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How normal is your social media stalking?

(Photo: Chris Ratcliffe/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

We’re all guilty of a little bit of social media stalking.

A quick glance through their sister’s wedding pics and a skim over the evidence of Ayia Napa ’15 is a well-known vetting technique when you begin seeing someone.

How else are we supposed to find out if they’re a normal person and check we’re not going to fall victim to some elaborate catfishing scam?!

It seems, however, that it’s not just a sneaky glance that many people are indulging in when it comes to social stalking. Superdrug Online Doctor surveyed 1,000 on people on their habits, and found some very interesting results.

The creepy scale

People were asked how creepy they… Read the full story

Pornhub releases Halloween data and it turns out we’re all horny for ‘Costume Creampies’

(Picture: Getty)

Halloween might be the spookiest time fo the year but many of us use it as an excuse to look as hot as possible.

Slutty witch? Check. Sexy cat? Obviously. Roadkill Playboy bunny? Only if you’ve got the time.

So it shouldn’t come as any surprise that people adjust their porn watching habits around this time too.

Pornhub has released their ‘Happy Halloween Insights‘, which shows exactly when and what everyone’s wanking off to around 31 October.

The largest spike in activity, they say, is when we return for trick-or-treating (people still do that?!), and costumes come off around 3am.

‘Millennial traffic dips by 27% around 7pm when trick-or-treating is in full effect and remains below average… Read the full story

The real winners of Halloween costume competitions are always pregnant women

(Picture: Twitter)

Being pregnant comes with a lot of challenges.

You get sick. You get backache. You get your innards kicked on a daily basis.

But you know when being pregnant really comes into its own (aside from teh actual birthing bit)?


Baby bumps are the fancy dress accessory and there are some costumes that can only work if you’ve got the belly for them. And you’re only going to have a few Halloweens where you’ve got one to hand.

So if you’re with child right now, get out the craft kit and make sure that you’ve got somewhere, anywhere to go tomorrow evening.

Because if you don’t dress up as an avocado, you haven’t been putting this nine-month gestation… Read the full story

How to prepare for your first therapy session


Three months after I completed the ten sessions of online CBT prescribed by my GP, I’m getting back into therapy.

Because, well, there’s still a lot of not so great stuff going on in my head.

I searched for a therapist that’s fairly affordable (the options I found were around £60 per session, and I’ll likely go fortnightly), works near where I work, and would be up for treating anxiety, depression, and obsessive thoughts.

Then I booked an appointment with the only one of the six I emailed who was available, and now, I’m preparing myself to meet her for the first time. Today.

Here’s some stuff I’ve found helpful when preparing for my first session with a new therapist. It’s not a rigid set of rules, but for anyone like me who likes to feel extra prepared before they do anything, these are some things that should help you feel a little more comfortable.

1. Think about what you want from… Read the full story

The Queen apparently owns a branch of McDonald’s in Oxfordshire

She knows a good Big Mac when she sees one (Picture: Yui Mok – WPA Pool/Getty Images)

The Crown Estate has its fingers in many pies. Swans, jewels, palaces – you name it, it owns it.

But its portfolio is actually far more varied than you might imagine.

Because, according to Business Insider, the queen also owns a franchise of McDonald’s.

Yep, our queen owns a franchise in Banbury Gateway Shopping Park in Oxfordshire (it’s hard to know which is more random – the company or the location).

But she doesn’t profit from how many Big Macs are sold there; the Crown Estate hands all profits over to the Treasury.

And while it’s unlikely… Read the full story

How red wine might improve your fertility

(Picture: Getty)

It’s hard to know what health advice to take when it comes to alcohol.

But it’s generally assumed that red wine does have its benefits when consumed in moderation.

And the latest claim is that a glass of the stuff might boost a woman’s fertility.

Scientists believe that’s because red wine is rich in resveratrol – an antioxidant found in the skins of grapes, blueberries and raspberries.

