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TLO Recommends: A Purchase That Actually Changed Your Life    

TLO Recommends: A Purchase That Actually Changed Your Life

Marketing that claims a product will "change your life" has been around forever, and it’s rarely the reality, but every once in a while we purchase something that really does shift our lives for the better. These upgrades don’t have to come from big, flashy items that are inaccessible: many small, everyday items that we pick up on a whim while online shopping can end up transforming our day-to-day routine and improving our overall wellbeing. You can’t buy your way to happiness, but you can buy things that leave you feeling better off than before. In case you’re looking for a little upgrade yourself,  we asked The Local Optimist team to share some of the purchases that have changed their lives for the better, below. 

Bose QuietComfort 35II Headphones

I purchased these headphones around three years ago now and they are without a doubt the best purchase I have ever made for my anxiety. Especially when the first lockdowns began happening, having these bad boys while living in an apartment complex was crucial. I use them to meditate, I use them on planes if I’m having flight anxiety, I use them to listen to podcasts while I do the dishes, I use them when my Soundcloud rapper neighbors want to impede upon my strict sleep schedule. They are my desert island product. - Meadowlark Monaghan, Mental Health Lead

A hand poked tattoo from Bruno Levy

I had thought about getting a tattoo for years by the time I was 26. I always worried that if I picked something, I wouldn’t like it when I got older, or it wouldn’t resonate as my life changed. Years beforehand, I had heard the phrase “everyone wants to be Cortés, but no one wants to burn their ships,” and it stuck. To really create something new or do something that goes beyond, you have to be willing to risk it and commit. (Note: Hernan Cortés was not a model human being by any means, but the sentiment lives on). Also, by choosing a first tattoo with the theme commitment, I had to go through with it. I have a burning ship on my left leg, and I think about what it means to truly commit all the time. It’s the best $350 I’ve ever spent. - Alex Brands, Head of Marketing

Motivational Water Bottle with Time Marker

As humans, the importance of staying hydrated is always stressed to us from a young age. Water accounts for 60-70% of our body weight, so “drink more water” is frequently listed as the secret to better skin, better beauty, and better overall health. I’ve always known this, but never really took it to heart. I tried to drink water, but was always the type to get lost in other things and before I knew it, it was 7PM and I hadn’t had a glass since that morning. When we began lockdown in March of 2020 and were spending all of our time at home, I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to finally try to drink lots of water. I purchased a GIANT water bottle I had always heard about, that included times on it to help you stay hydrated throughout the day. While it was incredibly challenging, after a week of drinking a gallon of water per day I felt like a new person. In the past, I’d dealt with stomach issues like bloating and acid reflux. Quickly, those ailments were no longer part of my regularly scheduled programming. It sounds silly, but it’s amazing what hydration can do for you. This was a small, inexpensive change that totally shifted pain points in my life that constantly bothered me, and I highly recommend it to everyone who’s looking to feel better physically. - Ravi Shah, Brand Marketing Manager

Vitamix E310 Explorian Blender

Apologies for sounding like every wellness influencer on the ‘gram, but my morning routine legitimately keeps me sane. Just yesterday, my boyfriend woke up early and I was a little annoyed at not getting my usual dose of quiet alone time. But unlike said influencers, it’s not meditation or a vigorous workout that keeps me happy first thing: I just want a delicious breakfast that I can really savor while reading the news or getting some writing in. No disrespect to the anti-breakfast contingent out there but it’s the best meal of the day and one of the few I make myself (to the dismay of my bank account). Pre-pandemic, I was hooked on buying açaí bowls multiple times a week and it got pricey. In the early days of Covid, when simply going outside felt like a threat, I had to pivot and figure out a new routine, but the blender I had – a leftover relic from my childhood home that was likely made before I even existed – was not cutting it. After my tenth time spending 20 minutes trying to blend some frozen fruit (really not a big ask), I finally bit the bullet and splurged on a Vitamix. Unfortunately, everyone who sang its praises was right: it took my morning routine to the next level. Now I make my own bowls multiple times a week, saving money and feeling accomplished (because this is the closest I’ll ever get to “cooking”) all before 9am. Paired with some Stumptown cold brew, it gives me at least an hour every day of pure bliss that I can count on, regardless of whatever else is going on. - Jessica Schiffer, Managing Editor

Journals

Okay, I confess that my product choice may sound cliché; however, I was writing in journals back in the day when they were still called “diaries!” I love my journals, and I have hundreds of pages of entries dating back to when I was 11 years old. Whenever I start a new journal, I feel like I am starting a new serious relationship. I have different journals that represent different parts of my life—a business one for work notes and goal setting, a personal one for deep inner work, a creative one for scrapbooking, and one that is more like the diary I had when I was a kid, where I write down everything that’s going on in my life. I’ve saved all of my journals throughout the years and still heed the advice of my 11-year-old self, who wrote, “Mean people suck.”  That wise entry was in a journal that had silver sparkles and a sticker of a deer that I placed on top of the word “Diary.”  My journals are typically cathartic in the moment and then can provide solace and a good laugh when I look back on them.  - Hallie Belle Sheinbaum, Project Manager

AirPods Pro

These AirPods didn’t necessarily change my life, but they made traveling a lot more enjoyable with the noise-canceling feature. Considering I am on a plane every other month, having a good set of headphones was super important to me because I couldn’t focus without noise-canceling headphones. I like to get a lot of work done while traveling, and with my AirPod Pro’s, I can’t hear a thing outside of them while I'm on the plane. While I am listening to a new podcast or some music, it feels like I am the only one in the room. It has definitely made traveling a lot easier and more enjoyable for sure. - Andrew Wetmore, Graphic Designer

Keep the conversation going by commenting on this story below. You can also connect with us about whatever’s on your mind by texting The Local Optimist Hotline at 310.299.9414.