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Jewel makes waves in mental health field with album release 'The Portal' and new company

"It started with me just sort of dropping to my knees at 40 and saying, 'I just don't know how to move forward.'"

 mental health; Jewel; the portal; meditation; affordable mental health care; mental health stigma; mental health access
Photo by Brendan Walter via Shorefire Press Release

Jewel makes waves in mental health field with 'The Portal'

Mental health is something that is just recently starting to be understood in a different light. In previous years you'd hear the term mental health and think about all the negative stereotypes that came along with it. But as people learn more and become more open about their own mental health challenges, public perception is shifting to a more compassionate response.

One person who is no stranger to compassion is the 90s icon, Jewel. When she first stubbled on the scene in the mid 90s she had no intention on becoming a music superstar with music that continues to encourage millions to be compassionate, kind humans. Recently Jewel spoke with Upworthy about the impact her music makes on people and her many projects, including the imprint she's leaving on the mental health field.


"My fans calling themselves the Every Day Angels, was just this movement in my fanbase of like how can they answer miracles for other people. Not miracles, maybe that's not the right word but answer prayers or just help basically. That it doesn't take some huge heroic nonprofit. It's just about being kind and paying attention to what your community needs," Jewel said in an interview with Upworthy.

Photo courtesy of Shorefire

Paying attention to community needs is exactly what Jewel has been doing when she's not busy writing soul touching music, singing, creating art or hangin out with her son Kase. The Grammy nominated singer has been quietly working on an immersive art exhibit that was recently unveiled at Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art.

The exhibit aptly titled "The Portal" transcends viewers into a world that melds together art, mental health and technology in a way that sort of forces you to slow down to absorb what's around you. Each piece created has a special meaning to the artist and tells a journey of her own healing as she moved through the healing process after her divorce from rodeo cowboy Ty Murray.

"The journey of my healing the last 10 years was sort of everything I put into that art experience. It started with me just sort of dropping to my knees at 40 and saying, 'I just don't know how to move forward. I need to learn a new way,' and asking for help. For me that's what the hologram represents. It's sort of the answer to that prayer," Jewel reveals.

Photo courtesy of Shorefire

The EP, which carries the same title as the exhibit, essentially brings that part of the exhibit into public view. It's a unique mix of guided meditation and music that coincides with a drone powered light show at Crystal Bridges. But with the EP released to the public, people can experience the beautiful amalgamation in the comfort of their own homes.

It takes the sounds of real life and places them in the background as Jewel guides you through meditation. The slow beating of a heart is palpable forcing your nervous system to slow down as she moves you through letting go of the troubles of the day before heading into an upbeat song.

"The meditation at the beginning with the heartbeat, there's no light show during that. That's just a two minute audio meditation that works with people's nervous systems. I chose a heart rate that's probably slower than more peoples are at," Jewel tells Upworthy. "When we hear a heartbeat and we hear a heartbeat rate our own physiology because of mirror neurons, your physiology starts to respond."

Photo courtesy of Shorefire

The singer tells Upworthy that her goal with the drone show coupled with the guided meditation was to create the posture of awe. It's the posture people take when they see something awe inspiring, she descries it as when someone looks up with their mouth agape taking in something beautiful. Jewel says this awe posture is something that she witnessed during the eclipse as New Yorkers stopped to see the moon pass in front of the sun.

But the art exhibit is hardly the only thing Jewel is currently working on. The multi-platinum artist is co-headlining a tour with Melissa Etheridge and has co-founded a new mental health platform called Innerworld.

Innerworld is bridging the gap in mental health care through its virtual platform. Jewel cofounded the company with Noah Robinson who is also the CEO of the platform that integrates technology with mental health to provide affordable and accessible mental health options for people who may be lacking accesses or need additional supports.

Innerworld allows users to access the platform via virtual reality headsets, which serves a deeper purpose according to Robinson.

"My realization that I was gay at the age of 13 led me into a deep depression and I escaped by living in an online virtual world as an anonymous avatar for over 10,000 hours. I found a community that saved my life and gave me the courage to come out of the closet.

