It's official: today is my last day at Allure Media, and my last day as Lifehacker's Deputy Editor. It's been a wild ride with all of you, and so I'm back for just one more story, to share with you my favourite things I've written over the three and a bit years I've been with the company.
This year has been a difficult year for me, but I'm so proud and lucky to have been able to share parts of my mental health journey with all of you. I hope these little stories from the last few months have helped other people who may be going through similarly trying times:
Seeking professional help for your mental health can be life-changing, but it can feel like a scary and sometimes bewildering process for those who've never been through the system. Luckily, it's a lot easier than you'd think to get started on the right path. Here's what you need to know.
Today is RU OK Day, a mental health initiative aimed at encouraging people to have difficult conversations about mental health. Many people, however, are totally unprepared when the answer to "are you okay" is "no." Here's a guide to talking to the people in your life who are struggling with mental health, especially for anyone who has never been in that headspace themselves.
More than 2800 people take their own lives in Australia each year, while as many as 65,000 attempt suicide, and hundreds of thousands more are affected by the ongoing results of these actions. Yet there is little open conversation about suicide, and a lingering stigma makes it hard for those who are struggling to reach out and get help. For the sake of those around you who may be silently suffering, here are five things to know about suicide, and how to help people who struggle with suicidal behaviour.
I've also enjoyed spreading the word on the lesser understood aspects of the LGBTQIA+ umbrella, and the amazing thing about writing this story on asexuality was that researching it helped me to understand more about myself as well.
This week is Asexual Awareness Week, something sorely needed even as awareness of trans, homosexual and bisexual experiences creeps into the mainstream. Despite all coming under the LGBTQIA+ umbrella (note the A right at the end there) asexuality is its own separate thing from the rest. Someone can be for example, trans, bisexual and asexual all at the same time. It covers a huge amount of ground, which is why it's so important that more people understand what asexuality is (and isn't).
Back towards the more fun side of Lifehacker content, the absolute best thing about writing for this site has to be all the food content. In my very first week at Lifehacker I was sent to Canberra to taste test a viral, $12 milkshake, and it was all up from there:
If you're an Instagram or Facebook user, you’ve probably been seeing plenty of pictures of disgustingly indulgent milkshakes, with lots of stuff piled precariously on top of them. Like any rational human being, we wanted to see if these 'Freak Shakes' tasted as good as they looked, so we popped by Canberra’s Pâtissez to find out.
I also drew on my former background in fine wine to write a fairly comprehensive guide to buying wine in Australia, something that everyone should read if they want to become the local wine snob!
Nobody likes a wine snob. Even wine snobs don't like other wine snobs. Wine, on the other hand, is great. If you've always wanted to learn more about the art of fine wine, without the pretentious glass-swirling and aggressive posturing that comes with it, then Lifehacker's easy introduction to wine is for you. In the first part of our comprehensive guide to Australian wine, we introduce you to the basics of how wine is made and decipher some unusual words you may encounter in your local bottle shop.
Not only did I used to work with wine, I also used to work with fine chocolates, and all of you are lucky enough to be able to share in that knowledge. You're welcome!
Some time ago I spent the better part of two years of my young life working in a fancy imported chocolate shop, a period during which the approach of chocolate-themed holidays like Valentine's and Easter was frankly terrifying. After spending so much time enlightening customers about the virtues of fine chocolate, I've gained quite a bit of knowledge that I'm willing to share with you, whether you're starting your journey into chocolate snobbery or just making sure you buy the right chocolates for your significant other.
I actually wrote my first ever story at Allure for Lifehacker - and look, it was about food again! While it's not anything groundbreaking, I agonised over this baby for way too long (with help from editor Chris Jager, of course!)
There are some foods that you should try to avoid before bedtime: anything high in sodium or saturated fats are obvious examples. But what about snacks that actively encourage a good, restful sleep? Here are five hand-picked examples recommended by science.
Of course, food stuff on Lifehacker isn't always this classy. Sometimes it's greasy and deep-fried and very very bad for you: and I blame this job for making the 'McGangBang' my go-to Maccas order.
For lovers of burgers and fast food, the legend of the "secret menu" is a tantalising one, promising a secret club of tasty, cheap and ridiculously over the top food. Only one fast food outlet has openly confirmed having a secret menu — and that's the infamous In-N-Out, which is sadly not available outside of the US (unless you make your own). So how do we go for secret menus here, in the land down under?
My overall favourite content I've written for Lifehacker, however, is the These Are Your Numbers series. A series about the lesser-known names behind the huge tech advances we take for granted, this was also a fantastic chance to highlight some pioneering women in tech through the ages.
Big thanks to Chris Jager for encouraging me to write more in that series, and for everything he's done for me over the years. Thanks too to all of you for reading!
Follow me on Twitter at @_hayleyelise to keep up with what I'm doing next!