March Minis

Some people have a hard time trying to find the right thing to say when they're trying to comfort someone. So we asked some of the Girl Gang for tips on how to comfort others, and how they like to be comforted when they're feeling down. Hopefully some of their answers can help you next time you need come comfort.  


L I N D S A Y  

When I see someone needs comfort I try to listen to them first. Everyone wants to be comforted in different ways and it's important to give them what they want and not what you think they'd want. I definitely try to make things light and fun. My tactics include going out dancing, eating really good food, chilling out, or being spontaneous.


Comfort. Okay. So this is kinda a big question. I think for me it's kinda similar to the whole love language thing because everyone is so different. So like in general I do my best to empathize and listen to understand. I try to really make sure they know their thoughts are valid and how they feel is valid. That's sort of my starting point. Sometimes comfort is sitting in a room not saying a word to each other--- it's just the presence of another person that helps. Other times I do my best to distract the person from whatever it is. 



When I need comfort I like it when someone pulls me aside and gives me a hug. Sometimes I just need to tell someone one on one how I am feeling and just have a listening ear. I don't want to go into a cave of depression so I need someone to shake me up and force me out the door. I am very confident though that camping is the one thing that will bring me back to life when I'm very down. 

C A Y L E E  

I feel comforted if I can just vent and feel less alone in my head. Also really big on hugs. Honestly, just swaddle me like a child and I'll probably feel 100x better and likely fall asleep in your arms. For me, there's so much comfort in touch.

March Wellness

Ain't No Mountain High Enough | Taryn R.

In my adult life thus far my health was something that admittedly took the back seat. About two years ago I had a health scare that forced me to become someone who valued exercise and trying to keep a moderately health lifestyle. In a nutshell I was having severe chest pain daily that truly felt like what I believe a heart attack feels like. It was debilitating. I chalked it up to indigestion for a while and then one night it got so bad I passed out and my dad had to take me to the hospital. I found out I had developed a Hiatal Hernia (something I learned runs in my family, thanks genetics!). After an endoscopy I learned that I had two options: lose weight, or have surgery to remove it. Surgery and removing the hernia would create inability to burp, and sometimes even throw up. I CAN’T BURP. WHAT. Those side effects sounded weird and pretty awful. Weight loss, healthy eating and medication would minimize and cause the severe acid reflux to go away. I was 24 when this started and I didn’t want to take the easy way out and get surgery this early in my life. I decided to tackle the more difficult route.

Over a 3 month period I lost almost 40 pounds by going to the gym once a day (sometimes twice a day), not drinking alcohol and eating healthy. It was the longest 3 months of my life because I hate the gym. It’s boring, it’s crowded and I’m sweating profusely in front of a wave of strangers. I played softball for almost 9 years and I love to be outside and active so exercise wasn’t what turned me off. It was the way I had to do it to see results. I stuck to the treadmill and quickly learned I burned the most calories on an uphill incline an accelerated speed. It felt like I was hiking, but inside the gym. I began to get this high I have never experienced that I feel like people have always talked about in reference to working out. I started to feel great and get natural energy that I didn’t have prior. Once I hit my goal I celebrated with a hike in Laguna Nigel with one of my best friends Emily on the morning of New Year’s Eve. We celebrated at the top with my first drink in 3 months, Pliny The Elder. Yum.

After that, my gym stint transitioned into a hiking stint. Hiking then became my favorite way to exercise and something I did weekly. As a Long Beach native I was fortunate to be in the middle of a variety of neat trails. On my days off, a good hike became my high priority plan for the day. I hiked in Palos Verdes and Laguna Niguel with challenging trials and beach destination views, Signal Hill for a quick local workout, and a variety of unique trails in Los Angeles. Looking up trails became a fun obsession, but to my surprise, the coolest peaks were the most challenging hiking trails. It was difficult with a unique work schedule to always find a hiking companion so it turned into “me time”. I made playlists to pair good tunes with my workouts and I’d often bring a beer and book to relax at the top after a particularly long hike.

