I’m not ashamed to admit that I have a few guilty pleasures. When I’m traveling, I am practically giddy when I’m finally on the plane and I can dig into the armload of celebrity gossip magazines I purchased in the airport gift shop. I unabashedly eat ice cream from a gallon container while wearing a face mask as I watch the 900th season of Grey’s Anatomy (seriously, that show will go on for infinity). And, I occasionally (read: frequently) have spending accidents in the aisles of Sephora and Barnes & Noble. Sometimes, a gal just has to pamper herself, right?
But, on those days when I don’t have time to dig into a pint of Chubby Hubby or I am not trapped in a plane practically forced to keep up with Jennifer Aniston’s goings-on, I have a secret guilty pleasure: Instagram. When the world feels like one giant dumpster fire, Instagram is a beacon of light, with its pretty pictures and gorgeous scenery from places I’ll probably never visit.
I’m an Instagram account junkie and I can’t get enough of the fun pictures and stories that people share on IG. Of course, I follow my friends and family members, but it’s the unique accounts I’ve come across along the way that make me feel like I’m treating myself to a little bit of brain candy on the daily. I mean, there’s no substitute for mint chocolate chip ice cream, but the beautiful photos of the U.S. Department of the Interior (@usinterior) go a long way in restoring my faith in humanity.
And, if you want to truly live your best life, you should follow these 10 accounts:
@fatgirlfedup: When Lexi Reed was 25 years old, she weighed close to 500 pounds. Two years ago, she started documenting her weight-loss journey on IG. She has lost almost 300 pounds, and her heartfelt, body-positive photos will remind you to be kind to yourself every day.
@chrissyteigen Sure, she’s a celebrity — and yes, she’s married to John Legend, but Chrissy Teigen is every woman who has ever had to wear mesh panties after delivering a baby. Her straightforward observations on being a woman and a mother will make even your worst day better.
@goatsofanarchy Located in New Jersey, the mission of Goats of Anarchy is to rehabilitate goats with special needs. If you can look at pictures of special-needs goats without melting, I can’t help you.
@overheardnyc Let’s face it: There are times you overhear conversations and decide the entire world needs to share in the idiocy. Or the hilarity. The “overheard” accounts based in Los Angeles, London and NYC will have you laughing out loud.
@thehomeedit: Most days, my house looks like an explosion at a mattress factory. I know I’ll never have perfectly organized closets, but the pictures on this IG account make me hopeful that, one day, I will own shoe racks full of perfectly aligned designer shoes.
@boopmynose: Two words: dog noses. Seriously, you’d be surprised at how a picture of a dog nose will lift your spirit instantaneously.
@theoatmeal: Laughter is the best medicine, especially these days. And the Oatmeal delivers daily — with offbeat observations about life and amusing scenarios sketched in a signature style.
@mynameisjessamyn: It can be hard to find the motivation to go to the gym if you are self-conscious about your body or the way you look doing yoga. Jessamyn Stanley reminds us that health and beauty come in all shapes and sizes. And yoga isn’t just for skinny chicks in expensive yoga pants.
@celestebarber: Just because my guilty pleasure is gossip rags doesn’t mean I can’t see the humor behind celebrity photo shoots. And, I think we can all agree that Celeste Barber wins at “recreating” celebrity photo shoots.
#YourState: When you feel like you can’t get along with your neighbor or you want to tear your hair out because the traffic has become intolerable in your area, add a hashtag to the name of your state and you’ll be transported to areas of your state you didn’t even know existed. You’re welcome.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to browse @shihtzudaily and @nph before my teens need rides to soccer practice and theater rehearsals. And I might just check out @jennafischer, too, while I sneak some ice cream before dinner.
Everyone needs a girlfriend!
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