Do Unto Others: Happiness in Helping

Helping other people is the noblest of causes. Taking time out of your day to help friends, family, and strangers is something that we all tell ourselves we will do, but so few of us actually do. But the opportunities are out there, no matter where in the world you may live.

There are a plethora of options available for those who want to do more to help their fellow humans. Enriching other people’s lives will help them, as well as yourself. The positive effect that philanthropy has on our mental health is well documented, and so, in a world awash with inequality, doing your part to aid the less fortunate is something that will benefit everybody.


Going into the world of social care is an admirable endeavour. Often, you are working with those who have mental health problems, the poor, and sometimes the dangerous. Before starting, it is wise to look into obtaining an online MSW, to adequately prepare you for what many believe to be a thankless occupation.

Only, it isn’t a thankless occupation. There will be times where you get screamed at, called names and generally treated not very nice. But keeping your head up and knowing that you are doing this for the greater good is a reward all in itself.


Work for free, are you mad? No, actually, not at all. Volunteering can be done anywhere, anytime, whether it be at an animal shelter, homeless shelter or ever travelling abroad to build a school in a third world country.

Sure, you don’t get paid, but that isn’t the point. You are in this to help others, not boost up your bank account. You can find local or worldwide volunteering networks online with a quick search and start to give back. Along the way, you might be surprised at what wonderful, interesting people you meet and gain a broader perspective of the world. While you may not be rich in cash, your wealth will be overflowing with good vibes and experience.


If you don’t have the time to volunteer or obtain a new qualification, you can always find the time to donate to local or national causes. Organisations such as charities are the obvious option, but also consider food banks and clothing donations.

Furthermore, you can set up payment plans to donate to wildlife or environmental conservation, as well as medical research to battle the most devastating of diseases. It doesn’t matter where you donate to, as long as you do it. Although, some charities are less transparent than others, so it pays to do your research and ensure your money is going where you want it to.

The happiness to be found in helping others is unlike any other sort of happiness in life. Taking just a bit of money out each week to help save the planet or those in need, donating old clothes that otherwise would rot in the attic, or going that extra mile to engage and support are all admirable. You have been gifted with a good life; it’s not too much to ask to help make someone else’s life just as good, also.  

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Sweet Gadgets That Can Smarten Up Your Lifestyle

There are so many different things that we need in our lives; many of which are there more out of necessity than anything else. But, you can actually choose to pick out items that you need, that can actually make your life better too. From more convenient to more enjoyable, there’s a wealth of techie and smart accessories out there on the market that can really improve your lifestyle. So whether you find yourself stressed out with systems that aren’t really working for you, or you just want a more efficient setup, you’ve come to the right place. Because here are the gadgets that are going to smarten up your lifestyle.

Smart Home Hub

We’re going to kick off with something that will instantly change the way you live at home. It’s nothing all that new, or even groundbreaking, but a smart home hub will be a great addition to your lifestyle as it is now. In fact, it will just improve it. With a hub installed and the right accessories plugged in, you can control the heating by room, the lighting and sounds too – you can even close the curtains automatically. This is a great gadget to make your home more efficient and safe too – because the functions can be used to make you look like you’re in, and get the house ready for when you get home.

Countertop Chargers

No matter how new your phone is, or how little you use it, it’s highly likely that you run out of battery quite often. It’s just a fact of life. So, you’re going to want to make sure that you are able to charge it wherever you are around the house. And this is where a charging surface can come in. Because you’ll be able to charge your phone as it rests on the kitchen counter. Both cool and convenient, this will be a lot of fun to install.

Cutting Edge Diffusers

It’s easy to think about some of the bigger things that can spice up your life, but the smaller things can too. Because something like a cold air diffuser can completely change the atmosphere of your home. You’ll definitely notice that the aroma is in the air, and it can help you to kick back and relax a little more too.

Robot Vacuum

If you love your home to be clean and tidy a lot of the time, but you never really seem to have the time to keep it that way, you’re going to want to pick yourself up a robot vacuum. You can set these little beauties on a timer so that they can run around and pick up the dirt on a set route, then head on back to their dock and charge for the next time. Incredible, right?

Barista-Level Coffee Machine

And finally, if you’re a coffee lover, then going to want to think about getting yourself a state of the art coffee machine. Because filter pots can be great, but there’s nothing quite like knocking up a barista style coffee from the comfort of your own home.

