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4 Totally Free Ways to Change Someone’s Life

4 Totally Free Ways to Change Someone’s Life


    Most of would like to do something positive to help other people. But unless we’re millionaires with wide open schedules, we’re not sure what we can do aside from donating a few dollars to Salvation Army Santa Clauses or spending a Saturday at Habitat for Humanity.

    But thanks to the wide reach and innovation made possible by the Internet, there are some really unique and inspiring ways you can touch people’s lives on a regular basis, for no cost and with only a small investment of your time.

    Check out the four sites below if you want to spread a little happiness (and feel pretty great about doing it):

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    1. Love Bomb

    Love Bomb’s mission is simple: drop tons of encouragement every week on someone who desperately needs it. It was created by Nate St. Pierre, the founder of the amazing (but now sadly discontinued) Love Drop and also ItStartsWith.Us (see below).

    Each week, Love Bomb’s subscribers are asked to nominate someone they know who is going through a tough time and could particularly use some positive words. That person must have a blog that allows people to comment without having to register for the site (although comment moderation is fine).

    Why? Because each Thursday, when that week’s recipient is announced, Love Bombers are directed to a specific post on the recipient’s website—and it’s bombs away! Within hours, the bomb-ee has hundreds of uplifting and encouraging and comments from strangers all over the world. If a kind word from someone on a bad day can lift our spirits, imagine how an avalanche of unexpected support can help someone who’s going through a difficult time.

    Nominees have included everyone from cancer patients to teens suffering depression to parents who have recently lost a child. To join the Love Bomb squad, click here and enter your information at the bottom of the page.

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    2. The World Needs More Love Letters

    Like Love Bomb, but a bit more tactile and “old school,” More Love Letters’ mission is to lift people’s spirits with handwritten notes of hope and love—sometimes addressed to specific recipients, sometimes totally random.

    Their team of writers has composed individual letters of encouragement to people in need, thank you notes to hardworking New York City baristas—even letters to strangers to be left at favorite childhood places or busy hubs like airports and subway stations. They’ve also sent over 20 Love Letter Bundles to groups like the Ronald McDonald House.

    Want to break out your rusty cursive (or printing) and send some love out into the world yourself? Sign up to get letter requests here.

    3. ItStartsWith.Us

    If you’ve got 15 minutes or less each week, you can turn someone’s day around with what may seem to them like a random act of kindness—but is actually a “mission” from ItStartsWith.Us. It’s a site that believes if we each do one positive thing, we can collectively change the world (or at least someone else’s “world” for a while).

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    Every week, subscribers receive a new assignment. It’s always something seemingly simple, like helping a coworker with something or telling someone how much you appreciate them—but who knows much your simple action might mean to someone? Maybe they’re secretly having an awful day and your gesture is the thing that turns it around. Maybe they’ll be so touched they’ll go out and perform an act of kindness for someone else. You never know how it can spread.

    To join the mailing list and start receiving your weekly do-good task, click here.

    4. 1000 Awesome Things

    Okay, this one isn’t so much a mission you can actively participate in, but it is guaranteed to bring a smile to your face and snap you out of a bad mood. Share this site or any of its daily posts with a friend or coworker and you can definitely earn a few points as a happiness-bringer.

    The goal of 1000 Awesome Things is to make you stop and consider the little (sometimes really little) and silly (sometimes really silly) aspects of life that are, when you truly consider it, pretty awesome.

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    Have you ever really thought about a broccoflower? Or thoroughly appreciated the glory that is that bite with all the toppings on it? From common everyday miracles (like when everything you own is fully charged) to the big stuff we all take for granted (like the moon), this site is the perfect way to see the world through a new lens of wonder and gratitude.

    You can sign up for their weekday posts by email or RSS.

    (Photo credit: New Life Start Button via Shutterstock)

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    Last Updated on February 12, 2019

    12 Things That May Cause Breast Cancer You Should Avoid

    12 Things That May Cause Breast Cancer You Should Avoid

    I’m a hypochondriac. Always have been since I was a child. One of my biggest fears as an adult is getting breast cancer. I visited my gynecologist a few months ago and asked what I could do to help prevent getting breast cancer. You know what she said? Nothing. According to this recommended OB/GYN doctor, besides regular check-ups to see if I already had breast cancer, there was nothing I could do to prevent a cancer that impacts 1 in 8 U.S. women.

    BS.

    After heavily researching breast cancer, I found out that I was making quite a few mistakes with my everyday activities. Here are 12 things that may cause breast cancer that you should avoid.

    Buying Deodorant Without Checking the Label

    I actually have a good friend who is more of a hypochondriac than I am, so I went to her with my concerns about breast cancer. She took me into the bathroom and thrust her deodorant at me. While at first I was confused and slightly offended, she explained that I should start using a different deodorant because the mass-produced ones at the store have ingredients (ie aluminum –based compounds) I can’t afford to put under my armpits and so close to my breasts. Luckily, she had an extra Tom’s natural deodorant to give me.

