But here are some ways to cope

Angie Rao for BuzzFeed News

To my own utter surprise, I have fully committed to celebrating Halloween this year. I decided to wear a costume. I bought said costume (a month in advance!). I’m even having it tailored because I plan to wear it at every Halloween function I’m invited to from now until I die. It’s an investment.

But it is strange, given my general anti-Halloween disposition. If I were psychoanalyzing myself, I’d say that perhaps the never-ending deluge of bad news has made me seek joy in any form, such as by going to a werewolf bar mitzvah haunted house. (I’ll just try not to accidentally stab my friends.)

How fitting then that Anne Lamott, author of the upcoming Almost Everything: Notes on Hope, is around to tell us what she’s been reading this month. And executive editor and Libra extraordinaire Karolina Waclawiak has a soothing horoscope column this month about finding balance during the Libra new moon. We’ve also got a fun fall books quiz and an ode to The Young Pope — the best show since The Sopranos, according to writer Eric Thurm.

Sending you chill vibes this October,





Ben Kothe / BuzzFeed News; Getty Images

"Aubade "by Natalie Eilbert 


Personal Essays

Agata Nowicka for BuzzFeed News

I Pop My Pimples Even Though I Know I Shouldn’t by Amelia Possanza


I can't get rid of my anxiety, but I can get rid of this pimple. 


We Prioritize Boys' Suffering At Girls' Expense by Shannon Keating 

Controversy over Brett Kavanaugh's nomination has raised the question: Should 17-year-old boys be held responsible later in life for alleged sexual assault? That depends on whose pain we value most.


Jade Schulz for BuzzFeed News


In a world where we’re guaranteed so little, at least you can count on cash back.


I Take Medication For Depression, Hair Loss, And Erectile Dysfunction, And There’s Nothing Shameful About That by Joseph Osmundson


New companies like Roman and Hims will ship erectile dysfunction medication straight to your door — but are they profiting off the stigma they claim to be fighting?


 Newsletter exclusive: an astrology column from executive editor Karolina Waclawiak


Are you okay? Are we okay? Is anything okay? It feels like each time I return with a new column I’m starting with the same central concern — if we are not okay, what will it take to be okay? Maybe not the best you’ve ever been, or killing it in all avenues of your life, but what about just taking-it-one-day-at-a-time okay? In our current moment, I would suggest striving for that as a baseline if you’ve been finding yourself underwater. The year 2018 has continued its march, and with it we have seen no fewer than 1 million headlines that make us want to call in sick and stare into the abyss of the Pacific Ocean.

Look, clearly nothing is okay. But it’s finally Libra season, and what I can offer you is an opportunity to refocus your efforts to find some balance within yourself while the rest of the world continues its off-kilter spin. Libras are known for peace, harmony, justice, and balance. (Libras are great; as a Libra, trust me, I know.) We look for balance even in extremes. What we are experiencing right now — an endless cycle of bad news — is extreme.

For a moment, set aside all the things that are going on outside of your control. Everything besides how, you as a person, live and breathe. The new moon in Libra on October 8 gave us just the right opportunity to find a new sense of balance. While this balancing new moon particularly benefits Libra right now (sorry not sorry!), we can all use this opportunity to recalibrate. Personally, I’m taking this time to find a way to be kinder to myself. It’s not so much looking to fix as looking to let go. This week, I was walking down the street and came upon a group of people standing in a dark parking lot circling around one woman dressed all in white shouting: “I will go see A Star Is Born as self-care! Yes I will!” I wanted to shout back: “Baby, do it!” Was this some kind of self-help seminar? I don’t really know. It’s Los Angeles. We look for help wherever we can. Astounded, I kept walking, but I realized we’re all looking for a reprieve.

So what can you do to find a little reprieve for yourself? Perhaps, like me, you have a very critical voice inside your head that constantly finds ways to undermine and undercut what you do and who you are. Perhaps this voice sounds like someone who used to undermine and undercut you growing up. It’s comfortable! Why give it up?