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5 Reasons to Keep Watching Christmas Films Into the New Year

During Christmas, we usually watch classic festive films such as Home Alone (the first one and only the first one!), Die Hard and The Polar Express, and for a day or two those films can feel magical, exciting and joyous even though we’ve seen them at least once a year for the past decade. But why should the excitement and joy need to stop there? Here are a couple of reasons why you should keep on watching those Christmas classics even after New Year!

  • They’re everywhere! – Thanks to cheap DVD prices and even cheaper on-demand video subscription services, it’s so easy to find a great Christmas film to watch with your friends and family and you won’t spend ages trying to pick something that everyone can enjoy.
  • They’re actually great films – Most Christmas films are classics for a reason. They’re usually filled with heartwarming moments, exciting scenes or they’re just so bad that they’re brilliant.
  • They’ll remind you of happy times – Many Christmas films have festive messages weaved into the story that will keep your mood positive throughout the holiday season.
  • And also remind you of chaotic times – But many Christmas films also have chaotic scenes (see Gremlins) that remind us of the mayhem that comes with the holidays.
  • To keep the magic going – Christmas magic is a unique feeling that you only get during the end of the last month of the year, so keep it going for longer to boost your mood and keep you happy.

To give your kids something to do – Kids love Christmas films and it will keep them entertained throughout their school break.

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Need a Tech Upgrade, But Don’t Know Where to Start? Follow These Tips

It’s a fact of life that if we don’t have the latest technologies at our disposal, then we’re not able to fully take advantage of everything modern society offers. Of course, we can still live a happy existence, but bagging those travel deals, learning new skills, and staying in touch with friends and family? It all gets a lot more difficult if we don’t have a smartphone, tablet, or laptop. If you’re thinking of investing in some tech, but don’t know where to start, take our advice below and end up with a device that’s right for you.


Think of Your Needs

The breadth of technology available can be a little bit overwhelming. There are some seriously impressive pieces of kit out there, with which it’s able to create hit songs, make movies, and all-around produce high-quality content. But if you’re not planning on doing any of those things, then you’re not going to need one of those devices. There’s a common issue with people who buy a new tablet or laptop: it’s capable of doing everything, yet they only ever scroll through Facebook! Figure out what you’ll be using your technology for, and you’ll be able to find one that’s right for you.

Avoid Picking the Shiniest New Toy

If you have an open-budget and decide to browse all that’s available, then you’re likely to go with whatever item is newest or has the most recognisable name. There’s a reason why so many people have iPhones, for instance, and it’s not because it’s the best on the market (it is good, but not as good as the number of owners suggests). If you’re going to incorporate the opinions of other people into your decision-making process, then make it the opinion of the experts, not the general public; they might not know any more than you do.

Get Outside Help

And talking of expert voices, it’s a good idea to read what they have to say. The internet is a wealth of information, and you’ll be able to find in-depth reviews that outline all that’s good and bad about a product before you decide to buy. If you’re looking for a laptop, check out; it offers in-depth analysis of the best laptops available on the market. You might not know the first thing about technology, but there are people out there that do; listen to them!

Think Long Term

You’re not just buying for today. If you’re buying a piece of technology that’s high-quality, then it’ll be around for many years to come. As such, it’s worthwhile taking a little bit extra time before making your decision to make sure you’re getting the device that’s right for you. If you make the wrong decision, you might regret it for years!

Learn How to use Your Device

Finally, a golden rule: learn how to use your device! Technology is capable of doing a lot of amazing things, but you’ll only know what it’s capable of if you take steps to learn how to use it properly.

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Strong On The Outside But Crumbling Inside: Dealing With Your Demons

You can’t remember the last time you woke up, looked at yourself in the mirror and liked what stood before you. You see a drawn, unhealthy, sad specimen in front of you and you’ve lost track of how you got to this point. Everyone has their bad days, but you’re battling something much deeper. You’re an addict and you don’t know how to escape from the tiny person inside your mind which makes you carry out these harmful habits. Addiction is not easy to fight and it can be a contributing factor to depression and mental illness. Once you have dug yourself into a deep, dark hole it can take a while to climb out. Please don’t punish yourself as you are not alone. Start by addressing your problem and take the initial steps towards recovery.

