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February 25, 2022

Weekend reads: The healthy way to indulge in chocolate

Daily Briefing

    How a cold plunge could improve your mental health, how Apple's "Focus" feature is disrupting schedules, and more.

    Vivian Le's reads

    Can art therapy help heal the brain? Art therapy, which can include music, poetry, or visual arts, are increasingly being used to treat brain conditions, such as PTSD, depression, Parkinson's, and Alzheimer's. Writing for NPR's "Shots," Jon Hamilton describes how artists and brain scientists have partnered together through the NeuroArts Blueprint to measure how art therapies can change the brains of people with different disorders.

    The healthy way to indulge in chocolate. Cacao beans contain potent antioxidants called flavonols that have been shown to relax blood vessels, lower cholesterol, and reduce inflammation—but this doesn't automatically mean the chocolate made from them is healthy. Writing for the Washington Post, Sally Wadyka explains why dark chocolate is the way to go if you want to get the most flavonol benefits.

    Alyssa Nystrom's reads

    How Apple's 'Focus' feature is disrupting schedules.  Apple's new Focus tool for iPhones was designed to limit distractions by allowing users to specify which apps and contacts can send them notifications—but when the feature is not set up correctly, it can block important notifications. Writing for Vox, Rani Molla explains why so many iPhone users have missed work calls, home repair visits, and doctor appointments since the Focus tool debuted last fall.

    Can a 'cold plunge' improve your mental health? Early research suggests the age-old practice of taking a "cold plunge" in an ice bath or frigid water might benefit mental health. Writing for the New York Times, Chloe Williams explains how cold-water immersion may help some people cope with mental health challenges, including grief, anxiety, depression, and stress. 

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