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10 Best Sites That Offer Gorgeous Free Images for Blogs

10 Best Sites That Offer Gorgeous Free Images for Blogs

In our modern world, everything seems to move at hyper-speed. Most people decide whether they will keep reading something within just a few seconds. To keep readers’ attention on your blog, one of the best way is to use eye-catching visuals. A study conducted by Hubspot revealed that “photos on Facebook Pages received 53% more Likes than the average post[1] The same study also found that “photo posts attracted 104% more comments than the average post.” If you want to keep your readers’ engaged and attract new readers to your blog, the answer is simple: add more high quality visual content. The following are some great sites that offer free images for blogs.

Pixabay

    Pixabay is one of the largest and most comprehensive photos sites on our list. They offer almost one million free photos from subjects as diverse as fresh asparagus and mountain goats to stunning cityscapes and portraits. All photos on the site are completely free and you are not required to credit the source in any way. Pixabay is one of the best resources for grabbing awesome photos in a short amount of time. Their search feature allows you to filter results based on your exact needs.

    Unsplash

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      Unsplash is another great resource for free images for blogs. When you scroll through their site, you see only one photo at a time, which can be less overwhelming. They also have a search feature so that you can find specific subjects. If you don’t find what you are looking for on Pixabay, Unsplash may have just what you need. They also add new photos regularly and have a section where you can view the most recently added photos.

      Foodies Feed

        This site is amazing for everything food related. While some of the photos can be downloaded and used for free, this site also offers something called Foodiesfeed premium. After paying a one time fee, you have access to hundreds more photos, conveniently organized by type of food, holiday, or country of origin. If you regularly write about topics related to food, cooking, or restaurant dining, Foodiesfeed provides high quality images to pair with your posts.

        Photogen

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          This site varies somewhat on the quality of their photos. However, you can search for photos based on simple categories and all photos are free with no attribution required. Their photos also have more of a unique, local feel than some of the other stock photography sites. If you need a specific image, but don’t want it to look like a professional photographer staged the shot, this could be a great site to use.

          Skitterphoto

            From delicious-looking sushi to adorable newborn puppies, skitterphoto offers an impressive variety of public domain images. They offer a range of quality, from amateur to professional looking photographs. You are also able to see how many times each photo has been viewed and downloaded, so you have any idea how many other sites are using that photo. This feature is useful if you want to find a photo that will make your site more unique.

            Freeimages

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              Although the name implies all images are free, the site actually offers many different types of photos with different rates and attributions. This site is helpful if you need different types of quality in your photos. For example, you may want several basic photos that you don’t want to spend money to get. Then, you may need one or two extra high quality or rare images. This site allows you to browse and satisfy all your photo needs in one place.

              Flickr

                Flickr is another site with an overwhelming quantity of photos – in a good way. According to their homepage, flickr currently boasts 13 billion photos. Not all of these, however, are available for public use. If you want to find free, no attribution photos all you need to do is search for photos that have the creative commons license. Since most of the photos on this site are not free for public use, it’s important that you search correctly and check each photo for any necessary attributions.

                Public Domain Pictures

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                  The photos on this site are conveniently categorized and the site lets you filter results further by popularity, rating, and date. Most photos are available for free download at moderate sizes. If you need larger file sizes, you can download the premium version for a low fee, usually $.05-$.10. Under the “professional photos” section, the site features photos from other stock photography websites, so you can easily access a broad range of photos all from one place.

                  Ancestryimages

                    If you are looking for specific historical images, ancestry images is a great place to start. This site is different than the others mentioned so far, because it does not include general stock photography. Instead, the site focuses on highly specific historical documents like antique maps and decorative prints. If you need an image of an engraving from the mid 1800s or a three hundred year old map of China, ancestry images is the place to go!

                    Rgbstock

                      Rgbstock is more than just a stock photography site. Contributors to the site include graphic designers and other artists as well as photographers. As a result, the site has a higher ratio of graphics and abstract art than the other sites mentioned. The site does require you to register, but registration is completely free. Rgbstock is a great resource for blogs that need a lot of graphics or abstract images, in addition to more typical stock photography.