Start Small

When you are an addict, attempting to recover even the smallest things can seem like the biggest mountain. Set yourself small and achievable goals each day that will help you get up and running. It may be that you struggle getting out of bed in a morning. Why not challenge yourself with the task of getting up and taking a shower? Reward yourself and be proud when you achieve each step and try not to turn to the crutch of the substance that you often rely on so heavily. When you have tackled your smallest battles you can start to aim a little higher. Take a walk in the fresh air with a friend or call up a family member that you have neglected recently. You will find that these little changes will help you on your path to rehabilitation.


Talk, Talk and Talk Some More

Keeping your feelings and problems locked up tight in a box inside your body will not be beneficial to your health or wellbeing. Find someone you trust and approach them for a chat. It might be someone who you live with or maybe a professional councillor who can hear you out. It is true when they say a problem shared is a problem halved, so speak up and don’t be afraid to put your feelings out there. People will be willing to listen and help will soon follow suit.

Find The Help You Need

Once you have spoken to someone about your addiction you will be on the path to recovery, Remember to take every piece of advice you’re given even if it seems like a tricky thing to tackle. You may need to go to one of the many successful detox centers in your area. There will be people on hand here which specialise in helping addicts to recover. This is one of the bravest things you can do, so if you find yourself checking in, you have already overcome a huge hurdle.

Someone is always on your side, no matter what the demons inside your body are telling you. Try to tune them out and get on board with the people that truly care about you. Everyone wants to see you thrive and you deserve to live the happiest and healthiest life you can. You only get one life, so take the chance to regain it while you can.

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So You’re Teaching Your Son or Daughter To Drive

It’s always an exciting time when a young son or daughter is entering adulthood. They have their whole life ahead of them, and you’ll be on hand to help them navigate their way through this murky world. When they reach the right age, you might be the first driving teacher they have, showing them the basics and getting them ready to hit the road for good. Below, we take a look at a few essential tips you’ll need to consider to ensure it doesn’t end in one big family screaming match.


Ready When They Are

There might be a driving age, but that doesn’t mean that everyone has to buckle up and begin driving the second they reach that age! There should never be any pressure to get behind the wheel. If there is, then the lessons will be pointless; the child will be too nervous to absorb the information they’re receiving. Of course, it’s OK to give a person a gentle nudge in the right direction, but if they’re really resistant, then listen to them and postpone the lessons until they’re ready.

You’re a Coach, not a Parent

You’ll have taught your son or daughter many life lessons over the years; that’s what good parenting is! But things are a little bit different when it comes to learning to drive. Behind the wheel, things can get dangerous, and as such you need to be more in the mindset of a coach than a parent. Your son or daughter is going to freak out at some point, and when they do, you need to be a calming voice that’ll tell them what to do. In any case, what teenager listens to their parents? Take the “I’m a coach” route!

Starting Small

Driving a car might be the easiest thing in the world to you, but then again, you know how to do it. For someone who has never been in the driver’s seat, it’s like walking on the moon. Nothing makes sense. As such, it’s imperative that you take things slowly and just start small. With things like this, progress is always made inch by inch. And when it comes to driving, that’s probably quite literal: they’ll only be driving a few inches at a time!

Prepare for Things to Go Wrong

Of course, you hope that everything runs smoothly. But the fact is that every time anyone gets behind the wheel, there’s the possibility that something might go wrong. Make sure you know what you’ll do if you’re involved in an accident when you’re teaching your son or daughter to drive. This will mean staying calm, making sure everyone is OK, and checking out to assess your legal options. As ever, it always pays to hope for the best, but prepare for the worst.

Teaching about the Vehicle

When you’re teaching someone to drive, it’s not just about making sure they know how to operate the vehicle. It’s about teaching them about the vehicle; how it works, how to fix things, and all the other aspects of car ownership. You might think that it’s obvious how to turn the lights of a car on, but to someone who has never driven a car before, it can be a complete mystery. Additionally, make sure they know how to check and change the essential fluids, turn on windscreen wipers, and what to do if they’re driving in adverse weather conditions.

Time for Expert Advice

Alas, all good things must come to an end. You might think that you’re a wonderful driving instructor, and you might be, but if your son or daughter is going to pass their test, then eventually they’ll need to get help from a professional. You’ll have picked up bad driving habits during your time on the road, and as such you’re unlikely to know how to pass a test. But hey, don’t be too upset: you’ll have played a big role in getting your child on the road!

Make it Fun

It’s easy to get stressed when you’re in a vehicle with a person who has never driven before. And make no mistake: driving is serious business, and you should treat it as such. However, like in every other aspect of life, there’s also the possibility to make it fun, too. Wherever possible, adopt a relaxed attitude and try to be an inspiring teacher to your child.

