Wellbeing

Emotional continuum

The guilt of being happy and the shame of feeling sad

At what point can we truly be honest with our emotions with our closest friends and family?

Camha Pham   Camha Pham worked hard to find happiness, so why does she feel compelled to play it down?

Big decisions

Using fear to guide you in decision making

"The more scared we are of a work or calling, the more sure we can be that we have to do it."

Susie Moore   Here are five very good reasons you should follow your dreams even when (and especially when) others don't approve.

Sing it loud

The restorative power of group singing

Choirs provide structured community support and friendship.

Sarah Wormwell   Group singing is an ideal way to relieve anxiety and lower stress. So go on, raise the roof.

Women get healthier after their husbands die

Could your husband actually be bad for your health in old age?

Sarah Knapton   Marriage has long been thought to be beneficial - both in sickness and in health. But a study suggests that widows actually suffer less stress and frailty than wives whose husbands are still alive.

Life & love

11 things you don't actually need to have figured out by age 30

Once you accept that being grown up isn't exactly what you thought it would be, it can be pretty freeing.

Locke Hughes   Once you accept that being grown up isn't exactly what you thought it would be, it can be pretty freeing.

Rewiring the mind

How you and your body can change your brain

The way you move can change your brain, according to the latest in neuroplasticity. Here's how.

Sarah Berry   The way you move, rest and think can change your brain, according to the latest in neuroplasticity. Here's how.

Genetics

How DNA might influence your sex life

DNA could partly explain the age people start having sex.

Karen Kaplan   Your DNA doesn't determine when you lose your virginity, but it may play a larger role in the matter than scientists had thought.

Anxiety stigma

One in five Australians believes people with anxiety 'put it on'

Koraly Dimitriadis: "I am warm, shy and timid. Yet if someone pushes my vulnerability button, I can explode."

Eryk Bagshaw   Research shows more than 10 per cent of Australians aged between 30 and 34 believe people with anxiety are untrustworthy.

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Adult ADHD

Adult ADHD: The diagnosis that changed my life

Paying attention: Lisa Walton was able to stop blaming herself for the lack of results in her life.

Lisa Walton   Labelled disruptive from childhood and unable to hold down a job, when Lisa Walton was told she had ADHD, her life finally started to make sense.

Saying sorry

The six key elements to an effective apology

Researchers say there are six key elements to make one's apology more sincere.

Raziye Akkoc   Here's what the researches say makes an apology more sincere and easier to accept.

30-day challenge

Is 30 days enough to create a habit?

Are there any lasting benefits to taking month-long challenges?

Allie Shah   Are there any lasting benefits to taking month-long challenges?

IBS

The real reason I’m embarrassed about my IBS

"I'm not embarrassed that I'm talking about poo - I'm embarrassed that you're rude enough to make me," writes Patrick ...

Patrick Lenton   "I'm not embarrassed that I'm talking about poo - I'm embarrassed that you're rude enough to make me," writes Patrick Lenton.

Dream time

"I was sleepwalking through my life": Arianna Huffington.

Arianna Huffington   Arianna Huffington recounts her road to becoming a sleep evangelist.

Cry it out

Should we all deliberately cry more?

Crying is also thought to be good for the physical body.

Cathy Jubb   There are plenty of reasons to grab a box of tissues, shut the door and have a good bawl.

Trans health

Navigating the health system as a transgender person

"It was a feeling that, as a young transgender woman, I never thought I'd experience again."

Andrea K. McDaniels   For many transgender people, finding the right health care services can be stressful, frustrating and complicated.

Great expectations

Manage your expectations to reduce unhappiness

We think others should understand us: Expectations can lead to disappointment.

Sarah Berry   Expectations shape our experience of the world, so how do they affect our happiness.

Office air con

The reason your office is so damn freezing

Yep, you better believe it, the patriarchy controls your office air conditioning too.

Sheree Joseph   Yep, you better believe it, the patriarchy controls your office air conditioning too.

Pay gap

Why young women leave their jobs

There is a pretty simple way to retain female talent.

Danielle Paquette   Writer Ann Friedman has some advice for employers who'd like to attract and retain top female talent:

Life support team

When you call in the professionals, the pay-offs can be life-changing.

Megan Blandford   Asking for help can be hard, but it's worth it. Megan Blandford talks with three women who used coaching to make their lives better.

I told the truth in my sister's obituary, so that others might choose to live

Eleni Pinnow, right, with her sister at a family wedding.

Eleni Pinnow   The most alone I have ever felt was standing on my front porch on a chilly February evening. My sister had taped a note to the front door that said "Eleni, if you're the first one here don't go in the basement. Just call 911. I don't want you to see me like this. I love you! Love, Aletha."

Can meditation help cure chronic back pain?

