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11 beauty resolutions to stick to in 2018

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(Picture: Ella Byworth for Metro.co.uk)

Not all of your New Year’s resolutions need to be grand career ambitions or total body transformations. Smaller acts of self-improvement are just as worth your time – even if they seem superficial.

Let’s make 2018 the year we embrace beauty (because no, caring about the way you look and feel doesn’t make you a ‘fool’), look after our physical selves as a way to help our mental selves, and treat ourselves to a bit of indulgence.

It’ll be easy, promise, and unlike a lot of recommended New Year’s resolutions, these will actually be enjoyable.

1. Embrace oils

If you’ve ever been cursed with shining… Read the full story

Be warned: A chocolate shortage may be looming

Oh crap we might be running out of chocolate
(Picture: Metro.co.uk)

Oh, great. More bad news.

Experts predict the world could run out of chocolate in the next thirty years – all thanks to global warming.

Cacao plants, which can only grow under specific conditions with high humidity and abundant rain, will struggle to survive the increase in temperature predicted over the next few decades.

There’ll be a loss in moisture that scientists don’t believe will be made up for by rainfall.

Officials in chocolate-producing countries such as Ghana will be forced to choose whether to push cacao production areas uphill into mountainous terrain, which could cause issue for wildlife. They’ll have to either disrupt… Read the full story

What I’ve learned from a year of taking antidepressants


Happy fluoxetine-versary, me.

Just a year ago I was a miserable bundle of dark emotions and thoughts stuck in a pit of my brain’s own making.

I would go to work, have the occasional panic attack in the loos, then return home to lie in bed sobbing and worrying about someone breaking into the house or everyone I love dying.

It wasn’t a great deal of fun, I have to admit. And while a year ago I was probably the second lowest I’ve ever been, I’d been dealing with a battle against my own brain for over a decade. It was just that last year, inspired by other people’s openness and motivated by a realisation that I’m not a terrible human being that deserves to feel like I’m in mourning for myself, I was finally ready to ask for help.

I went to my GP hoping to get therapy. Instead I was given antidepressants and put on a waiting list for… Read the full story

Let’s just admit that promise rings are stupid

Just admit that promise rings are dumb
(Picture: Getty)

Picture the scene. A man sits down with his girlfriend and begins a heartfelt speech about how much she means to him.

‘I’ve never felt like this before,’ he says. ‘I know I want to be with you forever.’

He brings out a small box.

He pops that box open.

Inside is a ring… but not an engagement ring. No, no, this is a promise ring. It’s a promise to one day get engaged. A promise to one day promise to make a legal commitment.

‘This is a promise,’ the man says gravely, perhaps with tears in his eyes. ‘A promise that one day in the next few years… Read the full story

How a truly awful 2017 taught me the importance of friendship

***ILLUSTRATION REQUEST*** Why friendship is so important when life gets difficult
(Picture: Ella Byworth for Metro.co.uk)

2017 has not been my favourite year. In fact, it’s been a bit of a joke.

In chronological order, my year has gone as follows:

  • My family dog had to be put down
  • I split up with my fiance and had to cancel my wedding
  • I had to find somewhere to live
  • My dad became seriously ill
  • My depression came back with vengeance
  • I had to find somewhere to live *again* because the first place didn’t work out
  • My phone got stolen.

And these are just the things I’m happy to share publicly. Fun!

When reflecting on my year and trying to… Read the full story

How about spending 2018 working as a full-time mermaid?

(Picture: Robert SullivanAFP/Getty Images)

If you’re sick of your job and want something more challenging, more magical, more in-line with your aesthetic, you might want to think about heading over to Florida.

Because over there, you could spend your time being paid to swim around a lagoon.

Yep, a Florida resort is hiring full-time mermaids.

The Weeki Wachee Springs State Park has a 400-seat underwater theatre where mermaids perform for visitors, and now the park is recruiting for a fresh batch of Ariels.

They’re holding auditions on 13 January and they’re apparently anticipating around 50 women to come for the first round of auditions.