                      Reference

                      [1] Hubspot: Photos on Facebook Generate 53% More Likes than the Average Post

                      More by this author

                      Lindsay Shaffer

                      Freelance Writer, Artist, Photographer

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                      Last Updated on February 21, 2019

                      7 Natural Memory Boosters That Actually Work for All Ages

                      7 Natural Memory Boosters That Actually Work for All Ages

                      Forgot a name? Misplaced your keys? Taking longer to find the right words? Don’t panic. There’s plenty you can do to improve your memory.

                      You’re probably expecting us to reveal 7 little known and newly discovered herbs from the forests of the Amazon, the peaks of the Himalayas and the Arctic tundra. No such luck.

                      Despite Americans spending hundreds of millions of dollars a year on Ginkgo Biloba, Ashwagandha, Periwinkle, Bacopa, Vitamin B’s, Omega 3’s and memory boosting supplement cocktails, there is very little scientific evidence they actually work. [1]

                      Instead, we’re going to offer you 7 completely natural memory boosters, backed up by scientific research. It may take a little more effort than a magic memory pill, but the benefits will transcend your memory and improve your overall quality of life as well, making you more fit, energetic, happy and sharp.

                      How Do We Remember?

                      The first process in remembering is creating a memory.

                      This is where our brain sends a signal, associated with a thought, event or piece of information our mind is processing, over our brains neural pathways, called synapses.

                      Think of our neural pathways like roads and information like trucks. The better the roads, the more trucks can be driven.

                      The second step in remembering is memory consolidation.

                      Consolidation is when the brain takes that thought, event or piece of information and actually stores it in the brain. So now we’re talking about taking delivery of the trucks and storing its contents in the warehouse.

                      Consolidation helps us store information and label it properly, so its organized and easy to retrieve when needed.

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                      The last step is memory retrieval.

                      That’s the step whereby we try to retrieve the information stored in our brains. You know when you have the name of someone on the tip of your tongue.

                      You have the information; it’s been stored, but you just can’t find it. Our memory recall is typically better the stronger the memory is and the more often we’ve used it.

                      Memory decline is a normal part of aging. However, new scientific research is discovering many new ways for us to improve memory creation, consolidation and retrieval–no matter our age.

                      7 Natural Memory Boosters

                      So how to work on memory and boost your brain power? Here’re 7 brain boosters backed by science that you should try:

                      1. Aerobic Exercise

                      Aerobic activity is about as close as we get to a magic pill for our memories. Exercise helps your brain create new capillaries and brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) which creates new brain cells and connections. To put it in plain english, aerobic activity changes our brains and helps it grow.

                      Studies have shown that exercising increases the size of the hippocampus and improves memory. In fact, even if you start exercising as an older adult, you can reverse cognitive decline by 1 to 2 years and protects against further decreases in the size of the hippocampus, which is essential for memory. [2]

                      In another study, reviewed by Dr. Ian Robertson of the University of Dublin, they looked at a group of people of 60 years and older, who engaged in “active walking” for four months.

                      They compared them with another group of people who only stretched over the same period of time. After testing both groups before and after the 4 month period, the walkers improved their memory and attention considerably more than the stretching group.

                      So which exercises are best and how much do we have to exercise?

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                      Turns out, it doesn’t really matter whether you run, swim, row or bike. What does matter is that you push yourself beyond your current abilities, keep doing more, keep getting better. Set yourself short term goals and keep pushing the goal posts.

                      2. Sleep

                      You need your sleep. The deeper the better. Sleep helps improve your procedural memory (how to do things, like how do I navigate my iPhone) and declarative memory (facts, like what’s my password). [3]

                      Even short naps from 6 to 45 minutes have been shown to improve your memory. In one Harvard study, college students memorized pairs of unrelated words, memorized a maze and copied a complex form. All were tested on their work. Half were then allowed to take a 45 minute nap. They were then retested. Those who took a nap, got a boost in their performance. [4]

                      Another study showed that getting REM (deep) sleep can increase your memory and mental performance by 33% to 73%. Getting a deep sleep helps the brain consolidate memories through dreams and “associative processing”. However, the study also revealed that heart rate variability in deep sleep also contributed significantly to increased memory performance. [5]

                      3. MIND Diet

                      Healthy eating, particularly more dark colored fruit, vegetables and oily fish has been shown to improve memory and stave off cognitive decline.

