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November 11, 2022

Weekend reads: Stress eating? Try these tips to train your brain to crave healthy foods.

Daily Briefing

    Lex Ashcroft's reads

    It's hygge season: How to embrace the Danish lifestyle of rest. Hygge, the Danish lifestyle concept that is loosely interpreted as the art of creating a cozy atmosphere, goes hand in hand with autumn and the transition to more time spent indoors. For many of us, it can be challenging to slow down the hustle and bustle in our lives, we often refuse to do so unless it's out of necessity. Writing for NPR, Andee Tagle explains how and why you should embrace your "right to rest, leisure, and hygge" by creating more free time, finding ease and comfort in the kitchen, and making your home an "oasis of calm."

    Stress eating? Try these tips to train your brain to crave healthy foods. Worrying about the economy, inflation, effects of the pandemic, and other crises have caused stress levels in the U.S. to hit new highs. For some, that stress is causing unwanted pounds to show up on the scale. While we can't get rid of every major source of stress in our lives, we do have some degree of control over the impact it has on our bodies. Writing for the Washington Post, Anahad O'Connor details how stress promotes body fat, why a stressed brain makes you eat more, and how to 'retrain your brain' to combat stress eating.

    Allie Rudin's reads

    Why haunted houses and horror movies make us happy. From terrifying video games to true-crime podcasts and even infant games of peek-a-boo, "recreational fear" as researchers call it, is everywhere. It seems unlikely that humans enjoy—and even seek out—being scared, yet this "paradox of horror" is based on the experience of an adrenaline rush and the opportunity to learn about and prepare for scary situations in safety. Writing for the Washington Post's "Brain Matters," Richard Sima breaks down the three types of horror fans and provides advice for those wanting to find the fun in fear.

    The real medieval struggle over a female ruler that inspired 'House of the Dragon.' Remove the dragons in HBO's "House of the Dragon," move the story to 12th century England, and the show becomes a surprisingly accurate adaptation of a historical period known as the Anarchy. Both conflicts begin when a ruler names his teenage daughter as heir—an unprecedented move in England and Westeros at the time. Author George R. R. Martin looked to this dynastic succession struggle when writing about the fictional Targaryens, and historian David Routt explains for The Conversation how the enduring story of Empress Matilda gives us insight into medieval English society.

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