One stop resource for invigorating newsletter recommendations
Guess who's back after a long hiatus (earlier than I should have) but I had some exciting news and an ask to share.
The past few months were testing waters for me - mentally and emotionally. I am at a career crossroads right now trying to explore and figure out options that align with my strengths and interest areas.
For the longest time this blog has been a shelter to push me to write, to empty my brain and believe in the power of cohort-based learning but lately I have realized I was selling myself short because I had all these insecurities about putting myself and my work out in the world. I am liberating myself of all such insecurities now.
For more than a year I have put incessant effort and time in this blog (I have woken up at 4 in the morning on a Sunday to make sure I publish it on time & I am not complaining). I am shifting '5 Things' to Substack now. Substack provides a polished platform for newsletters rather than maintaining a blog.
It will be a paid newsletter ( a very nominal price, I assure you) to reward myself for this effort. This website will be specifically reserved for topical posts and counselling henceforth.
Let me know your thoughts in the comments.
If you have enjoyed this series of posts for a while now, I really hope you subscribe to Substack :)
Substack launched it's iOS app in the last few months and it's the best thing to happen for newsletter afficianados.
I kept thinking for more than a week on what to include or exclude from this week's recommendations but then I decided to sit in silence and think about the first 5 things that come to my mind when I think about the best newsletters from the past 3 months.
Here they are:
1. From the Desk of Alicia Kennedy by Alicia Kennedy
If there's someone I have been fan-girling on for a long while, it's Alicia.
Her newsletter covers everything - from food, culture, veganism to productivity, writing, politics. The first issue I read from her is 'On Domesticity' which transgresses on how the life of a cook is a balancing act between cooking for love and cooking for labor.
The issues references another article in the NYT magazine by Rachel Cusk. (paywalled) which discuss a woman's enigma on maintaining a household.
2. bookbear express by Ava
In the 'about' section of her profile Ava wrote this which caught my eye:
The tagline for this Substack is “help-self” because 1) I ostensibly write self-help and 2) I, uh, can’t fucking help myself.
Her writing will appear to you as if you are talking to a friend. Her stories are molded more or less as personal essays or diary entries filled with wisdom and philosophy.
The first post I read from her is called 'how can we be the right kind of together' which talks about co-dependence and it's perils. A lot of times we find ourselves blaming our emotional states on someone else. Perhaps, we still have a long way to learn on how to be the right kind of together.
When I’m upset or uncertain, I feel so alone in my sadness. But sometimes those are the most important moments—those are the moments that shake me loose. To be able to breathe through them, to watch them pass through me, reminds me of the true nature of things. We are both wildly alone and completely interconnected
3. The Half Marathoner by Terell Johnson
Terell's newsletter is a resource hub for long distance runners but that's not where it ends. From sharing the most inspiring quotes from books on running to pivoting to tips on healthy eating and longevity - Terell has it all.
His Friday thread is one of the most exciting way to get recommendations from like minded people.
His issue on 'How to live like people in the Blue Zones' is an eye-opener on our lifestyle choices. “Blue Zone” is a non-scientific term given to geographic regions that are home to some of the world’s oldest people.
If you are interested in knowing more about longevity read the article he references in the issue by New York Times Magazine, titled “The Island Where People Forget to Die.” or listen to 'Lifespan' podcast by Dr. David Sinclair.
4. Just Enough To Get Me Into Trouble by Lyle McKeany
Of late I have been obsessed with humorous writers, the kind of humor that is relatable and cracks you up real bad. My association with Lyle started with his post 'How to write better stories in 4 easy steps'. Reading it feels like literally going on a roller coaster ride of emotion. It will crack you up and make you cry at the same time. No spoilers. Please read it.
There is a tide in the affairs of men, Which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune; Omitted, all the voyage of their life Is bound in shallows and in miseries. ~ William Shakespeare
His wife Allison runs an equally interesting newsletter 'Put Your Food to Work' - a simple and sustainable approach to food and eating that is healthy, delicious, and budget-friendly.
5. Sasha's Newsletter by Sasha Chapin
Reading Sasha's newsletter is equivalent to taking therapy (but for free). He writes about mental health, creativity, writing, marriage, divorce, psychedelics etc. etc.
The first issue I read from him was 'How I Attained Persistent Self-Love, or, I Demand Deep Okayness For Everyone' . As someone who occasionally goes into the spiral of self-loathing, I desperately wanted to read something like this.
"Deep Okayness is not the feeling that I am awesome all the time. Instead, it is the total banishment of self-loathing. It is the deactivation of the part of my mind that used to attack itself. It’s the closure of the self as an attack surface. It’s the intuitive understanding that I am merely one of the apertures through which the universe expresses itself, so why would I hate that? It’s the sense that, while I might fuck up, my basic worth is beyond question—I have no essential damage, I am not polluted, I am fine."
He has written an entire series of posts on self-love and how to feel okay about yourself (with no fluff and no BS).
You should also read : Self-Love Doesn't Require You To Become Huggy and Passive
As a parting gift for this newsletter from this website, here's my summer playlist to life your spirits.
A Poem for June
The sun is rich And gladly pays In golden hours, Silver days,
And long green weeks That never end. School’s out. The time Is ours to spend.
There’s Little League, Hopscotch, the creek, And, after supper, Hide-and-seek.
The live-long light Is like a dream, and freckles come Like flies to cream.
Thanks for reading. I hope you are cursing summers less and enjoying the first showers of monsoon.
As always, I appreciate your feedback (suggestions, critiques, positive reinforcement) as well ideas that inspire you, reading/podcast recommendations etc.
With love and gratitude,
See you on Substack :)