A study at Washington University in St Louis, Missouri, looked at the link between alcohol consumption and female fertility by asking 135 women aged between 18 and 44 to keep a diary of what they drank every month.

They found that those who drank at least five glasses of red wine tended… Read the full story

Trans woman shares stages of her five year transition ‘from femme to dapper’

(Picture: Eli Erlick/Instagram)

Trans identity can be a minefield.

Not only do you have to come to terms with gender, but you also have to work out how you want to express it.

For some, that might be quite static. They already know how they want to dress and look in that new identity. For others, it’s an ever-evolving process.

Take trans activist Eli Erlick, for example.

She’s been sharing a pair of photos on Instagram illustrate her journey from ‘femme to dapper’ over a five year period.

‘In a lot of ways, this sort of transition was more important to me than my gender transition,’ she says.

She goes on to say that her original form of expression was… Read the full story

Why I had to dump my best mate to recover from depression

Sometimes you have to leave people behind (Picture: Ella Byworth for Metro.co.uk)

I tell people we fell out but the truth is I dumped her. I dumped my best mate.

We stopped talking over something stupid and she reached out to kiss and make up, but I point-blank refused to talk.

Anxiety makes it difficult to make friends and it can be even harder to keep them

Was it heartless? Probably. But it was essential for my recovery.

You see I was in the thick of a depressive episode which had been pulling me under for months.

The kind of episode where I self-inflicted pain to feel… Read the full story

Loads of vampire dogs take part in Halloween show on Hampstead Heath

Macmillan appoint digital nurse to combat fake news online

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

Who else hasn’t Googled symptoms of their cough only to convince themselves they’ll be dying that afternoon?

The internet’s given us great things – from beauty tutorials to kittens to get you through your day.

But helping us to sort fact from fiction about a health diagnosis isn’t one of them.

One charity has decided to appoint itself to be your guide by hiring a digital nurse to combat misinformation about cancer diagnosis online.

This comes amidst concerns that patients are turning to unverified sites for information.

Intrigued? Well, the digital nurse specialist at Macmillan Cancer will be solely dedicated to answering questions from people affected by cancer online on… Read the full story

What makes macabre tourism hotspots so appealing to visitors?

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

From obsessively watching pimple videos to the thrills of peeling skin, it’s fair to say we’re a nation obsessed with the grim. But occasionally, it can go into deeper, more grisly territory.

There’s no doubt that events such as car crashes, environmental disasters and war footage provoke a mix of shock and horror. But on some occasions, also morbid curiosity. It’s almost as if we can’t look away.

Just recently, a coach of Chinese visitors was taken to Grenfell Tower to pose for photos. You’d assume that the tour guide would know that it’s not exactly the London Eye considering that residents quite literally burnt to… Read the full story

Cat with oversized fangs is getting into the Halloween spirit

(Picture: Caters)

This is Monk.

You might think some overzealous owner has stuck a fake set of vampire fangs in his mouth but they’re actually real.

The seven-year-old cat was rescued by Nicole Rienzie’s family back in 2010.

And since then, Monk’s had his teeth examined a number of times – but vets can’t decide why his teeth have grown so long.

‘Although Monk has a seen a vet numerous times, I have not been informed that his teeth are a “condition”,’ says Nicole.

‘He has had some dental issues and has had several teeth pulled but his fang remain intact and healthy, to date.’

FYI: Costa is giving free coffee away today

(Picture: Costa)

Costa is apparently campaigning to stop #CrimesAgainstCoffee.

They think their coffee is the bomb, compared to all the over ‘average’ coffee houses out there – which is a pretty strong claim.

So confident are they in their product, however, that they’re giving out free drinks all day today.

Coffee lovers will be able to get a free primo-sized hot coffee of their choice from more than 2,000 Costas across the UK.

But there’s a catch.

You’ve got to bring in a takeaway coffee cup from any other food or drink establishment.

