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Well Being

People shared the small changes they made that improved their lives in big ways

daily habits, atomic habits, james clear, self improvement

In his book Atomic Habits, James Clear notes that “your outcomes are a lagging measure of your habits … you get what you repeat.” Basically, if you want to predict where your life is leading, take a look at your daily choices. And Clear is certainly not the first or last motivational speaker to promote this wisdom. Pick up any self-help book, and it will most likely tout the message of how small, incremental changes can have an enormous impact on our lives.

A recent thread on AskReddit posed the question: What improved your quality of life so much you wished you did it sooner? For those of us who still can’t seem to tick off things like “drink more water” from the to-do list (despite knowing full well all the benefits) it might help hearing success stories from real, everyday people.

Here are some of the highlights:


Swimming for back pain

back pain, back pain remediesGiphy

“Drugs, bed rest for weeks, chiro, deep massage, electroshock. Then I swam some laps and over a three day period months of decrepitude vanished. I couldn’t believe and am now obsessed with swimming." – DontShootTheFood

“Most people who have back pain (especially lower back pain) have it as a result of sedentary lifestyle (exacerbated by sitting in office chairs for a long period of time). Swimming is a fantastic total body and core workout which just builds and balances strength to reduce back pain. If you have pain due to an injury, it may not be as effective." – hanksredditname

Managing road rage

road rage, driving habitsGiphy

“Someone wants to pass me when I'm in the left lane? Move over and let them pass. Someone wants in my lane? That's ok, I don't consider the gap ahead of me to be my real estate. Semi puts on their blinkers when I'm intending to pass? Let off the speed and flick my high beams to let them know there's enough room to enter my lane. All of this helps traffic flow better, makes things safer, and actually feels good to do. And all it required was to stop feeling like all of those things were a personal attack on me and my desire to get to my destination." – Buddahrific

Setting boundaries … even with family

setting boundaries, healthy lifestyleGiphy

“I used to feel like I had to hang out with people when they asked, and as an introvert would resent losing my ‘me’ time. Now I'm just honest with people and say I'm tired, or that I had a long weekend of Great British Bakeoff and dog snuggles that I was really looking forward to. Might sound lame but I'm 150% happier.” – Acceptable-Place0872

“…I'm in my late twenties and talk to neither of my parents. I forgive them for what they did, but I don't want a relationship of any kind with them and have made that very clear. I just stopped picking up the phone, texting back, messaging back at all. My brother still talks to one, but he suffers for it. I know I made the right decision.” – thekindwillinherit

Exercising for more than just your body

exercise, exercise and mental health, mental healthGiphy

“I wish more people knew exactly how helpful exercise really is for both mental and physical health! Throughout high school I was seeing psychologists for anxiety and other issues and they repeatedly told me to eat healthy and exercise to improve my mental state. It's pretty easy when you are in a bad place to dismiss that and say 'a chemical imbalance in my brain isn't going to fix itself if I go for a run' so I never followed their advice. When I was around 20 I got a gym membership and actually started exercising for unrelated reasons and WOW does it help a lot! If you have mental health issues, a healthy lifestyle might not totally fix you but it will DEFINITELY help.” – vindaflyfox

Breaking free from phone addiction

social media, phone addictionGiphy

“Disable your push notifications in tandem with uninstalling all social media apps. It's quite fascinating how much better you feel when social media isn't installed. Bye bye FB/Meta, Insta, Twitter, all of it gone. Talk about liberating. Took me about a month of "training", but now I hardly ever look at my phone, and I no longer feel phantom vibrations while it's in my pocket. It's disgusting how we've become slaves to our devices.” – dj92wa

Improving sleep

sleep, sleep and health, improving sleepGiphy

“I’ve been using my CPAP for a few weeks now and I actually know what it’s like to have energy and motivation and not be a zombie by 2 pm. If anyone else feels like that, I heavily recommend talking to your doctor about having a sleep study done.” – whomikehidden

“Sunrise Alarm Clock. I wake up so much better during the dark winter months.” – herbstavore

Decluttering

cleaning, cleaning tips, declutteringGiphy

“...A consistently clean home is amazing and doesn’t take a ton of time. 10-15 minutes a day I can keep things fairly tidy.” – unwinagainstable

“Nothing feels so relaxing when everything is in its place, organized and uncluttered. This obviously goes for at home, but also a clean car, clean desk, clean and organized computer and filing. Taking notes and reminders and deleting them when the task is done really relieves the mind. You can relax and focus better when your brain isn't cluttered and overwhelmed.” – KanataCitizen

Walking for an hour

walking, walking benefitsGiphy

“This literally saved my life. A lot of people think just going out for a walk has minimal benefits, but it has both great physical and mental ones. Highly underrated (and free).” – grittypitty

