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Hi there, and welcome back to the Monthly Missive. You can save anything in here to read later in Pocket, and email me by replying to this email. You can also see what I'm listening to here, and see what books I am reading here.

Online reads

I've been off sick for most of the past month, and it's got me thinking about work (as you do) and its impacts. According to this article most people who work long hours in unpaid overtime like their jobs (debatable), and this one actually has some great and pithy advice on how to have a successful career. I also liked this article - "What if I said no (and other questions you should ask yourself daily)" - I recommend it for anyone feeling a bit stuck in any aspect of their life. 

We're coming up into Mental Health Awareness Week, which I detest. I think we're all well aware of anxiety and depression, and we need to turn our focus to ensuring mental healthcare is easy and affordable to access. This piece by Jennifer Doggett about why we're more inclined to donate money to mental health "brands" like Beyond Blue or RUOK Day than to the people who actually need help is hands down the best thing I have read on this topic in all my many years of getting mad about it. If you read one thing in this email, make this article the one you spend your time on. 

While I'm on a bit of a tear, I also liked this advice in another article: put down the self-help books - developing resilience is not a DIY endeavour. It's the classic "no man is an island" cliche, but it's true. 

The Quartz Obsession email has been a favourite of mine for a while, and I particularly liked this one on Hell - the concept and story of it. 

Offline reading

What I've been doing

  • I wrote this short piece on Medium about why I find headphones to be a blissful essential while living in a noisy city. It was very inspired by episode 2 of the podcast Ways of Hearing, which I strongly recommend listening to. 
  • I updated my professional website. The look of my site and the Missive finally matches, which is pretty cool. If you have any audio or writing projects you think would be a cool fit for me, you know where to find me. 
  • My team and I put out a bunch of new episodes of work's podcast Upfront About Breast Cancer. We talk about living life well despite having metastatic (terminal) breast cancer, sexual wellbeing (this is relevant for anyone who is peri-, post- or just plain menopausal or has a partner who is), breast reconstruction, and a very serious recall of breast implants that can cause cancer. These are all somewhat heavy topics, and our host Kellie does a magnificent job of handling the discussion on them. 
  • Heaps of writing for Spokesmodel. If you're not on the mailing list and you like our music, you should sign up now
  • After 18 months, I resigned from the music reviewing staff of The Australian newspaper. I did this because as a member of the LGBTIQA community myself, I can no longer have my byline in and take money from the paper while it continues its disgusting crusade against transgender people. The paper has elevated op-eds based on absolutely no facts at all into its own "Gender Section" - and this article from Junkee explains the situation well, as does this one in Crikey. I'll miss giving a platform to music I think is worth examining and I'll miss working with my editor Andrew McMillen. However, this isn't a judgement on his politics or the politics of other people on the reviewing staff, who are all freelancers. The Review lift out I'm published in is produced separately to the rest of the paper, but I still feel I've made the right choice for myself in line with my own values. 
Copyright © 2019 Sophie Benjamin, All rights reserved.

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