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    10 Life-Changing Things To Try In July

    Because we tried them for you in June!

    We hope you love the products we recommend! Just so you know, BuzzFeed may collect a share of sales or other compensation from the links on this page. Oh, and FYI — prices are accurate and items in stock as of time of publication.

    Ryan Pattie / BuzzFeed

    The BuzzFeed staff is always trying new products, apps, hacks, and DIY projects, and we decided it was time to start sharing the best of them with you. Each month, we post our recommendations for what’s actually worth it. This post usually features a mix of items that we purchased with our own money and those that were provided to us at no cost for the sake of review, but this month everything was stuff we bought ourselves!

    1. A book that will help you make the most of your meetups.

    Rachel Miller / BuzzFeed

    If you are a thoughtful person who cares about things — which I feel confident you are, because you are reading this post — you will love The Art of Gathering: How We Meet and Why It Matters, the smart, fascinating, timely, and genuinely inspiring nonfiction book I'm currently obsessed with. The basic idea is that our gatherings — from work meetings to dinner parties to family holidays — are uninspiring as hell, but instead of doing the work to make them better, we stick with our routines and habits, often because we're too shy to change things up, or because we don't think it matters.

    The Art of Gathering is the perfect mix of practical tips (don't start or end a gathering with logistical announcements); smart and thoughtful new ways to think of how we gather (hosts must get comfortable with the idea of having power/being in charge, and should rule their kingdom with generous authority); and really cool real-life anecdotes about great (and terrible) gatherings. It's also just a really breezy read (think: a great magazine article or a TED Talk). I highlighted so many things while reading it, and have been raving about how good it is to everyone I know for the past two weeks. (Coworker: Is this...2018's Home Comforts? Me: ...Omg wait yes???) It's got me rethinking my team meetings, the family vacation I'm taking in July, and basically every moment where I'm with more than one other person. Highly, highly recommend! —Rachel Miller

    Get it on Amazon for $14.99+, Barnes & Noble for $14.99+, or your favorite local bookseller through IndieBound.

    2. The perfect boozy beverage.

    Dave Stopera

    I'm obsessed with alcoholic seltzer. I hate sugary drinks, and beer just weighs me down. That's why alcoholic seltzer has totally become my JAM. I've tried basically all the alcoholic seltzer brands but my beloved Truly is by far the most delicious-tasting of the bunch. It's the KING of alcoholic seltzer! Each can has only 1 gram of sugar, which means you can drink it poolside/at the beach/BBQs all day without the sugar crash. It also contains 5% alcohol per can, which, my friends, also isn't bad. It's the perfect summer daytime drink. (Whole Foods is basically the only place I can find it right now, so I'm writing about it hoping more people will buy it so I can get it at more places!) My favorite flavor is Blueberry & Acai, but it also comes in Wild Berry, Colima Lime, Grapefruit & Pomelo, Pomegranate, Sicilian Blood Orange, Lemon & Yuzu, and Raspberry & Lime flavors. Last thing: I brought a 12-pack to a Pride party and I kid you not, it was gone in five minutes. It truly (lol) is the best! —Matt Stopera

    Find stockists on the Truly website.

    3. A magical podcast for Potterheads.

    BuzzFeed

    Harry Potter has always been a constant source of joy in my life, and turning on one of the movies or rereading one of the books for the millionth time always puts me in a better mood. So when I found the Binge Mode podcast on Spotify and learned that the two hosts (the hilarious Mallory Rubin and Jason Concepcion of The Ringer) would be recapping every Harry Potter book and movie as well as aspects of the extended Potter universe, I was instantly intrigued.

    Each episode covers five chapters at a time of the books in order, and they end the week with an episode recapping the movie version and a bonus episode about a specific topic in the HP universe. (It will repeat like this until they're done with the series!) I appreciate the deep dive into the content so much because it feels like I'm cuddling up by the fire with one of the books and heading back to Hogwarts once again. Sure, I could actually read the books again, but listening to this podcast feels like I'm revisiting the series with a completely fresh palette. The podcast has introduced me to important aspects of the Harry Potter story I've honestly never paid attention to. The way they're able to identify small details from the first book that will seriously affect what happens in the last blows my mind, and just proves to me even more that J.K. Rowling is a genius. Listening to Mallory and Jason discuss the HP universe fills me with such delight, and it's almost like sitting down with your most Potter-obsessed friends with a drink and discussing all your favorite aspects of the series. The podcast is only in its third week (currently covering my favorite book, Prisoner of Azkaban!) so it's the perfect time to catch up. I personally can't wait to wake up every day, download another episode, and get lost in the world of Harry Potter. I imagine it's the same feeling you'd get during your first sip of butterbeer after a long day. —Ciera Velarde

    Listen on Soundcloud.