I’d say my favorite hike I have ever done was the hardest one. It also didn’t help that the week before I had gotten my wisdom teeth out. I was stir crazy after a week of immobility so I selected a trail for a much needed solo adventure. It’s called “Wisdom Tree Trail” in North Hollywood and it is a 3 mile steep incline trail to the top of this particular peak. This trail is what you take to also get to the Hollywood sign, so for any LA hikers reading this, you know that is a very difficult one. The trail leading me to wisdom tree felt almost entirely vertical. I was using my own body to push off of just to step higher and higher up the trail. There were times I would grab the side of the mountain or even a stray branch just to get my footing. Half way up I almost turned around because it was so difficult and my jaw was throbbing. I decided to take as many breaks as I needed and not give up. This was in July so the 98 degree heat wasn’t a nice asset to my workout. I finally made it to the top and I am so happy I didn’t give up. It felt accelerating to finish because I saw a handful of people turn around and not make it to the top.

At the top of the Mountain there is a huge tree with seats under it and a trunk filled with notebooks and paper. Hikers are encouraged to write notes, wishes, goals, etc. and fold those notes and place them under numerous stacks of rocks dispersed all around the top of the mountain. The stacks of rocks had uncountable messages stashed throughout each tower and I myself stashed my own message in one of the stacks. I sat at the top and admired the insane view I had of Los Angeles. You could see Lake Hollywood Reservoir and the beautiful city scape all the way to Downtown. I did take a moment this day to celebrate this small victory because I knew for a fact a year before I wouldn’t have been able to complete something like that. Exercise was not important to me for many years and finding something that brought me happiness to help me stay healthy was something that made me very happy. Hiking turned into my workout, my time to relax, to be outside, to reflect, enjoy my own company, and my way to have some adventure. 

March Media Companion

There's No Good Card For This: What to Say and Do When Life is Scary, Awful and Unfair to People You Love  | Emily McDowell and Kelsey Crowe

Me and Earl and the Dying Girl | Alfonso Gomez-Rejon

I'm a sucker for hipster coming of age movies, and books. So this movie was right up my alley. It was a pretty solid adaptation of the YA novel by Jesse Andrews that it's based on, which also made me happy. The story follows an awkward high schooler, Greg, and his friend Earl. They make really fun movie parodies, but their friendship doesn't consist of much else. Those sequences in the book are really vivid and fun, they were adapted beautifully with some cool effects. The titular "Dying Girl" is Rachel. She's in their class, but neither Greg nor Earl have ever really talked to her. When she's diagnosed with cancer, Greg's mom makes him befriend her. Neither of them are very keen on the idea. He's an introvert with no idea what to say to a dying girl, and Rachel doesn't want the pity. After awkwardly hanging out with her a few times (everything about Greg is awkward), they open up a little. Rachel is funny, self-deprecating, and really pretty. But she's dying. Which is another stone to throw on top of the pile that is Greg's nervous, angsty, teenage life. This movie isn't for everyone. I know a lot of people thought it was hard to get through, and felt a little forced at times. But I think that underneath all of the warm hues and sarcastic dialogue, you can learn a few things from a Greg's awkward mistakes. No one asks to get sick, and when we encounter sick people, sometimes it's easier to freeze up and forget all of the other pieces of them. Rachel was just a kid. Sometimes we find sour selves bald to be in situations that we were forced into. We may need a push, but it never hurts to reach out. Whether you're asking someone if they want to hang out, if you can help with something they may not have time for, or just reminding them that you're around. It can make a huge difference. Compassion can seem scary, or like too big of a thing. If you think something would be a nice gesture, chances are it would be. And you've already thought of it, so you're halfway there.