My experience led me to wonder: instead of designing virtual worlds like casinos to trap people with hits of dopamine, what if psychologists could build a mental health app to help people come back to reality more empowered than they left it? That’s why we created Innerworld: to translate scientifically validated mental health tools into a 24/7 community where everyone can get the help they need."

Photo by Dana Trippe via Shorefire Press Release

The mental health platform created by Robinson and Jewel has different tiers starting at free and currently capping out at $120 a month. Each tier provides users with different levels of support with the highest tier giving users access to licensed mental health professionals along with everything else that's available in the lower tiers. Affordability and accessibility were both crucial to the singer.

"We knew we wanted to create a mental health intervention platform that was based in science, that was tracking clinical outcomes. We are a clinical research platform and we knew we wanted to do something that scaled and something that was affordable," Jewel says. "For us it was coming up with something that could meet everybody's needs but still being very affordable."

Listen to "The Portal" below:

So, if you're keeping up, Jewel has been painting, sculpting, mothering, writing, singing, preparing for a tour, and creating a virtual mental health platform. But she isn't one to make it seem like she's able to do it all without help from others. The singer was very clear that she relies on her village to help her and sometimes she has to chose what is more important to her in that moment, which may be refreshing for other working moms to hear.

All these ripples of kindness and empathy coming from the singer isn't the least bit surprising. Here's hoping that these ripples turn into waves of change in the world of mental health accessibility and the embracing of preventative mental health measures through meditation, art and other forms of healing.

Sponsored

3 organic recipes that feed a family of 4 for under $7 a serving

O Organics is the rare brand that provides high-quality food at affordable prices.

A woman cooking up a nice pot of pasta.

Over the past few years, rising supermarket prices have forced many families to make compromises on ingredient quality when shopping for meals. A recent study published by Supermarket News found that 41% of families with children were more likely to switch to lower-quality groceries to deal with inflation.

By comparison, 29% of people without children have switched to lower-quality groceries to cope with rising prices.

Despite the current rising costs of groceries, O Organics has enabled families to consistently enjoy high-quality, organic meals at affordable prices for nearly two decades. With a focus on great taste and health, O Organics offers an extensive range of options for budget-conscious consumers.

O Organics launched in 2005 with 150 USDA Certified Organic products but now offers over 1,500 items, from organic fresh fruits and vegetables to organic dairy and meats, organic cage-free certified eggs, organic snacks, organic baby food and more. This gives families the ability to make a broader range of recipes featuring organic ingredients than ever before.


“We believe every customer should have access to affordable, organic options that support healthy lifestyles and diverse shopping preferences,” shared Jennifer Saenz, EVP and Chief Merchandising Officer at Albertsons, one of many stores where you can find O Organics products. “Over the years, we have made organic foods more accessible by expanding O Organics to every aisle across our stores, making it possible for health and budget-conscious families to incorporate organic food into every meal.”

With some help from our friends at O Organics, Upworthy looked at the vast array of products available at our local store and created some tasty, affordable and healthy meals.

Here are 3 meals for a family of 4 that cost $7 and under, per serving. (Note: prices may vary by location and are calculated before sales tax.)

O Organic’s Tacos and Refried Beans ($6.41 Per Serving)

Few dishes can make a family rush to the dinner table quite like tacos. Here’s a healthy and affordable way to spice up your family’s Taco Tuesdays.

Prep time: 2 minutes

Cook time: 20 minutes

Total time: 22 minutes

Ingredients:

1 lb of O Organics Grass Fed Ground Beef ($7.99)

1 packet O Organics Taco Seasoning ($2.29)

O Organics Mexican-Style Cheese Blend Cheese ($4.79)

O Organics Chunky Salsa ($3.99)

O Organics Taco Shells ($4.29)

1 can of O Organics Refried Beans ($2.29)

Instructions:

1. Cook the ground beef in a skillet over medium heat until thoroughly browned; remove any excess grease.

2. Add 1 packet of taco seasoning to beef along with water [and cook as directed].

3. Add taco meat to the shell, top with cheese and salsa as desired.

4. Heat refried beans in a saucepan until cooked through, serve alongside tacos, top with cheese.

tacos, o organics, family recipesO Organics Mexican-style blend cheese.via O Organics

O Organics Hamburger Stew ($4.53 Per Serving)

Busy parents will love this recipe that allows them to prep in the morning and then serve a delicious, slow-cooked stew after work.

