The best newsletters to subscribe to now
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By Jenny Brownlees
Newsletters have become the new podcasts, which were the new radio – last year saw subscribable, digital correspondence become the content medium of the moment. This was music to our ears, as people who genuinely miss getting letters in the post (remember the thrill of a middle school-era pen pal?). Whilst we mourn the tradition of snail mail, these online ‘letters’ are helping to bring a smile to our faces each time they land in our mailbox.
While of course, High Life North’s newsletter should be your first port of call for an inspiring round-up of articles, trending shop-able products and a letter direct from our Editor, we’ve got time for some extra reading RN, so thought we’d suggest a few more newsletters that’ll light up your inbox.
Subscribing to emails from the best writers, experts and creatives out there means we have entertainment on tap, and always have something to read. Whatever your interests, there’s a newsletter out there for you. We love that not only do the following picks feel like a magazine tailored especially to your passions and hobbies – most include the latest and greatest cultural picks, meaning we’re constantly discovering something new. From song suggestions, book recommendations, curated product picks and more, these beautifully intimate letters feel more like corresponding with a friend. You’re often encouraged to write back and engage with the authors, or follow and chat in comments via social media platforms, which evokes a wonderful sense of community online. The fact these newsletters are also free, despite their stellar writing is a brilliant bonus. These are the fourteen you should subscribe to on the immediate…
Fashion editors and best friends Charlie and Frankie let us hear the inner musings of their lives, via their weekly newsletter The Wingwoman. Each ‘letter’ has a theme, with C & F offering their thoughts on everything from careers, insecurity, dating, dressing, money and sex – no topic is off-limits. The wingwomen beautifully articulate their insightful ponderings, (from two wonderfully eloquent professional writers, did you expect any less?) in a mini-essay each Sunday. When this newsletter lands in our inbox, we always dive straight in – immediately sitting down with a cuppa to browse. Post-reading, we’re always left feeling as if we’ve just had a good ol’ catch up with our mates and somehow, the girls always seem to discuss a topic that’s on our own minds. Charlie and Frankie have their finger on the pulse of what’s hot RN, and recommend everything from the best recipes, books, TV series, clothes, beauty buys and more. Think of them as your virtual BFFs, who are always in the know when it comes to the current zeitgeist.
Greenery has seen a revival in recent years, with sales of houseplants surging. Nurturing plants is said to have a powerful effect on our mental health, with calming, therapeutic benefits. In Noughticulture, writer Alice Vincent shares her knowledge on all things green-thumbed, after teaching herself to garden back in 2014. This newsletter pairs stellar writing with tales of horticulture and floriculture, offering advice that is attainable – making even our cactus-killing selves believing we could give gardening a go. Whether you’re a plant aficionado or complete novice, you’ll enjoy this newsletter all the same. Alice gardens from the balcony of her flat in South London, so a sprawling green-space isn’t a necessity to enjoy the delights plants can bring into our world.
Music fans will love this personal exchange direct from Nick Cave to you. Every time The Red Hand Files pops up in our inbox we’re filled with genuine joy. The premise is, you can email Nick and ask him anything. As he explains, “There will be no moderator, this will be between you and me.” The beautiful, unique correspondence is a fan’s dream – allowing you to have a one-to-one chat with a musical legend but above all, an authentically kind and earnest human being. The questions Nick has been asked range from the funny to the deeply personal, and the truly compassionate way he responds to each has brought us to tears on more than one occasion. Like a peek into another world, we find exploring others inner lives a privilege, oddly soothing and always thought-provoking. To think they say the art of the letter-writing has died in our modern age – we respectfully disagree.
Charlotte’s rose-tinted style never fails to bring some fun to our email inbox. As long-time fans of her blog, we especially look forward to the charming edit of her current favourite things in a newsletter, ‘The Monday Motivator.’ Think liberty-print florals, frills and Wes Anderson hues. Her ‘feeds to follow’ has led us to discover so many creative Instagram feeds we’re now all-out obsessed with, while her bookmark picks of craft projects, trending clothes, interiors and travel guides spread pure happiness. This is feel-good content, personified.
If you’re a creative spirit, Jocelyn’s newsletter is the one for you. Twice a month the author and host of podcast Hurry Slowly shares her insights on how to be more creative and the importance of making time for creativity in our daily lives. Jocelyn advocates being productive and resilient, to enable you to spend more time on meaningful projects you enjoy. We thoroughly enjoy her musings, tips, curation of articles she’s reading, apps she loves and links to free resources that could help you create in what she deems the ‘Age of Distraction.’ Too right.
We’re not embarrassed to admit we’ve wept to this newsletter on many an occasion. Bimonthly mailer Conversations on Love is brought to you by Natasha Lunn, who started the project back in September 2017. Natasha aimed to ask the question, what does it really mean to love? She has since posed this question to psychologists, writers, therapists, authors and professors, and the responses are utterly breath-taking. The rich variety of answers given in COL’s interviews show the brilliantly diverse ways love presents itself in people’s lives. You will be enchanted hearing the likes of philosopher Alain de Botton and writers Hilary Mantel, Ariel Levy and Dolly Alderton explain what love, in its many forms, means to them. Interviewees are fantastically generous with their sincere and honest offerings, which feels a real privilege for readers to share in. Our favourite edition of the newsletter so far, which we’ve bookmarked and re-read many times, is December 2019’s Christmas special. Split into two parts, readers (along with some of our favourite writers) share their own stories of life and love, with both uplifting and heart wrenching results. The COL newsletters have become such a hit, they are being made into a book to be released in 2021. We for one can’t wait.