    4. A delicious green tea.

    Terri Pous / BuzzFeed

    I've drunk a lot of tea in my life, and as long as it's hot and has the proper caffeination (or lack thereof) for my needs, I'm not too picky. But when I first tried this green tea at a Jin Soon spa, my taste buds BLOSSOMED. It has this nutty flavor (from the roasted rice, as I later found out) that gave the usual green tea taste this extra level of earthiness and depth. I'm pretty sure I drank three mugs of it and then had to interrupt my pedicure more than once to go to the bathroom. But it was worth it!!! I thought I would just have to keep going back to the spa to have this delicious tea, but luckily, my friend Stephanie tracked it down and when I say I ordered it before she finished saying the word 'Amazon,' I am not kidding. This stuff is nourishment, peace, happiness, and deliciousness all in a teabag. Drinking it is such a treat, a true highlight of my day, and even though I think I can no longer categorize myself as a non-picky tea drinker, I'm really ok with it. —Terri Pous

    Get a box of 16 tea bags from Amazon for $11.56.

    5. A visor that will help you feel nice and shady.

    Rachel Miller

    One of the worst things about summer is my hot, bright, sunny walk to and from the subway each day. There are barely any trees for shade, and I don't like squinting into the sun and/or ending up with tan lines from my glasses/sunglasses. I'm also not a fan of the relentless street harassment! So I spent much of this spring on the lookout for a big visor that I could wear to and from work, ideally keeping both the sun and the men out. Everything I found was either too sporty or literally $150. (ONE HUNDRED AND FIFTY AMERICAN DOLLARS!!!) But finally, finally, I found exactly what I had in mind: The Handmaid's Tale, but make it summer. And for a cool $11!! The visor's bill is quite big, so it completely keeps the sun off my face, and when I wore it to the beach two weeks ago, it kept my décolletage and book perfectly shaded as well. Also, the bow detail in the back is really cute! (And if you're more of a hat person, you can zip on a part that will cover your head entirely.) I think we can all agree that oversized hats = comedic gold, but it turns out that they are practical as well. —RWM

    Get it from Amazon for $10.99 (available in 10 colors).

    6. A low-key miracle for headache sufferers.

    Yi Yang / BuzzFeed

    "I've been a headache sufferer for years. Some weeks I find myself forgetting what it's like to not have a headache. I get all kinds — sinus, tension, hormonal, I-ate-dinner-too-late — basically every damn kind of headache you can think of. Ibuprofen helps most of the time, but taking too much of that isn't great, either. So a few months ago, I was feeling kind of stuck. But like a superhero bursting into a scene with a heartening crescendo, enter: Migrastil Migraine Stick.

    Now, I'm not someone who's into essential oils, and strong scents often trigger my headaches instead of helping them, so I was a bit skeptical of the oil stick at first. Turns out, though, the fragrance level is just right. It includes three scents that I actually like — peppermint, spearmint, and lavender — and the smell is more refreshing and sinus-clearing than perfumey. It's a completely clear oil that doesn't leave your forehead all shiny.

    You use the simple roll-on applicator to apply a bit to your forehead and temples (don't apply too heavily or you may accidentally get some in your eyes), and then apply as much as you want to the back of your neck. Within 30 seconds, you'll start to feel cooling relief. It lessens the intensity of the pain, and, if my headache is dull or just starting, it can make it go away almost entirely. If nothing else, it at least extends how long I can go without taking ibuprofen and delays the splitting headache I sometimes feel coming after a long day. I've taken so much less Advil since I started using this! Plus, you can reapply as often as you need, and it's about the size of a tube of lipstick, so it's easy to carry in my purse. I still sometimes get really stubborn headaches, but I consider the Migrastil Migraine Stick a small miracle and something that has definitely changed my life for the better." —Katy Herman

    Get it from Amazon for $10.99.

    7. A personal training app that just might give you the push you need.

    Aaptiv

    When I go to the gym, I’m very guilty of getting distracted, not feeling motivated, or just being bored out of my heckin’ mind. I’ll show up, maybe hop on the elliptical for a while, realize I would rather be doing nearly anything else, check Twitter for 20 minutes while sitting on a yoga mat, and then take off. Whoops!

