What if you had $1,000 to spend on your health?
Welcome to Wellness Diaries. In this series, we send readers $1,000 to splurge on any product, service, or experience—as long as it’s something that can enhance health. (Any leftover cash is donated to a charity of the diarist’s choice.)
This month, we shipped Wellness Diaries off to university and awarded the funds to four college students.
Why? College can be an expensive and challenging time to prioritize wellbeing. A lot of healthy practices are free (so many on-campus climbing walls!) but many assists come at a cost. We selected students who did the research to find products to make their university experience a little healthier, surfacing products and experiences unique to their wellness journeys and stages in life. These picks aren’t unique to the university experience, though—there’s something for everyone.
In this diary, we have drama major Sònia Victoria Werner—Victoria for short. She spent her money on a Thrive Market membership, a hot water bottle, and chasteberry supplements.
Sònia Victoria Werner (she/her), or Victoria for short, is a drama student at New York University. She’s also a multilingual multi-hyphenate artist, teacher, advocate, and coach aiming to bridge arts and wellness by facilitating fruitful collaboration and sparking honest dialogue.
A big part of wellness for me is music! When I first bought myself Airpods back in 2019, I knew I was investing in my self-care and wellness and I listened to music incessantly. It’s a huge way of grounding myself throughout the day, boosting my mood, waking me up, and engaging with joy on my walks to class. Also in 2019, I was struggling with insomnia. I cannot tell you how much my airpods changed my sleep game! I used to scour Youtube before bed for soundscapes or calming sleep meditations. My airpods had me falling asleep in half the time.
I’m asking for airpods this time because one of my 2019 pods was stolen from the case, so I’ve been relying on one airpod in my day-to-day life. I also love these specific ones because of their noise cancellation capabilities, which will help me study and focus during the day and fall asleep soundly at night!
$18.75 Nuts & Seeds
I am a smoothie LOVER and I like to make myself one every morning to incorporate a great amount of nutrition in my day! However, I’m always looking for ways to upgrade my smoothies and/or add some omega-3’s (as I don’t eat any seafood) to my day. This seems to be the perfect way to do just that.
$35 Electric Shaver
My disposable razors have failed me one too many time, and spending hours of my week going over the same areas is the opposite of self-care! I’ve read great things about this razor and I have extremely sensitive skin that is prone to razor bumps and ingrown hair (boo!). I’d love to try this one out to help protect my skin, prevent painful razor bumps, and spend less time on shaving every week.
$11.78 Vitamin B6
My psychiatrist recommended taking Vitamin B6 to help with mood and energy, and it’s helped a lot! I’d love to try out this affordable brand and continue investing in my mental wellness.
$9.11 Chasteberry Supplements
My psychiatrist also recommended that I try out chasteberry to help with some hormonal imbalances I’m facing. I’m about to run out, so I’d love to invest in this brand which seems to be natural and ethically sourced!
$6.29 Chia Seeds
I freakin’ LOVE chia seeds. I add them to my water, smoothies, and basically everything for Omega 3’s and fatty acids. I also want to learn to make chia pudding… These organic ones are sourced and sold by a small business. What’s not to love?
$84.95 for Groceries
A big part of nutrition for me is buying healthy foods. Thrive gets me the most bang for my buck (hello price matching)! However, with limited funds for groceries, I often have to skip out on fresh items I love, like fresh fruits and probiotic yogurts. With this membership, I’d buy everything from fresh fruits and veggies to frozen items that’ll last me through the semester.
$113.97 Self-Care Box Subscription
There are months where I feel I need to go, go, go and put self-care as second priority. However, this box truly inspired me. For the next three months, getting a little gift box in the mail full of things that make the barrier to self care so low will remind me to TAKE A DANG BREAK! On a personal note, I’ve never been able to afford any of these subscription boxes myself, and I thought this one could be a treat I’ve never before experienced :,)
$9.99 Hot Water Bag
To help with cramps, back pains, and muscle pains. This is going to be a lifesaver, especially during winter! I miss the one I grew up with. Alas, it’s now in my childhood home in my little brother’s hands.
$52 Face Cream
This past summer, a new skincare product turned into a hidden allergy and gave me intense rashes and messed up my skin barrier. I tried Cerave, Vaseline, everything under the sun to repair it. Then, a Sephora employee recommended Skinfix+. I got a mini sample and it was the only thing that actually made a difference in helping repair my skin. I didn’t have it in the budget before, but I’d love to own my own full-size jar and commit to repairing my skin barrier throughout the cold, dry winter. I’ve been trying to invest in clean beauty as well, so this would be amazing to try out!
I’m desperately trying to floss more, and my dentist recommended I try out COCOfloss. It was designed by a dentist and supposedly works like no other floss. I’d love to try it out and commit to flossing more!
$69.99 Meditation App Subscription
I’ve suffered from insomnia for quite a bit, but it’s gotten a lot better recently as I’ve incorporated meditation into my routine. I usually use Youtube videos, and while they are helpful, they get repetitive. I’d like to try more mindful, targeted meditations to start off my day, reduce my anxiety, help me fall asleep, and incorporate gratitude more into my daily life. I’ve read amazing things about Calm and Headspace. Headspace seems to be more user friendly and better for beginners (aka me) so I thought I’d take a stab at it.
$150 Sephora Haul
Emotional wellness is so important to me, and I don’t think you can find a happier “me” than when I’m lost in my local Sephora. In addition to the performing arts, I also freakin’ love the expressive freedom and possibility found in makeup and skincare. My first ever mini-job in the beauty industry was for a magazine organizing its beauty closet. For hours, I would LIVE in that beauty closet, learning everything I could about clean beauty, ingredients, and more.
The reason why I’m asking for a gift card is so I can go out and have the EUPHORIC experience of a three-hour Sephora trip, going down every aisle and crying tears of joy. I mean that genuinely. This experience is one I’ve never had but one that would absolutely make my MONTH.
$9.43 Yoga Ball
I have back issues that I’d like to address. Using a yoga ball would help me stretch in the morning and before bed, as well as give my back a break throughout my “work-from-home” days.
$25 Water Bottle
I’ve been looking for ways to actually motivate myself to drink water every day. This cute bottle with minimalist reminders is the perfect companion for around the apartment and to classes!
$149.60 Spa Day
I’ve never had a spa day before! I’m also looking for a sustainable massage practice to work into my routine. I’ve had back and skin issues for as long as I can remember, and this Groupon deal is absolutely stellar. I’d love to try this place out and enjoy a massage, facial, and wonderful experience. (And hey, champagne is a plus! Please note I’m 21 LOL.)
Also, on a more personal note, my wellness journey would not be complete without thanking the woman who brings me so much joy and tranquility on the daily: My lovely girlfriend Heather. I’d love to enjoy a spa day along with her to celebrate a new beginning of wellness and mindfulness practices together. Practicing mindfulness and gratitude with and for her would make my mind, heart, and soul soar.
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