Stop Shopping!

That new winter coat/pair of boots/handbag you’re thinking of splashing out on? Save your cash and book a holiday. Why? Because research shows that experiences bring people more happiness.

shopping happiness

Live in anticipation, gathering stories and memories. New research builds on the vogue mantra of behavioral economics. Read more: The Atlantic.

Mastering Meditation

Of course you’re aware of how important mindfulness and meditation are. That doesn’t mean you succeed with either of them though… So how can you master meditation and calm your thoughts ?

meditating

Don’t have the time or patience for devoting 20 minutes a day to sitting still? You can still meditate with small moments of mindfulness. Read more: Fast Company.

Managing Time

There are 168 hours in every week. That sounds like a heck of a lot, right? And somehow sometimes it can seem like you spend every one of them chasing your tail, failing to get things done and feeling like the least productive human being on the planet. So what needs to change?

time management

We seek work-life balance but it seems there’s never enough time to get it all done. And yet we all know there are people who accomplish a lot more than we do in a day — and they don’t have magic powers. How do the most successful people manage their time? Here’s how you can get tons of stuff accomplished during the week, feel less stressed and even have more fun at the weekend. Read more: Business Insider.

A Crisis in Politics

It might seem like feminism is having a bit of a moment in the UK, but female representation in government couldn’t be more disappointing. How can we take action?

emmeline pankhurst

In 1997, the UK ranked 20th in the international league table of women’s representation in parliament. Today we are 65th. Why have we plummeted so far, so fast? And what can we do about it? Read more: The Guardian.

How to Be Alone

With social media and smartphones permanent fixtures in our modern lives, we’re never far away from friends are we? Maybe being alone makes you feel anxious, uneasy even? But perhaps understanding being alone is actually a very important experience.

being alone

Curiously, and importantly, mastering the art of solitude doesn’t make us more antisocial but, to the contrary, better able to connect. By being intimate with our own inner life, this frees us to reach greater, more dimensional intimacy with others. Read more: Brain Pickings.

The A/W 2014 Art Agenda

From a chance to get up close with the legendary Marilyn series to the much-anticipated Zaha Hadid-designed WOMEN FASHION POWER, plan your travels and cultural activities for the coming months with this selection of big name global exhibitions. 

andy warhol

What do Andy Warhol, Christian Louboutin and Cecily Brown have in common? Their artistic handiwork will all be on display in not-to-miss exhibitions this season. Spend your September staring at stilettos, October observing pop art and November noting political paintings. Read more: Harpers Bazaar.

The Power of Smiling

Only one-third of us smile more than 20 times a day. Unbelievable. And yet smiling reduces stress and helps us live a longer, happier life – amongst other things. It’s time to get smiling people!

Ron Gutman reviews a raft of studies about smiling, and reveals some surprising results. Did you know your smile can be a predictor of how long you’ll live — and that a simple smile has a measurable effect on your overall well-being? Prepare to flex a few facial muscles as you learn more about this evolutionarily contagious behavior. See more: TED.

How to Motivate Yourself

Are those tasks staring back at you from your to-do list? And yet, somehow you just can’t quite motivate yourself to do any of them…. Believe it or not, there’s one essential – and scientifically proven – step we’re all missing out. 

motivation

You make goals… but then you procrastinate. You write a to-do list… but then you don’t follow through. And this happens again and again and again. Seriously, what’s the problem? Read more: TIME.

No Time to Think

Why have we become too busy to stop and think? What’s the result of avoiding our worries, concerns and negative thoughts?

thinking

One of the biggest complaints in modern society is being overscheduled, overcommitted and overextended. Ask people at a social gathering how they are and the stock answer is “super busy,” “crazy busy” or “insanely busy.” Nobody is just “fine” anymore. And if there is ever a still moment for reflective thought, out comes the mobile device. Read more: New York Times.

RIH Drinks

Enjoying a cooling cocktail on a summer evening has to be one of life’s greatest pleasures. Nothing too complicated mind, this isn’t the time for faffing about with unusual ingredients or measuring equipment. From the Watermelon Refresher to a summery Rosé Sangria Spritz, these are the cocktails you’ll find us sipping at sundown…

summer cocktails

This summer is all about the spritz. Long drinks that aren’t too high in alcohol, and that have a few gentle bubbles to tickle the taste buds, are a refreshing way to start the evening (and slightly less precipitous than a martini). They are also good for gatherings – barbecues, school fêtes, pre-dinner drinks, watching a game of cricket – because they can be made and poured quickly en masse. Read more: The Telegraph.