For today only, they’re doing a coffee swap where you can bring in a takeaway cup of ‘mediocre coffee’ into a Costa and swap it for… Read the full story

I lost my sex toy virginity at 22 and here’s what I thought of it

(Picture: Love Honey)

Up until a month ago, I’d never touched a sex toy.

I’m 22, in a long-term relationship and though my sex-life is no longer in its ‘honeymoon stage’ I’d say I have a pretty regular, healthy sex life.

Sex toys, in the past, have just never appealed to me. Don’t get me wrong, I had nothing against them. But when my friends were raving about how brilliant they were – and how they always kept a trusty vibrator in their underwear drawer – I just didn’t see the big deal.

What could a sex toy do that my fingers couldn’t?

I have a bit of ‘me time’ on the regular. I think it’s… Read the full story

Calling women who speak about sexual harassment ‘fragile’ makes you part of the problem

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

There’s always someone who wants to be different. 

While most of the voices on the recently hot topic of sexual assault have been positive – talking about the importance of speaking out, about how brave it is to come forward, about how both men and women are affected by the horrors of sexual misconduct, there will always be someone who needs to make a point.

‘When did women get so fragile?’ seems to be a popular.

‘Why are women complaining rather than taking a stand?’ is another.

‘Women need to toughen up. In my day we just slapped hands away and got on with it.’

Things every psychiatrist wants their patient to know

Getting access to a psychiatrist can take a while (Picture: Ella Byworth for Metro.co.uk)

As a psychiatric outpatient, I’ve found that accessing support for a mental illness can feel like an uphill struggle.

Then, when we finally get access to a psychiatrist, we only have 15 short minutes with them.

10 of the best books to help you understand mental health

Time with a psychiatrist is like gold, but what do they really want us to know that may help us during a crisis?

Firstly, they want us to know that mental illnesses are not rare or unique.

Professor of psychiatry, Professor Kamaldeep Bhui, a… Read the full story

Don’t be daft – we don’t need to ban fireworks

Don’t let fireworks go out with a bang (Credit: Getty)

Some of my happiest memories when I was a child were at family or school fireworks displays.

Freezing cold, eating jacket potatoes, sparklers in hands and ‘oo-ing’ and ‘ah-ing’ over the pretty explosions which lit up the inky, night sky.

Whether you called it Guy Fawkes Night or Bonfire Night, November 5 was one of the few times each year we got together with family and friends.

Now I am older, with a rescue dog and a child who has always been sensitive to loud noises, I am less keen on the night.

Smacking children should be banned in… Read the full story

Seriously ill woman forced to miss sister’s wedding now ties the knot

(Picture: BPM Media)

Happy endings do exist after all.

A seriously ill woman who was told had mere days to live – and was forced to miss own sister’s wedding day – has now made a miraculous recovery.

And that’s not all – she’s now tying the knot herself.

Vanessa Erickson, 22, was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease last December and spent ten weeks in hospital after undergoing surgery to remove her bowel after it erupted.

But after a serious infection, she remained in hospital until the end of June this year, causing her to miss her sister’s nuptials back in May.

But the bride-to-be, Rebecca Alexander, 32, made a surprise appearance at Queen’s Medical Centre in Nottingham in… Read the full story

Is vaginal seeding dangerous or are we just being narrow minded?

(Picture: Getty)

There’s is some research to suggest that babies born via C-Section have a weaker immune system. 

The theory behind this weaker immune system is that during birth, babies are exposed to all sorts of natural bacteria in their mother’s vaginal canal.

Babies who are brought into the world without this exposure are, apparently, more vulnerable to germs.

In an attempt to offset this, vaginal seeding was created. Vaginal seeding is when a piece of fabric which has been inside the mother’s vagina is placed over the baby, exposing it to all of the bacteria which it hasn’t yet experienced.

The practice isn’t especially common, but it was reported today that it carried health risks.

Read the full story

ICYMI, someone’s come up with a £100 noise-cancelling ramen fork

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