At the end of last summer, I had an existential crisis. I was about to turn 35, at a career crossroads, and on the verge of leaving the U.S. for good. I reflected back on how my adult years had been spent. They were self-serving, blurry and distant, and lacking deep personal connections with others. And myself.
I’d been living unhappily as a “man-child” — a lifestyle fueled by excessive partying and minimal commitment — for most of my adult life. Ashamed and disappointed I hadn’t accomplished more, I dwelled on squandered time and people I’d hurt along the way. I wanted to run from it all.
Rather than bouncing to Bangkok, however, I decided to clear my head. I was going to try an long-overdue experiment: a break from drinking. Half a year later, I’m still enjoying the positive benefits of that decision.
Continue reading Why We Took a Break From Drinking: A Talkspace Co-Worker Chat
Online therapy is proven to be as effective, if not more effective than face-to-face therapy, with important benefits that bring the experience into the modern era. For some, traditional therapy is their choice because they haven’t yet experienced the freedom that online therapy offers.
If you’re on the fence about whether online therapy is right for you, consider these positive benefits.
Continue reading 5 Reasons Online Therapy is Right For You
“I’m sorry to say that your test results were negative.”
Moments before the answer, I knew the nurse was about to deliver another bout of crushing news. The tone in her voice and subtle hesitation quietly revealed that despite our best efforts with a superovulation cycle, I was still not pregnant.
After the call, I brushed a stray tear aside and went back to my desk to finish the work day, only to release buckets of emotion the moment I slid into the driver’s seat of my SUV to head home.
Continue reading The Mental Health Costs of Infertility
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.
Continue reading Why Sexual Health was an Important Topic at This Year’s Coachella Festival
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?
Continue reading 100 Ways You’re Making Your Life Harder Than It Needs to Be
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.
Continue reading Is Drinking Making You Depressed?
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.
Continue reading 7 Signs of Alcohol Abuse
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.
Continue reading Fear of Change: Why Life Adjustments are Difficult for You
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).
Continue reading How a Healthy Morning Routine Can Benefit Your Mental Health
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?
Continue reading 6 Traits of Highly Toxic People