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I love the soft life aesthetic. I love seeing Black women and femmes indulge in rest and find new ways to treat themselves to nice things. But, it isn't lost on me that some components of this lifestyle require access to resources that are hard to come by. For many people, a soft life is the ultimate goal—nobody wants to struggle. Unfortunately, life is not always easy and carefree.

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We’ve all been there: Exhausted, lacking motivation, on edge, or simply not feeling like working at all. And we might have even used up all of our sick days, not to rest from a cold or injury, but just to get a bit of relief from those job or business responsibilities. Sometimes, you're not able to shake that nagging feeling of gloom, eventually finding yourself in a toxic pattern of unhealthy habits and behaviors. There's a larger issue that goes way beyond just needing a break.

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When we think of gaslighting, we typically associate it with a person in our life whether it’s a romantic partner, friend, co-worker, or family member. But have you ever stopped to think whether you were gaslighting yourself? The definition of gaslighting is a form of manipulation that causes the victim to question their thoughts, their reality, and even memories and events. It questions a person’s sanity and is viewed as emotional abuse.

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Over the years, Kelly Rowland has been open about her insecurities and lack of self-confidence in her skin, but now she’s sharing how affirmations helped her overcome self-doubt. The “Motivation” singer spoke with Hello Beautiful about the many challenges women face when looking in the mirror. “My biggest insecurity would probably be, one of the many, I usually challenge how smart I am,” she said.

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The ladies of Harlem participated in an exclusive girl chat with xoNecole in Twitter Spaces over the weekend and, while discussing their show, they also shared some deep, inspiring words with us. Meagan Good, Grace Byers, and Shoniqua Shandai each opened up about love and friendships while also revealing some personal experiences that really resonated with the audience. While you can listen to the full conversation here, we also broke down some of the most memorable gems to give you some affirmations that you can take with you wherever you go.

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It's the fourth quarter. October 1 through December 31 marks the most compressed time of the year. Everyone is trying to finish the year strong and be better than they were on January 1. And while that's all well and good, being busy isn't cool anymore. It's all about being balanced.

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