I might be one of the hardest individuals to sell monthly subscriptions to. I hate advertisements and I hate being advertised to. I dislike unnecessary emails and baggage. Whenever possible, I prefer to minimize purchases, belongings and attachments throughout life.
There are some things I am willing to commit to though. Here are three monthly subscriptions that routinely deduct monetary funds from my account and I am very happy that they do.
1. Spotify: A few years ago, I bit the bullet and purchased a family membership after my student discount expired. The pay-off for this membership has been incredible. As most of us already know, Spotify allows users to stream music, follow playlists, create our own and browse through different categories. Something new that I particularly enjoy, when I’m looking for some mental stimulation, is the new collection of books and podcasts. Not only can I now listen to “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn“, but I can also experiment with guided meditation, listen to a Kevin Hart comedy show or engage with, “Becoming Wise” on the TED Radio Hour. Lastly, I can download playlists and use the application while on airplane mode or on the subway. Random side note: I listen to, “Jets” by Bonobo while cooking, Bon Iver’s “Friends” while riding the subway and “Feel It All Around” by Washed Out Theory when I’m running. The possibilities, on this application, have become endless. I appreciate the versatility of this single application to provide multiple routes of audio entertainment, engagement and education.
2. Headspace: This lesser known application has started to pick up recently among my friends circle, with Oprah Winfrey and Lebron James (but don’t let that deter you). Began by a Buddhist monk and an ex-advertising man, this application is attempting to, “improve the health and happiness of the world”. Through guided meditation, led by a soothing English voice, the listener can quickly reset his/her mood in a span of 3, 5 or 10 minutes. I listen to it when I feel overwhelmed, upset, lost or homesick. If I had to describe what these minutes do, then it would be best visualized by wiping an entire whiteboard of thoughts clean - gone are my thoughts on my career, my family, my day to day worries, “did my jeans fit too snug today?”, and other first world problems that cloud my mind. If you’re curious, they offer a free trial period.
3. Medium: I found Medium when a friend posted her first blog a few months ago. I started reading other articles and I was (and am still) struck by the versatility of topics and the intelligence, talent and uniqueness of writers. Whereas other platforms have quantity than quality, I can easily find a article that I can relate to or learn from here. I can read about a human trafficking from a UCLA professor or read about a careful distinction between depression and something called ” acedia”. Additionally, I appreciate the opportunity to post your own work. For the first time, I began to publish my own writing and experiment with different styles. The feedback on those articles has been amazing. Once again, this platform also offers a free trial before letting you decide if you’d like to commit.
Try out some of these if you haven’t already and I’d love to hear what applications you particularly enjoy.
*I was not paid for any of these recommendations.