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    The Internet Is Raving About the 75 Hard Challenge, So Is It As Effective as It Seems?

    We have TikTok to thank for putting us up to countless workout trends (hello, 3-2-8 method or Wall Pilates) and challenges (think: plank, dragon flag, barbell), but it has yet to test more than just our fitness prowess—that is unless you’ve taken part in the #75Hard challenge. Yes, it sounds vague and intimidating, but enough to leave you wanting more. So, what is 75 Hard? “If you’re looking for a new fitness program or challenge, this is not it,” says the program’s website. Rather, it’s a “transformative mental toughness program” that combines fitness, nutrition, self-improvement, and physical and mental discipline. Although not new to the scene, with 1.5 billion views to date (yes, billion), the 75 Hard regimen is still going strong—and the before and after photos of participants alone can be alluring enough to make just about anyone consider doing it. But is it all that it’s cracked up to be? I turned to experts to find out.   

    What is 75 Hard?
    75 Hard was born out of an interview creator Andy Frisella, a podcaster and CEO of the supplement company 1st Phorm, had with “Iron Cowboy” James Lawrence (he completed 50 Ironman races in 50 consecutive days across all 50 states), who told him that you must  put yourself in uncomfortable places in order to develop mental fortitude. The 75-day program is based on the following daily criteria:

    Follow a diet, which can be your choice, but it must be a structured eating plan with the goal of physical improvement. No alcohol allowed.
    Complete two 45-minute workouts, one of which must be done outdoors.
    Take a progress picture.
    Drink one gallon of water. 
    Read 10 pages of a non-fiction book (audiobooks excluded).

    If you don’t follow through on any of the set guidelines, the challenge resets at day one. And no modifications are allowed–yeah, it’s intense. 
    On 75 Hard’s website, Frisella claims that his program will show you how to boost your confidence, self-esteem, self-worth, self-belief, fortitude, and grittiness—making a positive impact on yourself, your career, relationships, time management, thinking, and physical shape. “75 HARD is the only program that can permanently change your life…from your way of thinking, to the level of discipline you approach every single task in front of you with,” he states. 

    #75hard #fyp
    ♬ original sound – Rylee Jade

    What experts are saying
    While 75 Hard may sound good on paper, I’m skeptic of anything too rigorous or restrictive, so of course I had to dig deeper by grilling doctors, dietitians, and fitness trainers to break down the pros and cons of the program.

    “75 Hard is a great way to develop discipline and mental toughness,” said Dr. Brittany Robles, MD, MPH, CPT, an OBGYN physician and NASM certified personal trainer. “By committing to 75 days of strict adherence to the program, you’ll be training your mind to push through discomfort, which is the biggest factor in achieving long-term goals. Additionally, 75 Hard can help you develop healthy habits, such as regular exercise, proper hydration, and mindful eating.” Erica Baty, RDN, CDE, a registered dietitian and fitness instructor, agreed that most of the “rules” of 75 Hard are generally healthy habits: “Reading, exercising, being active outside, consuming a healthful diet, and drinking lots of water have all been shown to provide numerous health benefits such as more energy, weight maintenance or weight loss, improved body composition and lower risk of chronic diseases.”

    Dr. Shoaib Malik, MD, a board-certified family medicine doctor, warned that it’s important to understand the full picture (read: the good, the bad, and the ugly) of the challenge before deciding whether it’s right for you. He cited that the strict requirements of the challenge can be intense, leading to burnout, injury, or negative impact on mental health for some individuals, as well as the potential pitfalls related to negative body image. Catherine Karnatz, RD, creator of Nutrition Education RD, echoed the same concern that 75 Hard can give rise to: “Taking a progress picture daily may spark an obsession with your physical appearance, frequent body checking, and body dysmorphia. In the most severe cases, poor body image and restrictive eating habits may contribute to disordered eating and eating disorders.”
    Alayna Curry, a NASM certified women’s fitness specialist, also pointed out that while 75 Hard is meant to be challenging with the goal of achieving radical change, it’s not sustainable. “The average person can’t commit to exercise 7 days a week, let alone 2 workouts a day,” she asserted. “As soon as people give up the strict routine and go back to ‘normal,’ it will be hard to maintain the changes they’ve experienced.”
    There may be even more potential cons based on what “diet” you choose, including restricting alcohol. to mention the repercussions of adhering to an overly restrictive diet “While I encourage following an eating plan that will be personally sustainable for your lifestyle, I do not recommend completely cutting out entire food groups that you enjoy,” Karnatz voiced. “Categorizing different foods that you eat as ‘good’ or ‘bad’ can create disordered behaviors and fear around food.” 

    The Everygirl verdict
    We encourage doing what feels right for you, first and foremost. While we provide expert opinions and possible factors for your consideration, only you know what is right for you. But as for whether or not we think 75 Hard is worth it? Factors like getting outside, reading 10 pages of a book, and being conscious of fitting in movement and nutrient-dense foods are undoubtedly beneficial, and perhaps the structure might help you find motivation or stick to goals that otherwise feel difficult. 
    That said, the challenge can be especially triggering for anyone with a disordered relationship with food or exercise, particularly the progression photos that give more focus on appearance than more important factors like how you feel and your well-being. The restrictions (no alcohol, going outside of your eating plan, exercising every day) leave little to no room for flexibility and can lead to detrimental and obsessive behaviors.
    Plus, the truth is that our minds and bodies feel and need different things every day: you may feel ready to conquer the world after a 45-minute morning workout and afternoon walk on one day, but on other days, your body will let you know it needs rest, which isn’t a part of the 75 Hard plan (FYI, rest days are just as important as your workouts). Word to the wise: The program isn’t backed by science or guided by a trained expert, so it should be taken with a grain of salt. What’s more, for a plan to be effective and attainable—be it a fitness, eating, or career—it needs to be sustainable and enjoyable, and 75 Hard doesn’t fit the bill for most people. 
    Alternatives to 75 Hard
    If you’re looking for some structure in your workout and diet without the hardcore measures of 75 Hard, consider it’s less stringent, more accessible cousin 75 Soft. Created by TikTok fitness influencer Stephen Gallagher, this alternative challenge to 75 Hard calls for one rest day, limits drinking rather than cutting it out entirely, and doesn’t require any pictures, making it a more flexible and realistic option—with one caveat: it only includes one day of recovery (hot tip: If you need more than one day of recovery, always listen to your body). The four rules of the 75 Soft challenge are as follows:

    Eat nutritious foods and only drink on social occasions.
    Train 45 minutes a day, with one day designated for active recovery per week.
    Drink 3 liters of water a day.
    Read 10 pages of any book (audiobooks are allowed).