How many times have you relitigated a social or work situation, sure you did it all wrong? Call it imposter syndrome; call it whatever you want. But you don’t need a harsh voice to propel yourself forward. I promise you don’t. This month, this year, this life, give yourself a break from that inner voice of disapproval. Do yourself one kindness in this extreme world and find a way to let that voice be quiet for a while, and allow a voice that reaffirms and supports you inside instead. It’s just about being a little vigilant. Each time the harsh voice starts, cut it off and think of someone who was kind to you, and let their voice fill you up instead. It will go a long way to helping you find a sense of balance. You can still go stare at the ocean; you’ll just be filled with possibility instead of despair.



Ian Willms for BuzzFeed News


Pickup Artists Are Still A Thing. And They Want You To Know They’ve Evolved. by Scaachi Koul


In 2005, Neil Strauss’s The Game changed how we date. Now Mystery, the pickup artist featured in the book, is trying to disassociate from the toxic effects of the industry he helped launch. For more on the “manosphere,” watch the new BuzzFeed News series Follow This on Netflix.


Could This Unknown Montana Governor Be Our Next President? by Anne Helen Petersen 


Democrats might need a straight white man from the middle of the country, like Steve Bullock, to win the 2020 election. But do they want one?


Shannon Levin for BuzzFeed News


A new survey conducted by BuzzFeed News and Ipsos shows a notable partisan and generational divide on the #MeToo movement.


Brinson+Banks for BuzzFeed News


With a lead role in Support the Girls and a big year yet to come, the Girls Trip star’s moment has finally arrived.



Courtesy of the author


People Want To Hear That I'm Happy I Was Adopted. It's Not That Simple by Nicole Chung 


Growing up, being Korean and being adopted were things I loved and hated in equal measure. An excerpt from All You Can Ever Know.


9 Books That Capture What It's Like To Live With Mental Illness by Maggy van Eijk


Memoirs, fiction, YA — these books show what it's like when your brain seems to be working against you.


One trans woman’s story of spending nine months in solitary confinement in a men’s prison. An excerpt from Six by Ten: Stories from Solitary, out on October 2.


Which New Books Should You Read This Fall? by Arianna Rebolini 


With so many great books coming out, it can be almost impossible to choose.


Zoë van Dijk for BuzzFeed News


Three new books by Ada Limón, Sonya Huber, and Sandra Gail Lambert change the narrative around what it means to live with illness — and be well.



15 Books For People Questioning The Idea Of "Happily Ever After" by Rachel Krantz 


Since entering into an open relationship three years ago, I've been trying to untangle myths around gender, sexuality, and love. These are the books that have helped.


Cultural Criticism 


Lisa O'Connor / AFP / Getty Images


Taylor Swift Is Still Catching Up To The Political Conversation by Pier Dominguez 

 Swift’s statement about the midterm elections has come at a moment when her political silence was becoming more costly to her than any potential backlash.


A Star Is Born May Not Get Pop Music Right, But It Gets That It Matters by Alison Willmore 


Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga have remade A Star Is Born as a tender, conflicted love story for the age of poptimism. (Spoilers, if you haven’t caught any of the three previous versions of this movie.)


Why No Scandal Has Stuck To Trump by Anne Helen Petersen


Even when a story like the New York Times’ recent tax investigation reveals new information, there’s no shockwave — because it doesn’t unsettle the foundation of Trump’s image.


Jade Schulz for BuzzFeed News


Occasionally, someone will congratulate me on “committing to the bit,” as if it’s inconceivable that I could love something this much.


A Star Is Born Has Solved Lady Gaga’s Musical Identity Crisis by Pier Dominguez


Lady Gaga is the kind of multifaceted pop star A Star Is Born doesn’t quite know how to portray, but her talent both brings Ally to life and proves that Gaga’s star is still rising. (Spoilers for the movie).


Stephane De Sakutin / AFP / Getty Images


The fallout from a year of #MeToo forces us to ask how ballet can become less damaging to women and their bodies, and who needs to be included to make that change.


Another newsletter exclusive: an interview with a writer we love! This month: Anne Lamott, whose latest collection of essays Almost Everything: Notes on Hope comes out on Oct. 16.


What are you reading ... Anne Lamott?


Sam Lamott


"I’m just finishing Julian Barnes’ The Only Story. It is a brilliant novel about love and the pain of loss, and how very real life can be. It is at times very funny. Barnes makes me so jealous with both the richness and precision of his writing, and his great wit. I am always simultaneously bitter, and grateful, when I am reading him."


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