How I Loved/Hated Floating in a Dark Pod Filled With Salt Water

Float pod at Flotation Philly

Float pod at Flotation Philly

I am not the kind of person who likes to get wet. I’ve said it before: Water sports are not my thing; I hate showering (but don’t worry, I still do it); and I am not the most advanced swimmer. So, what urged me to call Russ Stewart, owner of Fishtown’s Flotation Philly, and tell him that I really, really wanted to try floating — where you float in a pod or tank filled with salt water for anywhere between 45 and 90 minutes in order to relax or recover from a brutal workout (Hey, marathoners!) — is honestly beyond me. But this past Thursday, that’s exactly where I found myself — and surprisingly, I kind of loved it. But I also kind of hated it, too. Read more »

The Checkup: Why You Cry When You’re Happy, Explained (Finally!) 

• A few years ago, my best friend got married in her parents’ living room and I videotaped the entire thing. But it wasn’t really worth videotaping, because all you can hear is loud, sobbing sounds … coming from me. I swear, they were happy sobs, but still, it is not cute. And for years, I have wondered: Why the heck couldn’t I control my tear ducts?!? So I am oh-so-grateful to have that episode explained to me by the lovely folks over at Science of Us. If you, too, are a happy cryer, click through to learn why. [Science of Us] Read more »

How to Make Friends As an Adult (Without Feeling Like a Weirdo)

A friend and I regularly play a game, where I read a Tinder profile aloud and she has to decide whether to swipe right or left (so say “yes” or “no” to that person) based solely on the person’s condensed-into-90-ish-characters personality. It gives me a glimpse into the world of online dating — a land, having met my boyfriend before the age of Tinder, where I have never ventured — and makes online dating slightly more fun and less miserable for her. Slightly.

As anyone who has ever braved the new world that is Tinder knows, Tinder profiles can get weird. I won’t even get into the story about the one where the guy used, and I quote, “I’m really good at helping people pick out Halloween costumes,” as a pick-up line. But the weirdest Tinder profiles, in my opinion, aren’t the ones like that or the ones where the person aggressively lists off hobbies with periods in between — “Lifting. Gardening. Craft Beer. My Dog.” and so on; the weirdest Tinder profiles are the ones that say anything along the lines of “Just looking for friends.” Like, don’t you know you’re in the wrong place? Read more »

The Serious Dangers of Being Rude

I watch a lot of Grey’s Anatomy. Honestly, it’s embarrassing. So when I read the piece “Rudeness in Medical Settings Could Kill Patients” on Science of Us earlier this week, my first thought was, Wow, I wonder how anyone at Seattle Grace Hospital survived. After all, the premise of the show is essentially people sleeping with each other, then being rude to each other later in the operating room.

What struck me about the piece most, though, wasn’t the Grey’s Anatomy inaccuracies it brought to mind, but how the discussion could easily apply to everyday life, outside of a medical setting. The Science of Us piece talks about a recent study, published in Pediatrics, which found that a simple rude comment from a third-party doctor took a huge toll on the performance of doctors and nurses in a simulated life-or-death situation. And by huge, I mean the teams’ abilities to properly diagnose the condition were impacted by 52 percent, compared with teams working in rude-comment-free environments, and how well they treated the condition was impacted by 43 percent. As the study’s author, Amir Erez, points out, these differences in treating the patient could have been fatal, were it a real-life situation. Read more »

Lawsuit: PA Denying Timely Treatment and Trial for Mentally Ill Defendants


In July of 2014, a homeless, schizophrenic man smuggled three Peppermint Patty candies from a Philadelphia-area dollar store. Criminally charged with retail theft and deemed “incompetent to stand trial” by the city’s court system, J.H. was sent to Norristown State Hospital to undergo “competency restoration treatment” — care that would, at best, render him ready to take the stand.

But J.H. never made it to treatment. He’s still waiting in county jail – without access to medication or therapy – where he’s been for over 11 months. And given the messy current state of Pennsylvania’s mental health system, it’s likely he’ll be there for a while longer.

Competency restoration treatment is an amalgam of medication, therapy, and coaching about the legal system. The idea is that it can prepare patients to communicate effectively when they get their day in court.

According to a class-action federal lawsuit filed yesterday by the ACLU of Pennsylvania on behalf of J.H. and 10 other plaintiffs, there are at least 200 people awaiting competency restoration treatment in Pennsylvania jails. The lawsuit claims that, on average, pre-hospitalization sentences run 391 days, and that one patient was stuck in jail for almost two years. The suit further claims that two patients have died in jails awaiting competency restoration treatment – one by suicide, and one by murder. Read more »

How to Not Lose Your Mind When You’re Stuck in Shore Traffic This Weekend

In our area, beach-bound Labor Day weekend traffic is, well, a given. It’s as inevitable as the sun burn you’ll get when you forget to reapply lotion, or the ice cream headache you’ll suffer when you scarf down a cone of Kohr Bros. custard too quickly, or the nausea you’ll endure if you ride the Sea Serpent one too many times at Morey’s Piers. (Guilty on all three.)

My husband will be the first to tell you that I’ve never been one to take traffic in stride. I’m one of those people who obsessively checks Google Maps for accidents or blockages and demands a re-route, even if such a move requires stop-and-go surface streets that will take as much time as staying the course on the traffic-ridden highway. My theory: I’d rather be moving than staring at someone’s taillights.  Read more »

Burnout at Work? Follow These 5 Tips

Photo by Shutterstock

Photo by Shutterstock

It’s the middle of August. The sun is shining, kids are out of school and it’s scorching hot outside — but you’re likely to still buried under a mountain of work. But some of the things you’re doing to keep up are probably leading to burnout, says Mashable.

Those specific activities? Constantly checking your email, eating lunch at your workspace, and neglecting to schedule personal time. All three, the article says, can lead you to feel that dragging sense of apathy that so easily manifests, especially around this time of year. Luckily, there are some actions you can take to keep being productive without losing your mind. Read more »

Why Do So Many of Us Think of Exercise As a Luxury Rather Than a Necessity?



Confession: The number of times I’ve toted my yoga mat to the office only to end up skipping my  yoga class and staying late at work in an effort to finish something up is countless. Seriously, I could not tell you how many times that has happened. But I can tell you why: Because, somehow, I — a person who spends every single day reading and writing about health and fitness and should know better — think of work as an obligation and I think of a workout as a luxury that, if time is not permitting (which it often isn’t), can be skipped.


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The Checkup: Why Tons of Women Are Going Commando During Workouts



• Before today, I had no idea that working out sans underwear was actually a popular practice. And why would I? No one ever talks about it. Before you say “Ick,” it turns out that a ton of women find it more comfortable, especially in the heat. And according to experts, going commando is perfectly safe and sanitary if you take these precautions. [Greatist]
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New York Times on Penn’s Problems With Suicide and Perfectionism

Terracotta Heraldry on the Duhring Wing.   | Steven Minicola, University of Pennsylvania  Communications.

Terracotta Heraldry on the Duhring Wing. | Steven Minicola, University of Pennsylvania Communications.

Today’s New York Times has an article on campus suicide that features the story of Kathryn DeWitt, a student at the University of Pennsylvania. Like her classmate Madison Holleran, DeWitt was a standout student and athlete in high school, but arrived at Penn to find that plenty of other students were just as remarkable as she was — and many were such high achievers, they made DeWitt feel inferior. In what seemed like countless ways, DeWitt imagined she didn’t measure up, as the TimesJulie Scelfo writes: Read more »

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