Prep time: 15 minutes

Cook time: 7 hours

Total time: 7 hours 15 minutes

Servings: 4

Ingredients:

1 lb of O Organics Grass Fed Ground Beef ($7.99)

1 ½ lbs O Organics Gold Potatoes ($4.49)

3 O Organics Carrots ($2.89)

1 tsp onion powder

I can O Organics Tomato Paste ($1.25)

2 cups water

1 yellow onion diced ($1.00)

1 clove garlic ($.50)

1 tsp salt

1/4 tsp pepper

2 tsp Italian seasoning or oregano

Instructions:

1. Cook the ground beef in a skillet over medium heat until thoroughly browned; remove any excess grease.

2. Transfer the cooked beef to a slow cooker with the potatoes, onions, carrots and garlic.

3. Mix the tomato paste, water, salt, pepper, onion powder and Italian seasoning in a separate bowl.

4. Drizzle the mixed sauce over the ingredients in the slow cooker and mix thoroughly.

5. Cover the slow cooker with its lid and set it on low for 7 to 8 hours, or until the potatoes are soft. Dish out into bowls and enjoy!

potatoes, o organics, hamburger stewO Organics baby gold potatoes.via O Organics


O Organics Ground Beef and Pasta Skillet ($4.32 Per Serving)

This one-pan dish is for all Italian lovers who are looking for a saucy, cheesy, and full-flavored comfort dish that takes less than 30 minutes to prepare.

Prep time: 2 minutes

Cook time: 25 minutes

Total time: 27 minutes

Servings: 4

Ingredients:

1 lb of O Organics Grass Fed Ground Beef ($7.99)

1 tbsp. olive oil

2 tsp dried basil

1 tsp garlic powder

1 can O Organics Diced Tomatoes ($2.00)

1 can O Organics Tomato Sauce ($2.29)

1 tbsp O Organics Tomato Paste ($1.25)

2 1/4 cups water

2 cups O Organics Rotini Pasta ($3.29)

1 cup O Organics Mozzarella cheese ($4.79)

Instructions:

1. Brown ground beef in a skillet, breaking it up as it cooks.

2. Sprinkle with salt, pepper and garlic powder

3. Add tomato paste, sauce and diced tomatoes to the skillet. Stir in water and bring to a light boil.

4. Add pasta to the skillet, ensuring it is well coated. Cover and cook for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

5. Remove the lid, sprinkle with cheese and allow it to cool.

o organics, tomato basil pasta sauce, olive oilO Organics tomato basil pasta sauce and extra virgin olive oil.via O Organics

Science

Americans see gardening changes as 'plant hardiness zones' shift across half the U.S.

Here's a quick tool to find out if your zone has changed due to warmer temperatures.

Photo by Jonathan Kemper on Unsplash, Map by USDA-ARS and Oregon State University (Public Domain)

The USDA has issued a new Plant Hardiness Zone Map

Millions of American households have a garden of some sort, whether they grow vegetables, fruits flowers or other plants. Gardening has always been a popular hobby, but more Americans turned to tending plants during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic for both stress relief and to grow their own food so they could make less trips to the store. For many people, it's a seasonal ritual that's therapeutic and rewarding.

But a shift is occurring in the gardening world. Now, due to rising temperature data, half the country find themselves in a different "plant hardiness zone"—the zones that indicate what plants work well in an area and when to plant them. Gardeners rely on knowing their hardiness zone to determine what to plant and when, but they haven't been updated since 2012.


The U.S. Department of Agriculture updated its Plant Hardiness Zone Map in late 2023, months before people in most of the country start planning their planting. We saw the 10 hottest summers ever recorded in 174 years of climate data between 2014 and 2023, but hardiness zones are actually determined by the coldest winter temperatures each year. Winters are warming at an even faster pace than summers, according to nonpartisan research and communications group Climate Central, but that may or may not be the entire reason behind the zone changes.

The USDA acknowledges that some of the zone shifts could be due to climate change but cautions against using them as hard evidence for it since factors such as improved data collection also contribute to changes in the map.

people planting flowers

Gardening can be a solo or community endeavor.