With a bit of luck, your son or daughter will become a terrific drive, and it’ll be in part thanks to your guidance.

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How To Setup A Product Based Business


Maybe you’ve been working on your new product for what feels like years; maybe you’ve come up with a product based service which you think will capture a niche in the market. Either way, you’ve got products, and you want to get them sold and in people’s homes. Well below are a few things you need to consider before that first happy customer writes a shining review and tells everyone they know how great you are.

Research your market

The first questions you need to be asking yourself are: What am I offering? Does anyone want it? Who are my customers? It’s best to write the answers to these questions down so that you can have everything clear in your head. Explain in a few sentences what exactly it is you are offering, then think hard about if there is a real market for that. Then you need to work out exactly who it is that will be buying from you. It is crucial to know your demographic in order to cater your approach to them. You may be thinking about buying or renting premises; but before you do, be honest with yourself about how that decision will benefit the business. You may feel good opening up shop every morning, and having a physical place you trade from. But if all your competitors are operating solely online, all you will have achieved is to increase your overhead costs, which in turn will drive down your profit. Every expense needs to be measured against its potential reward.

Invest in your brand

Your brand is your reputation. It’s your stamp. It’s your footprint on the world. Yes, to a certain extent it’s your logo, color scheme, and product packaging, which help to create continuity in your transactions. But there are companies who can help you design and implement those, which you can learn more about. Your brand is about how you do business, and it’s what will get your customers talking about you to other people. Make sure that the way you operate is catered to your target market. A young audience will not be as interested in formal, business-like transactions as a professional market. Think about how your customers interact and how you would like your experience to play out if you were them.

Plan your marketing campaign

This is the part that could make or break your business, especially if you are an online company that will not be able to rely on passing traffic for customers. Companies like Simba Sleep have shown the benefit of viral marketing using social media. You can also use affiliate marketing, as well as hosting a community page to do with your product that will help spread the word about your business. In this day and age, word-of-mouth marketing can be hugely beneficial due to the connectivity people share all over the world on platforms such as Facebook and Twitter. Use this to your advantage. Approach your marketing campaign like a military strategist; your aim is to get everyone talking about your business and your products.

Of course, there are many other important factors to consider when setting up a business but follow these three steps and you’ll be on the path to success.

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Stop Mechanics From Driving You Around The Bend

Mechanics are an essential part of life when you own a car. There are some people who would rather wish that isn’t the case, but it is. If you’ve had bad experiences with mechanics in the past, it’s easy for them to skew your whole perspective on them. While not every mechanic is willing to overcharge you, and carry out unnecessary fixes that you have to pay for in the end, it’s important to reduce your risk of that happening by any means necessary. Here are just a few of the means worth considering.


Be willing to do more yourself

One easy way to end up paying for less work from your mechanic is by giving them less work to do. There are simply car repair and replacement tasks that most drivers could carry out themselves, including rotating tires, changing spark plugs, using auto body shop supplies to take care of dents and scratches and so on. The more maintenance you’re willing to do to stop wear and tear, the better your car will perform and the less likely you are to need repairs in the first place. Naturally, this shouldn’t mean you you’re always trying to repair it yourself and skipping the mechanic when their expertise is necessary. But learn more about your vehicle as time goes on, become more competent, and make more fixes yourself.

Google is your friend

Nowadays, it’s a lot easier to get advice on whether or not a mechanic can be trusted. Your friends are a good starting point when you’re looking for recommendations on a new garage but it’s likely that there’s going to be at least a few reviews on Google giving you the inside scoop on any mechanic, too. What’s more, use Google to research faults and fixes for your car more often. While internet diagnoses can sometimes lead to wrong decisions, it can also help you get a better idea of how much certain repairs cost. That way, you’re more likely to know whether and when you’re being overcharged.

Stand your ground

A little research can help you avoid the worst of them, but it’s important to know how to deal with mechanics, as well. Even if you’re not very technically literate, know how to communicate with them specifically regarding the car. Know the difference between a backfire and a misfire. Get an idea upfront of how long the car is going to be in the shop and make sure that they’re transparent with every service they plan on carrying out. Sometimes additional fixes might very well be necessary, but ask to be informed of them before they’re carried out. That way you might be able to catch some nonessential costs from being added to your bill.

