6 Practical Reasons to Start a Journal Today

practical reasons to start a journal | start journaling today | keep a journal | The Messy Life

Everyone should own a journal. Whether it’s a digital document or a physical book, having a place to shed your thoughts is crucial to self-care. From the relief that comes through releasing your thoughts, to the growth that can be achieved from reflection, journals are key to establishing order and achieving clarity in your life.

The Dimensions of Wellness: 6 Ways to Improve Your Health

Wellness is a key factor to maintaining your happiness and achieving success. Why? Because your wellbeing determines how you feel and thus, it affects how motivated you are to accomplish your goals. Beyond helping you achieve your dreams, I want to educate you about wellness and share advice on ways to improve your life. What better place to start than the dimensions of wellness?

If you haven’t heard of the dimensions of wellness, you’re probably wondering what they are. The dimensions of wellness are eight different areas of wellness that contribute to your overall wellbeing. They are an easy way to better understand how and where you can improve your wellbeing. Let’s get into them now!

5 YouTubers Who Will Inspire You to Follow Your Heart


In an age of digital media, role models no longer have to be chosen from a short stack of popular celebrities or the annual family reunion. Nowadays, you can find people on the internet, who you admire for being who they are. It’s increasingly easy to find a person who is not only relatable, but also aspirational: they represent the type of person you want to become and they inspire you to follow your heart.

What does this mean for us dreamers? It means that everywhere we look, there is more and more inspiration to have our dreams and achieve them too. Here are a few YouTubers who have inspired me over the years, and who I think may inspire you too.

18 Self Care Tips to Beat the Winter Blues

Winter is my least favorite time of year. Sure as a kid it was nice to get snow days, and drink hot chocolate or to play in the snow. But now, I can’t bear the cold, I have to make my own drinks, and university rarely gives days off. I guess all the magic, which came from cuddles and being coddled, is gone now that I have to take care of myself. It sucks being sick as an adult, but at least winter is an awesome time to overload on self care.

Here are a few tips to beat the winter blues, and improve your mood this season.

The Ultimate Truth About Blogging Every Beginner Needs to Hear

The Beginning of a Project is the Worst Time to Get Stuck

When you start a blog, or any personal project, it is easy to get caught up in woulds and shoulds. Would I be successful if I followed my heart? What should I do to grow a loyal readership? And even after considering these questions, there are doubts that slink through your mind like shadows in the moonlight.

These doubts led me to search the web for weeks, trying to learn everything I could on the truth about blogging before I decided to start. And you know what? Though I spent hours preparing for potential obstacles, there are still lessons I’ve had to learn on my own. Even the most obvious realizations can require personal experience to make them real.


new year

Happy New Year! No better time to re-envision your life than "today".


New Soul has a rhythm that makes me think of tip-toeing through flower fields at the end of autumn. There's a sort of curiosity lingering in the lyrics that makes me wish I was young. Even so, I recognize traces of who I am now, after being shaped by time and experience, that make me appreciate the lessons I've learned along the way. Listen to this song for a shot of optimism in this strange, strange world.


This is one of those slow sappy serenades that you can't escape during the new year. There's something mystical about classical sounding songs - as if they become more powerful before the start of a new year. I have a theory (more like a thought) that this is how they survive over time, renewing themselves through the magic of new beginnings.


I stanned Grace Vanderwaal so hard after seeing her rehearsal tapes. She is a precious young soul and I appreciate her craft. Clay is one of my favorites on Vanderwaal's EP: Perfectly Imperfect. It's about shaping yourself rather than allowing others to shape you. I find it interesting that although I'm no longer in high school, the same feelings linger throughout adulthood. Instead of fighting against the judgement of other people, I fight myself. My battle to stay strong against the weight of the world, becomes increasingly difficult as I struggle to be free from my own unrealistic expectations + self-doubt. So I appreciate Grace's message, for the reassurance it brings, no matter how simple her words may seem. 


New Year's Eve is great. The sound is almost smoky and interestingly thin, like the point, when traveling through fog, that you reach before the air is truly clear. Straddling clarity and containment. This may mean nothing to you, but it's exactly how this song makes me feel - like I'm close but not quite, to the superficial release granted by a new year. 


Florence + The Machine takes me back to high school. For me, this song is almost married to the idea of friendship, freedom, and Arizona. Even if that wasn't necessarily the reality of my experience, memories have a funny way of warping into a more idealized version of reality.