    PSA: You can achieve mental toughness without committing to fitness trends and putting yourself through extreme practices. Instead, stick with movement that brings you joy and create your own little challenges. If you do Pilates two times a week, try adding one more sweat sesh a week. Maybe you’ve just discovered lifting weights makes you feel like a badass and you can’t get enough; make it a goal to add more reps to your back squat every two weeks (think: 8-10 squats week 1, then 10-12 squats week 3, and so on). Whatever your health and fitness goal—attaining mental toughness, eating healthy, working out more—it’s not all or nothing, and taking the what-makes-you-feel-good approach wins—TikTok trend or not. 

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    Alix Earle Just Dropped Her Full Wellness Routine, and Her Self-Care Advice Is Amazing

    My senior year of college consisted of applying for jobs, finishing out my internship, and relishing in the last moments before going out in the real world and #adulting. For Alix Earle, University of Miami senior and TikTok superstar who quickly reached elite status on the social media platform in the last year (with 4.8 million followers to date), college life looks a bit different.
    Sure, she lives in an apartment she shares with five roommates, bounces between classes, tailgating, and frat parties, and struggles through assignments like the rest of us, but she’s also hobnobbing with the likes of Miley Cyrus, securing business collabs, and sharing makeup looks with her millions of fans in her trademark “Get Ready with Me” (GRWM) videos. I have to wonder how she juggles it all and finds balance with her recent social media fame. Thanks to Earle’s media interviews and in-demand TikTok videos, she let us in on her wellness routine. Read on to get the inside scoop on her go-to workout routine, eating habits, and self-care practices, and then try them for yourself (I know I will!).  

    Her workout
    When’s she not slaying it in front of the camera or jet setting, you’ll likely find Earle fitting in a solid workout sesh. As for the exact breakdown of her typical WOD (workout of the day, ICYMI), she relies on a few tried-and-true routines. “My routine often depends on what I’m feeling that day, but I usually start off with 12-3-30 on the treadmill and then go from there,” Earle explained to E! News. After 30 minutes on the treadmill, she strength trains with weights targeting whatever area of her body she feels like she should prioritize, and then finishes off with an ab routine from Youtube, as she told Hollywood Life. But her sweat sessions aren’t reserved just for the gym: “I also love Pilates classes or even following a few YouTube videos to target certain areas, my favorite being booty and abs!” she said. Her must-have YouTube workouts? Daisy Keech’s ab routines and Alexis Ren’s butt burners. 
    “It often feels like there’s not enough time in the day, but I never regret getting some physical activity in,” Earle conveyed to E! News. “I tell myself all I have to do is get myself to the gym and then once I’m there I feel more motivated to workout.” And when she isn’t able to get to the gym or a class, hot girl walks it is. 

    Replying to @samhorvath btw AminoLean is on sale today if you want to get it for the low 🫶🏼 @RSP Nutrition #RSPartner
    ♬ smiles & sunsets – ultmt.

    Her diet
    Courtesy of Earle’s “What I Eat in a Day” TikToks, we don’t have to guess how she fuels her sweat sessions. In one such video, she starts her day with a veggie egg scramble she whips up with spinach, tomatoes, and mushrooms, topped off with hot sauce, followed by what she calls a “lunch snack,” consisting of a chia parfait and an immunity shot. Later in the day, she reaches for chips and salsa and hearts of palm for a mid-day nibble. Before hitting the gym, Earle sips on pre-workout from AminoLean, a pre-workout and energy drink brand she teamed up with to create a new flavor—aptly named Berry Alixir. And to round out her day of meals, she whips up a chicken bowl made up of chicken, sweet potatoes, and broccoli with a side of mac n’ cheese for dinner, then drinks a cup of tea before getting her beauty sleep. Earle’s MO when it comes to her diet? “Balance is key. Do not restrict yourself.” For that, she gets the Everygirl stamp of approval.
    And if you’re wondering if she’s coffee-obsessed like the rest of us, this TikTok gives us the confirmation we need. Her Starbucks order? Grande shaken espresso with almond milk, two to three pumps of vanilla syrup (no classic syrup), and cinnamon powder. You’re welcome. 

    Replying to @newphonewhodiisssss every day is different but this is a general idea!! #whatieatinaday
    ♬ Au Revoir – Sweet After Tears

    Her self-care
    Most of Earle’s TikToks and IG posts may be a highlight reel of her life, but she’s also been real about her struggles with mental health, namely anxiety and panic attacks, on TikTok. In a recent “Un-GRWM” video, she recalled her long journey with anxiety, not to mention being ashamed of it and not wanting to leave the house because of it. “I’ve shared the good, the bad, and the ugly because that’s just life and what makes us human–no matter what age you are,” Earle told Hollywood Life. 
    So what does a social media celeb do to decompress and take care of her well-being? “No matter what I have going on I need to move my body so I always find a way to incorporate that,” Earle expressed to E! News. Other than getting movement in, she revealed to E! News that she leans on journaling to clear her mind, as well as taking time off social media (yes, shocking!) and spending time with besties: “Having time to myself where I can collect my thoughts and journal really helps me get in a good headspace… ” Earle stated. “As someone who is always on social media, sometimes it’s good to put your phone down and relax. I’m fortunate to live with my five best friends, so if I’m ever feeling down there is always someone there to talk me through it and comfort me.” Bottom line: Earle stressed the importance of setting aside time for self-reflection throughout the day and not getting consumed by what you see and read on social media. 
    As for “the haters [who are] gonna hate, hate, hate, hate, hate” (to quote Taylor Swift), Earle left us with this final piece of advice in her interview with E! News: “No matter what you do, not everyone is going to agree with you, or people may have something negative to say. You just have to stay true to yourself and not let little comments get to you.” Now that’s a self-care tip we’re going to copy. 

