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Don't Try to Purge Your Stress Dreams Don't Try to Purge Your Stress Dreams

I don’t wish that I’d finished college. I dropped out one semester early, for exactly the kind of media job that I’d hoped to work toward after graduating. So why have I had the same dream for years, where I’ve gone back to school for one last semester, moved away from my wife and into a dorm, and I’m already late for…

Motivate Your Teen With This Interviewing Trick  Motivate Your Teen With This Interviewing Trick 

When parents tell their teenagers to do something, it makes them want to, well, not do it. You know this if you have a teen, or if you have ever been a teen. Moms and dads can keep pushing, nagging, threatening to shut down Fortnite forever, but that only leads to short-term compliance at best.

How Many Friends Do You Need to Be Happy?

We’re social creatures by nature who rely on one another, so we automatically seek out people to create substantial relationships. But how many friends do you need in your life? And how many can you actually have?

How Psychedelics Can Expand Your Consciousness, With Michael Pollan How Psychedelics Can Expand Your Consciousness, With Michael Pollan

Michael Pollan has been writing about the the intersection of nature and culture for over 30 years. He may be best known as the guy who summed up his principles for eating thusly: “Eat food, not too much, mostly plants.” He is the author of several books, including In Defense of Food, The Omnivore’s Dilemma, and The…

The Best Way to Ask for a Favor The Best Way to Ask for a Favor

So, you need some help. It’s okay, we all need a hand sometimes. Problem is, a lot of us don’t know how to go about asking—so we don’t. Well, according to a social psychologist, here’s the simplest, most effective way to ask for a favor.

How to Avoid a Life of Regret How to Avoid a Life of Regret

What is it you’ll regret most about your life when your time is up? Failure to fulfill your duty and obligations? Or the failure to follow your dreams? New research from Cornell University suggests our biggest regrets have nothing to do with our responsibilities in life.

Where to Get Help if You're Struggling to Find Love, Sex, and Companionship Where to Get Help if You're Struggling to Find Love, Sex, and Companionship

You can trace a lot, and perhaps most, of what is happening in a culture through the words people choose to cloak their most terrifying and terrible instincts. And there are, right now, few self-chosen labels with worse connotations than “involuntarily celibate” or “incel.”

Why It's Harder to Think in the Summer Heat  Why It's Harder to Think in the Summer Heat 

Look, it’s just hard to get work done in the summer. It’s bright and sunny on the other side of that window, you’ve always got a friend or two posting beach pics on Instagram, and unless the A/C is blowing right on you, all you can think about is where your next ice-cold beverage is coming from.

The Best Way to Persuade Someone That They're Wrong Is to Show Them How They're Right The Best Way to Persuade Someone That They're Wrong Is to Show Them How They're Right

When you’re debating a topic with someone, it’s in your best interest to avoid flat-out telling someone they’re wrong. All it does is make the other person defensive, causing them to entrench themselves further in their beliefs. Instead, tell them all the ways they’re right, then guide them to realizing they’re wrong…

How to Think Like a Cat, With Humorist Stéphane Garnier  How to Think Like a Cat, With Humorist Stéphane Garnier 

Our guest on this week’s Upgrade is author Stéphane Garnier, whose book How to Think Like a Cat extols the many virtues of adopting a feline mindset.

If Meditation Stresses You Out, Try This If Meditation Stresses You Out, Try This

I have a bad habit of trying to meditate, getting distracted, and immediately giving up, just to try it again six months later. So this observation from redditor Subduction really got me:

This Mood Log Might Cure Your Gamer Rage This Mood Log Might Cure Your Gamer Rage

Multiplayer video games can get toxic fast, especially when you’re stuck with a team of overranked LOSERS and you are the ONLY ONE guarding the last capture point while Trash6Boner9 just DICKS AROUND. You complain to your friend or your partner, and they ask why you even play this game if it pisses you off so much.…

Why You Should Brainstorm for Questions, Not Answers Why You Should Brainstorm for Questions, Not Answers

The goal of brainstorming is to find possible solutions to a problem, but the process often becomes a platform for the outspoken, who offer the same perspective time and time again. Instead: ask everyone to generate more questions about the problem so you get a better understanding of what it really is. This…

How to Get Over Yourself, With Buddhist Psychiatrist Mark Epstein How to Get Over Yourself, With Buddhist Psychiatrist Mark Epstein

In this episode we talked with author and psychiatrist Mark Epstein, whose books include Thoughts Without a Thinker, and Going to Pieces Without Falling Apart. His latest book, Advice Not Given: A Guide to Getting Over Yourself, uses Buddhism’s Noble Eightfold Path as a roadmap for spiritual and psychological growth.…

This Is How Many Friends You Need to Be Happy This Is How Many Friends You Need to Be Happy

Friends make you happy, healthy, and they’ll be there for you when the rain starts to pour. But how many of them do you need? Turns out the show Friends had the science all figured out.

How to Deal With Assholes How to Deal With Assholes

If I asked you to identify the biggest asshole in your life right now, how quickly would you be able to come up with a name? Some of us might be able to list three or four assholes with whom we interact on a daily basis, plus all of the anonymous assholes who cut us off in traffic, cut in front of us in line, and…

Pretend You're Good at It  Pretend You're Good at It 

A while back, I met up with my pal Jenny Lawson, who was in town recording the audiobook version of her memoir, Let’s Pretend This Never Happened. I asked her how it was going, and she told me that it had been going horribly—until, in a panic, she reached out to a writer friend of hers for advice.

Free Yourself From the 'Nagging Data' in Your Life Free Yourself From the 'Nagging Data' in Your Life

The numbers and icons displayed on our device’s screens are meant to be useful; they tell us how much battery is left, how many unread messages we have, and when we need to update something. But more often than not, this data just nags us, constantly poking us like a toddler who wants their mother’s attention. It…

The Cognitive Biases That Convince You the World Is Falling Apart The Cognitive Biases That Convince You the World Is Falling Apart

The world appears to be in a rough place right now. If you turn on the TV or open up your web browser, you’re almost guaranteed to be bombarded by bad news. But is the world really doomed? Or is your animal brain playing tricks on you? Chin up—things aren’t always as bad as they seem.

Are All These Parenting Books Messing With Parents' Heads?  Are All These Parenting Books Messing With Parents' Heads? 

I have a massive stack of parenting books on my desk. Some of them tell me I’m doing an awesome job raising my kid (those books, I dog-ear and pet lovingly). Others tell me I’m screwing everything up, from bed time to screen time. I devour them all, for my job, but also because there’s part of me that keeps looking…

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