If we’re not at work, we’re on our way there. Or we're coming back. Maybe we’re at an exercise class. Maybe we’re quickly running from train to pub to catch up with friends. Maybe we’re at home now, still working. Emails. Lots of unpleasant emails. Maybe we’re scrolling blankly through Instagram. In all honesty, if it’s not that, we’re probably asleep.
It’s not like any of this – that life is busy and somehow getting busier – is news, but let's not make 2016 the year we run ourselves into the ground and burn out by Valentine’s Day. It should be the year we start taking things a bit easier. Pacing ourselves.
Which is exactly why we think 2016 is the year of the newsletter. The kind you ask for, that is. Definitely not the kind you get from a brand you bought one thing from 18 months ago and is so irrelevant that it automatically relegates itself to the junk folder.
No, we’re talking about the good kind. A piece of carefully-curated content on subjects you care about, written by a brand you like or a person you admire. Eventually, you find yourself wishing it would land in your inbox sooner, more frequently. It's something that you can read from your phone or laptop, in ten minutes, with a cup of tea, on the train, or on that lunch break you definitely should be taking.
Reading a newsletter is more akin to leisurely enjoying a gripping novel or spending a lazy Sunday catching up on your favourite blogger's back-dated posts, than it is consuming a constant stream of viral videos on your newsfeed that you don't really care about. The bonus is it doesn't require hours-long commitments that you can't always make. It allows you to take a small time-out from whatever you're doing, and then carry on with all the shit you have to do. It's easily digestible - like viral content - but you've chosen it, so you know it's high quality.
The simple newsletter has steadily remained popular, in spite of platforms like social media, most likely because it's not in-your-face and is easily preferable to other, less-exciting emails you open throughout the day. It's also more exclusive, and feels more personal. You could follow dozens of people on Twitter in seconds, but it takes longer to go out of your way and subscribe to something. And how many of those followers would you actually exchange emails with?
And as newsletters continue to grow in popularity, more and more brilliant new ones emerge. This was especially the case over the last few years, and notably in 2015, with the introduction of Lena Dunham's newsletter Lenny. Lena re-ignited the trend, and we reckon this year will be a good one for more must-subscribe emails.
To get you started, here are just some of our favourite newsletters, definitely worthy of your email address…
A newsletter by Lena Dunham and her TV producer BFF Jenni Konner on feminism, politics and friendship, featuring interviews by Lena, essays by the likes of Jennifer Lawrence and the work of even more brilliant writers.
If you love literature and reading is your go-to pastime, then we don’t really need to explain this one.
A daily, early morning blast with the news headlines you need to read.
Blogger Emma Gannon's newsletter is a chatty, friendly round-up of all the brilliant things she’s been reading on the internet. You will, at some point, mistake it for a personal email from her.
Canadian writer Anne T Donahue’s newsletter is all about life experiences, short opinion essays, and as promised, Leonardo DiCaprio GIFs.
In-keeping with the theme of pacing yourself, purposefully-slow quarterly magazine Delayed Gratification puts out a weekly newsletter featuring its not-in-a-hurry, long-form news stories.
Stories, musings and things like critical analyses of Taylor Swift’s hit song Blank Space.
Things to read, GIFspiration and a host of other bite-sized funnies, brought to you by NY Mag columnist Ann Friedman.
As the title suggests, The Dalstonist’s newsletter is a gathering of local news and recommendations for cool things to do in Hackney.
Of course, we have one. Interested in fashion? Beauty? Celebrity? Health? Travel? Opinion? News? We’ve got it all covered.
Our sister site, The Debrief, also puts out a newsletter with the best features, news and real life stories from their site each week.
Want to live the dream – without the major price tag? This interior design-focused email goes inside of some of New York’s most luxurious homes.
Discover new artists, get interior design inspiration, style tips and culture reviews in fashion brand Coggles’ Sunday email blast.
This blog-like newsletter tackles music industry matters, and also features gems like a thoughtful review of Obama on Seinfeld’s 'Comedians In Cars Getting Coffee'.
A regular dose of biting wit, fashion advice and relationship musings from Leandra Medine’s popular site.
Another what’s on and what’s good guide for Londoners, including (but not limited to) the best bars, clubs, venues, events and pop ups.