Tag Archives: Headspace

Last-Minute Gifts They’ll Actually Love

By Tracey Dowdy 

It never fails. You think you’ve wrapped up – pun intended – the last of your holiday shopping. Then you’re invited to participate in a virtual Secret Santa, a friend or coworker drops off an unexpected gift, or plans change, and you’re suddenly short a present. 

Take heart; all is not lost. And, since 2020 has changed the way many of us shop and transformed our homes into spas, entertainment venues, playgrounds, and restaurants, your options for that last-minute present have never been better.

2020 may be the year of the subscription box. For foodies or adventurous eaters, chose from monthly subscription boxes like a subscription to Bokksu or Fulton Fish Market’s Fish Drop

If tea is their bag, consider Sips By, or for the coffee lover, choose Trade, which allows you to customize your coffee selections from top roasters. Choose Flaviar for the whiskey lover in your life or a wine subscription for the aspiring sommelier. There are boxes for pets and their peoplefashionistashealth and wellness, self-care, beauty, and even boxes designed especially for vegans and carnivores. If you haven’t a clue what they’d like, Mouth offers the “gift of good taste.” Now, who wouldn’t love that? 

An Audible membership is another great option for readers and non-readers alike. Even if they don’t enjoy reading, Audible allows them to listen while they work out, commute, fix dinner, or relax at the end of another long day. Choose from a one, three, six, or 12-month subscription, and each month the recipient will receive a credit to use toward an Audible audiobook — existing members will get all of their gifted credits at once. A Bookshop gift card supports indie booksellers, and small bookstores, one of the many businesses hit particularly hard this year. Choose an amount between $25 to $500, which can be spent at different bookstores through the Bookshop portal.

Since we’re all eating at home more but still trying to juggle work and manage our unofficial second jobs as teachers, consider a meal subscription like Hello FreshDaily HarvestBlue ApronPlated, or Purple Carrot (which specializes in vegan food). Membership plans vary, but each ships recipe cards and pre-portioned ingredients to your house in insulated packaging. They only send what you need, so there’s no food waste or leftovers.

Keeping all those plates – literal and figurative – spinning is exhausting. A subscription to HeadspaceCalm, or Aura apps is a thoughtful gift for anyone trying to go into 2021 with a healthy mindset. Each has different strengths, but all will help settle your mind, take control of spiraling thought patterns, and help you fall asleep at night. Pro Tip – Matthew McConaughey narrates “Wonder,” one of Calm’s Sleep Stories selections. A bedtime story from McConaughey? You’re welcome. 

One of the best gifts you can give is a MasterClass subscription. With over 70 classes from famous teachers like Neil Gaiman, Gordon Ramsey, Margaret Atwood, Judd Apatow, and Anna Wintour, your giftee will love sorting through which experts stories, skills, shortcuts, failures, and successes they want to explore. 

Tracey Dowdy is a freelance writer based just outside Washington DC. After years working for non-profits and charities, she now freelances, edits, and researches on subjects ranging from family and education to history and trends in technology. Follow Tracey on Twitter.

New Year’s Resolutions for Kids

This time of year, the mantra seems to be, “New year, new me.” The gym is crowded, grocery carts are full of produce after holiday indulgence, and our journals have at least a few consecutive days of entries. But, it’s not just adults that may want to hit the reset button and need a fresh start, perhaps your kids do too.

The weeks leading up to the holiday break can be a little chaotic, and if your child struggled with academics, organization, or even behaviors in 2018, reminding them the gift of a clean slate in 2019 can alleviate a significant amount of stress.

Here are a few tips:


Are you even a parent if your child hasn’t handed you a permission slip/announced you’re supposed to send in three dozen cookies for a bake sale/informed you they need a crate of popsicle sticks and a kilo of uranium-235 for a project due that day? Create a routine where the first thing to happen when your child gets home is to empty that backpack. BeeVisual’s Choiceworks Calendar is a “full-featured, kid-friendly calendar app designed to help children learn concepts of time and help caregivers to keep them organized.” Because it’s picture based, even young children can take ownership of their schedule and learn to manage their time and responsibilities. Cozi consistently ranks at the top of lists of parent’s favorite apps for its user-friendly interface that puts all your family’s events and activities in one place and works across platforms and devices. ColorNote for Android and SoundNote for iOS make it easier for older kids to take notes, track what’s coming up, and share through SMS/MMS, email, Messenger, and social media.


Whether it’s teaching them to control their emotions or learn to put their dishes in the dishwasher, there’s an app for that. Chore Pad offers customizable chore charts allowing your child to earn stars and trophies for completed tasks. Busykid not only teaches chores, but it also teaches fiscal responsibility. You assign the duties, your kids complete them, and their allowance is direct-deposited each Friday. Sesame Street’s Breathe, Think, Do app is available for Android and iOS devices and teaches children self-regulating tools like deep breathing for stressful or frustrating situations. Headspace for Kids goes a little further, breaking things down into five themes: Calm, Focus, Kindness, Sleep and Wake Up, each with age-appropriate tools (ages 5 and under, 6-8 and 9-12.)


 The Homework app allows students to upload their class schedule, know at a glance if it’s an A or B Day, a timeline of the day’s classes, a graph of the student’s workload for the next seven days, and quick options to contact teachers and instructors. Brainpop was created by a doctor as a tool to help explain difficult concepts to his young patients through games, movies, and engaging content. It’s a great resource for homework help and teaching complex subjects. Alternatively, Kahn Academy offers free, online instruction in everything from English grammar and algebra to art history and microeconomics.

Tracey Dowdy is a freelance writer based just outside Washington DC. After years working for non-profits and charities, she now freelances, edits and researches on subjects ranging from family and education to history and trends in technology. Follow Tracey on Twitter.