                      The MIND diet is proven to reduce the risk of dementia. It’s a mix of the popular Mediterranean diet and the low blood pressure DASH diet. [6]

                      The study kept track of the diets of almost 1,000 older adults. They were followed for an average of 4½ years.

                      The study concluded that “people whose diets were most strongly in line with the MIND diet had brains that functioned as if they were 7½ years younger than those whose diets least resembled this eating style.”

                      The study also showed that people who followed the MIND diet in the study reduced their chance of getting Alzheimer’s disease in half.

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                      So what does the MIND diet consist of? Lots of vegetables, leafy greens, nuts, berries, beans, fish, poultry, olive oil, whole grains and wine.

                      4. Relax

                      We all know that stress is bad for our health. It can raise our blood pressure, impact our immune system and interrupt our sleep. Stress also impairs our memory.

                      When our body gets stressed, it releases cortisol into our blood stream, which can cause short and long term physical changes to the brain. While cortisol has sometimes been shown to cause increases in short term memory, it can actually decrease our long term recall memory.

                      To help reduce the stress in your life, try relaxing with meditation, yoga or breathing exercises. Unplug–even for just a few hours. Stop checking your emails, social accounts and news. Release some endorphins with some exercise.

                      Bottom line, the more anxious and stressed we are, the less clearly we think, the poorer our memory works.

                      5. Continuous Learning

                      The mind is like a muscle. The more you challenge it, the stronger it gets. The more you learn, the more you can learn.

                      Research shows that learning can actually change the physical makeup of your brain. Not too long ago, we used to think that you were born with a fixed amount of brain cells, which declined with age. New research now shows that we can actually increase the number of brain cells we have throughout our life.

                      Aside from staying physically active, learning new skills and studying can actually keep our brains healthier. Consider taking a continuing education class, studying a new language, learning a new instrument, playing new card games. [7]

                      Studies show that the more complex the task, the more benefits for your mind. Simply showing up to class is not enough. You need to be actively engaged. Anything that forces you to focus and learn something new and get out of a rote routine will help you sharpen your mind and boost your memory.

                      6. Stay Social

                      The more deep and meaningful social connections you maintain, the more you protect your brain. Bottom line, the more friends you have, the more people you work with, the more you’re forced to use your brain.

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                      Social isolation and loneliness are significant risks of dementia. Without interacting with others, our brains wilt. Isolation and loneliness lead to depression, physical and mental decline. [8]

                      In a 2016 study published in Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience, seniors with a full social calendar did better on memory, reasoning, and processing speed tests. [9]

                      What to do?

                      Party! Seriously, get together with friends as often as possible. Have family dinners. Choose social activities or sports like tennis, golf, cards or go for walks with a friend. Bottom line have fun, build meaningful social relationships and stay connected. Not only will it make your mind sharper and your memory better, you’ll be happier, too!

                      7. Wakeful Rest

                      This one is getting harder and harder to do. In a world where we can’t sit on a bus, go up an elevator or go to the bathroom without our phones, doing absolutely nothing to distract our minds is becoming increasingly difficult.

                      But, the results are in. Doing nothing is great for your memory. Quietly resting for 10 minutes, after you learn something will help you remember and help you create more detailed memories. [10]

                      What we do minutes after we learn something new has a significant impact on how well we retain the new information. In another study, it didn’t matter what you did after you learned something new, as long as you weren’t distracted by outside factors. In other words, you could be thinking of your day, making a grocery list, or thinking of a story. In either case, wakeful rest for a period of 10 minutes helped the brain process and consolidate your memories so that you were better able to recall the information at a later date. [11]

                      Conclusion

                      You don’t have to spend a dime on cocktails and supplements promising a quick boost to your memory power. There is very little conclusive scientific evidence suggesting supplements will help improve the memories of healthy individuals–not for Ginkgo Biloba, Vitamin B, fish oils, Vitamin D, Folate or other supplements claiming they a secret formula.

                      There are far cheaper and more effective ways to boost your memory: exercise, rest, eat well, learn, love, laugh and relax. Who wouldn’t want that prescription?

                      More Resources About Boost Brain Power

                      Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

                      Reference

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