happy ladies

A few things--like chocolate, chick flicks, and clean sheets--are almost guaranteed to boost your mood. But when it comes to …

  • In her brave "Be Beautiful" project, California artist and writer Denise Jolly, 34, essentially "dated" her body for 30 days. She bared it in public places and in private, photographing herself, barely clothed, in ways that made her feel vulnerable, scared and, eventually, beautiful. And that's saying a lot in this culture for a woman who weighs 311 pounds. Though she's been vulnerable in front of a crowds before, exposing her emotions through poetry slams and other artistic endeavors, this project, she explained, was different. "This was about me trying to figure out my relationship with my body in a relatively safe public forum," Jolly told Yahoo Shine. "And I'm grateful, as a woman, that there are enough supportive people who can come together and rally around the effort."—Beth Greenfield, Shine Staff

  • For the past few months two of my girlfriends had been trying to encourage me to attend their spinning class. I was reluctant, however, since the bicycle was never my go-to cardio at the gym. In fact, I don't think I had ridden a bicycle since childhood. In the past couple of weeks I have grown frustrated and a little bored with running, so the idea of trying the spin class began to grow on me, even though I was terrified that I wouldn't be able to get through the entire hour. Just a few classes later, I am absolutely hooked. Click through for 7 reasons why you should try a spinning class! -By Jessica Cohen


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    Less impact on the body
    Less impact on the bodyNo choreographyThe energy stays with youThe workout is greatThe vibe is awesome

  • A cupcake drawing can male you feel better

    A cupcake drawing can male you feel better

    Studies have shown that comfort foods fight off the blues and have a significant positive effect on people's moods. But unfortunately, the comfort they provide usually comes courtesy of fat and/or sugar, which most people would benefit by reducing in their diets.

    But scientists may have found a workaround in getting the positive effects of comfort food without the calories.

    During a period of three months late last year, researchers recruited 61 students from St. Bonaventure University in New York state. Most were slightly overweight according to measurements of body-mass index (BMI).

    The subjects were divided into four groups; each group was asked to draw a different item: high-fat, high-sugar cupcakes; high-fat, low-sugar pizza; low-fat, high-sugar strawberries; and low-fat, low-sugar peppers. All were given the same colors to use.

    The researchers then analyzed the participants' hunger, mood and level of interest and excitement before and after the brief drawing exercise.

    Drawing pizzas i

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  • "Three things in human life are important: the first is to be kind; the second is to be kind; and the third is to be kind." ― Henry James

    It feels good to give. Sure, giving back should be an altruistic, selfless notion, but the truth is that giving back is good for both the giver and the recipient. Studies even prove that there are amazing benefits to giving, whether you are taking on a regular volunteer position, donating money, or simply doing a random act of kindness.

    Giving back is important to me. Growing up with a handicapped sibling, I saw the importance of volunteerism and paying it forward almost every day. Now that I am a parent, making sure that my kids are empathetic towards others is also extremely important to me.

    After you read the reasons why it's good to give, you may just take some time today to give to others!

    1. You may live longer

    Volunteering may not just be good for the recipient of your time and kindness, but it may be good for your own health too. Researchers

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  • No calorie counting, no food groups to avoid—just you enjoying each and every bite while the weight melts off. Sound too good to be true? Read on.

    No calorie counting, no food groups to avoid—just you enjoying each and every bite while the weight melts off. …

    When was the last time you reveled in the sensation of a chocolate truffle melting across your tongue or the sweet taste of a sunripened strawberry? When did you last brush the crumbs of a gooey cinnamon bun off your lap without a sliver of guilt or an ounce of remorse? If you've been struggling to lose the weight that's slowly crept on, your answer is probably "rarely" or "never." But what if you could indulge in your favorite foods all the time-without a single thought for how many calories, grams of fat, or carbs they contain-and still lose weight?

    Jena la Flamme, a weight loss expert in New York City, has a refreshing and delightful theory that you can do just that. The secret: Learn to work with your body's innate, biological need for pleasure.

    RELATED: Happiness is just 2 minutes away with these 14 Mood-Boosting Tricks.

    Indeed, science has shown that the desire for pleasure is embedded in our DNA and causes us to seek out the feel-good sensation multiple times a day. "Evolution wire

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