    Now, obviously, a personal trainer would help with some of my workout woes, but paying for regular personal training sessions isn’t in my budget at the moment. That’s why when I heard about Aaptiv, an app centered around audio personal training, I was intrigued. The basic gist is that the app gives you access to a ton of different audio-guided workouts you can download right to your phone. Depending on your goals, they have a few different options of workouts to choose from — like outdoor running, treadmill running, strength training, rowing, biking, yoga, elliptical, etc. I’ve mainly used it for running and indoor biking. Beyond that, you can sort those workouts by difficulty level, length of the workout, type of music playing in the background. Eventually, you may even have favorite trainers you’ll lean toward. (Shout out to Meg and Ackeem!)

    After using Aaptiv for a few weeks, I can confidently say it’s helped with my workouts. Not only am I able to focus more with a voice in my ear keeping me motivated, but I was surprised with how helpful the coaching is with little things like correcting my running form — I have a tendency to slouch, and somehow, it knew. I’d still like to play around more with their strength training and yoga workouts, but in my experience so far I’d highly recommend giving it a try! A monthly subscription is $14.99 and a yearly subscription is $99.99. They offer a 30-day free trial, but also be on the lookout for discount offers! —Brett Vergara

    Get started here.

    8. A wire-free bra you can wear day or night.

    Gyan Yankovich / BuzzFeed

    As long as I've been a person who wore a bra, I've also been a person who slept in a bra. For the last ~12 years, I've had no issue with this at all. For me (a size 32DDD), wearing and sleeping in a bra is a thousand times more comfortable than going bra-less — whether that's because I've become totally accustomed to the feeling of being in a bra full-time or simply because I have big boobs, I'm not sure. Regardless, I was totally cool with my 24-hour bra life until a few weeks ago when I went lingerie shopping and saw my favorite bra next to a pile of shiny new bras looking...absolutely trashed. I was downright ashamed. As most bra-owners know, you're not meant to wear a bra all day, every day. You're meant to let bras "rest," so their elastic can bounce back into place and, you know, they can get washed. My poor bras get put to WORK — or at least they did until I had the revelation that I should be treating my (usually very expensive) bras better by not sleeping in them.

    I started toying with buying a soft, comfy-looking bra from one of those trendy lingerie start-ups that rarely even cater to my size, and while rambling at work about this at work, a coworker pointed me to this Walmart bra, which she (and a good friend) both love. The trendy bra was literally seven times the price of the Walmart bra! To say this Walmart bra has been a game-changer would be an understatement. When I get home, I change into it, and since buying it (I bought two in that first order, and plan to buy another soon!) I've slept in it every night. Meanwhile, the new nice lace bra I bought the day of my revelation is still looking good as new, getting lots of rest in my drawer while I sleep each night.

    If you're looking for that virtuous no-bra feeling, but aren't quite ready to free-boob, I highly recommend checking out this cozy, comfy, cheap AF bra. —Gyan Yankovich

    Get it from Walmart for $7.44 (available in nine sizes and 23 colors).

    9. A moisturizer that will perk up your summer skin.

    Frank Tiu / BuzzFeed

    With the summer heat, my skin tends to get really oily, causing me to break out, and it's often hard to find a lightweight moisturizer that lasts me more than hour. But Origins Ginzing Moisturizer is very light and leaves my skin feeling clean and refreshed. The coverage lasts for about six hours (in the office, that is). It also has a fresh orangey-citrus scent that makes me look forward to waking up in the morning, and leaves me feeling positive and optimistic. —Frank Tiu

    Get it from Origins for $17.

    10. And an inexpensive sponge to make doing the dishes a way less daunting task.

    Bek O'Connell / BuzzFeed

    By now you've probably heard of the Scrub Daddy — the happy-looking sponge that made it big on Shark Tank. While I can agree with seemingly everyone that it's a great cleaning tool, I could never get behind its high price. It turns out that the best compromise is the Scour Daddy (which costs $3.99 for a three-pack on Bed Bath & Beyond). It still has the iconic smiley face (thank god), but it's closer in design to your usual sponge. The twist is that it's wrapped in Armortec, or, as I call it, sponge chainmail. The added layer makes it a tough little sponge that cuts through even the concrete-est of food debris without damaging nonstick pans. It also has a little loop on the corner so you can hang it up when you're done scrubbing.

    I know it's weird to have an emotional attachment to a sponge, but damn do I love these things. They last forever and make cleaning like, 15% more enjoyable, which is a huge feat for a sponge. So far I've only had to throw them away because they were worn out or discolored. No mildew smell! If you spend a lot of time doing dishes and hate mildew, you need this sponge in your arsenal. —Bek O'Connell

    Get a three-pack from Bed Bath & Beyond for $3.99.

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