My February Favourites

“The sky, like the sea, can anchor us. It says: hey, it’s okay, there is something bigger than your life that you are part of, and it’s – literally – cosmic.”  ― Matt Haig

 

This month, I decided to focus my attention on the little things that make my daily life more joyful. Instead of seeking out large adventures and social gatherings, I gave myself the space to appreciate the things that usually remain in the background, and by doing so I felt significantly more peaceful. 

 

Below is a list of some things that made my February more enjoyable: 

 

Favourite App: Aura

 

I came across this app earlier in the month, and I was instantly impressed. Aura greets you with a meaningful quote when you open it and then asks you how you are feeling. Based on your current mood, it selects a short (typically 3-5 minutes long) motivational clip or guided meditation that aims to ground you and relax you. Aura is free, but there is also an option to upgrade to premium (I personally use the free version). 

 

Favourite Book: Notes on a Nervous Planet by Matt Haig

 

I first discovered Matt Haig on Instagram. A friend of mine, Emma (who is also a writer for Her Campus and whose articles you may access here), shared some of his stories on her account, and I was immediately drawn to his work. Notes on a Nervous Planet focuses on all of the anxiety-inducing circumstances that we face as a modern population such as constantly negative news stories and never-ending changes in technology. I’ve been reading the book for about a week now and it has easily become one of my favourites; the chapters are short, which makes it easily accessible even on busy days, and Haig’s openness and wittiness make it worthwhile. If you’re in need of a new read, look no further. 

 

Favourite Netflix Show: Tales by Light

 

During reading week, I had the privilege to shamelessly watch Netflix. While I didn’t get the chance to binge-watch as many documentaries and series as I would have liked, I was lucky enough to come across this one. This series is especially interesting because it follows different travel photographers throughout the world as they engage in various projects. The episodes are short (usually around 20 minutes) and range from cultural projects in Southeast Asia to wildlife photography in Alaska.

 

Favourite Playlist: Deep Focus by Spotify

 

This playlist has been my go-to for productivity for a while now – and I never get tired of it. I listen to it when I’m reading, working on assignments, writing articles (such as this one), and especially when I’m relaxing after an emotionally draining and/or highly chaotic day. The songs on this playlist are melodic, easy-going, and uplifting. My personal favourite track is ‘Ventura’ by City of the Sun.

 

It doesn’t take much to experience joy; with the right mindset (and the determination to keep trying) it is easy to find happiness in the simple things that make life worth living. I hope my list inspired you to pay more attention to the things around you and to always seek out the experiences that make your soul happy.