Why Sexual Health was an Important Topic at This Year’s Coachella Festival

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Glitter and jewels coat faces, arms, and cleavage. Outfits are perfectly paired to maximize Instagram appeal and reach. Alcohol and substances fuel the connections of strangers while rotating DJs ensure ample beats.

Despite the lineup of artists, the real show at Coachella Music Festival is the private party scene. I had the opportunity to participate in one such event, the Safe Space Party at Laguna Seca. As a licensed Talkspace sex therapist, I had the privilege of speaking and participating in this event to support the promotion of a new app, SAFE, designed to support stigma free sharing of STI test results with sexual partners. Other companies and organizations joined the event as sponsors and speakers, including Amber Rose; Julia Cheek, founder of EverlyWell, the Crave vibrator team; and Vera Papisova from Teen Vogue.

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100 Ways You’re Making Your Life Harder Than It Needs to Be

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Everybody’s goal should be to work smarter, not harder. I’m not just talking about work work, but I’m also talking about the little things in daily life that add up, making things a whole lot harder than they need to be. And so, I’ve compiled 100 examples — including many things I’m guilty of.

Hopefully, this list will have you nodding your head and saying, “Uh-huh, yup, I do that!” or maybe even, “Oh crap, I’m doing that RIGHT NOW!” so you can realize some “mistakes” you’re making. Some of them are easy fixes, like, wearing pants two sizes too small. Just go out and get a new pair of pants which you can actually breathe in! But some of them are long-term unhealthy habits that will take time to break — like stalking your ex on social media!

Here’s your chance to be honest with yourself and recognize some less-than-ideal behaviors you should work on. Make small steps and start actively reversing the behaviors, creating better habits, making for an easier life. Who doesn’t want that?
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Is Drinking Making You Depressed?

Woman on chair holding bottle of wine to her temple.

Drinking has a firm foot in our culture, and it seems to fit any occasion.

Having a birthday and turning 21, 30, or 50? Have a round on the house!

Getting married? Crank up Rihanna’s “Cheers (Drink to That)” and throw one (or five) back while grooving on the dance floor into the wee hours of the morning.

Going on a first date? Why not meet at the bar for a classy cocktail or glass of wine?

Had a hard day at work, bad week, or even a rough month when you just can’t seem to shake that sinking feeling? Nothing a drink to lift the spirits can’t solve…

And that’s where we begin to run into trouble — self-medicating our depression through alcohol consumption.

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7 Signs of Alcohol Abuse

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Many people drink socially and feel that their drinking habits are normal and healthy. There are other individuals who acknowledge that they are addicted to alcohol.

But in between these two categories is a subset of social drinkers who are secretly worried that their drinking behaviors may indicate alcohol abuse. These people may not share their concerns with family, friends, or significant others, but in the back of their minds, they are anxious that their drinking is out of hand.

If you’re always wondering what exactly distinguishes social drinking from alcohol abuse, or if you worry about the drinking of a loved one, these seven points may help you figure out whether your drinking is something you may want to cut back on.

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Fear of Change: Why Life Adjustments are Difficult for You

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The fear of change is one of the most common fears that people face. I see it frequently among my therapy clients, and just as frequently among friends.

Change is difficult for everyone; there are few people that don’t feel somewhat anxious at the prospect of a major upheaval in their lives. The problem comes when fear of change keeps people paralyzed in situations that are not healthy or fulfilling, or when their fear of change isn’t confined to significant changes, but encompasses relatively minor, daily changes in routine.

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How a Healthy Morning Routine Can Benefit Your Mental Health

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I’ve never understood the people who are able to set one alarm for the morning and actually wake up at that designated time. I didn’t count, but I think I set 15 alarms this morning all in 5 to 10 minute increments. Once I finally got out of bed, I threw on clothes, didn’t eat breakfast and ran out the door — only to be angry at myself, and still not feel well rested. On the way to where I needed to be, I asked myself, “WHY AM I LIKE THIS!?”

I set out to figure out if I’m alone in this mayhem by asking some of my friends about their morning routines (or, lack thereof).

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6 Traits of Highly Toxic People

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Everyone knows people who are very difficult to deal with, but when does “difficult” cross into “toxic”? While toxic is not an official diagnosis, there are some individuals that cause endless interpersonal conflict, and tend to make others feel bad about themselves on a regular basis.

Some individuals with Narcissistic, Histrionic, or Borderline Personality Disorder can fit these descriptions, but just having one of those disorders doesn’t necessarily mean that someone acts “toxic” to everyone or to anyone. Do you recognize anyone you know in the following descriptions of habits of toxic people?

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The Unexpectedly Positive Attributes of Anxiety

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We all get anxious sometimes: first-date butterflies, taking a test worth 33% of our final grade, or driving away from home only to wonder if we really turned off the stove. Most of the time, these everyday worries pass.

But if you have an anxiety disorder, daily worries can take over your life. From work performance to social interactions and everything in between, an anxiety disorder can leave you feeling nervous, fearful, agitated, and constantly on edge. Luckily, therapists can help those who suffer from anxiety disorders learn to cope with symptoms, and address habits caused by anxiety.

Understanding these habits is the first step toward living happily and healthily with an anxiety disorder. And the news isn’t all bad: Many of the habits people with anxiety express can actually be good qualities if channeled in the right way. Here are some common habits of people with anxiety, and how you can find your secret strengths inside of these behaviors.

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7 Secrets of Highly Resilient People

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Unfortunate situations are often called setbacks for a good reason: they set you back from your carefully planned life trajectory. For many of us, losing a pet, failing on a work project, or experiencing a harsh rejection can feel like the end of the world.

For some lucky people, these problems don’t seem permanent. Sure, they might feel sad, and yes, even a little disappointment. But they’re resilient: able to bounce back quickly, even from the most serious setbacks. This ability isn’t magic — it’s resiliency, and you can experience it too. Cultivate this life-changing trait by practicing these seven simple habits.

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Is Anxiety Genetic?

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As a therapist, I often work with many clients who live with anxiety. That should come as no surprise as anxiety disorders are among some of the most common mental health conditions, especially in the United States. Around 40 million people deal with an anxiety condition annually. One question that comes up from time to time is, “is my anxiety genetic?”

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