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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at U Ottawa chapter.

If I don’t think too hard about the constant stream of non-stop media that comes my way, I can narrow down what actually makes me happy. I have a pretty basic list of some different forms of media that I’ve been really enjoying since the beginning of the year.


An artist I’ve been obsessed with is Ethel Cain! She has an album called Preacher’s Daughter and she is so creative and has such a unique sound and a beautiful voice. My favourites off of the album are “American Teenager”, “Family Tree”, “Thoroughfare”, and “A House in Nebraska”. I suggest you give her a listen; you won’t regret it!

If you know me, you know I’m a huge Lady Gaga fan. Her 2009 album The Fame Monster (Deluxe Edition) is a complete masterpiece. There are absolutely no skips, and I bet you’ve all heard and loved a song from this album. My favourites on the album are “Speechless”, “Monster”, “The Fame”, and “I Like It Rough”. There are many more absolutely amazing hits on that album as well, and I encourage you to give it a full listen when you need a pick-me-up!

On the other end of the spectrum, I’ve been really into the three singles that boygenius released on the record. “Emily I’m Sorry” is a definite favourite. The three artists’ voices blend beautifully together and Phoebe Bridgers’s writing is universally relatable in a heartbreaking way.


I’ve talked about podcasts before, but I have been obsessed with Enya and Drew’s podcast Emergency Intercom. Enya and Drew are hilarious and great storytellers. I love watching the visuals on YouTube and listening on Spotify with audio only, too. I’ve always loved them but recently really gotten into their show.

The new Batman: Unburied sister podcast dropped in January, and I’ve been religiously listening. It’s called Harley Quinn and The Joker: Sound Mind and it follows Harley as she works as a psychiatrist for Arkham Asylum and is paired up with Patient J (The Joker). The production value of both podcasts is absolutely incredible and I will preach them forever.

TV Shows

I watched the Apple+ show Severance, and holy! I wish it was longer. I was on the edge of my seat for the entirety of every episode. It’s beautifully written, directed, and shot. Also, the majority of the episodes were directed by Ben Stiller! The production design is off the charts and there are hidden details in every scene. I highly recommend you go watch this without reading anything about the plot before!

The second show I’ve been loving is Nathan For You. I’m sure you have all seen clips from this show online, but it stars Nathan Fielder. He is so hilarious and the show is so crazy funny. I’ve seen The Rehearsal by him too, but Nathan For You has a completely different tone. Both are still amazing in their own right. I highly recommend this as some mindless, very funny content.

The Last of Us. Oh my goodness! I’m still recovering. The quality of the show is so excellent, and Pedro Pascal… I don’t even need to say anything else! I can tell I love this show because I plan being done my work early on Sundays so I can watch it when it comes out!


I just finished Almond by Sohn Won-Pyung, and it is so beautiful. It’s a story about a young boy who was born with an underdeveloped brain that makes him unable to feel emotions. The inciting incident of the story is that his caregivers, his mother and his grandmother, are murdered in front of him. The book takes place in South Korea, and being Asian myself I felt a very strong connection with it. Almond is beautifully written and gives you such an interesting perspective on life and love.

The second book is one that I haven’t read in over a year, so it’s technically a favourite from January 2022, but I haven’t stopped thinking about it lately: A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara. The book has a mixed reputation and for good reason. Do not read this book if you can’t handle body horror/harm or have a weak stomach. It deals with a very intimate relationship between our main character and his four best friends. We learn about his deep and traumatizing past and how it translates to his present. It’s such a beautiful book and I can’t wait until the wounds it created in me have healed so I can read it again and hurt all over!


I recently watched Babylon again. I saw it twice in theatres because I loved it so much. Damien Chazelle is one of my favourite directors and he has a great track record, having also directed Whiplash and La La Land. The way he works music and editing together to make a cohesive finished product is so beautiful. You can physically feel his passion for film when watching Babylon. And every actor and actress did an amazing job—especially Diego Calva who played Manny. If you haven’t seen this movie yet, go watch it!

Puss in Boots: The Last Wish is absolutely incredible. I’m sure you have heard about it all over social media but it really is no joke. The humour is universal and the characters are well written. The story is interesting and of course, the animation is spectacular! No matter what age you are, you should watch it; it’s fun for everyone!


Rayne Fisher-Quann’s Substack! I love Rayne so much and I’ve been religiously following her on all accounts for a while now, and she is an amazing writer. She reflects on her past and femininity, the culture online, and critiques too. She’s so smart and a huge inspiration for me and my writing. I highly recommend you read her articles, even if you don’t do the paid subscription.

Lastly, for Christmas, I got a speaker for my shower. I don’t know how much my roommate likes it but I am obsessed with it! Why would I choose to be in silence alone with myself for 20 minutes when I can take 30 long minutes singing musical theatre? Really though, it’s so much fun and I highly recommend indulging in the little things like a speaker for yourself.

That’s it for my list! Aside from giving you some great media recommendations, in my opinion, I hope this article prompts you to think about what kind of media you’re consuming, because chances are not a lot of it makes you feel very good. Plant the seed in your head to the surface level and analyze what you’re viewing every day. It’s easier said than done, but indulge in what empowers you and get rid of things that don’t!

Avalyn Kwai Pun

U Ottawa '26

Avalyn is a first year joint honours Political Science and Feminist and Gender Studies student. She's passionate about social change and feminism, and has hopes to become a lawyer in the future. She enjoys reading, spending time with her family, music, and writing!