    Everybody is different and needs to find what works for them 🫶🏼 this is what worked for me 🙂
    ♬ original sound – alix earle

    Zendaya Swears by 5 Wellness Hacks
    and I tried them all More

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    This Self-Help Book Is Going Viral–Here Are the 6 Takeaways That Changed My Life

    If you read one book in your life, make it The Myth of Normal. That’s what I started telling people after I devoured the 500+ page book in under a week. The author, Gabor Maté, is a Canadian physician who specializes in covering addiction, stress, and childhood development. He’s written multiple bestselling books on these topics, but his new title has even captured the attention of the TikTok universe. So what’s so special about this book?
    In The Myth of Normal, Gabor Maté addresses society’s newfound obsession with wellness, but then questions whether we as a society are, in fact, well. Because while it’s easy to spend money on the latest health trends, are they actually helping us become healthier? This book goes on a journey breaking down what we get wrong about wellness and how different factors, such as trauma, society, childhood development, and addiction, all play a role in our overall health. I’ve read a lot of health and wellness books, but I walked away from this book with what felt like never-before-heard insights on how to live a healthier life. In case you don’t want to read all 500 pages, I broke down my biggest takeaways below.

    1. Be your own health advocate
    In the book, Dr. Maté discusses western medical practices and how there can be a “power hierarchy that casts physicians as the exalted experts and patients as the passive recipients of care.” Doctors are experts in their fields for a reason, and we seek specialists out for answers as to why our bodies are sick, but it’s important to remember that no one knows your body better than you do. Doctors are busy people with a full roster of patients, and sometimes all we get is 15 minutes to explain our concerns, which (more often than not) isn’t enough time to consider and discuss all the different factors that may be leading to your symptoms. In my own diagnosis of interstitial cystitis, it took multiple visits to different doctors and many rounds of tests before I was diagnosed, which probably could have been done sooner if I had been a better advocate for my body. The lesson I took away here is that you have to feel comfortable with your diagnosis and care, your body relies on you to speak up for it, and there’s never any harm in seeking a second opinion.

    2. Prioritize healthy relationships
    I’m sure we can all think of someone in our lives who has left us feeling drained, bad about ourselves, or unhappy. On the other hand, there are people in our lives who bring us joy, make us laugh, and lift us up. News flash: Both types of people affect our health. Dr. Maté shares how our emotions have a direct impact on our nervous system, which is especially true for intimate relationships and what’s known as interpersonal biology. Translation: The closer we are to someone, the more our physiology interacts with theirs.
    One study showed that married people have lower rates of mortality than their age-matched single contemporaries. However, unhappily married people were worse off in well-being than unmarried people, according to another study shared. Now should we all be running off to get married for better health? Probably not. What this study brings to light is the effect of positive relationships. It shows why we should prioritize the people in our lives who make us feel good and find ways to let go of the ones who don’t or no longer serve our well-being. 

    3. Learn to regulate your emotions
    No one likes to feel pain if we can help it. For this reason, we often learn to repress emotions or block them out with coping mechanisms, such as work, watching TV, or eating our favorite foods. If you’re like me, you were never taught as a kid how to process emotions in a healthy way. Sadly, it’s just not something that was on the school curriculum. Fortunately, it’s becoming more widely understood that regulating emotions is healthy. Even anger can lead to blind rage or resentment when suppressed. Instead of burying our emotions and carrying them around with us, releasing them through practices such as journaling, therapy, or talking to a trusted friend can help us build a new pathway to better health (both emotional and physical). 

    4. Mental health is equally as important as physical health
    The idea that the mind and body are connected is nothing new. However, Dr. Maté points out that society still tends to separate the two. How often does your doctor ask about your childhood traumas, your relationship with your parents, your degree of loneliness, your job satisfaction, and how you feel about yourself when you go in for a check-up? It’s most often believed that you see your therapist for those issues and your doctor only has to do with the body, even though the body and mind are directly linked and directly impact one another. This new study of science is called psychoneuroimmunology, and it maps the pathways of mind-body unity. Taking care of our mental health can often be put on the back burner, but learning to prioritize it in the same way we do our physical health is beneficial to the body as a whole.

    5. Live authentically 
    Dr. Maté defines authenticity as “the quality of being true to oneself, and the capacity to shape one’s own life from a deep knowledge of that self.” In other words, as long as we are consistently expressing our emotions and feel safe when we do, we are living an authentic life. But we struggle to live an authentic life when we choose to repress our emotions and do so often enough that it becomes unrecognizable.
    This book sheds light on how stress, including the stress of self-suppression, may disturb our physiology, including the immune system. If we are repressing our true feelings and emotions, we’re disarming our bodies’ ability to protect us from stress. If you are someone who feels like they struggle to live authentically, working with the help of a professional  like a therapist to pinpoint those moments can be an extremely helpful way to a path of authentic living. 

    6. Find healthy ways to manage stress
    Believe it or not, stress is actually a vital part of our survival, but there are two types of stress: acute stress and chronic stress. Acute stress is what happens when we feel an immediate threat, maybe when walking home alone at night with a stranger lurking close by. It’s healthy to feel that sort of stress as it alerts the body to keep us safe. But unrelieved stress is ongoing, and unless we find ways to relieve that stress, it can lead to depression, chronic inflammation in the body, an unhealthy immune system, and many other ailments. 
    A 2012 study from Harvard Medical School showed that women with a high job strain were 67% more likely to experience a heart attack than women in less stressful jobs. Dr. Maté has written a whole other book on the effects of stress on the body entitled, “When The Body Says No: The Hidden Cost of Stress,” which emphasizes how if we don’t find healthy ways to manage chronic stress, it can lead to more serious health concerns. Some healthy ways to deal with stress can include exercise, meditation, therapy, connecting with your community, and unwinding with hobbies that bring you joy. 