Inside Out | Pete Docter

Expectations are a funny thing. They can go either way. They can sneak up on you, let you down, or surprise you. I think my expectations for Inside Out were mild, nothing crazier than any other Disney movie. I hadn't read much into it, but I wasn't expecting to be blown away. Have you ever had anything dramatically exceed your expectations? It is one of the best feelings. I spent so much time reading about Inside Out after I watched it through tear filled 3D glasses on a weekend afternoon. Pete Docter (who also directed Up, more tears) wanted to make a movie for his young daughter, the inspiration for Riley, to show her that it was okay to be sad. For someone who's struggled with depression for almost ten years, that opens up a lot for old wounds. It also makes me so grateful that there's something like this out there for younger versions of myself. My life would not have changed completely if I'd seen this movie when I was younger, but I would have remembered feeling like there were people out there who understood. Understood enough to tell it in a story. The pressure to be happy, and genial, and always smiling can be extremely overwhelming, especially for a girl. Riley is trying to figure out life in a new town, without her old friends to reach out to, and her parents are busy settling into their new lives. Things that seem trivial can sometimes be the most difficult to deal with. Having Riley's emotions be the primary storytellers could have proved challenging. I bought the art book that was published along with the movie and it was fascinating to see the early concept art for what the emotions would eventually become. Some early sketches were similar, but some evolved in such interesting ways. The use of color and the design of the memory system. I think it's brilliant, and beautiful. So often we're taught that things must exist separate from one another. If you're happy, it's impossible for you to also be sad. The world isn't black and white. Life isn't, and the way that you feel definitely isn't. It's really hard to understand something as intricate as emotions, especially if you're trying to explain them to someone else. The simplest visual aid can help with that though, like colors. You can be both happy and sad, there is nothing wrong about that. You can have multiple, twisted, complicated thoughts about something. Your memory globes will blend and change, for better or for worse. But they will always be yours, and you will always be you. 

Jane the Virgin | Jennie Snyder-Urman

I did not expect to like this show. I handmade a habit of not watching anything on The CW. In hindsight, I was just being a snob. We screened the premiere at work and one of my coworkers told me that I had to try and catch a few minutes of it. Long story short, they had to keep pulling me from the theater to get me to go back to work. I love this show. I am obsessed with Gina Rodriguez. And I tell anyone who questions me about this, that they need to give the show a chance. The titular Jane starts the series living with her mother, Xiomara, and her grandmother, Alba. The show is a telenovela. Yes, like the ones on daytime TV that your mom or your grandma watch, but mostly only when it comes to the format. There's a narrator (he's amazing), and lots and lots of drama. It all sounds like it would be too much, in theory it should be, but this show knows what it's doing. The pacing is quick, and the show burns through plot like nothing I've ever seen, but I have never seen a show with so much heart. There is so much negativity in the current TV landscape, and I watch a lot of it. But sometimes you need a break from that. Jane the Virgin is my break. The show has the strongest mother, daughter relationship that I can recall seeing on television. And they hit it from multiple angles: Jane/Xiomara, Ximoara/Alba, Jane/Alba. They find ways to talk about important issues without it feeling forced or preachy. In four seasons, they've managed to look at: immigration, the prison system, postpartum depression, single motherhood, race, class, and female empowerment, just to name a few. Sound heavy right? Okay to be fair, sometimes it can be. I've cried a lot while watching this show, but I also laugh out loud during those same episodes. I mean, the show is about a religious girl who while waiting for marriage to have sex with her long time serious boyfriend, is accidentally artificially inseminated during a what is supposed to be a routine pap smear. I know, it's a long long. But it's a good one. Trust me. It's full of heart, acceptance, love, compassion, and an overall positivity. It's good vibes, I don't really know how else to describe it. I love TV. It's one of my greatest passions in life, and shows like this one are the reason why. Jane is a wonderful character, she definitely has her flaws, but she is such an important role model for girls. No matter what age.

2017 Oscar Picks

Happy Oscar Sunday feMAILs! We asked some ladies for their Oscar picks. We'll announce our winners after the show. Good luck!

Best Picture

Best Actress

Best Actor

Best Supporting Actress

Best Supporting Actor

February Minis

This month we asked some of our feMAILs what they do when they're feeling lonely. Send us your submissions and we'll add them in. Maybe they'll help someone else when they're feeling lonely.


I make myself call people. People I don't usually talk to but need to. 


I listen to a lot of Band of Horses and watch murder shows. Does that sound as bad as it seems? Haha


Oohh! Snuggle my dog and read.


Masturbate. Read. Go on a drive. Write about it. Try not to do anything destructive. 

This Day in History

Hi feMAILs! For this month's history post we wanted to celebrate Black History Month by highlighting some of our favorite representations of the black experience. Check out the books, comics, graphic novels, tv shows, movies, podcasts, newsletters, writers, music and more that inspire us. Click on the pictures to read more about each pick!

PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE send us your suggestions. We'd love to keep adding to this post and turn it into an archive that we can keep coming back to.