Journaling affirmations

journaling, affirmations, affirmation journalGiphy

“…it helps remind me of my values, which helps me make better decisions each day, and having done it for three years now, I can see the progress I’ve made in learning not to sweat the small stuff. It’s encouraging. I’m figuring myself out.” – babblewocky

Dropping sarcasm

better attitudes, self improvement, mindsetGiphy

"I thought this gave me sharp, dry wit but really it was one step up from a teenager's whiney voice making fun of people. It really was a low form of humor and, indeed, the perfect analog to the pseudo-intellectualism of the cynical act. It's so easy to be sarcastic and nasty and it gets old REALLY fast.” – zazzlekdazzle

Opting for positive content

positivity, postive contentGiphy

“I stopped consuming true crime content this past summer. It overall made me a more fearful, less empathetic, and more judgemental person by nature. The content encouraged my negative thought spirals and called it awareness. Never going back.” – notwest94

Practicing gratitude

gratitudeGiphy

“It is small but it genuinely makes a big impact. I had an assignment for a university course last year where we had to spend one week noting down something positive/good each day and then the next week negative things and I hadn’t realized just how much my life has improved until the week where I focused on negative things, it really solidified how much of a difference it made on my mood, how I felt about myself, and even how much I accomplished.” – supersaurus65

millennial-grind.com

There were some other great contenders: daily dancing, seeing a therapist, stretching before bed and at waking … just to name a few. But no matter the habit, they planted seeds for not only a new life, but for a new identity. As Clear would put it, “every action you take is a vote for the type of person you wish to become.”

Let authors like Clear help guide you—and stories like the ones above help inspire you—as you forge a better path for yourself, one small step at a time.

Pop Culture

Two brothers Irish stepdancing to Beyoncé's country hit 'Texas Hold 'Em' is pure delight

The Gardiner Brothers and Queen Bey proving that music can unite us all.

Gardiner Brothers/TikTok (with permission)

The Gardiner Brothers stepping in time to Beyoncé's "Texas Hold 'Em."

In early February 2024, Beyoncé rocked the music world by releasing a surprise new album of country tunes. The album, Renaissance: Act II, includes a song called "Texas Hold 'Em," which shot up the country charts—with a few bumps along the way—and landed Queen Bey at the No.1 spot.

As the first Black female artist to have a song hit No. 1 on Billboard's country music charts, Beyoncé once again proved her popularity, versatility and ability to break barriers without missing a beat. In one fell swoop, she got people who had zero interest in country music to give it a second look, forced country music fans to broaden their own ideas about what country music looks like and prompted conversations about bending and blending musical genres and styles.

And she inspired the Gardiner Brothers to add yet another element to the mix—Irish stepdance.

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Finally, someone explains why we all need subtitles

It seems everyone needs subtitles nowadays in order to "hear" the television. This is something that has become more common over the past decade and it's caused people to question if their hearing is going bad or if perhaps actors have gotten lazy with enunciation.

So if you've been wondering if it's just you who needs subtitles in order to watch the latest marathon-worthy show, worry no more. Vox video producer Edward Vega interviewed dialogue editor Austin Olivia Kendrick to get to the bottom of why we can't seem to make out what the actors are saying anymore. It turns out it's technology's fault, and to get to how we got here, Vega and Kendrick took us back in time.

They first explained that way back when movies were first moving from silent film to spoken dialogue, actors had to enunciate and project loudly while speaking directly into a large microphone. If they spoke and moved like actors do today, it would sound almost as if someone were giving a drive-by soliloquy while circling the block. You'd only hear every other sentence or two.

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Howie Hua shares helpful math tips and tricks on social media.

Math is weird.

On the one hand, it's consistent—the solutions to basic math problems are the same in every country in the world. On the other hand, there are multiple strategies to get to those solutions, and it seems like people are still coming up with new ones (much to the chagrin of parents whose kids need help with homework using methods they've never learned).

Math professor Howie Hua shares math strategies that make math easier on social media, and his videos are fascinating. Hua, who teaches math to future elementary school teachers at Fresno State, demonstrates all kinds of mental math tricks that feel like magic when you try them.

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Joy

Video of two 90-year-old sisters saying goodbye shoots straight to the heart

“If we don’t see each other again on this earth, we’ll see each other in heaven."

@stephanieatkinson/TikTok

Don't say goodbye.

A video making the rounds online is reminding us all that love transcends all time and distance.

94-year-old Barbara Carolan of Seabrook, Massachusetts, hadn’t been able to see her 90-year-old sister Shirley, who lives in Nevada, since 2020.

When it became clear to Barbara that she might not have much time left to spend with her beloved sister, she prepared to make the 2,700-mile cross country trip to say goodbye.
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This innovative sustainable luggage will elevate your travel game

Horizn Studios uses cutting edge design, materials, and manufacturing to make high-end luggage, backpacks, and travel accessories that are good for the planet.

