, family, independence, aging, body image, and health. “It’s a book about choices – specifically the choices today’s bold, deep-thinking, impassioned women make as they approach and pass through midlife—and about what we might gain, and give up, with each choice, “ writes Hanauer.
If you’re a jazz fan, you may know this album inside out. Often described as a masterpiece, and one of the top jazz albums of all time, the music matches my mood lately. If you’ve never heard it, you’re in for a treat. See: NPR’s Jazz Profiles.
I’ve been talking about Meetups since day one of this blog. This website and app geared to bringing people together over common interests continues to be a favorite of mine. Meetups are a great way to make friends, experience something new, or just have a good time. I have joined so many Meetups that on any given day when I don’t have specific plans, I can search on the site or app and usually find something to do. It’s not a small enterprise: 28.46 million members in 179 countries.
I first learned of Eventbrite years ago when I received a party invitation from a friend. She used the free event-planning site/app to send out invitations and manage RSVPS.
What I didn’t realize initially is that a number of organizations post their events on Eventbrite for publicity purposes (and in some cases ticket sales). The Eventbrite service is free to use if you are hosting or sponsoring a free event.
From a consumer’s perspective, Eventbrite is a great resource for things to do. You can search activities by category, location, date, and price. Diversions include concerts, festivals, seminars, sports events, wine tastings, and singles parties. In addition to events in the U.S., 16 countries are represented. If you’re travelling, check out what’s happening during your trip.
This portable power bank saved me on a recent trip to Europe. If you’re out sightseeing all day, you don’t want to stop the fun to charge your phone or tablet. It’s also useful when you’re out and about in your hometown – or just hiking in the woods for the day. This model is not the lightest power bank you can buy, but it packs a wallop of charge. Check it out!
Being Erica is my new favorite binge-worthy show. Erica is a young woman who feels like her life is a failure due to poor choices she has made in the past. She starts seeing a therapist to deal with her regrets. The twist? The therapist has the ability to send her back in time to relive and, in some cases, change crucial events. This four season CBC series ended in 2011. However, it seems very timely – even edgy.
I recommend it – especially if you enjoy stories about time travel. Being Erica is available on Hulu.
Watching, a new TV and film website from the New York Times, provides recommendations on what to watch across streaming services.
It’s free to subscribers and to those who register with the Times (also free). Check off what you’re in the mood for and the site spits back some recommendations. I did this and found Being Erica (see #9).
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Until next week, happy dating or not dating.