As you know, I don’t typically come on here and tell you to buy things (not really my m.o.), but when I think about the best purchases I’ve ever made all of them are related to thinking better, sleeping better and feeling better. When it comes to spending money, I’d much rather drop $100 or more on an experience than on yoga pants.
While none of these items are essential, they are all things I would gladly spend my money on again. I’d love to know if you (yes, you reading this, hi!) have any purchases under $100 that improved your quality of life…tweet them to me or let me know in the comments below.
This is where all the assholes say “Raegan, Calm is an app, not an item.” First of all, it’s 2018. Second of all, I never thought I’d see the day where I’d spend $60 on an app, but here we are.
I had horrible insomnia in fall 2017 and my mom kept telling me about using sleep stories to distract my brain before bed, which is a feature of the app. I thought it sounded dumb, but when not even sleeping pills would work I gave it a try.
I was out cold in 10 minutes. I use this feature every night now and swear by it. I also use the guided meditation feature a few times a week, especially during the day when I can’t focus or I’m feeling really frazzled.
FIVE MINUTE JOURNAL
I’ve been long-form journaling for most of my life, but I noticed I would fall off for months at a time because it can be very hard to carve out the right amount of time for it. Tim Ferriss swears by this book, so naturally, I was very interested. I wanted all the benefits of journaling in a structured format that made the habit easy to keep.
I think this is an amazing, simple option for a busy person who still wants to journal. I leave my Five Minute Journal on my pillow so it makes it harder to forget to fill out the night section (that’s my sticking point when it comes to keeping the habit). Also makes a great gift for someone who is new to journaling and needs the guidance.
SAJE SLEEP WELL KIT
More sleep = happier human. After I read The Ripple Effect it totally changed my perspective on sleep.
I can also eat an entire loaf of bread in one sitting if I’m tired enough. True story. The part of our brain that controls our willpower gets tired too.
The main reason I love this kit is the plushy eye mask. If you live in an apartment with big beautiful windows and shitty blinds like me, a good eye mask can be the difference between waking up with the sun and sleeping in. Also, I love the smell of the sleep well rollerball. The scent might be a bit strong for some people but I use it on my wrists and neck and it makes my bed and pillow smell super fresh and herbal for the next time I crawl into bed.
Also, taking an Epsom salt bath before bed is 10/10 the best and most relaxing thing ever. Learned this during my 60 days of sobriety. You don’t need to use the overpriced Saje brand bath soak for this – I use the Teal’s brand and it gets the job done just the same.
FOAM ROLLER + MASSAGE BALL
You really don’t need to pay more than $50 for these two items together, especially if you just use a lacrosse ball as a massage ball. My body takes a shit kicking on a weekly basis and the result is all sorts of weird kinks and pain. Nothing fancy here, but I can’t imagine what life would be like without this type of equipment.
As someone who’s been in physiotherapy for months fixing my hamstring, words cannot express how much relief I get from being able to use these two things after I’ve been sitting at my desk all day. For smaller muscles, the ball is the best option especially if you lean into it on the wall and using the pressure to work out tightness in your back, shoulders and glutes. Go to Walmart for both. Can’t go wrong.
I work on my laptop all day, every day, and since I have a MacBook Pro I found that my wrists were always irritated from the edge of the computer, and my posture was horrible because the computer was so much lower than my eye line. I got a laptop stand from Ikea for under $10 and it’s kind of insane how much it improved my desk experience. Small adjustment = big payoff.
As much as a corkboard seems like a weird thing to put on this list, looking at it every day really does make me happy. Whenever I look up from my screen I see all the people I love, the things I want to manifest in my life and the things/people that inspire me. It also gives me a place to put my stickies, important pieces of paper and other things that I don’t want to leave cluttering my desk but I also can’t forget about.
Quotes I keep on my desk:
- Sometimes, the only way out is through.
- Love people. Use things.
- Trust your intuition.
- We see what we want.
Growing up, I often used shopping/browsing for clothes or makeup as a way of distracting me from whatever I was feeling. I always believed that buying something, like an amazing pair of jeans that made my legs look thinner, would make me happier and help me embrace my body more, but those purchases just kept me on the hedonic treadmill going nowhere.
In my case, most of my happiness comes from the gratitude I feel related to the things that are already around me. The fact that I can afford all the things I listed above is a privilege and a bonus.
You can have all the luxury home goods and the most Pinterest-perfect apartment in the world, but if you don’t come home and appreciate the four walls around you every day it’s not going to matter.