First Day of My Life is one of those songs I knew without knowing. Do you have any songs like that? You hear them all the time and you know just about all the words, but if someone asked you the title you would be absolutely stumped. Rediscovering this song is definitely one of the best things to happen to me in the process of creating this playlist.


Apocalypse is a new find, but just about everything by Cigarettes After Sex is magic. This song is lyrical bliss. Gonzalez's voice so soft, it sounds fantastically whipped. This isn't necessarily suited for the New Year, but I'll admit the song's title automatically qualified it for my list. You can't hate me, because it is a beautiful song.


Float On is another song that makes me reminisce. Whenever I hear this song, I have memories of cramming into the lounge and playing Guitar Hero: World Tour all Saturday because there was nothing else to do. Then getting tired of playing the same song, and realizing there were so many other things I could have been doing. I definitely appreciate Float On more now, than I did back then. It's a pretty fun song if you think about it.


What better way to ring in the new year than with this perky tune. Absolutely sets a tone I want to follow me through the entirety of 2018. Living out loud, unapologetically being, and letting everything in. Click the image below to listen to the playlist!

themessy life - listen now

introducing ash

new year

I had the idea of creating playlists to share on this blog and I hope they add a new dimension to the words I share with you. Here is a collection of songs I have chosen to allow you to meet me through music.


This entire playlist is filled with songs that embody my favorite genre(s) of music, but this song struck me as soon as I heard it. There's something about the chords and the vocalist that make me think of it as being a cross between Weezer's and Paramore's sounds, but with it's own unique twists. Pretty are the simple few.


A pinch of angst and a splash of energy make Silvertongue an undeniable banger. It's a fun song that reminds me of summer, and it's an easy way for me to tell you that I know my way around words.


Size of the Moon starts out a little slower. The singer has that typical angsty indie sound. It sort of feels like a reflection of my energy on days when I'm feeling especially cynical and I'm over everyone around me. Honestly, what's not to like? If you haven't already caught on to my word play, read the titles in order to get a better idea of how this song fits into the list.


Another jam, "YOU KNOW I TALK TOO MUCH". This song is too fun, not to give it a listen. In fact, do yourself a favor and start building a playlist for the summer now. It will give you something to look forward to amidst the chill of this this bleak, neverending winter.


I fell in love with the song for over a month after hearing it. It's just so beautiful. Something about it warms me up inside and melts away the thoughts in my mind, so it's just me and the music. That's how I like it.

Again, read the titles in order to decipher my piecemeal message. If you've figured it out, then you know I'm that girl. It's the truth. I can't say I'm proud of it but I have to be honest with you.


Midnight city will always be a jam. It ranks on my Top Ten List, though arguably every song can rank on your Top Ten List as long as you don't make the list real. In other words, it's on my theoretical Top Ten but that doesn't make my love for it any less real.


You can hear the influence of funk laced throughout this song, which I can't say is necessarily a bad thing. Puzzle Pieces is the type of song that makes you want to move your body. It's fun, it's fresh, and it's forever young.


The start of this song is hilariously relatable. Now that I think about it, Say When pretty accurately describes a good portion of my life. It could very well serve on a soundtrack set to accompany my autobiography: Cynical and Saltly Bitter (which unsurprisingly came in a close tie with Cynical and Slightly Unseasoned).

Before you ask, of course I have other titles in mind for my autobiography, but this song would go so well with this one. Don't you agree?


I wear glasses. Beyond the fact that this song is pretty great, this is the extent of the logic behind this song choice. Some things shouldn't be overthought.


"I'm an indecisive piece of shit." There you have it folks. As Jarman sings, "I know it's only a matter of time before you know it so why not let you know now". Glad to meet you!


And here are all my choices! You'll get this if you actually listen to the playlist, so go ahead and get on that! Click the image below to listen to the playlist.

themessy life - listen now

10 Tips to Stop Overthinking & Start Living

Masters of comebacks conjured years too late, enemies of instinct, and the bane of decisive folk, over-thinkers are inevitable in this choice-filled world. However, considering all that could occur in life, it is absurd to contemplate all the if's and but's. Even so, I know avoiding overthinking is easier said than done.

As someone who used to get stuck planning and thinking and stressing through my thoughts, here are a few bits of motivation to help you stop overthinking and start doing.

These tips may not apply to serious decisions like buying a house or deciding whether to start a family, but they can help you rethink your approach to life. Sometimes, life's not that serious.

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