Amy Larocca penned a piece for the June 28th issue of New York Magazine called “The Wellness Epidemic,” about the one-billion-dollar wellness industry, that of the champions of dusts and powders and Gwyneth Paltrow and meditation and oils. It is worth a read if you have not seen it, but also extremely redundant for me to say what we know is true outside of Larocca’s Shamanic 2,000 words: self-care/wellness has become the epicenter of the privileged, Western pursuit of happiness. If it used to be that happiness was defined by financial reward, it is now defined by how well you can optimize that financial reward to unleash your inner zen. The thing that I’ve been wondering, though, since I first set foot into the Transcendental Meditation center of Beaver Street in 2014, is: If I wasn’t so stressed out and overworked and exhausted all the time, would I really have to submit myself to self-care so dramatically? What is financial reward, really, if you have to spend it all on recovering your adrenals?
I have done everything: the powders, the spritzes, the Gwyneth, the homeopathic capsules full of gall-bladder equalizer. At best, it helps me sleep easier because I feel like I am doing something, but at worst, I’m out several hundred dollars and wondering why the fuck I’m still so anxious. Which is all to say nothing other than that I am physically incapable of turning my life into the basis for which we theme some of our months. And for July? We’re sending our brains to the spa, but not for Cordyceps retention or to like, figure out how to advance the runway of our prefrontal cortexes. No! We’re sending them there to hang out. Massage will be a massage: not a tissue-restoration treatment. Cucumbers will be consumed because they’re cool (literally!), not because of their pantothenic acid content. And when we read books, it will be to turn off. To chill the FFFFFuck out.
We’re going to test a new publishing cadence — reducing the daily number of stories from 6-7 to 4-5 (how could we expect our brains to enjoy their spa treatments if they are constantly being asked to write?), but that will mean absolutely nothing about the quality of story that will land on your screen. As a matter of fact, we hope that the quality will get better! Maybe this will work so well that we never go back to the previous cadence. I don’t know. Yolo. You can expect horoscopes and a new series we’re launching on the occupations of the American workforce that you don’t commonly hear about. That sounds much more professional and serious than it actually is. There will also be mad ~style~ storiez: some about looking like a retired masseuse, others about how to wear the least amount of clothing possible without getting fired. I will record more episodes of Monocycle!!!! We will taste test different ice creams (and hair-removal methods — also, please read this vintage story by Amelia wherein she compares Brazilian waxing to SoulCycle), but most important, we will have fun. After all, we left our brains at the spa.
Photos by Louisiana Mei Gelpi and Edith Young.