But if you think it’s going to be a swim in the park, think… Read the full story

How 13 people got on with 2017’s New Year’s resolutions

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Will it be thumbs up for keeping your resolutions in 2018? (Picture: Ella Byworth for Metro.co.uk)

It’s that time of year where you critique your life and try to think of something you want to achieve during the next 12 months.

Easter might seem like it was only a couple of months ago.

But that was way back in April, and 2017 is somehow nearly over.

Resolutions can be tricky to pick and even harder to stick to.

To give you some ideas, we spoke to 13 people about what their 2016/17 resolutions were and how they got on with them.

Carol, 52, Glasgow

What was your resolution? I’m not normally that into New… Read the full story

McDonald’s opening times on New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day 2018

(Photo by Graham Barclay/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

New Year’s Eve is one of the biggest celebrations of the year with plenty of booze and food.

If you’re looking to have a McDonald’s breakfast to cure your hangover on New Year’s Day, then you’ll need to make sure you know when your local restaurant is open.

Some of their restaurants will be having reduced hours during the new Year period, including closing early on new Year’s Eve and opening later on New Year’s Day.

When will McDonald’s be open on New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day?

Most McDonald’s will be closing early on New Year’s Eve at 10pm, however… Read the full story

Mindfulness is making us all more selfish

(Picture: Ella Byworth)

You can’t budge these days without hearing about someone doing something mindfully.

From drinking to mediation, nothing, it seems, can just happen. We’ve got ruminate on it, assess why we’re doing it, go ever deeper into ourselves.

And that might be the problem.

Although it’s undoubtedly a good thing to carve out time for yourself and your thoughts, mindfulness is now thought to have a negative impact on our lives because we’re so inward-focused.

Dr Alison Gray, chair of a special interest group at the Royal College of Psychiatrists, warns that mindfulness can lead to us becoming ‘self-involved and self-centred’.

And although it doesn’t happen to everyone (‘in many cases it increases their… Read the full story

Discover the treasures of Taipei from Tom Cruise’s favourite dumpling shop to a meat-shaped stone


It suddenly dawned on me, after spending a couple of days in Taipei, the capital of Taiwan, that I’d barely seen any other western tourists.

I’d left the cold of London behind and touched down on the tiny tropical island, which is around four times smaller than the US state of Florida, thanks to a new direct flight from Gatwick with China Airlines, coming in just under 13 hours.

A picture of Indonesian mountainsFormer British Military Overseas Expedition Leader launches expedition courses in Indonesia

I didn’t really know much about Taiwan before visiting.

But after a few days of exploring the latticework of skyscrapers, bustling markets and mountain roads, I managed to unearth a menagerie of treasures.

Here are some of the spots I’d recommend:

Chopsticks at the ready

11 reasons why you should visit Australia’s Kangaroo Island


Chances are, you probably haven’t heard of Kangaroo Island. I hadn’t when I arrived in Australia just over a year ago.

This surprisingly large island is located just off the coast in South Australia and is often called the zoo without fences, due to its incredible abundance of wildlife.

12 reasons to add Noosa to your Australian bucket list

Being separated from mainland Australia has protected it against introduced species, so it’s one of the best places to see native plants and animals.

There are also fantastic beaches, great walks, delicious food and drink, and hardly any cars or people  so you’ll have a lot of the attractions to yourself.

Here are 11 reasons why you should visit Kangaroo Island. Or, as the locals call it, KI:

1. Kangaroos

The Conan Doyle pub in Edinburgh has been renamed the JK Rowling

(Picture: Alan Simpson Photography)

When we’ve already got Harry Potter themed date nights and makeup brushes, it only makes sense to have a place where you can grab a Potter pint in the world.

We’re not talking about a fully-fledged Harry Potter themed bar with potion cocktails, mind you. This time the Potterhead connection is a little more understated.

A pub in Edinburgh, originally named the Conan Doyle after Sherlock Holmes writer Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, has been renamed the JK Rowling.

The exterior of the pub’s been painted over with the new name and the sign hanging in the street shows JK Rowling sitting at… Read the full story

Get out of my gym: Why January fitness is all a delusion

Rearview shot of people taking a selfie at a gym indoors
You don’t deserve those yoga mats (Picture: Getty)

The season to be merry is over and it’s now the season to be delusional.