Book lovers listen up – one of our favourite writers and host of chart-topping podcast You’re Booked, Daisy Buchanan will bring delightful glee to your inbox via Further Reading. As Daisy perfectly puts it, ‘This newsletter is a non-stop party for book lovers – although admittedly it’s the sort of party where you can wear a dressing gown, don’t need to leave the house and you don’t have to speak to anyone you don’t know.’ Each week, Daisy penses on all things book-related, in a myriad of forms. Whatever the topic, it’s delivered in her brilliantly unique, relatable and witty style. The newsletter also boasts book reviews and competitions, you can join in with a monthly book club and even talk to Daisy in the ‘Creative Career Clinic’ where the author offers her support and suggestions learnt from ten years in the ‘biz. Further reading is a true tonic in newsletter form.
Girls’ Night In believes it’s so important for us to take time out from our stressful, busy lives. With mental health problems and loneliness on the rise and a society that’s “always-on,” they know a break and some “me time” is essential. Girls Night In has thus created its very own cosy corner of the web with its newsletter, consisting of 150,000+ readers and counting. You can join them for practical self-care tips every Friday, not to mention a cute dog picture or funny Tweet often thrown in for good measure. GNI curate the best, stress-free content each week to help you relax and recharge, suggesting the best thing to watch, indulge in, buy or read. Think of this as your feel-good manifesto.
London based photographer Sophie Davidson has utilised her visual storytelling skills to beautifully capture women in a candid, personal way. In this fortnightly series, Sophie chats to a variety of women about the role food plays in their everyday lives. There’s a particular focus on food that makes the interviewee happy – which serves as a welcome celebration of women’s relationship with food. Each week we are treated to recipes, tips and advice from a diverse group of women, shared in a relatable and unpretentious style. The newsletter makes us, (who possess only the most basic of culinary skills) feel we could recreate the beautiful meals shared. Better yet, the newsletter doesn’t begin and end with the food on the plate – we get a glimpse into these women’s kitchens and lives, sharing stories as they cook. Food is a powerful medium and combined within it are tales of heritage, family, friendship and more. Women Cook For Me always cheers up our overflowing inbox.
We’ve long been fans of Emma Gannon’s writing and her careers podcast Ctrl Alt Delete. Emma advocates (and penned a book on) The Multi-Hyphen Method, which discusses the future of careers – and how the world is changing from workers historically doing one job, to millennials designing their own multi-faceted working lives in a new, digital age. Emma is first and foremost a writer and has been published everywhere, including The Telegraph, The Guardian, The Sunday Times and ELLE. In The Hyphen newsletter, she shares all things that celebrate and inspire her life and work. We trust Emma as an authority for recommendations on books, podcasts, articles she’s been reading, radio she’s loved and so much more. Hit that sign up button now.
Sonder and Tell founders Emily and Kate previously communicated, like many friends, through tagged Instagram posts and late-night Whatsapps, sharing links to just-found articles, new podcasts and books. The pair worked in magazine publishing together for five years before creating content agency Sonder & Tell. Rather than keep their favourite discoveries to themselves, they decided to share them within newsletter The Word. Here, the women chat to seasoned media experts to ask, what do writers actually read? What podcasts do radio hosts make time for? Which magazines do editors subscribe to? Signing up ensures you will no longer have to scour the internet to discover the coolest, about-to-go-viral articles, you’ll hear about the topics that everyone will soon be talking about, first. Writing advice is also shared, as are book reviews and there’s even a weekly writing prompt to get your creative juices flowing.
Writer, speaker and consultant Otegha Uwagba helps female creatives work better, connecting them via her platform Women Who. Otegha began the venture whilst at a career crossroads, leaving a job in advertising to pursue freedom and creative fulfilment. Otegha wasn’t previously working with many women, which she had found was her most rewarding professional relationship, leading to the best ideas and breakthroughs. Thus, Women Who was created, and has since supported women in work through events and workshops. This, along with a successful podcast, has seen Otegha make Forbes’ 30 under 30, and pen a Sunday Times bestselling career guide, Little Black Book: A Toolkit for Working Women. In spring 2021, Otegha will release her second book, We Need To Talk About Money. In Women Who’s newsletter, The Roundup, we are offered a carefully curated selection of career-related reads, ideas, and smart recommendations that always inspire. This newsletter always makes our Wednesday’s a whole lot cheerier – hump day no more.
We looked forward to reading Hayley Nahman’s words daily when she was Features Editor of New York-based lifestyle site Man Repeller. Now she’s announced her freelance venture, her just-launched newsletter was an instant sign-up for us, no questions asked. In Maybe Baby, hear Hayley wax lyrical about her self-confessed ‘complicated feelings.’ Including everything from diary-like entries and cultural observations to interviews and conversations, this brand new addition to our inboxes is already a thrill to read. We’re excited to join Hayley on this journey and absorb her skilful writing throughout.
Alice Olins is a female-focused career, business and personal development coach. She began The Step Up Club to share years of expert knowledge, with the aim to help women in the workplace. Alice has since shared her expertise as a public speaker, columnist, author and podcaster. Alice believes every woman can achieve her own definition of success with the right support, information and network. If this sounds up your street, and to be honest who couldn’t do with a little confidence boost rework? The Step Up Club’s newsletter offers practical advice, free downloadable materials and tools that’ll help you work smarter, build confidence and fulfil your potential.