Lin-Manuel Miranda is a ray of light in a world that can sometimes (OK, often) feel like it's shrouded in darkness.

The award-winning multi-hyphenate — He sings! He acts! He writes! He directs! He inspires you to do better while reminding you that you're good enough! — is always there to wish you a good morning.

And a good night.

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Oprah gave a commencement speech at USC's Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism, and her words were everything we need right now.

I don't know how, but Oprah always seems to be able to diagnose what's ailing America and offer us a prescription to dull the pain — one that somehow isn't too hard to swallow.

Am I suggesting she run for president? No. But this speech did a lot to convince me she'd make a pretty kickass leader of the free world.

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Let's face it: We all face pain at some point in our lives.

Jada Pinkett Smith on Red Table Talk. Image via Red Table Talk/Facebook.

Sometimes minuscule, sometimes excruciating, and sometimes all-encompassing, pain can throw us off course and redirect us to journeys we never expected. But according to a roundtable discussion on Red Table Talk with some pretty incredible women, that's exactly how it should be.

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Why cooking is a metaphor for life, from a professional chef.

"If you follow a recipe, you know exactly what you’re having for dinner."

The more time I spend hunched over my prep table surrounded by scorching hot sauté pans, the swirling winds of the convection oven, and the fryer oil that simmers away ever so patiently, the more I think about life and this world we live in.

Photo via iStock.

I’ve convinced myself that the kitchen and how we approach cooking, ingredients, and recipes can be the perfect metaphor for life. By understanding the relationship between these two, I’m able to see life in a way that makes a lot more sense.

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