A new study explored how stress reduction can help relieve physical discomfort.

Ariana Eunjung Cha   A new study explored how stress reduction can help relieve physical discomfort.

Clem Bastow

Why I need to sleep naked, alone, and for as long as possible

"I value sleeping alone above almost all else; the 'old-fashioned' set up of two twin beds in the marital bedroom (to ...

Clem Bastow   "I value sleeping alone above almost all else; the 'old-fashioned' set up of two twin beds in the marital bedroom (to say nothing of the exquisite heaven of two bedrooms) is my dream," writes Clem Bastow.

Tech world

How smartphones are killing our imaginations

One study found the average person looks at their smartphone 221 times per day – once every 4.3 minutes.

Kim Arlington   One survey found working from smartphones and tablets adds two hours to the average working day.

Psychology

Why smart people are better off with fewer friends

When smart people spend more time with their friends, it makes them less happy.

Christopher Ingraham   Hell might actually be other people – at least if you're really smart.

Insomnia

7 ways to get through the day on little to no sleep

You can optimise productivity and happiness when suffering from exhaustion.

Laura Lea Goldberg   How to optimise productivity and happiness when suffering from exhaustion.

Body clocks

Why some people become sleepy and sad in winter

People's sleep schedules depend on internal clocks called "circadian rhythms".

Natalie Jacewicz   Researchers have found a genetic explanation for why some chipper early birds turn glum in the wintertime.

Heart health

I had a heart attack and the doctors don't know why

'He saved my life,' said Sue Palmer of her husband Tim.

Sue Palmer   When you just don't feel right, don't ignore it like I almost did, Sue Palmer writes.

Self doubt

How too much confidence leads to bad decisions

Why it's good to have a healthy amount of self doubt.

Sarah Berry   Why it's good to have a healthy amount of self doubt.

Sexual health

Why did Facebook censor this sexual health video we made?

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Maeve Marsden   * Especially when aggressively misogynistic, racist and homophobic posts and pages have been allowed to remain.

Sexual health

Why we need to destigmatise STIs

In an episode of Inside Amy Schumer, Amy tries to make a deal with God to protect her from getting herpes.

Paula Goodyer   "If we can start to laugh a bit about STIs, it might make it easier to get serious about prevention and testing."

Menstrual cups

The pros and cons of reusable sanitary products

An ad for period undies brand Thinx.

Amy Eisinger   Maybe you've stayed faithful to your trusty tampons or pads ever since Aunt Flow's first visit. Still, it'd be hard not to notice the hype around reusable feminine hygiene products - menstrual cups, period underwear, reusable tampons - that's all over the Internet.

Friendship focus

Why it's OK to say no to friends and focus on yourself instead

Sometimes you just need to lie in bed with a furry friend instead of the ones who want to talk and go out in public.

Rebecca Shaw   Maintaining friendships can be hard work, but what's the fun in that? Rebecca Shaw thinks we all need to give each other a break.

Depression

How to tell if you're depressed or just low

Domestic violence is no longer a private crime; and it's being reported on like never before.

Linda Blair   Here are three questions that will help you understand whether you may be suffering from clinical depression.

Rest up

Why sleep should be a key factor in your fitness regime

"Sleep is the only time the body is fully recovering and rebuilding," says personal trainer Mansur Mendizabal.

Gabriella Boston   It's sleep - specifically deep sleep - that is the difference when it comes to such things as muscle recovery, mental acuity and reaction time.

Breaking bad

The best way to break a problem habit

When an action makes us feel good, our brain forms a shorthand connection.

Rachel Nussbaum   Even the most virtuous person has a bad habit (or two) they'd like to break.

Sleep well

How to get a good night's sleep tonight

Had a few ruff nights? Develop a good evening routine and your body will thank you in the morning.

Had a few ruff nights? Develop a good evening routine and your body will thank you in the morning.

Listen in

Four mental health podcasts to wrap your mind around

These podcasts are an accessible and super entertaining way to get educated on the mysteries of the mind.

Jenna Sten   Psychology, psychiatry, mental illness, symptom, trauma, disorder – these are murky and scary words for many people. These podcasts are an accessible and super entertaining way to get educated on the mysteries of the mind.

Getting help

How do you choose the right therapist?

When you work with a therapist, remember that this is a collaboration between two experts.

Linda Blair   It's not easy to admit you're suffering from a psychological problem, and it's a brave decision to seek therapy. It's vital, therefore, that you can feel confident about the person with whom you'll be working.

Triage your life

"The urgency of some tasks on your list will be obvious; others less so."

Evelyn Lewin   Approach your to-do list like an emergency ward nurse and see the results.

Bio home

The surprising health consequences of living in a pristine urban home

The study found urban homes had richer communities of microbes such as bacteria usually found inside human mouths.