Photo by Kenny Eliason on Unsplash

"Temperature updates to plant hardiness zones are not necessarily reflective of global climate change because of the highly variable nature of the extreme minimum temperature of the year, as well as the use of increasingly sophisticated mapping methods and the inclusion of data from more weather stations," the USDA wrote in November 2023. "Consequently, map developers involved in the project cautioned against attributing temperature updates made to some zones as reliable and accurate indicators of global climate change (which is usually based on trends in overall average temperatures recorded over long time periods)."

At the same time, Chris Daly, director of the PRISM Climate Group at Oregon State University that developed the map with the USDA, told NPR, "Over the long run, we will expect to see a slow shifting northward of zones as climate change takes hold."

As an example of zone shifting, Dallas, Texas, was classified as Zone 8a in 2012, when data showed the coldest winter temperature in the city was between 10 and 15 degrees Fahrenheit on average. In 2023, with data showing the coldest winter temps falling between 15 and 20 degrees Fahrenheit, it's been shifted to Zone 8b.

Some zone shifts resulted in moving to an entirely new zone number, such as Seattle shifting from Zone 8b to Zone 9a. The overall trend was for zones to be pushed northward, but not all areas saw a shift. NPR has a helpful tool here in which you can enter your zip code, see what zone your city was previously in, what zone it's in now, and the temperature changes that caused the shift.

The bottom line is if you have a gardening book with a hardiness zones map printed before 2024, it's time for an updated map. Or check online to see what zone you fall in now to give your garden the best chance of thriving this year.

Images provided by P&G

Three winners will be selected to receive $1000 donated to the charity of their choice.

True

Doing good is its own reward, but sometimes recognizing these acts of kindness helps bring even more good into the world. That’s why we’re excited to partner with P&G again on the #ActsOfGood Awards.

The #ActsOfGood Awards recognize individuals who actively support their communities. It could be a rockstar volunteer, an amazing community leader, or someone who shows up for others in special ways.

Do you know someone in your community doing #ActsOfGood? Nominate them between April 24th-June 3rdhere.Three winners will receive $1,000 dedicated to the charity of their choice, plus their story will be highlighted on Upworthy’s social channels. And yes, it’s totally fine to nominate yourself!

We want to see the good work you’re doing and most of all, we want to help you make a difference.

While every good deed is meaningful, winners will be selected based on how well they reflect Upworthy and P&G’s commitment to do #ActsOfGood to help communities grow.

That means be on the lookout for individuals who:

Strengthen their community

Make a tangible and unique impact

Go above and beyond day-to-day work

The #ActsOfGood Awards are just one part of P&G’s larger mission to help communities around the world to grow. For generations, P&G has been a force for growth—making everyday products that people love and trust—while also being a force for good by giving back to the communities where we live, work, and serve consumers. This includes serving over 90,000 people affected by emergencies and disasters through the Tide Loads of Hope mobile laundry program and helping some of the millions of girls who miss school due to a lack of access to period products through the Always #EndPeriodPoverty initiative.

Visit upworthy.com/actsofgood and fill out the nomination form for a chance for you or someone you know to win. It takes less than ten minutes to help someone make an even bigger impact.

Family

Jennifer Garner crying at her kid's graduation is making other parents feel so seen

"Tell me you have a graduate without telling me you have a graduate."

@jennifer.garner/TikTok

Jennifer Garner crying is all of us crying.

Some parenting milestones are more bittersweet than others. With high school graduations, there’s the pride and joy with watching your child walk down the aisle, but also the profound and multi-layered sense of loss that comes as they enter adulthood.

And with such complex and conflicting emotions raging inside, for many moms and dads it all comes out through profuse tears.

Apparently, Jennifer Garner is no exception.

The beloved “Alias” actress recently celebrated the graduation of one of her three children (not specified), and posted a carousel onto her Instagram featuring several teary eyed images, along with the caption “Tell me you have a graduate without telling me you have a graduate. 🎓 (bless our hearts 🥺♥️🤣).”

There’s even a clip of her on a plane asking “How are we going to make it? What are we going to do?”

