The BuzzFeed Life editors are always trying new products, apps, tips, and DIY projects, and we decided it was time to start sharing the best of them with you. Each month, we'll post our recommendations for what's actually worth it. For the sake of transparency, items under "Things We Bought" were purchased with our own money and/or were not the result of a PR pitch. Those under "Things We Tried" are items that were provided to us at no cost for the sake of review. Let us know in the comments what sorts of things you'd like us to review next month!
1. Merona liner socks — $3 a pair
2. Cordskinz — $9.99
I'm the type of person who shoves her earbuds into bags with brute force, so I'm usually dealing with a tangled ball from headphone hell. But then I came across Cordskinz, a cord cover that permanently prevents buds from becoming a gnarled mess. It's essentially a thin, rubbery tube with a slit down one side. The Cordskinz tube is stiffer than the earbud cable itself, so when I pull my headphones out, they bounce right into their original non-tangled shape as if fresh right outta the package. This simple accessory has saved me *so* much time pre-workout. The only downside is that if your buds are wound too tightly, the Cordskinz tube starts to separate from the headphone cord. I fixed that with a tiny amount of superglue on each end of the tube. At $10 a pop, Cordskinz is totally worth it. Now, if only there were a version to prevent tangled JEWELRY. —Nicole Nguyen
4. Pacifica, an anxiety-regulating app for iOS and Android — free to download with additional in-app purchases
When I wake up in the morning, I grab my phone and swipe through, in order: Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, work email, personal email, and now this lil guy. It's so simple: You can record and track your mood over time using a series of preset descriptors, practice a meditative breathing exercise, and set goals for your emotional health. There's also a physical health tab (with categories like sleeping, eating, and drinking) where you can record how well you're treating the husk that carries your brain around.
The app itself is free, and so are the health and mood trackers, but in order to have full access to the exercises you have to upgrade for $3.99 a month or $29.99 for the year. Otherwise, each one is only available on certain rotating days. It's truly mind-boggling how long it took me to pony up for full access because, like, I spend several dozen times more than that on therapy every month?
Today, for example, I woke up feeling kind of frantic and destabilized. I recorded that I only felt "OK" because I was "Stressed." After spending five minutes with the breathing exercise, though, I upgraded to "Good" because I was "Relaxed." I like looking at the map of my brainscape over the past month and having a record of the highs and lows; usually the lows feel so big and dramatic that it's actually comforting to realize what a relatively small percentage of my life they comprise. —Alanna Okun
6. Paper towel coffee filter — free
10. The Laundry Pod — $79.95
In my corner of the world, the closest washing machine is two flights of stairs and a block and a half away, in a "laundromat" that's really just a dirty, dark hallway pretending to be a place where things actually get clean. So, for the past two and I half years, I have hand-washed my nicer clothes in one of these bins. It is always a long, damp process, but at least I can do it in my well-lit bathroom and not worry that an ancient washer is going to chew up and swallow my expensive sweaters.
This is precisely the situation where The Laundry Pod is actually helpful. I used lukewarm water, the recommended amount of detergent, and the recommended washing cycle (soak for a few minutes in soapy water, agitate for two minutes, drain the water, refill with fresh water, agitate in clean water for two minutes, drain again, and spin the water out of the clothes) — and was able to get two wool sweaters, a couple of bras, and some workout clothes cleaner than I could ever get them with normal hand-washing, without spending too much time or effort. (It takes some shoulder and bicep work to keep cranking it for two minutes, but it was nothing I couldn't handle.)