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    Taylor Swift’s Diet and Fitness Routine on Tour

    Life on tour is grueling (or so I’ve heard), but Taylor Swift could’ve fooled us with her seemingly effortless stamina throughout her 3-hour “Eras Tour” show (complete with seamless outfit changes on stage, might I add). It got me wondering how she performs her way through 44 hits from her 10 studio albums without so much as breaking a sweat or popping one of the sequins off her red-and-sequined-snaked Reputation look. So naturally, I scoured the internet for every tidbit I could find about her wellness routine (you’re welcome, Swifties). How does she sweat it out? What does she eat in a day? Is she just like us when it comes to self-care? Read on for a breakdown of T-Swift’s health and wellness standbys. Alexa, play the Midnights album.

    For fitness: She dances it out (on and off stage)
    According to an article in Marie Claire, pounding the pavement and dance-based workouts from New York-based studio Body By Simone are the singer-songwriter’s secret weapons to keeping up endurance and strength to perform dozens of shows while on tour. Body by Simone classes (which are also offered on their digital studio so you can sweat it on-the-go) combine a unique fusion of dance, Pilates, and functional strength training (think: high-intensity dance cardio, bodyweight moves, and light dumbbell exercises) that create “a safe space where women can feel inspired and motivated to become the best version of themselves,” said Simone de la Rue, Body by Simone’s Founder. To give Swift’s fitness regimen a whirl, try this 20-minute full-body Body by Simone workout. You’ll jump lunge, push up shoulder tap, crunch as you side plank, and jump squat your way to Swift fitness status.
    But dancing (on and off the stage) isn’t the only exercise she swears by. “For me, running is about blasting a whole bunch of new songs and running to the beat,” Swift told WebMD. “It’s also good because it makes me find a gym wherever I am…I love exploring the places we go when we tour.” If running isn’t your jam (same), give the Taylor Swift treadmill workout a whirl (it’s way better, IMO).

    For diet: She follows intuitive eating habits 
    Show biz is not without its fad diets, cleanses, and quick fixes, but don’t count Swift as part of that crowd. Rather, she takes a balanced approach to her diet. Translation: Taylor follows a wholesome menu during the week while letting loose with her food choices on the weekends. “…I try to keep it lighter, but it’s nothing too regimented or crazy,” Swift conveyed to WebMD. “I don’t like to create too many rules where I don’t need them. We know what’s good for us, thanks to common sense.” Case in point: She told WebMD she passes on sugary drinks and sticks to salads, yogurt, and sandwiches Monday through Friday, but enjoys a burger and fries, ice cream, or cookies on weekends (a girl after my own heart). 
    We could all take a page from Swift’s book on mindful eating—that goes for sweets too. If you’re a Swiftie, you probably already know she’s no stranger to baking up a storm of desserts. “I bake pumpkin bread for everyone I know and make ginger molasses cookies and hot chocolate and chai,” she expressed to Bon Appétit. As for her go-to drinks? Skinny vanilla lattes on weekdays and PSLs on weekends. “The point is I’m never cutting out what I love,” Swift informed WebMD. She is just like us!
    For hydration: She always has a water bottle with her
    Swift can’t live without her Starbucks like the rest of us, but she knows water does a body good and makes it a point to load up on water, tour or no tour. “I have so much water in my dressing room because I drink, like, ten bottles of water a day,” Swift revealed to Bon Appétit. “I drink so much water my friends call me an alien.” She never leaves home without a water bottle and even keeps a case in her car for good measure. While you don’t have to guzzle ten bottles in a day (assuming you’re not a pop star performing night after night), a general rule of thumb is to aim for about 11.5 cups (2.7 liters) of fluids a day. When we stay sufficiently hydrated, our cardiovascular, digestive, and immune systems work more efficiently. So do as Taylor does and hit your hydration goal for the day. Step 1: Start with a glass of water first thing in the AM. Your skin will reap the benefits, too. 

    For mental health: She journals 
    “Health is a big part of being happy,” Swift shared with WebMD, which to her means being in great shape both physically and mentally. It turns out she’s a journaling stan (that instantly gets her the Everygirl stamp of approval, BTW): “From a young age, any time I would feel pain I would think, ‘It’s OK, I can write about this after school.’ As a young kid, I learned to process my emotions by writing.” Swift was onto something at an early age, because putting pen to paper has a bevy of benefits, including reducing stress, creating space from negative thoughts, and deepening self-discovery. 
    And it’s no surprise that Swift also takes to her songwriting and music to feel all her feels: “…anytime something hurts, like rejection or sadness or loneliness, or I feel joy or I fall in love, I ask myself, ‘Can I write a song about this so I know how I feel?’” she said. Even if your journal entries about your feelings don’t become a platinum hit, journaling can provide an effective way to process emotions. Think of it like a therapy session with yourself.

    For self-care: She has a routine to feel at home while traveling
    In her interview with WebMD, Swift didn’t sugarcoat life on tour: riding hours on a bus, giving it her all on stage, and not sleeping in her own bed can feel draining. Her key to staying balanced through it all? Following a comforting routine and packing certain travel essentials. Her first order of business when settling into her hotel room is unpacking. “I do it everywhere I go,” Swift said. “I really like the way it feels to have my clothes put away in drawers and my shoes in the closet.” According to WebMD, Swift also always brings candles with her to her destinations. 
    If you caught Swift’s Netflix documentary Taylor Swift: Miss Americana, you know that her squad includes her feline companions—Olivia, Meredith, and Benjamin—and she has personalized bags and cat backpacks for them for travel on her private jet, according to Parade Pets (they’re practically just as famous as their mom, thanks to their many cameos on IG and TikTok). What’s more, Swift brings them to events and music video shoots alike every chance she gets (as evidenced here and here). As a fellow four-legged animal mama (sorry, I’m partial to dogs), I can relate (minus the Gulfstream, of course). 

