2020 Update: How are you doing? I'm feeling all over the place. I’m up, I’m down. I have moments of, “I can do this. I have a lot to be grateful for. There are some real silver linings here.” Then, within hours, I can completely swing to the other direction. I go from feeling competent to feeling like a failure, from gratitude to depression, from optimism to despair. These internal swings, combined with the external flood of information (not to mention the fatigue of trying to keep up) can feel overwhelming.
Still, I continue to fall back on my favorite sources of information and entertainment to help my navigate all of this stress and uncertainty. I hope you enjoy these updated recommendations.
We are living in an information age on steroids. There is SO much information out there. Endless emails, posts, and notifications all vying for our attention. And many of these resources are attached to endless products that promise to fix what ails you.
Here are some of my favorite resources for body, heart, soul and mind. Some of them offer products, but do not promote them aggressively. In my experience, the information is good and trustworthy. And some of these resources are just pure fun and entertainment.
Starting Strength by Mark Rippetoe
After many years of trying different kinds of exercise and strength training, I've decided that barbell training (combined with interval training) is the way to go. This books details the fundamentals of good technique for the squat, deadlift, and press (and a few others).
*2020 update: I'm still a fan of the barbell, especially for building up core strength, but I'm now incorporating more AthleanXX workouts into my routine (see website link below)
Also, I have a goal of reading 50 books for 2020 -- I've read 22 so far! You can follow my progress on Goodreads if you'd like to see what I've read and recommend (goodreads.com)
My go-to resource anytime I want a trustworthy, objective source of health information. I've consulted with it for all kinds of questions, from microwaving food to using fluoride toothpaste to understanding allergies.
Another go-to source for health and medical information. My husband came across Chris Kresser when he was researching ways to naturally lower his cholesterol and the information he found was extremely helpful.
James helps people master their habits and routines to figure out, "How can we become the architect of our habits rather than the victim of them?" Among his many excellent articles is one on weightlifting that perfectly sums up its physical, mental, and emotional benefits (https://jamesclear.com/why-lift-weights)
AthleanX videos by Jeff Cavaliere My go-to for addressing muscle imbalance. I use his AthleanXX for women workout program several times a week.
I use Alan's videos to help make sure I'm using the proper technique for my major barbell exercises: the low bar squat, overhead press, and deadlift. He knows his stuff and he keeps it fun.
Happier with Gretchen Rubin
I regularly listen to this podcast. Gretchen Rubin is the author of many books as well as a personality type assessment that helps you figure out if you’re an Obliger (that’s me), Upholder, Rebel, or Questioner. (4 Tendencies Quiz) Once you know your tendency, you can better problem solve how to motivate yourself, optimize your strengths, and recognize the patterns that keep you from achieving your goals.
I love a good story, and I love the raw honesty and vulnerability of people sharing their stories, rehearsed but unscripted, in front of a live audience. I especially appreciate this podcast when I’m feeling sad, lonely, disconnected, or unmotivated -- it always helps me feel more connected to the human spirit.
Wait Wait... Don't Tell Me!
Pretty much the only way I can follow current events and stay uplifted. Funny, witty, articulate guests -- it’s a news show, comedy hour and improv show all in one.
Conan O’Brien Needs a Friend
This podcast is a recent discovery -- laughing along to his interview with Kegan-Michael Key felt like a deliriously happy cardiovascular workout. I forgot what it felt like to laugh that much -- and it felt great. :) Warning: this podcast tends to contain explicit language and every now and then I feel like he goes off the rails a bit, but there are true moments of comedic genius and connection in there.
Christine Hassler has a wonderful podcast counseling people who are struggling or feeling stuck in their lives. She offers an insightful blend of practical and spiritual advice and is skilled at zeroing in on "what's really going on." I often recognize my own struggles and experiences in the sessions she shares. She also has regular "Coaches Corner" episodes that feature experts in various fields of health and wellness. One of my favorite episodes features Mark Sisson (see above) discussing how to optimize your health.
The Art of Charm guys are great -- full of energy and enthusiasm that is aimed at helping people improve their lives, personally and professionally. They have an impressive range of guests, who are experts in everything from people skills to self-defense to time-management to getting outside of your comfort zone.)
**Update as of 2020: I no longer listen to that podcast. From what I understand they have changed the character of that show. Their host, Jordan Harbinger (who was, in my opinion, the best part of that podcast), left and started his own podcast, The Jordan Harbinger Show, which is a great show with wonderful guests and interesting interviews (https://www.jordanharbinger.com)