Or so it would seem if you step inside any gym, yoga studio or public park.

metro illustrationsThe best exercises for your body, according to a Harvard doctor

Everyone who was clogging up the bar before Christmas, ordering 15 drinks at a time and then taking ages to find their card, is now clogging up my gym, leaving weights lying around as they experiment, and spluttering and dribbling sweat… Read the full story

It took OCD ruining my life for me to finally get help

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(Picture: Liberty Antonia Sadler)

I’m no longer afraid to admit it: OCD is ruining my life.

My OCD is made up of two things: the fear of contamination and checking.

I recently added up all the time I spend following my OCD rituals to find that they take up roughly fourteen hours a week. That’s two hours a day – often more.

I wash my hands 50 to 60 times a day. It takes me fifteen minutes to walk down a two minute street out of fear I’ve dropped something, having to walk back, check, and walk on again to check everything’s in order. It takes me ten minutes to leave the… Read the full story

It’s supposed to be relaxing, so why on earth did I have a panic attack during a massage?

3.1 million people in the UK are doing Dry January

(Picture: Getty)

Hooray, we’ve made it into the New Year and are ready to become new and improved versions of ourselves.

For a lot of us, that involves cutting back on the booze – or giving it up entirely.

But if you feel like the only sober person in the village for partaking in Dry January, here’s some reassurance: A bunch of people are in the same sober boat.

According to a YouGov poll, around 3.1 million people in the UK have committed to doing Dry January this year, meaning they won’t drink a drop of alcohol throughout January.

And most of them will make it through the month. Research shows that two thirds… Read the full story

Women are eating McDonald’s fries after sex because they think they’ll help them get pregnant

Why women are eating McDonald's fries after sex picture: REX Features
(Picture: REX Features/metro.co.uk)

We’ve heard of sticking your legs up in the air immediately after climax, but we think we prefer this approach.

According to research from ChannelMum.com, women are eating McDonald’s chips immediately after sex to try to get pregnant – because they believe the salt content in the fries will help fertilisation happen.

To be clear, it’s not loads of women employing this method – just 3% of mums have tried the trick, and they haven’t fed back to suggest that the tip made any difference.

There’s no evidence to suggest that eating McDonald’s fries after sex would help you get… Read the full story

Dear Logan Paul, this is why suicide is nothing to joke about

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(Picture: Ella Byworth for Metro.co.uk)

Youtubers are known for taking it too far.

Whether it’s a ‘hilarious prank’ where they convince their spouse they’ve accidentally killed their child or some sort of stunt that ends in kissing an unsuspecting (and unwilling) woman in the street, the lack of awareness of right and wrong can be staggering.

Logan Paul, however, has really smashed through the glass ceiling of inappropriate behaviour by visiting Aokigahara – also known as the suicide forest – in Japan.

Filming in a location where people are known to come and take their lives is insensitive in the first place. Then you find out that he also found the body… Read the full story

How to stay body positive when you’re being bombarded with pressure to lose weight in the New Year

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(Picture: Ella Byworth for Metro.co.uk)

It’s the new year – a time to start fresh, make plans, and for brands to shout at us about making dramatic changes to overhaul our body.

We’re bombarded with encouragement to join the gym, advice on cleanses and faddy diets, and told to feel very, very guilty for daring to eat food over the festive period. Morals are assigned to the choice to eat gravy and potatoes or a ‘virtuous’ salad, it’s expected that you’ll want to clean up your act and lose weight as part of your resolutions, and the overwhelming message is that a new obsession with your body the second January… Read the full story

Why is ‘speaking black’ and ‘speaking posh’ always a different thing?

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(Picture: Ella Byworth for Metro.co.uk)

We’re in a strange limbo at the moment where highly intellectual people are treated as if they are stupid or rude – simply because of the way in which they speak.

Speaking different languages or dialects is not a disability unless society treats it as one. Yet ‘speaking black’ and ‘speaking posh’ have become entirely removed from each other, so much so that one cannot be both without ridicule.

I was one of the ‘posh’ ones at my East London girls’ school because I was seen as speaking more of the Queen’s English than my peers.

My own (Zambian-born) mother has admitted to feeling insecure about her… Read the full story

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