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    Everything You Need to Do Lymphatic Drainage at Home

    Amongst the workout trends taking over FitTok are countless TikTokers massaging their way to de-puffing and sculpted bliss. ICYMI, I’m referring to the uber trendy concept known as lymphatic drainage massage, AKA the holy grail of naturally flushing out toxins, revving up the immune system, rejuvenating cellular function, and minimizing excess fluid retention and bloat.
    So how does it actually work? Think of the lymphatic system as the body’s “sewage system,” whose purpose is to help detoxify and get rid of damaged cells, bacteria, or toxins (read more about the lymphatic system here). With the helping hand of a gua sha, dry brush, or your literal hands, you can manually manipulate specific areas of your body to encourage the flow of (read: drain) lymphatic fluid toward the lymph nodes where it’s filtered and fed back into the bloodstream. Bottom line: You can take a DIY approach to boosting the health of your lymphatic system with simple tools. Read on for a mini tutorial on trying it for yourself—be it your face or body—products and all.
    Bye bye, swelling and puffiness. Hello there, cheekbones and defined jawline! Moving excess fluid out of the facial area translates to a de-puffing, swelling-reduction, dullness-combating effect (albeit temporary). Proponents of facial lymphatic drainage massages can’t get enough of the wellness trend thanks to the glowing, healthier-looking complexion it leaves (if it’s a J.Lo-worthy glow, consider me sold). Other benefits include aiding in improving blood circulation, bringing fresh nutrients to the skin through blood flow, supporting healthy cell production, and taking time for self-care. To give some TLC to your face, use the tips of your fingers or a massage tool to work your lymphatic system, starting in the middle of the face and working up and out towards the ears, before gently bringing it down the neck. 

    I’m not a specialist in lymphatic drainage, I’ve seen this technique on TikTok, and internet how to open lymphatic nodes. I’ve recently started doing it, but i only do it when I have extra time🥰 #guasha #lymphaticdrainage #slimmerface #stayyoung #lookyounger #massage
    ♬ original sound – Skinfluencer

    Full body
    You’ve likely seen before-and-after pics of lymphatic drainage massage recipients (namely their abdomens) and that alone was enough to convince you to take a stab at it (I don’t blame you). The reasoning behind the contoured look? Lymphatic drainage may help reduce water retention and bloat, which may have a temporary visual slimming effect. And the perks don’t stop there: throw in enhancing the immune system, stimulating the digestive system, and potentially minimizing PMS symptoms like headaches and pelvic pains. 

    And if you don’t want to buy anything at all…
    Your hands and some body oil can get the job done too (a mirror might be helpful as well, especially if you’re new to the technique). When performing a lymphatic self-massage, using slow, gentle, and rhythmic strokes and applying them in the direction of the lymph node, or upward, are key. According to a Vogue interview with lymphatic massage expert Flavia Lanini, begin by pressing on the area just below your collarbones to get the drainage started, then press the armpit three times on both sides. Next, shift your focus to the arms and stroke from the elbow to the shoulder on both sides.
    To give it a go on your stomach, Rebecca Faria, a licensed lymphatic drainage specialist and founder of Detox By Rebecca, gave a how-to in an interview with InStyle: Start by opening your lymph nodes with light presses, then make circular, clockwise movements around your navel, followed by consecutive up-and-down movements, from your stomach to your lymph nodes. “Then, turn to one side of your body and, using both hands, make pushing movements from the side towards the lymph nodes,” she explained. Don’t forget about the other side!
    Finally, to massage the legs, lay the palm of your hands right at the crease of one thigh, and move upwards toward the navel in a wave-like motion. Repeat on the other leg. 
    And because nothing is more satisfying than sweating it out, give your lymphatic system a leg up by using an infrared sauna blanket before your hands-on treatment. By stimulating your lymphatic system first to detox through sweat, your body is better able to remove toxins at a cellular level while preparing your lymph nodes for more effective drainage. 

    lymphatic drainage stomach massages have made such a big difference in my swelling, water retention, & inflammation! I feel the best results when I do this lying down so that my stomach is completely relaxed 💛 I always make sure to drink plenty of water after this too! #wellnesstok #wellnesshabits #wellness #healthyhabits
    ♬ Storytelling – Adriel

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    50 Ways to Romanticize Your Life This Spring

    I’ve always been one to look for the magic in life—those moments that sparkle and shine with the simple beauty that’s present all around us. I’m a romantic at heart, always searching for the beauty present in every day. To be clear, this perspective isn’t toxic positivity. Instead, it’s a quality of observation. Romanticizing your life, though it’s become a social media trend, is largely centered around finding joy, love, and peace within yourself. It’s the process of structuring not only your days and routines, but how you see the world so that you’re always putting yourself in the path of beauty. And what better time of year to begin practicing that than spring?
    With the colder weather (mostly) behind us, it’s time to start celebrating the color, warmth, and vibrancy that comes with the transition from winter to spring. I rounded up 50 of my favorite ways to romanticize your life below. Keep reading to learn how you can make the most of spring and start soaking up the energy of every day.

