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A certain holiday movie — you know the one — taught us that “love, actually, is all around,” but the same can be said for inspiration. It’s everywhere, folks — just look. And listen. You’ll find it. Need a little help tuning in? Open your mind, because the creative crew behind The S-Life Mag is divulging their most cherished inspirations. Check em out, then share your own down below!



"The book Within: A Spiritual Awakening to Love & Weight Loss by Dr. Habib Sadeghi totally changed my life. It is the book that I recommend to everyone. While I am sure that it is very similar to a lot of other "self-help" books, I found this one at the exact right time, which is why it really resonated with me. I was at school, super stressed and dealing with some big life changes. Reading this book was the only reason that I was able to fall asleep each night. P.S. I once glanced over at my dad to find him taking notes from the book on his iPad (after I begged him to read it). That was a special moment." —Hannah

"Cherry Bombe magazine! The theme of this last one was “Pet Project” — women who are juggling multiple passion projects at once and kicking ass at them all. It's insanely inspiring. They are opening restaurants and food trucks while writing cookbooks and touring the country with their bands." —Gabby

"Ron Rash is one of my favorite authors; his words are novel poetry, and ignite all my senses in the most soul-restoring fashion. His newest novel, Above the Waterfall, is set in Appalachia. The story is eerily heartbreaking, yet decidedly triumphant. The narrative is told by a group of (rather rare) humans that are so connected to the land, to the Divine, and to the karmic tragedies of those living in the their small town. Seriously guys, a must read this season (and any season, really)." -Meagan

"I get genuinely giddy when the quarterly issue of The Paris Review arrives in my mailbox. This legendary literary journal is always full of enchanting fiction and poetry as well as fascinating, insightful interviews with writers. I’m reminded of that SATC quote from Carrie about buying Vogue instead of groceries “because it fed [her] more.” Reading really is like nourishment to me—just like you have to eat clean, quality food to build a healthy body, you have to read as much quality stuff as possible to become a better writer." —Kirby



Ted Talks are such an amazing platform to learn about studies, topics, etc. that you may have otherwise never heard about. —Erin

Last year was a really tough one, and I was grappling with a lot of self-doubt and discouragement. Around that time, my dad sent me this bullseye-perfect video from the inimitable Ira Glass about the struggle to do good creative work, and now I watch it whenever I’m feeling down on myself and need a boost. The self-doubt definitely hasn’t vanished completely, but this never fails to shine a little light. —Kirby

I l-o-v-e the Minute Physics YouTube channel. I’m super addicted to YouTube (sorry Essena) and am watching something on this channel at least once a day. All videos are maybe 2 minutes at most, and engaging in the way they make some of our most pondered questions seem crazy simple. If YouTube was around in middle school science class, I’m sure we’d have been watching this as opposed to Bill Nye (side note: Bill Nye still wins, and he's now on Netflix. So there's that, too). —Meagan



My bestie and I have gone to see the New York Philharmonic twice already this season, and we don’t plan to stop there. Spotify is great and all, but when you get up the guts to take yourself (and maybe someone else you love!) out on a date to hear REAL music composed and played (Alan Gilbert is a sound magician)… I promise, you will leave changed. As aforementioned bestie texted me following our recent outing: “Music makes us come alive. We will all die one day - the audience members, the musicians, the conductor - but we all experienced that moment in time together in music. Never happened like that before, and never will again. Let’s get season tickets.” I’m down. —Meagan

Leon Bridges’ songs have so much soul and are always sure put me in a good mood. —Erin

The next time you’re in a new place and traveling by car, find the local college radio station. Unlike most commercial stations, their DJs actually pick the music, and they have carte blanche to play whatever weird, experimental, out-there stuff they want. Great for discovering artists new and old! —Kirby

Tim Ferriss is the ultimate bio-hacker, and I am into it. His Tim Ferriss Podcast features a wide array of people, but it is guaranteed that they have accomplished great things. If you want to learn how to optimize everything you could imagine, or hear how successful financiers built their dreams (while meditating), this is a good choice. Perfect for an inspiring and enjoyable morning commute. —Hannah

Tom Kenyon is one of the most respected sound healers in the world. Listening to his music helps me quiet the nonsense chatter in my mind and tap into my deep-down creativity. This stuff has been found to actually change the brain! —Gabby



I’m inspired by all of the graffiti around the city! I walk through the Lower East Side/Soho/East Village on my way home and can't believe how talented and interesting some of these pieces are - it seems like they've become much more than just random words and spray paint; they’re giant works of art now. They have definitely added color and good vibes to the neighborhoods. —Erin

Even though social media is getting thrown some shade right now, I’m going to heavily oppose that by encouraging you to take some time to scroll through the (real life) Instagram accounts of @kateloveshorses and @owlfaceowlface. Try telling me you don’t want to go live on a ranch now. —Meagan

I’ve lived in NYC for about six years, and anyone who tells you that making this place your home is easy is lying. But whenever I’m traveling between Brooklyn and Manhattan on an express train and it ascends above ground, crossing the bridge and making its way across the river, I have to look up from my book and take in the view of the skyline. Whether clear and crisp on a bright, blue morning, ablaze in watercolor stripes during sunset or glittering in the night sky, this view always inspires me to take a moment and remind myself that I am making my way. —Kirby

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