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    There might not be any “conclusive” research that links antiperspirants to breast cancer but better safe than sorry.

    Using Chemical Hair Dye

    I know so many people who dye their hair every few months using the cheap boxed dyes you can buy at the store. Sure, it can be fun but it’s like playing Russian Roulette because the dyes you use most likely contain carcinogens. The National Cancer Institute even warns against the practice of just picking out a hair dye willy-nilly. So the next time you do it, go to a health foods market and find the most naturally-based hair dye you can.

    Smoking

    Regarding my visit to the gynecologist, she did come back after our conversation a few minutes later and asked if I smoked or drank a lot of alcohol. I said no (I don’t think any true hypochondriac can do either of those things). “You’ll be fine then,” she said. But she forgot about second-hand smoke, which can be just as dangerous. Now, I won’t go near anyone if they’re lighting up, including my BFF’s boyfriend. He can get as mad as he wants; my health is more important!

    Wearing the Wrong Bra Size

    When an organization devoted to protecting women against breast cancer suggests you get fitted with the right bra, you take notice. Bras that are too small or big might pose a risk because they just aren’t supportive on the breast tissue or if they are too tight they will cut off drainage of the lymph fluid. Hey, it was a great excuse to head to Victoria’s Secret to get measured.

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    If I had my choice though, I would go all-natural and join the bra burners of the 60s (however, my mom was a bra burner, so that might make it a little awkward).

    Using Chemical Household Cleaners

    If the cabinet under your kitchen sink looks like most, there are enough chemicals to make all sorts of crazy things. And yes, as you and I suspected, those chemicals are REALLY bad. Not only are they connected with breast cancer, they are connected with other kinds of cancers, as well as chronic conditions like migraines, allergies and more. So from now on, clean with vinegar, baking soda and other materials that aren’t going to give you a medical nightmare.

    Using Mothballs

    When I was a little kid, I learned to use mothballs. They actually remind me of my grandmother, bless her heart. Little did I know that they are filled with chemicals that have been connected with breast cancer development. Looks like I’ll be looking for an alternative, like cedar chips. Sorry, Grammy!

    Putting Non-Organic Make-Up on My Face

    I won’t tell you the foundation I use, but I will tell you that after I read the ingredients, I promptly threw it away. It was chock full of all sorts of nasty things like parabens, which have been found en masse in tissue samples that came from breast cancer patients. I can still wear make-up, though. A trip to my local whole foods store was all it took to come up with organic-based, paraben-free cover-up.

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    Neglecting My Physical Health

    In my research, I discovered losing weight is a good way to ward off breast cancer since there have been indications of a link between being overweight and being diagnosed with this type of cancer. That’s all the motivation I need to get off the couch and head to the gym.

    Drinking Alcohol

    Like I mentioned above, alcohol has never been my drink of choice but basically everyone else I know highly enjoys their beer. Yet alcohol is super problematic if you want to avoid breast cancer, liver cancer and heart cancer. In a global study, over 21 percent of alcohol related deaths were because of cancer. I’m hoping for a soon-to-be revolution that swaps alcohol for tea (healthier and less expensive) when it comes to social drinking. Tea time anyone?

    De-Odorizing My House With Air Fresheners

    I love a clean-smelling house and car, but the air fresheners I’ve been using contain phthalates, a type of plasticizing chemical. Phthalates have been found in air fresheners because they help create a long-lasting fragrance. Unfortunately, that fragrance could be deadly. Looks like I’ll be boiling some water, cinnamon sticks and cloves on the stovetop to make my house smell really amazing!

    Storing Everything in Plastic Containers

    I have a habit of collecting those plastic containers. Whenever I get a coupon for them, I just go hog-wild and buy a bunch. But they have a connection to breast cancer, which I didn’t know before. It’s especially bad when you use them to reheat food in the microwave. I’m going to suck it up, throw them out and use glass containers instead.

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    Buying the Wrong Food

    I figured that pesticides were trouble from the get-go, and I was right. They get into your foods and, in some cases, seem to foster an environment where cancerous cells feel compelled to grow within the organs and tissues, including the breasts. It’s one more reason to buy from local farmers, as long as they don’t use pesticides. You’ll have to ask them, by the way; most local food market stands don’t have signs up about the whole pesticides topic.

    While everyone still makes fun of me for being a hypochondriac, I know in my heart that I’m actually just protecting myself, and maybe educating some people on the health dangers that lurk in everyday items. My wellbeing is worth being the butt of a few jokes. Yours is, too.

    Featured photo credit: NA via istockphoto.com

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