Chelsea Harvey   The way we design and build our houses may be impacting a tiny, but important, aspect of our lives: the microscopic organisms that share those homes with us.

Phone detox

How to give yourself an effective smartphone detox

Turns out turning off your mobile phone isn't necessarily the healthier option.

Emily Sohn   Given the pleasure they bring and the anxiety they can alleviate, reducing dependence on our phones can seem impossible.

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When venting goes from helpful to harmful

Apparently there is no scientific evidence that venting helps us calm down.

Katherine Schreiber   Apparently there is no scientific evidence that venting helps us calm down.

Real life

I'm a therapist, and I was in a darker place than my patients

"Psychologists are so keen to help other people, there's a danger that they can forget to look after themselves properly."

As told to Laura Powell   "I am sitting opposite my sixth patient of the day. She is describing a terrible incident in her childhood. I am nodding, hoping I appear normal. Inside, I feel anything but."

Take a hike

The science behind taking a walk

walk

Linda Blair   Recent findings have shown that the benefits of walking depend on how and where it happens.

Dad bod

Why men need to shape up for pregnancy too

There's growing evidence that children's weight and health can be influenced before they're even conceived – and their ...

What does a would-be father's waistline and smoking habits have to do with the health of his future children? More than you might think.

Stand up

What's standing in the way of taking up a standing desk?

The latest studies suggest we should be standing for at least two hours of our work day and building up to four hours.

Aisha Sultan   If sitting is the new smoking, then quitting the sedentary habit can be just as tough.

Shame-free fitness

Where are all the feminist personal trainers?

"It wasn't long after I became a personal trainer that I realised how relevant my intersectional feminist views were to ...

Iona Bruce took her fitness into her own hands after seeing a personal trainer who refused to listen to her needs. Now she is one of a surprisingly rare breed of PTs who take a feminist approach to exercise.

Healthy hobby

Why you should make knitting your next healthy habit

Unlike meditation, craft activities result in tangible and often useful products that can enhance self-esteem.

Jane E. Brody   The rewards of knitting go well beyond replacing stress and anxiety with the satisfaction of creation.

Back pain

How regular exercise can help you avoid back pain

Until now, few studies have systematically examined what really works against recurring back pain - and what doesn't.

Gretchen Reynolds   Until now, few studies have systematically examined what really works against recurring back pain - and what doesn't.

Probiotic problems

The pros and cons of taking probiotics

Unique to you: a healthy bacteria balance.

Sarah Berry   Plenty of research indicates eating natural probiotics like kimchi or yoghurt is really good for us. But does that mean we should start popping probiotic pills?

Hangovers

Why do hangovers get worse as you get older?

No, you're not just imagining it, mornings after are getting worse.

Rachel Nussbaum   No, you're not just imagining it, mornings after are getting worse.

Shower schedule

How often should you shower?

Do we all need a shower every day? Probably not.

Annita Katee Batliwala   How many times do you shower a week? Twice? Twice a day? What actually is the right amount?

Work-life balance

How can we make flexible work schedules a reality?

When workers undermine each other, the impact is real.

Rebecca Greenfield   When workers have control over their own schedules, it results in lower levels of stress, psychological distress, burnout, and higher job satisfaction.

New mums

How sleep interruption as a new mum messes with your moods

Research shows that being constantly woken during sleep as a new mum makes you less likely to feel as happy.

Evelyn Lewin   Having a new baby is a joy. But research shows being constantly woken makes you less likely to feel as happy.

Vulnerability

How not to freak out in the face of vulnerability

While letting people in is sometimes scary, it is precisely what enables us to enrich our lives.

Katherine Schreiber   While letting people in is sometimes scary, it is precisely what enables us to enrich our lives.

Female friendships

How close female friendships can profoundly impact your health and happiness

There can be a romance, particularly to female friendships, that is different from the passion of romantic love.

Heather Skyler   There can be a romance, particularly to female friendships, that is different from the passion of romantic love, but also richer and deeper in some ways.

Caffeine fix

How a cup of coffee can dramatically impact your workout

A caffeine fix could be just the kick your workout needs.

Suzee Skwiot   A caffeine fix could be just the kick your workout needs.

Declutter

9 super simple ways to declutter your life for good

They're all super simple ideas and won't leave you picking up for hours on end.

Jeff Cattel   They're all super simple and won't leave you picking up for hours on end.

Body image

Learning to love your labia

If you think all is not normal 'down there', maybe it's time for a reality check.

If you think all is not normal 'down there', maybe it's time for a reality check.

Couple sleeping

How to cope with incompatible sleep schedules

When one person has sleep issues, both can suffer. So, what can you do about it?

Bruce Feiler   When one person has sleep issues, both can suffer. So, what can you do about it?