Garner’s post generated lots of commiseration from fellow parents—both fans and other celebs—who had been exactly where she is now.

"Oh honey ... I know. 😢 ❤️ You have done a great job , mama! I will be here for support and lots of hugs," Reese Witherspoon wrote.

“My daughter walked across the stage and stopped. Looked for me and said HI MOM! Massive tear shedding!,” someone else added.

A third said, "I feel seeen!!! My baby boy is graduating I can’t!!!! 🎓🎓🎓😭😭. I feel you mama!!! He’s our first too and no one prepares you for this! We are so proud of our boy and I know you are too of your baby girl! So many emotions."

Others offered encouragement that the pain is only temporary.

"You know it really does get better. Seeing them adult is a really cool thing too. I can’t say I don’t miss a full house, but it’s fun to watch them navigate life in their own way,” one person wrote.

"Just think about all the fun she has ahead- you got this mama!" wrote another.

Though nothing can fully take away the inevitable pain that comes from this important chapter in a parent’s life, there are several ways to cope with it all.

Experts seem to agree that simply accepting there will be a mix of joy and sadness is an important part of the process, as well as keeping busy while pursuing other interests or rekindling the relationship with your spouse outside of shared parental roles. There’s also nothing wrong with seeking outside professional help to make the transition a bit smoother.

All in all, may this story be a reminder for parents to allow themselves to feel those feelings. Grief is just love persevering, after all.

Joy

Terrified, emaciated dog comes to life as volunteer sits with him for human connection

He tries making himself so small in the kennel until he realizes he's safe.

Terrified dog transforms after human sits with him.

There's something about dogs that makes people just want to cuddle them. They have some of the sweetest faces with big curious eyes that make them almost look cartoonish at times. But not all dogs get humans that want to snuggle up with them on cold nights; some dogs are neglected or abandoned. That's where animal shelters come in, and they work diligently to take care of any medical needs and find these animals loving homes.

Volunteers are essential to animal shelters running effectively to fill in the gaps employees may not have time for. Rocky Kanaka has been volunteering to sit with dogs to provide comfort. Recently he uploaded a video of an extremely emaciated Vizsla mix that was doing his best to make himself as small as possible in the corner of the kennel.

Kanaka immediately wanted to help him adjust so he would feel comfortable enough to eat and eventually get adopted. The dog appeared scared of his new location and had actually rubbed his nose raw from anxiety, but everything changed when Kanaka came along.


The volunteer slowly entered the kennel with the terrified dog, crouching on his knees for an easy escape if needed. But the dog attempted to essentially become invisible by avoiding eye contact and staying curled in a tiny ball. It seemed like it was going to take a long time for this nervous pup to warm up.

Before long, he's offered a treat. Success! The brown dog takes the treat, and as minutes pass you can see his body slowly relax, eventually coming to sit directly next to Kanaka for pets. In the few minutes of the video, you see such an amazing transformation that proves this little guy just needed some love.

"It was so cute when he started wagging his tail. You could tell his whole demeanor just changed, and he was happy. Just a few kind words and a little attention. That’s all animals need. Well, besides food. Lol," one commenter says.

"That moment when he starts to realize he's actually safe. That gradual tail wag, and the ears perking, the eyes lighting up. You don't have to be an expert to show an animal love and respect," another writes.

"After that first treat his entire demeanor changed. He went from not trusting you to thinking you may be kind and he could feel less stressed. That was really amazing to see," someone gushes.

This sweet scared dog just needed human connection by someone taking the time to sit with him to know he was safe. Once he was sure the shelter was a safe place, the dog even welcomed those who came to visit him after seeing the video.

"I went to the shelter today to visit 'Bear'! Everyone would be thrilled to hear that he seems very happy and energetic! He has a little red squeaky bone toy that he loves. He licked my hand immediately and rubbed his head on my legs and arms, eager for affection. What a sweetheart," a commenter writes.

Thanks to Kanaka's sweet gesture, the dog, now named Shadow Moon, was adopted and is now living his best life with his new human dad and husky brother. You can follow Shadow Moon's journey on his Instagram page.


