It’s 7 am, and I’ve just rolled out of bed and dragged myself to my kitchen. I start my breakfast routine, sipping on a glass of water as I assemble the ingredients to start me off for the day. Here’s what's on the list: bacon (which I need to find an alternative for), eggs, an eggo (guilty treat), and a whole avocado, because #health. I’ve plugged my headphones in to listen to some calming music during the morning (sometimes it’s just audio of a fireplace… weird I know) and I pour my coffee grinds into my french press to brew.
My phone and laptop are missing from this equation, and for good reason: I like my mornings to myself. At most I check my phone briefly to make sure I didn’t miss any emergencies throughout the night (such as a friend or family member in crisis), although the only notifications I have on my phone are for phone calls (I tell all my close friends and family to call if there’s an issue). So when I know there are no problems, I can sync up my Bluetooth headphones, leave my phone on the table, and start my morning in peace.
After chowing down on my breakfast (God, I sound like a cartoon character) and enjoying my coffee in peace, I take care of the rest of the morning: brush my teeth, do a 10-minute meditation, and open up my phone to see what chaos has transpired during my sleep and what the day entails.
Out of all my apps, my email is my important one. It’s specifically cultivated to be as beneficial for me as possible. I have one main email I use for professional correspondence, important updates, and newsletters that help me be a less shitty person. The last part is what I want to talk about today: newsletters that are actually helpful for me, so I can start my day off on the right foot.
I’ve subscribed to a bunch, and thankfully many of them only send one a week or bi-monthly, so it isn’t overwhelming. But these few newsletters are some of my most valuable reads of the day: they start me off on a positive foot, put me in a forward-thinking mindset, and keep me up to date with what’s going on in the world (without selling my soul to the modern news cycle).
These five newsletters cover a variety of topics but narrow down to the following: current news and self-improvement.
They’re curated based on what I feel I need as someone who is trying to be an engaged citizen: how to be a better person, what’s going on in the world, and what’s going on in my country.
They’re not too overwhelming either: they’re all about a five minute read (if you’re a fast enough reader) and are sent to your inbox at specific points in the day or week. The first two on this list are the most frequent, happening every morning from Monday to Friday. The next two happen once a week, and the final one happens bi-monthly. All easy to handle!
Oh, and before we begin: I want to stress I’m not sponsored by any of these newsletters. I just really like them.
Alright, I’ll stop rambling. Let’s check out these five newsletters that make my life a little bit better.
This is the first one in my inbox and the most philosophical. The Daily Stoic is a newsletter (although they do much more) that shares a short piece of wisdom that comes from the teachings of Stoicism, an ancient philosophy of personal ethics and understanding of the world. It argues the “why’s and how’s” of being a just individual, and the newsletter serves as a reminder for me each morning as to why it’s important to be a good person. It’s always as short read, so I can get on with my day pretty quickly.
I love love LOVE The Skimm. It’s a newsletter each day of the workweek that condenses major events going on in the world (although it’s mostly focused on U.S. based events) into short, factual reads. It’s a fantastic knowledge translator, doing a wonderful job of taking complex events and distilling them into the need-to-knows. According to the Media Bias Fact Check site, they rank high for reliability.
I don’t like consuming much media, but as a politically involved individual, I like to stay someone informed about what’s going on in the world. Right now this newsletter does a good job covering the essentials.
(I think this has changed to Mindfuck Monday’s, but the same newsletter. I don’t know. I’m new here.)
This newsletter is from the phenomenal Mark Manson, author of The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck and Everything Is Fucked: A Book About Hope. Mark sends out this newsletter only once a week (guess what day he sends it), and in it, he talks about, and I quote “three interesting ideas that will hopefully make you a slightly less awful person”. It’s been a great newsletter to start my week.
This one comes out every Thursday and is max a 3-minute read. 3–2–1 is from James Clear, author of Atomic Habits. In it, he shares three ideas from himself, two quotes from others, and one question for the reader to ponder. I’m a big quotes guy, so his section on quotes from others is always a great read. Because this comes out once a week and is a short read, it doesn’t take up much time or inbox space.
This one is my personal favourite. It’s from a really cool organization called Apathy Is Boring. It’s similar to The Skimm in the sense that it distills current and big events into a quick and easy to read newsletter, with one notable difference: it’s for Canadians. Did I tell you I’m Canadian?
Every second Wednesday, The Feed gives you a quick breakdown of everything going on in Canada (and anything big happening in the world), making it easy to stay up to date with what’s happening in The Great White North.
Side Note: My inbox is curated to be as empty as possible, so only the essentials exist. I have a separate email for anything I sign up for, and I regularly clear my inbox of anything that isn’t important. That being said, I know many of you have busier lives with less time to spare. If you are looking for a good newsletter to sign up for, try one of them and see how it vibes with your schedule/life. If you don’t like it, the unsubscribe button is only a click away.
I want to re-stress that I am not in any way affiliated with these newsletters. I subscribed to them after suggestions from friends, from following thought leaders that support these (or created them) or because they seemed interesting. I recommend them to everyone. But, whatever newsletters you decide to subscribe to, I hope you consider what I considered when I signed up for them: how do they serve you?
If you have any newsletters you subscribe to, leave a comment below and share them!
And as always,
Carpe Diem, kids.
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