Tag Archives: Reading

Websites to inspire, encourage and make you think

Have you ever logged on to WordPress only to check the time 5minutes later to see that actually 3 hours have passed?  How on earth did that happen?  I frequently find this happening, not just on WordPress, but on a variety of other sites as well. 

I like to think my browsing history is at least a little educational, maybe inspirational.  Here are my top 10 (in no particular order).  Let me know what you think.  You will probably find some sites that you are more than familiar with, but hopefully you will find something new 🙂

  1.       www.moodscope.com

This is a site for mental health and one I use every day to track my mood.  It encourages users to ‘measure’ their mood on a daily basis.  You are presented with 20 adjectives and have to assess each one for how you are experiencing it at that time: Very slightly or not at all; A little; Quite a bit; Extremely .  There are 10 positive adjectives (E.g., Inspired, Active etc.) and 10 negative adjectives (E.g., Anxious, Irritable etc.).  Just tracking your mood on a daily basis has been shown to have a positive impact on mood.  The site tracks your scores in graph form and allows you to make notes on what you were doing that day etc.  I find it a brilliant resource and have used the graphs to demonstrate to my doctors how I have been getting on.  Highly recommended.

  1.       www.ted.com

TED is a global phenomen of inspirational talks and lectures all filmed for our viewing pleasure.  The longest films are around 20mins with most falling under this.  I am frequently awestruck by some of the speakers on here and the whole range of topics these talks cover.  Politics, Chemistry, Physics, Maths, Technology, Children, Winning the lottery, Happiness, Psychology, Ecology, The Future, Motivational, Inspirational… It’s overwhelming and you could easily get lost for hours.  For a better feel have a look at this one.  Note the audiences reaction and the date it was recorded:

http://www.ted.com/talks/jeff_han_demos_his_breakthrough_touchscreen

  1.       www.upworthy.com

This is a site with a similar theme as TED but the videos are based more on real life scenarios rather than speakers.  The videos are also much shorter.  Some of them are beautiful and make you smile and remember that there are some very special people out there. Others make very uncomfortable viewing and make you question your own actions and attitudes.  The one I have linked here is something you may want to show your teenage daughters.  It’s quite frightening and clearly demonstrates that very little is real in the beauty industry.

http://www.upworthy.com/see-why-we-have-an-absolutely-ridiculous-standard-of-beauty-in-just-37-seconds?c=reccon1

  1.       www.tinybuddha.com

This is my number one feel good site. The tag line is ‘Simple Wisdom for Complex Lives’, and that is absolutely what it delivers.  Each day delivers a new selection of inspiring blogs, each provided by users of the sites.  The blogs cover ‘love & relationships’, ‘change and challenges’, ‘healthy habits’, ‘mindfulness and peace’….you get the picture.  There is a discussion blog and then my favourite part, the fun and inspiring section.  Beautiful pictures, cartoons and images with inspiring words.  The site is a real haven of loveliness.

  1.       www.open.ac.uk

This is site for the UK based Open University.  It’s had to become one of my favourites purely because I am studying with them at the moment.  However, if you are interested into furthering your education, I would definitely have a look at the site and see the huge range of courses that are available, regardless of location.  All courses are managed as distance learning with materials provided to you as hardcover or online resources.  I am halfway through my first module and loving it.  The course materials are great and all the additional resources available on line mean that you may never be bored again!!

  1.       www.redonline.co.uk

We all need a bit of fun and escapism, and this is it for me.  It used to be a magazine delivered to my home once a month, but in honour of the environment, I now enjoy it online.  I’ll be honest, it’s a magazine for women, containing articles and information about things (some) women like: Fashion, Beauty, Food, Travel and Home & Interiors.  One important difference from other similar magazines, is that it proactively promotes strong, successful, inspirational women.  And it doesn’t do this by knocking men or comparing women to men.  It celebrates women as people in their own right.  A real pic’n’mix to whilst away some time.

  1.       www.getsomeheadspace.org

I’m a strong supporter of mindfulness and this is the organisation that first brought it to my attention.  You won’t find peaceful images of beaches, stones and clear blue skies.  Headspace clearly promotes itself as Meditation for Modern Living.  There is a lot of information on the site about mindfulness and a variety of resources to help you understand and explore mindfulness.  The main component is certainly the ‘app’ they have developed to help make mindfulness more appealing and accessible.  There is a free 10 day taster, and the meditations are the best I have experienced.  They are ‘presented’ by a guy called Andy Puddicombe and it is obvious this is where his expertise lays.  If you want a quick explanation of mindfulness, you can find his TED Talk here: http://www.ted.com/talks/andy_puddicombe_all_it_takes_is_10_mindful_minutes

  1.       www.frictionlessliving.net

This is another lovely little find.  The concept is that less is more.  I see it as applying the principles of mindfulness to all areas of your life…reducing the noise all around you.  In his own words: “Frictionless Living is dedicated to recognising how we can all embrace a little simplicity and creative thinking to make life richer, less complex, more rewarding and definitely more friction-free”  A common theme across the site is our reliance on ‘things’.  We think having things will make us happy but the reality is that they often end up burdening us.  The car that gets stolen, needs a service, insurance, flat tyre etc.  It aims to help you identify those things that are really adding to your life so that you can move away from those things that take from your life.

  1.       www.huffingtonpost.com

I am a late starter to Huffington and haven’t yet appreciated the scope of it.  What I do know, is that when browsing other sites, particularly twitter, a majority of the articles that are being shared are from ‘HuffPo’.   I have never yet been taken to an article that I have not enjoyed and I never leave the article without looking at other content on the site.  It’s completely addictive and very well written.  In terms of the type of content it deals with, it seems the skies the limit.

  1.   www.wordpress.com

This list obviously wouldn’t be complete without a mention of our host.  I was pointed to WordPress by my therapist.  He realised how well I was able to communicate through writing and suggested it as a potential outlet.  I had a look, created a basic site, and wrote a short post.  I didn’t understand blogging at all, and was amazed when I suddenly got likes, and then followers.  It has made such a huge difference to my life.  I have ‘met’ some amazing people and learnt even more.  My only request would be that if anyone has any tips for personalising a site then please let me know.

 Enjoy your browsing and feel free to add some recommendations of your own.

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