    1. Create a “morning moment.” Make the most of your morning wake-up call. Prep your beverage of choice, light your favorite candle, and spend five minutes with your new read. Wayyy better than rushing out the door.
    2. While you’re at it, design your dream morning routine. Sure, you can let the “that girls” of the world inspire you, or you can make it entirely your own. What would bring you joy before getting into the work day? Prioritize that.
    3. Transition your closet to spring. Lighter fabrics and brighter colors—the time to romanticize your closet is now. If you haven’t heard, Romcom core is in, and we’re ready to let Nora Ephron lead the way.
    4. Pack a picnic. Whether you’re out with your partner, gathering for Saturday lunch with your friends, or bringing your book to the park for a solo date—food always tastes better al fresco.
    5. Update your mood board. Some people create annual vision boards, but I love letting mine shift with the seasons. Take the old-school approach and clip images from magazines or get your inspiration on Pinterest and create a digital version on Canva. 
    6. Go to a matinee. There’s something so lovely about seeing a movie at the cinema versus streaming. Maybe it’s the popcorn?
    7. Make a joy jar. Variations of this trend have been floating around since the beginning of the year, but this is my own spin. Each week, on a slip of paper, write down one positive experience you had in the last seven days. Put it in a jar, and at the end of the season, read each and reflect on how much joy the season brought.
    8. Spend intentional time with yourself. Some call it dating themselves, others might refer to it as main character energy. But I love the idea of designating a weekend morning, random afternoon, or an entire day to getting to know yourself better. Grab coffee alone, take yourself out to dinner—whatever resonates! Remember: you can wine and dine yourself.
    9. Buy yourself the flowers. Miley said it best—don’t wait for someone else to shower you with your peonies or ranunculus. Go to Trader Joe’s, pick up a few bouquets, and DIY your own arrangement. After all, no one knows what you love like you.
    10. Change up your space. *Cue romcom apartment overhaul montage.* Would your bed feel better against the wall? Could you get more inspiration working in front of the window? Make your home work for you.
    11. Start an herb garden. There are plenty of tools and resources online to help you get started. The best part? You can make it as small or as big as you have space for. (Actually, the best part is garnishing your pizzas and pastas with fresh, home-grown herbs.)
    12. Start a creative club. Don’t have time for hobbies? Do you have a side project you’d like to make more progress on? Weekly or monthly, invite your friends over or gather at a nearby café where you can each work on your passions together. The community—and the accountability—is amazing. 
    13. Write letters. Whenever I break out my favorite stationary and pen a few love letters and notes of gratitude to friends and family, I instantly feel transported to a period drama. And that—coming from a Bridgerton lover—is never a bad thing.
    14. Use the nice stuff. That bottle of wine you’ve been saving? The china gifted from your grandmother? The dress you’ve been keeping for a special occasion? Drink it, use it, wear it. Don’t wait for a perfect moment—that moment is now.
    15. Swap in inspiring tech backgrounds. You know the ones.
    16. Make your coffee table ~aesthetic~. Stock up on a few design books, cute objects, and a vase of flowers (perhaps your arrangement from idea #9?). 
    17. Set the mood for dinner. Turn down the lights, turn up your favorite vibey playlist, and make a meal just for you. 
    18. Disconnect. Unplug from your socials, email, and phone altogether. Schedule an hour a day or one day a week where you’re totally without your tech.
    19. Drive for the sake of driving. Is it just me, or is ‘taking a drive’ a totally underrated form of therapy? I’ve found that I can sort out so much by getting in my car and heading out without a destination in mind.
    20. Upgrade your loungewear. Do you have a habit of falling asleep in your high school soccer shirt? Do you pull on any old pair of shorts and call it good? Invest in quality sleepwear. It doesn’t have to be expensive, but it definitely makes a difference.
    21. Join a CSA. It’s a great way to get fresh, farm-grown veggies and to support your local community. Plus, who doesn’t love pretty produce?
    22. Connect with yourself first. In the morning, before you grab your phone or speak to anyone, look inward. Whether that’s journaling, meditating, or simply sitting in the quiet for a few minutes, put your peace first.
    23. Go on an adventure. Spring is the perfect time for road trips and spontaneous getaways. Brainstorm a trip you want to take with yourself, your SO, or your bestie. Whether that’s going camping or planning a staycation in your city, make it special. (And remember: that doesn’t have to mean expensive!)
    24. Shake up your sex routine. Let these spicy positions work their magic.
    25. Spring clean your closet. While you’re facing all the trends you bought into and never wore, make a vow to shop for sustainable or secondhand pieces this season.

    26. Take a deep dive into astrology. Or human design. Or whatever resonates with you. These practices can be an inspiring reminder that there are forces outside of us supporting our journey.
    27. Cleanse your life. It’s never too late to get things in order!
    28. Shop for a meal in a small, specialty grocery store. Maybe it’s just me, but there’s something so wonderful about exploring grocery stores abroad. You can get the same experience right at home by shopping at a specialty grocer. Make a meal around it—and yes, that meal can simply be good bread, good butter, and something fancy to round it out. 
    29. Put some thought into your nightstand. No, it’s not a dumping ground for things you don’t want to put in their rightful place. If you’re tired of waking up to a chaotic mess, streamline things: your book, flowers, perhaps a lamp, and a glass of water. Notice how I didn’t write “phone.”
    30. Make your junk drawer a wellness drawer. I did this a few months ago and it completely changed the game. Clear out your junk drawer and swap in all of your go-to wellness items: supplements, affirmation cards, your journal, etc. Trust me, it’ll spark way more joy.
    31. Get snobby about your coffee. Or tea—and not in a bad way! What I mean is, know what you like and own it. Whether that’s French press, pourover, or you prefer black tea over green. Taste test your way through all the warm beverages and connect with the one you love most. 
    32. Update all your travel documents. Romantic girlies are prepared girlies. If your spring or summer travel involves a European vacay, it’s best to realize now (not at the gate) that your passport is expired.
    33. Make your 3 p.m. snack teatime-worthy. Have you heard? All the hot girls are eating tinned fish. And while it’s not a prerequisite for your hotness—it’s a state of mind, after all—if you haven’t jumped on the tinned train yet, now’s the time. I love it with a baguette or seeded crackers. Adding a glass of rosé doesn’t hurt.
    34. Own your orgasm—every day if you’d like.
    35. Make infused water. Citrus slices, cucumbers, lemon, mint, strawberries—the possibilities are endless. If you’re making it a priority to drink more H20 this year, might as well make it spa-worthy.
    36. Delete your unused apps and any unused subscriptions while you’re at it. It’s one small act that can go a long way in making your phone a greater source of joy.
    37. Buy a new plant. Because it’s spring, and our spaces deserve a little green.
    38. Practice positive self-talk. If not now, when? Write down a few positive affirmations or pull from a list to help you get started. Say your favorites in the mirror until they resonate and feel true. It may take a while, but that’s okay: this is a practice.
    39. Find the movement you connect with. PSA: You don’t have to go to the gym if you hate it. The weather’s warming up—revamp your hot girl walk routine, toss a frisbee in the park with friends, or roll out your yoga mat somewhere you feel entirely zen. That’s right, we’re done viewing exercise as punishment.
    40. Sign up for your own community garden plot. Living in a city, I don’t have much opportunity to get my hands dirty and plant my own flowers and veggies. But I connected with my local neighborhood association and discovered that there’s a community garden a 10-minute walk from my apartment! I can’t wait to get out there and plant, water, and reap the beautiful benefits. 
    41. Attend local festivals. In the spring, cities and towns across the country come alive with a range of outdoor festivals. From movies to art to the most random celebrations—they’re a perfect excuse to get outdoors and connect with your community.
    42. Ditch multi-tasking for good. In 2023 and beyond, we’re taking things one step at a time. Whoever thinks multi-tasking is a skill hasn’t experienced the true joy of entering a flow state.
    43. Take your lunch break. No, a “break” doesn’t mean you’re checking emails while shoveling down your salad. Turn off your computer and leave your phone at your desk. Take a walk, connect with a coworker, or enjoy the hour all to yourself. It’s your time, spend it how you want.
    44. Find your signature scent. I never truly knew what perfume I preferred until I smelled Ouai’s Melrose Place. It takes a little experimenting, but the process is well worth finding the fragrance that makes you feel your best.
    45. Look for hearts. Unfortunately, I can’t remember the podcast I first learned this practice from, but it’s completely changed how I see the world. Now, when I go on my walks and move throughout my days, I’m on the hunt for hearts. I light up when I see the child-drawn crafts in my neighbor’s window or the chalk art on the sidewalk on my way to grab coffee. Get ready for your perspective to shift in profound ways.
    46. Recommit to what you loved doing as a child. Whatever sparks joy in your life, follow that feeling.
    47. Get sunlight first thing. It’s one of the most powerful ways to set your circadian rhythm and maintain steady energy levels throughout the day.
    48. Make a mood-boosting playlist. Curate a vibe with all your favorite songs. Yes, early-aughts bangers absolutely count.
    49. Create for you. I’ve found more joy in social media than ever by creating Reels that feel like a scrapbook—I’m not making them for anyone else but myself. They document my life in a way that I’m excited to look back on, capturing the moments and memories as they are. I’ll go as far as saying that I may love Instagram because of this new approach.
    50. Create an after-work routine. Yes, there’s more to life than hopping on the couch with a Trader Joe’s meal and The Bachelor (although that sounds pretty great). Structure a routine that will help you transition from the workday to you time. Does that involve changing into your comfies? Lighting a candle? Turning on a playlist? Whatever resonates, make it your vibe.