Who doesn’t love the thrill of packing their bags, the anticipation of new adventures, and the joy of exploring unseen corners of the world? There’s something magical about travel, about the stories we gather and the memories we create. Yet, in the midst of all this excitement, it’s easy to overlook the ecological footprint we leave behind on the very places we cherish.

As we traverse our beautiful planet, every choice we make matters—including the choices about how we carry our essentials. Luckily, we don’t have to compromise on the way we travel to protect the beauty of our planet. Because a brand called Horizn Studios is redefining what it means to travel with conscience and style.

The Problem With Most Luggage

Few things can elevate your travel game like beautifully designed luggage. Anyone who’s ever gone anywhere knows the right gear can make it easier to move around, catch flights, and navigate unfamiliar terrain. It also provides peace of mind because you know your stuff is safe, secure, and accessible. However, these days we can no longer afford to put style and comfort ahead of the planet.

Right now the world is producing almost 400 million metric tons of plastics per year, and over the last 50 years more than 130 million metric tons of plasticshave accumulated in our oceans, lakes, and rivers. And most travel gear on the market today is part of the problem for two very simple reasons: it’s not built to last, and it’s not made using sustainable materials and manufacturing processes.

But choosing eco-friendly travel gear doesn’t have to mean settling for less. Horizn Studios stands at the forefront of a revolution, crafting luggage, backpacks, and travel accessories that look good and do good.

Driven By Innovation

When it comes to eco-friendly travel gear, Horizn Studios is a revolution on 360° spinner wheels. This company is pushing boundaries with innovative materials and features. It started when they launched the world's first suitcases with removable chargers, which ensure your devices never die when you need them most. But Horizn didn't stop there. Their commitment to a greener future drove them to pioneer the use of recycled polycarbonate and plant-based materials, crafting luggage that's not only durable but also kind to the planet.

Horizn’s quest to innovate also led to cool collaborations with iconic brands like BMW, Beats By Dre, and Soho House, not to mention some of the world’s most acclaimed artists. These partnerships infuse Horizn products with unparalleled ingenuity and style, ensuring that every product, from backpacks to travel accessories, stands at the intersection of high-end functionality and sustainability.

World's Most Sustainable High-End Luggage

At the heart of Horizn Studios' ethos is a deep-rooted commitment to sustainability, a principle that guides every step of their design and manufacturing process. For example, their Circle One collection boasts the world’s first 100% plant-based hard shell. Meanwhile, their RE Series utilizes an impressive 97% recycled polycarbonate.

Horizn’s commitment to sustainability also extends every step of their products’ lifecycle. For example, Horizn’s Stop, Drop & Roll recycling program allows travelers to bring in old luggage (of any make) for proper recycling, offering Horizn store credit in return. For Horizn Studios sustainability isn't just a buzzword. This holistic approach to sustainable travel, from the use of recycled and vegan materials to end-of-life product management, solidifies Horizn as a true leader in the movement toward a more sustainable and mindful way of exploring the world.

Style Meets Functionality

Beyond their commitment to sustainability, what also sets Horizn Studios apart from other brands is their attention to high-end style and innovative functionality. All of their products combine sleek design and high performance durability, so that practicality and style exist in perfect harmony.

When you buy luggage from Horizn Studios you get tons of innovative features. These include things like integrated removable chargers, TSA-approved locks, smart compartments for laptops and other essentials, durable water-resistant fabrics, and ultra-light materials—in other words, the sorts of things that refine and enhance your travel experience.

Travel Products for the Next Generation

Products designed to last five years are manufactured in the cheapest way possible. That’s why they don’t cost very much. If you want quality and sustainability, you have to invest a little more. With Horizn, when you make an investment to enhance travel experience, you know you are getting the best of the best—smart, beautiful luggage that is ethically designed and manufactured from start to finish. And best of all, every piece comes with a lifetime warranty and a risk-free 100-day trial, so you can test the waters with complete confidence.


Are you ready to experience the magic of traveling with luggage that's built to last, designed to impress, and crafted with the future in mind? Take Horizn Studios sustainable luggage on your next adventure.

Kevin Bacon's farm songs have become a social media favorite.

When Beyoncé dropped two songs from her upcoming album of country tunes, Renaissance: Act II, she may not have expected to make history, but that's exactly what happened. Her first single from the album, "Texas Hold 'Em," shot to the No.1 spot on the Billboard country music charts, making her the first Black female artist to hit that top spot. The catchy tune also topped the Billboard Hot 100 the last week in February 2024, a week after it debuted at No. 2.

Presumbaly, Queen Bey didn't expect her song to become an Irish stepdance hit, though that's also exactly what happened. And surely she didn't expect it to be sung by Kevin Bacon to a bunch of farm animals, yet that also has happened.

Perhaps we should all have expected that, though. There's a precedent here, after all.

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