Cars are expensive and for that reason, every driver has to be a savvy consumer. The costs of being taken for a ride and convinced to spend when not necessary is just too high. Hopefully the tips above stop you from falling into that trap.

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Baroque Of Ages: Music, Its Health Benefits (And Drawbacks)


Music is many things to many people, as well as it being the “food of love”, “it’s medicine”, to quote Kanye West. But also for all of its benefits, there are a couple of drawbacks, so let’s give you a rundown of why music is great for you, but how it can be bad for you.

A Major Key: The Benefits

There are many benefits to music, almost too many to list. Listening to music, especially classical music has been shown to improve the study habits of school children. In addition to this, taking music or singing lessons at a very young age can have a positive effect on academic performance as well as raise their IQ. It has a fantastic effect on stress, and this has been evidenced in people who listen to heavy metal music are actually more relaxed than the average person! Music also has the power to help you process information, have you ever listened to a song and been instantly catapulted back in time to a specific moment? That’s the power of music! It’s also been beneficial to those with Alzheimer’s. There is a non-profit organization called Music and Memory who are using music to help patients with dementia or in cognitive decline to remember a certain part of their life by being played a specific song.

A Minor Key: The Drawbacks

For all of its positives, there have to be a few negatives to listening to music. Mainly, the issue lies in listening to too much music, especially in how you listen to it. The one main problem with listening to too much music is that it can severely impact your hearing. There have been many cases of rock and pop stars who now suffer from tinnitus, such as Chris Martin of Coldplay, Will.I.Am, and Pete Townshend from The Who. For those that don’t know much about tinnitus, you can look at these tinnitus FAQs, just in case you suspect you may be suffering from tinnitus or a related hearing problem. Preventing hearing loss can be achieved by listening to music at an appropriate volume, as well as making sure you are not overexposed to loud noises and don’t listen to music at loud volumes through your earphones.

We all benefit from music in so many different ways, and this is merely the tip of the iceberg when it comes to getting the benefits of listening to your favorite artist. But in enjoying your favorite artist, it’s always beneficial to listen to it at a safe volume, but also it’s a fantastic well of information. From the mathematically complex structures of baroque and early classical music, all the way through to densely layered information via bands like Radiohead and Manic Street Preachers, music is one of those things that you can get constant gratification from. You can find new things every time you listen back to a song you’ve heard a million times before. And that’s one of the wonderful things about music, not to mention the fact that you can dance to it!

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3 Critical Mistakes That Are Harming Efficiency at Your Business

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High efficiency levels are something that all companies need to achieve today. After all, if your business is not operating efficiently, it means that you are not using your time to best effect, and ultimately this is going to impact your bottom line. The problem is that a lot of companies are making errors that are having a negative impact on their efficiency levels without them even realising it. So, let’s take a look at some of the mistakes you need to avoid:

Doing everything in-house

There is only one place to begin, and this is with trying to handle everything in-house. It is understandable. It is your company and you do not want to relinquish any control. However, by maintaining this approach and refusing to outsource, you could be doing your business a lot more harm than you realise. You can find more information on outsourcing the right way at After all, at the moment, it is likely that you are simply spending a lot of time on activities that are not directly related to your core activities. This time would be better spent on doing what you do best and focusing on your products and services, rather than being tied up with the likes of bookkeeping and accounting.

Failing to embrace the latest technologies

It seems that a day does not go by without new tech being released onto the market that can benefit businesses. It can be frustrating in one sense: you feel like as soon as you invest, there is something else on the market. Nonetheless, you cannot remain stagnant in today’s ever changing business world, so it’s important to continually assess the tech that is out there and ensure you implement anything that will result in efficiencies for your business. You can find out more about this at Their revolutionary OCR software can enable you to spot trends in any type of documents – be it images or PDF files – with easy by converting them into readable and searchable data. This is something that could reap huge results for a lot of businesses.

Holding onto each and every customer

You need to realise when it is better to let go. Yes, getting rid of a customer can be frightening. After all, this person is bringing in money to your business, and customers are valuable. But, you need to ask whether that customer is really making you any money? If they are problematic and you are spending an excessive amount of time on them, you could be losing money. Your time will be better spent looking for new customers to bring in instead.

If you are making any of the errors that have been mentioned above, it is important to take the necessary steps to put them right. If you do, you are bound to notice instant improvements to your business, and these improvements will only get bigger and more significant over time. Ultimately, it will result in things running smoothly, quality improving, and more money in your back pocket!

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