5 Newsletters to Indulge In Instead of Doom Scrolling

Newsletter heaven is where I now reside, and I find myself smiling at my phone a lot more than I used to.

5 Newsletters to Indulge In Instead of Doom Scrolling

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“Newsletter heaven is where I now reside, and I find myself smiling at my phone a lot more than I used to."

In early 2024, I made the big decision to step away from social media. It’s not a total disappearance per se, as my profiles still exist and I have to log in once in a while for work, but the apps have been deleted and I have lost the habit of constantly opening them for a yet another round of doom scrolling and social comparison.

By that time, Instagram and X had become my go-to source for instant world news and their subsequent discourse, so I decided to get my daily updates from trusted outlets at a time I had consciously allocated, to keep track while protecting my peace.

I have since noticed a significant change in my life - from the improvement of my mental health to more ‘me time’. But I also realised I checked the news less and less. Somehow, I got addicted to the feeling of oblivion, but that could only be ephemeral. I needed to stay informed. So I searched for a solution that worked best for me, the perfect balance of community, current affairs and escapism, all in a condensed version that I could consume in my own time: newsletters.

Now, I know newsletters aren’t new, but they sure serve a whole new purpose for people like me who are *tired* of social media and the endless news cycle but still want to get the gist. Newsletter heaven is where I now reside, and I find myself smiling at my phone a lot more than I used to. I read news, culture and industry recaps and soulful think pieces, instead of typo-filled IG stories reprising even worse TikTok posts. I stay connected to my communities while nurturing healthy boundaries. And what’s even more surprising, I now look forward to my daily or weekly shot of news, because I know that whatever is coming my way has been curated, will teach me something new, inspire me and give me food for thought without taking over my life.

I am signed up to a diverse diet of newsletters that each tick a different box for me, while staying open to new ones I could add to the mix. For anyone who’s looking for a little social media break (or final exit), here are 5 newsletters I highly recommend you indulge in:

Aphrodisia, by Monika Radojevic

My weekly fix of short stories, poetry and narrative non-fiction. As Monika states, the letters, no matter the topic, are always political. “I can promise you nothing, least of all consistency,” she writes on her Substack. In recent weeks, an opinion piece on skipping the Eurovision for allowing Israel to participate (and its double standards on what constitutes an “unprecedented crisis”), a powerful essay on the women victims killed by men and blamed by juries, and Monika's two cents on the Garrick Club’s performative advocacy for equality. I always get excited when Aphrodisia drops in my inbox because the newsletter is unpredictable, but always delivers.  

Shit You Should Care About, by Lucy Blakiston

This one is far from being a best-kept secret, as Shit You Should Care About’s Instagram account alone counts 3.4 million followers, followed by your favourite celebs, but the newsletter needs to be acknowledged. It does exactly what it says on the tin: a daily shot of “pop culture, hard news and the internet that won't leave you feeling like shit”. From relatable nostalgia for a simpler, offline life, to the NYC-Dublin portal fiasco and blocking celebrities who are silent about Gaza, it is the gateway to Gen Z x Millennial internet culture I never knew I needed.

Things We Don't Talk About, by Diem

If you've never heard of the social search engine Diem, it's time to get on board. Diem is, by its own definition, "a dedicated place to ask questions you can’t google, inspired by the way women talk," and the community spirit extends to its weekly newsletter, which tackles anything from tech to friendships, gender politics and self-love. Every week comes a personal essay, with some topics hitting closer to home than others, but always offering interesting insight into what it means to be a woman in today’s chaotic world.

The New Yorker Daily, by The New Yorker

I’m always intrigued by The New Yorker’s daily curation of news, fiction, cultural reviews and musings about the American political and societal landscape. I also welcome the more fun reads and games, and of course, the cartoon - it rarely disappoints. I highly recommend signing up to the Daily, as it pretty much embodies The New Yorker’s essence, in one simple yet effective, delightful email. And for the ones who are only interested in the short stories, or even the archives, there’s a newsletter for that, too. 

Culturally Enough, by Sahaj Kaur Kohli

Delivered every 1st of the month, Culturally Enough by the founder of Brown Girl Therapy is a free newsletter that features community events and reflections on books or current events, but most importantly, explorations of the multicultural self. A little gem of a newsy that helps process your own multicultural identity and makes you think about what it entails when it comes to managing your mental health and finding your place in the world. The paid option on its Substack offers subscriber-only posts and discussions, as well as expanded commentary, research and personal anecdotes.