A Star of David hanging from a tree.
A Star of David hanging from a tree.
Photo by David Holifield on Unsplash

When I was an incoming high school senior, I had to take summer gym with a group composed almost entirely of incoming freshmen. I’d taken marching band for one of the two physical education credits I needed to graduate, and I had to medically withdraw from my actual gym class freshman year; so naturally, like anything you don’t want to do when you’re a teenager, I put that final physical education credit off until the last possible minute. What I didn’t consider in this process was the other demographic for summer gym: incoming overachieving freshmen. My polar opposite.

I can’t…


If there’s one thing I love, it’s a good video essay. There’s nothing better than watching smart, charismatic people talk about well-researched topics; you get to both feel smart and entertained, and oftentimes the subject matter is poignant and/or wild enough that you have some discussion starters and “fun facts” to bring up with your friends later on. At least, I hope my friends think the facts are fun. Nobody’s told me otherwise yet, so we can only hope.

Either way, I have a habit of totally wrecking my sleep schedule by diving into rabbit hole after rabbit hole watching…


Photo from @sadboyz on Twitter

I would be far from the first person to write a thinkpiece about the intersection between Millennial/Gen Z humor and mental health; you know what they say, you can sit a million monkeys at a million typewriters and one of them is going to write a 2,000 word article musing over a Tweet that said something like “ironically going to the Wendy’s drive thru to order a Please End My McSuffering”.

That’s for good reason, though, because there’s genuinely a lot to explore. The connection between humor and mental health is already intricate and tight-woven, and perhaps it’s the Zillennial…


The Kübler-Ross Model is one of the most well-known depictions of how people grieve their dead, but that was never its intended use case. Here’s what was.

A statue of a seated angel in a cemetery holds a single white rose.
A statue of a seated angel in a cemetery holds a single white rose.
Photo by Julia Kadel on Unsplash

Denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. You know them, you love them (or not), you’ve heard about them in everything from television shows to health websites. They’ve come under scrutiny in recent years for being an inaccurate depiction of the emotional process of grieving a loved one, which isn’t an unfair criticism, considering that they were never meant to describe that process at all.

According to the Elisabeth Kübler-Ross Foundation, when Dr. Kübler-Ross wrote the book that would introduce the five-stage model to the world (“On Death and Dying”), she wrote it as a reflection upon the emotional processes one…


Humans 101

Intentional presence in everyday garbage fires

Photo: Paul Harizan/Getty Images

Odds are, you’re picturing someone cross-legged in an empty room, wearing athleisure pants and looking effortlessly chilled out. Mindfulness likely smells like a spa and tastes like a kale smoothie. It asks you if you’ve tried essential oils for your chronic pain. It probably has a bunch of well-organized, expensive highlighters for its Target notebooks.

When I talk to people about mindfulness — whether they’re clients at work, family, friends, my barista, some guy on the train — these are the images they tend to think of. …


There’s nothing that better illustrates the weird, toxic relationship we have to learning and encouraging change than the way we treat our pets.

Our good boy, Winston.

Stick with me here — about a year ago, I was working at an animal shelter as an adoption counselor. I spent my workdays reading applications from potential adopters, sitting down with them for an interview to make sure it’s a good fit, and educating them on modern best practices for animal care.

While working at the shelter, I encountered a radical concept I’d pretty much never come across before — never ever training with punishment, not…

Alex Thixton

Writer, co-host and co-husband of Ice Cream Parasocial, mental health enthusiast, not here to win but definitely here to make friends. They/them.

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