Julia Bainbridge went freelance a little over a year ago after most of her career was spent as an editor for various big name food or travel-focused publications like Condé Nast Traveler, Bon Appétit, and Yahoo Food. She left because she wanted to work on her own writing. She wanted to try to be a Writer with a capital W as opposed to an editor who writes sometimes.

A James Beard nomination gave her the confidence for the switch-up, and it has since turned out for her. She’s become a regular contributor to Bon Appétit, Playboy, Travel + Leisure, and Bake, as well as becoming Food52’s first-ever writer in residence. She’s signed on to collaborate on a couple of cookbook projects, and even recently launched a podcast that has nothing to do with food. It’s called The Lonely Hour, and it’s an exploration of loneliness… and it’s totally not a bummer. Season two launches in the fall!

We caught up with Julia to ask her what the seven things were that were making her life better at the moment. Here is what she shared:

1 | Fishion I’m not one for relaxing, European-style, skin-deep massages. I want a muscle workout so deep it almost hurts; I should be sweating by the time the treatment is finished. Fishion is my massage mecca.

2 | Topo Chico I’ve stopped drinking alcohol for a while, so my water standards have risen. This sparkling mineral water contains the smallest, most energetic bubbles that pelt your tongue in such a refreshing way.

3 | Learned Optimism I’m a pessimist by nature, but apparently I can change that. I’m trying to learn how by reading this book by Martin E.P. Seligman, who is considered the father of the new science of positive psychology.

4 | CAP Beauty My friends Kerrilynn Pamer and Cindy DiPrima’s West Village shop sells all of the best natural beauty products, and their facialists are the best I’ve ever had. And that’s saying something; I’m a skincare freak.

5 | Tommy Norman When I’m feeling low, I scroll through officer Norman’s Instagram page. You simply cannot not smile when you see the joyful way in which he polices his community in north Little Rock, Arkansas— and the recurring characters such as Lois, Davey, and Amiyah.

6 | Soul– I’ve spent a long while mulling over what attracts me to people, especially since the ones I surround myself with are so very varied. I discovered that the one thing they’ve all got is soul. I’m attracted to thinkers, feelers, and appreciators; people with thick, fleshy spirits. I know this sounds vague, but it’s hard to describe… I can sniff out a thin, flimsy soul as if it were Durian.

7 | The Listening Booth The Lonely Hour would be nowhere without my new production team. Its members are smart, efficient, and, yes, they’ve got soul.

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