    I Implemented These 5 New Habits and Had the Best Month of My Life More

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    How To Optimize Your Home for Your Hormonal Health

    There are few things I loathe more than being told that something I do is “bad” for me. If you’ve been hanging around health and wellness circuits long enough, you’ve undoubtedly been told that just about everything you hold dear is bad for you in some way. At best it’s irritating, at worst, terrifying. And yet, here I am, writing the kind of article that’s likely to spike either your anxiety or your side-eye. For that, I’m sorry, but here’s why I’m writing it anyway: because I don’t feel hopeless about what I’m about to share, and I don’t think you should, either.
    Looking out for your hormones might be the best thing you can do for your body. Your endocrine system (which houses your hormones) affects so much more than your reproductive system. It also affects your body’s ability to manage stress, optimize your metabolism, sleep better, and ultimately age more gracefully. The road to hormonal health is paved with roadblocks, and most of them are environmental. I grilled Ariele Myers, a licensed herbalist, fertility specialist, and founder of Wisdom of the Womb, to discuss how your physical environment can wreak havoc on your endocrine system and how you can protect your body from the worst offenders. Remember, it’s not about perfection here. Even the smallest effort can make a big difference.

    Meet the expert
    Ariele Myers
    licensed herbalist, board certified acupuncturist, and fertility specialist
    Myers founded Arieles Apothecary, where she worked with some of the top Reproductive Endocrinologists and IVF centers in the country to help hundreds of women on their hormonal health and fertility journeys. In 2016, she founded Wisdom of the Womb, an online platform to educate on all things reproductive health.

    How does your environment affect hormonal health?
    There are chemicals roaming around your food, skincare, and household products that are considered “endocrine-disrupting chemicals.” According to, these chemicals interfere with your system by either mimicking your natural hormones, which makes your body think you’re in balance when you’re not, or by straight-up blocking hormone production. You’ve likely heard of the dangers of BPA, PFAs, and synthetic fragrance, but the list of endocrine-disrupting chemicals is so long it can feel a little hopeless. But awareness is the catalyst for change, and as folks have started sounding the alarm, a slow roll of conscientious companies have begun to make changes. 
    When I asked Myers which environmental factors were most important (and relatively easy) to avoid, she highlighted skincare, single-use plastics, and air quality. “Our skin is our largest organ, so anything we put on our skin should be as clean as possible,” she said, adding, “single-use (and really any) plastics tend to break down more easily, so we are literally ingesting plastic when we drink through a straw or a plastic coffee lid.” She also mentioned off-gassing from new carpets or paints can be detrimental, but if that’s not something you can totally avoid, try to keep windows open as much as possible.

    How to clean up your life to optimize hormonal health:
    Opt for eco-friendly brands:
    Myers explained that the best thing we can do for our bodies is to care for the earth, which is why many of her recommendations to care for your hormonal health are also more eco-friendly options. “I tend to say that if the earth is not healthy, none of its inhabitants can be, so avoid the things that you know are terrible for the planet too.” It’s an excellent incentive to stand-up for environmental rights. If you’re worried about all the hidden chemicals in your products, look for the eco-friendly companies that are transparent about their ingredients. Small changes in our habits can lead to great benefits for the planet and our hormones.

    Use non-toxic skincare:
    Thankfully, there are a bevy of clean skincare brands that are easily accessible, affordable, and transparent. The Environmental Working Group (EWG) has a great free resource called the Skin Deep Database which rates beauty products’ safety based on their ingredients, so you can check to see if your favorites fall within a safe range. If they don’t, it’s a great tool to explore new brands.