This article originally appeared on 12.1.23

Millennials and Gen Z ditch top sheet to the dismay of Boomers


Once again the youngins are flabbergasting the older generations with their disregard of things they deem unnecessary. There's always something that gets dropped or altered generation to generation. We learn better ways or technology makes certain things obsolete. But it doesn't matter how far we've come, our beds still need sheets to cover the mattress.

The debate is on the use of top sheets, also known as flat sheets. They're the sheets that keep your body from touching the comforter, most Gen X and Boomers are firmly for the use of top sheets as a hygiene practice. The idea being that the top sheet keeps your dead skin cells and body oils from dirtying your comforter, causing you to have to wash it more often.

Apparently Millennials and Gen Zers are uninterested in using a top sheet while sleeping. In fact, they'd rather just get a duvet cover, though they may be cumbersome. A duvet cover can be washed fairly frequently, while some may opt for a cheeper comforter that they don't care is washed often because their distain for a top sheet is that strong.


But why on earth do Millennials and Gen Zers hate top sheets? It turns out it's mostly about practicality. Many Millennials are on the move holding a full time job and a side hustle or two to make ends meet, adding and extra step when making the bed seems unnecessary.

“For a younger demographic, eliminating that step when making the bed in the morning really gives you a jump start on the day," Ariel Kay, CEO of Parachute tells Wall Street Journal.

Parachute is a company that offers bedding sets sans top sheets for folks that just don't like them and boy has Kay heard everyone's unsolicited opinions on the matter. She told WSJ that people will stop her on the street to get into debates about the importance or unimportance of top sheets. Yikes.

In a since deleted tweet, @JesseLynnHarte writes, "People say millennials “killed” chain restaurants, marriage, & napkins... But WHEN will they acknowledge our greatest take-down yet?? TOP SHEETS. I don’t know a single millennial who uses one. Top sheets are archaic. This is just the truth."

It would seem that Millennials and Gen Z would much rather wash their duvet covers weekly than to add a flat sheet into the mix. One big complaint about the flat sheet that adds another con to the list is they get bunched up or tangled around your legs if you're a restless sleeper. Not everyone likes hotel tucked corners on their sheets because it can feel confining.

But if you run hot, Boomers and Gen Xers have got the thing for you–a top sheet. It would seem that that thin piece of material that irritates some people can act as a sort of temperature control according to USA Today. Even if you don't tend to need the cooling effect of a top sheet, what Mary Johnson, Tide Principal Scientist at Procter & Gamble has to say in a USA Today follow up article, just may make you rethink ditching the top sheet.

Simply by existing, "people produce one liter of sweat, 40 grams of sebum, 10 grams of salt, and 2 billion skin cells. All that stuff that happens below the waist [and] up by your head—skincare products, hair care products, ear wax, snot, drool, lots of really gross stuff—is transferred to your sheets," Johnson tells the outlet.

So whether you're team top sheet or not, it may be a good idea to at least wash whatever you use to cover your bed at least once a week.


This article originally appeared on 3.19.24

A beer, a gender reveal party and a child's birthday party.

Recently, there was a great conversation on Reddit that falls under the category of “things people think but never say out loud.” The question, posed by a user named Truth-andLogic was: "What’s an activity you are sure that most people only pretend they like? The prompt inspired people to share and discuss the social engagements we are forced to attend to get ahead in our careers, keep our families happy, or be polite, but we don’t really enjoy.

For many, the thread was cathartic by creating an honest and funny discussion about the moments when we often suffer in silence.

The conversation also delved into activities that many of us engage in to present a certain image, such as posting on social media, networking, or publicly embracing hustle culture. These activities, often driven by pressure form others, can feel cringey because they give off a “look at me” vibe.


Here are 15 activities that, according to people in the AskReddit forum, people only “pretend to like.”