    Avoid plastics when possible:
    Single-use plastics are arguably hard to avoid, but there’s been an uptick in conscientious companies that are trying to update their packaging to be more environmentally (and body) friendly. And there are a few tricks that can at least minimize your intake of single-use plastics. For example, if you’re a big fan of your daily coffee run, bring your own mug. Most coffee shops allow this and I personally prefer my glass mug with a silicone sleeve and lid. Trying to avoid food with plastic packaging is notably challenging (and more costly) but simply being aware of it might inspire you to shop where produce isn’t pre-packaged, at the very least. If you’re eating take-out on the go, keeping a stash of bamboo cutlery nearby is a solid move too.

    Be intentional about improving air quality:
    In terms of air-quality, investing in an indoor air purifier is never a bad idea. If that’s not in the budget, keeping windows open as Myers noted is key, especially after buying a new rug or piece of furniture that could be off-gassing. Adding plants to keep the air clean is a great move, as is switching to more eco-friendly, non-toxic cleaning products, and ensuring your candles are natural and non-synthetic.

    Purify your water:
    Micro-plastics and other chemicals can seep into public drinking water. The EWG has a free tap water database that can help you figure out what kind of water filter would suit your home best based on where you live. Avoid tap water when you can, and invest in a quality water filter for your home like LifeStraw and consider a shower head filter (contaminants can get into your pores too!). 

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    I’m Always Tired: Here Are 5 Things I’m Adding to My Routine to Combat Exhaustion

    Everyone knows someone who can fall asleep anywhere and at any time, and if you don’t, now you do. It’s me. I am that someone. I have a habit of falling asleep in the car, on a plane, at someone else’s house, at a movie theatre, at a bar (OK, that only happened once), but you get the point. I am always down for a little nap, but it’s not because I’m lazy, I’m just always battling exhaustion. It’s a great problem to have when I am on a long flight and want to fall asleep, but overall, exhaustion isn’t so great because I’m an adult who has a career and responsibilities that need tending to.
    After yawning one too many times on a Zoom call, I decided it was time to make some changes in my routine because I needed more energy and I needed it stat. Always one to lean on products and routines that prioritize wellness over quick fixes, I have found five things that have helped me combat exhaustion, and I am sharing them with you all here:

    1. Energy Capsules
    I am a coffee girly through and through, but I know myself better than to think I can have more than two cups of coffee. Especially if I reach for a cup in the afternoon, I start to bounce off the walls, immediately get a headache, and then crash from the jitters. For this reason, I have not allowed myself to have coffee past 10 a.m. in a long time. But when I do need some extra caffeine, I always reach for Equilibria’s Energy Capsules because they have the same amount of natural caffeine as a standard cup of coffee but the caffeine is paired with L-Theanine which is an amino acid that helps reduce mental fatigue and supports calm alertness. Taking up to two of these capsules when I need to get in the zone and have focused energy has been a game-changing addition to my routine. Try them out for yourself and use code THEEVERYGIRL for 20% off your first order at Equilibria!

    Energy Capsules
    Equilibria’s Energy capsules deliver calm, focused energy so your mind and body can operate at peak performance. Since they get to work in 30-60 minutes, your energy is back in action in no time.
    Use code THEEVERYGIRL for 20% off + get a FREE Nourishing Body Oil for a limited time only!

    2. Low-Intensity Exercises
    Back in the day (AKA before I turned 25), I would wake up and head straight to a high-intensity, bootcamp-style workout class 5-6 days a week. Looking back, I don’t know how or why I did that, but my routine looks a lot different now. While I still love a sweaty HIIT class every now and then, adding yoga and pilates into my routine has drastically helped me feel less run down and tired on a day-to-day basis. I have also been incorporating long walks on the weekends and even during my lunch break sometimes for a little refresh and boost of energy.

    3. Greens Powders
    Greens powders are absolutely everywhere right now including, but not limited to, all influencers’ morning routine videos, ads on Instagram and TikTok, commercials on podcasts, and even the end caps of my local grocery store. I can’t escape them even if I tried, and trust me, I did. But after a long time of trying to avoid buying into the hype, I gave in and to my wallet’s despair, I truly am better for it. Instead of starting my morning diving headfirst into a pot of coffee, I start with a huge glass of water and my greens. The vitamins, minerals, and adaptogens that are included in some of my favorite powders help deliver steady energy that lasts throughout the day.

    Greens Supplement
    These tablet support your energy with instant nutrients. All you have to do is drop one tablet in a glass of water, let it dissolve, and drink up.

    4. Breathwork
    I know that breathwork sounds woo-woo, but studies have shown that by incorporating high-frequency breathing, people can increase their ability to sustain attention. And when I am dosing off midday, it’s just what I need to get back into action. After a few minutes of guided breathwork (I love the Breathwrk app!), I feel better equipped to stay on task and power through my to-do list. And the best part is that it only takes a few minutes, so whenever I am feeling the effects of exhaustion and need a pick me up, I like to rely on this super quick but effective practice.

    5. Balanced Snacks
    I really do wish that popcorn and chocolate were enough to power me through the day, but your body runs off what you feed it, and I need a little more support than my favorite movie theatre snacks to beat exhaustion. In between my regular meal times, I reach for snacks that have whole grains (like oats, brown rice, and quinoa), healthy fats (like nuts, seeds, and avocado), protein (like eggs, chicken, and protein powder), and fiber (like beans, berries, and chia seeds). While I might not always check all the boxes, I notice that when I reach for more balanced snacks, I don’t feel as tired throughout the day. Some of my favorite snacks are protein bars, crackers or veggies with hummus, smoothies, and apples with peanut butter.

    Protein Bar
    RX Bars are the snack I reach for the most—both at home and on the go when I need a pick me up. They have simple ingredients, come in tons of flavors, and are high in protein.

    Tired of Feeling Tired? Here Are 10 Ways To Get Better Sleep by Tomorrow

    This post contains a sponsored inclusion of Equilibria, but all of the opinions within are those of The Everygirl editorial board. More