1. LinkedIn

"I'm thrilled to announce that im better than you!" — Cardwizard88

"It’s a humble bragging contest." — Freesgova

2. Hanging out with the parents of your child's friend

"Correct. Did it a lot. Kids all grown up now. Do I still see these people? Heck no." — DustyMartinsdad

3. Happy birthday song at a restaurant

"Happy birthday song ever. It’s always the worst part to me, sitting there awkwardly waiting while people sing off-key at me." — Safetypinss22

4. Networking

"Can I just get a job based off experience and not who I know?" — Delightful_Drantini

"Some people absolutely do enjoy networking. It is a shame because these people are often the ones that tend to be just ok (or worse) at their jobs while those who are great at their jobs tend to be the ones who dislike networking." — Emu1981

5. Hustle culture

"Hustle culture was just a way for mid-range CEOs of mid-range firms to bleed every ounce of work out of each worker so the VC money sees profit sooner." — DahJay

6. Commuting

"So many of my coworkers talked about missing their commute during lockdown, and I wanted to tell them NO you miss having alone time!" — Chaosm0de

7. Kids' birthday parties

"Go to some germ-filled place and give them a gift they may not even thank you for, and it’s always loud and chaotic, and I fucking hate them. And you have to make the same small talk again and again." — LittleHungryGiraffe

"You stay because it's too short to reasonably get any errands done or go home, and you want to make sure your kid is safe. So you sit and make small talk with the one other parent you know for an hour and consider whether or not it would be in poor taste to grab a slice of pizza or cake depending on how much is left over after the kids are served." — Maxpower

8. Work parties

"My upcoming IT team activity is on a Friday afternoon. We're doing lunch and bowling. The company-wide corporate summer party is on Thursday after work hours, so I can spend an entire day with work people, go home, immediately sleep, and deal with work people the next day. I get it's definitely cheaper on a Thursday, but I really lose motivation to go beyond making an appearance to keep my boss happy." — Racthoh

"I don't like ya'll M-F 9 to 5, so why in the hell would I want to see ya'll outside of those hours!?" — DuperDayley

"Right? Like I wonder who these people are. Do they just crave socialization so hard? Or do they like their co-workers and are completely ignorant of the fact that not everyone wants to hang out with them? Even if you do have a closer relationship with some co-workers, not everyone will always get a long, why force it? Those who want to meet up, will. And those who are forced to will only like each other less." — Doodleanda

9. Wine tasting

"Those people that claim to be able to taste things in wine like sea air and a hint of lemons from a specific tree. Piss off with that sh***." — ZeeZeeNei

"They've pretty well debunked this. Can't remember where I saw it but someone ran an experiment on some pretty highly regarded wine connoisseurs and some regular joes as a control to judge wines, some cheap, some expensive. Turns out most of the highly regarded connoisseurs couldn't really tell which was the expensive and which were cheap/bad. Wine just comes down to preference." — come_ere_duck

10. Gender reveal parties

"Thank goodness my friends aren't into gender reveal parties. I have, however, been to my fair share of baby showers and had to play the boring games. Too many times have I played the "identify the melted candy bar in a diaper" game. Funny thing is that, since baby showers have traditionally been attended by only women, at the co-ed ones I've been to the guys get really into the games. It makes everything way better." — Slytherpuffy

11. Hearing about people's kids

"I try to tell kid stories quite sparingly. And 99% of the time, it’s a short anecdote about something genuinely funny. Not like aww they drew an avocado lol, but like a funny joke they told me. Again, quite sparingly." — Afoz345

12. Social media

"Having a huge social media presence. It just doesn't seem worth all the work and effort to keep with it. I'd much rather just enjoy my concert/vacation/whatever than constantly take pictures/videos of it in order to brag about it on social media. And unless you're some big celebrity or influencer, nobody actually cares about your Instagram." — TheSnowqueen17

13. Cruises

"It’s like being trapped in a Vegas hotel and only being able to leave for short periods…and only with everyone else trapped in the same hotel. Plus, limited supplies and extra cooties. No thank you. I think the only cruise I could enjoy would be one of those small luxury ones that I could never afford." — Roopie1023

14. Twitter

"Twitter. The site is full of bots and rageaholics. The UI is frustrating at best. Having a 'discussion' in tweet form is tedious as hell. How many hot takes do you really need to satisfy yourself before it's overkill?" — Soingee

"I’m thankful the place went to hell because I barely click the app now and then vs all the time I spent believing I needed to know everything immediately." — Frequent_Secretary25

15. Drinking IPAs

"Agreed, they taste like soap." — Heavy_Following_114

"Why have they taken over so many taps in so many places?!" — Beaspoke